In Conversation with Sara Alter of MOMENT Consulting

Sara Alter_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

MOMENT provides business coaching to support the growth of mom-owned startups.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I started my first business based off of consumer demand for a product that didn’t exist. I can say the same for my second business as well! The concept of creating a product from scratch and profiting came from a personal belief that was instilled in me in a very young age – that I could do, and be anything I set my mind to.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I started my first business when I was 19 years old and have continued to build off of that experience for the last 20 years. I began with a personalized quilting business in college, moved to NYC and worked in the executive search field in consumer and financial services for a handful of years, and eventually went back to my entrepreneurial roots, to found a first-to-market personalized nail polish business, Pretty Please Nail Polish, which was in operation for a decade. While I started consulting for women owned businesses on the side in 2013, I officially launched my consulting firm in 2020, with a focus on supporting mom entrepreneurs as they create, launch and scale small businesses.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Looking back I can see that it was in the cards all along. As a kid I would create made-up businesses. I was always creating craft accessories to sell to friends and family. And when it came time for me to apply to college with a major in apparel design, I convinced my high school to create a personalized fashion curriculum for me so that I could bulk up my applications geared towards my specific area of interest. I would say I’ve always thought outside the box and had an entrepreneurial spirit about me.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

I ended up launching my business in the early days of the pandemic but I had put out feelers for months leading up to the shut-down. I started with word of mouth marketing, talking to local mom friends to get feedback and to really bring them into the process of launching this business. It provided me valuable information about what they were looking for as moms, and as consumers, and it also created a connection to the mission I was planning to support. From there I began to grow my social media presence, email list, and continued to network through friends and family. The initial response after the website launch was overwhelming and I was at client capacity within a few weeks.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

Ha, how much time do you have? One stand-out mistake I made was not having potential business partners sign a non-disclosure agreement and other legal documents before disclosing private details about my products and services. They took my private company details and used the information to launch a competing business with the same products and almost identical messaging. It was a nightmare. The takeaway is that, no matter how small your business, or how new you are as a business owner, always legally protect yourself and never feel ashamed to take those precautions.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

My kids! But professionally, continuing to run a business through all of life’s ups and downs – miscarriages, difficult pregnancies and deliveries, and now raising two kids 16 months apart and being a working mom.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

Right now I’m a solopreneur and I outsource work to creative partners when my clients need additional support. My go-to question is: How would you describe your (creative) process from consultation to deliverables? While I’m curious about the work flow, what I’m really trying to understand is what systems do they have in place – if any – and if they are accountable when it comes to time management, feedback, and follow-up. This tells me a lot about a person’s work-ethic, priorities, customer experience, and how they will handle themselves around deadlines.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

My industry has exploded! Between unemployment, lay-offs, and an increasing number of women having to step away from their careers to be at home with their school-ages kids, the online coaching and consulting space has taken on a life of its own. Women are taking their experience from previous jobs and packaging it up to offer virtual coaching and support services across all industries.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

In the near future I will be sharing new coaching programs and resources. In the next few years you may see a podcast, a book, and I hope to grow my team to bring on more talent, and offer more in-house services to our amazing start-up community.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

2020 pulled the curtain back on motherhood, and I think one of the biggest lessons, for me and all working mothers, is that managing a career and a family is nothing to apologize for. Going forward, I think mothers will own and embrace their dual roles and wear it like a badge of honor. As they should.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

That you shouldn’t do it alone! I used to pride myself on wearing so many hats in my business, and while the experience was priceless, and got me to the exact position I’m in today, I now also understand the critical value of having support, of hiring up, and of investing in yourself and your business education along the way.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Work! Having something creative and inspiring to dive into every day to distract from all of the ups and downs that this year has brought us, has been a lifesaver.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I do. The best and only thing that has ever worked for me is to completely map and out compartmentalize my days. I schedule in work time, personal time, family time, and unless something big comes up, I try my best not to blur the lines. This takes time and practice, especially when you’re running a business but as you begin to understand the flow of your business and how it can work with the flow of your life you can anticipate when you need to really show up and when you can really shut off. But if I’m being perfectly honest, most entrepreneurs never fully shut it off!

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

That I’m pretty introverted and any kind of public speaking, like doing live interviews, even on social media, makes me pretty nervous. Hoping in time, and with more practice, that feels easier!

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Wake up at the same time every day and get dressed – even if I’m switching from pajamas to loungewear. 
  • I block out my entire day by activity like work deliverables, social media engagement, client calls, and even personal calls, so I can stay on track.
  • I rarely if ever watch TV during the day – even during lunch. It makes me feel lazy so I reserve it for after-work hours.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

It means that I’m a woman with entrepreneurial vision, drive, insight, and follow-through.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Online Business Manager Ellyn Stanton of Stanton Sisters Creative on taking the leap to start

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Stanton Sisters Creative helps CEOs & Founders step into their roles and get more focus, free time, and financial growth by setting up systems, overseeing teams, and managing projects. What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? I am so excited about being an…

Why We Chose Electric To Power IT For Our Entreprenista Team & The Women Leaders Who Work With Them Too

Entreprenista’s CoFounder and CEO,  Stephanie Cartin was able to use Electric with a prior company she too founded and operated, Socialfly. Electric freed up her time and allowed her to focus on and scale other companies like Entreprenista. So when the same bottlenecks arose at Entreprenista, she knew the solution for her team right away! …

Renowned Chef Judy Joo on forging her own path as an Entreprenista

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I am a career changer, and I had a rather serendipitous route into the kitchen. I started out as an engineering major in college and then went into finance and worked in fixed income derivatives for about 5 ½ years until I decided to give…

Vasiliki Gkarmiri of Next Door Goddess on leaving a legacy

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I’m Vasiliki (but everyone calls me Vicky)!  I’m a Greek immigrant, Family Physician-turned-jewelry designer and co-founder at Next Door Goddess where I design and create artisanal handcrafted boho luxe jewelry, inspired by moments in the Greece and the Mediterranean landscape, that helps women express on…

Juliana Avella of Made Simple Nutrition on launching her first Self-Study Online Fertility Program

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: My name is Juliana, I am a mother of 3 boys and passionate about helping women to thrive in a happy and healthy motherhood. I have been working as a Health & Fertility Coach for over 11 years and my goal with my clients is…

Ashleigh Barker, Head of Beauty for Lincoln International, on her unique Entreprenista journey

Describe your business in a few words: I am the Head of Beauty for Lincoln International, an investment banking platform that advises brands and management teams on growth capital fundraising and M&A advisory strategies. What was your background prior to starting your own business? I’m an M&A strategy, advisor and investment professional with both investment…

Cheli Grace of Book to Millions Reflects on 1 Year in The Entreprenista League

Brief description of your business: I offer professional publishing services with business strategy. I help you write, publish and market your non-fiction book that is aligned to your business and brand. We have a 5-phase system that does a lot of the work for you so all you have to do is show up with…

Certified Fertility Health & ICF Life Coach, Doula & Educator Elizabeth King on her Mamaprenista Mission

Describe your business in a few words: Elizabeth King is a Certified Fertility Health Coach, Master Certified ICF Life Coach, Birth & Bereavement Doula and New Parent Educator. Her mission is to help people of all backgrounds conceive a healthy baby and carry to term.After having 3 children of her own after the age of…

Beth Schomp on Living Your Best Life

Describe your business in a few words: I’m a host of my own YouTube Show, Your Best Life with Beth Schomp. It’s a weekly video series of tips and interviews on nutrition, fitness and other health modalities. I’m also a National Director with Melaleuca, a major manufacturer/registered pharmaceutical company. I also just authored my first…

Rosemary Leader, Founder of Connect The Kind, has set out to change the way we gift

Describe your business in a few words: My name is Rosemary Leader, and I started Connect The Kind in December 2020. At Connect The Kind, we have set out to change the way people gift. Our mission has been to create a more meaningful, impactful way to celebrate the good people in your lives. We…

Ashley Reckdenwald, Founder of Working Mom Notes, on her mission as a Mamaprenista

Describe your business in a few words: I am the Founder of Working Mom Notes. My mission is to empower mothers through community and experience, enabling all to prosper in both career and motherhood. I believe in moderating difficult conversations to help women feel seen and heard. What was your background prior to starting your…

Riley Flanagan of Riley’s Rows on starting her own international wine company

Describe your business in a few words: When I was four years old, Dad and I had our first harvest. I came home and knew I wanted to be a winemaker. I have loved growing up in this industry and I started Riley’s Rows as a way to share wines with people. My mission is…

Adriana Robinson, Founder of Reina Skincare, on her “accidental” success as an Entreprenista

Describe your business in a few words: My name is Adriana Robinson. I started this business in 2018. I was suffering from Acne all over my body and the products in store were not working for me. I decided to go the natural route and I accidentally ordered 10 pounds of Shea Butter instead of…

Laura Elliott, Co-Founder of Kula Inc., on taking the leap to launch a podcast

Describe your business in a few words: I am Laura Elliott the co-founder of Kula Inc. Kula is transforming the way moms receive support with a membership-based platform that allows moms to book 1:1 virtual sessions with a network of maternal wellness experts, including sleep consultants, counselors, career coaches, nutritionists, and more. What was your…

Meet Britney Mahoney: Senior Executive Assistant turned Entreprenista

Describe your business in a few words: As an 18-year highly experienced executive assistant with a diverse background in providing support to senior-level officials through in-person and virtual settings. Your business is our business. I believe in making your dreams and goals a reality and my Virtual Assistants know just how to do that. We’re…