In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who are you and what’s your business?
I’m Katie Wood and the author of the book, A Simple Seed, a minute morning journal for kids. I’m a mom of four young children, a business owner and proud wife of a hard-working fireman. As a former teacher, I know how important it is for children to have a growth mindset and learn the essential life skills that will empower them and help them live a purposeful life filled with courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion. I spent two years creating a journal to help kids start their mornings right by focusing on a life lesson, gratitude, positive self-talk and intention. Once I started seeing the impact this had on my family, I knew I had to get it to other families. There is power in teaching kids how to think versus what to think.
What inspired you to create this business?
My “aha moment” was during the early stages of the pandemic when I found myself homeschooling three kids, nursing a newborn and constantly on edge with my husband being a new paramedic. My morning routine was where I found my sanity. I got up before the kids to exercise, center myself, practice gratitude, read something empowering and pray. This practice sets the tone for the entire day. On a particular morning around 6am, one of my daughter’s came downstairs in the middle of my morning routine and asked if I could teach her to have great mornings too. A lightbulb went off. Chills went down my back. A seed was planted in my heart. I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of teaching my own kids the power that lies in a morning routine and how much it can affect your day. I wrote A Simple Seed when my intense google search for a kids journal encompassing life lessons, positive self-talk, gratitude, a daily challenge, and jokes came up empty. I knew at that moment, I had to create this book.
What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic and how did you pivot to overcome it?
Finding the time to focus. Life was turned upside down in the blink of an eye and all our routines were thrown out the window. I had been used to working remotely with my at-home business, however I felt I had very little alone time to focus. To overcome this, I became very intentional with my time. My morning routine centered me and gave me a clear focus on what needed to get done each day. Time is the most valuable commodity and you can be productive in small pockets of time if you are very clear and intentional about your task at hand.
What steps have you taken to promote and get the word out about your product?
I created a Morning Journal for Kids Facebook group to connect like-minded people. Here, about 2,000 members consisting of moms, dads, teachers, coaches, etc., have exclusive access to valuable information regarding life lessons, the power of gratitude and positive self-talk to help our children. This group also had early access to the book to help promote it to their networks. People have to see the value behind your product before being able to genuinely share it. I did a podcast John Lee Dumas’s Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast and an at-home interview with Candy O’Terry, a radio broadcaster, podcaster, singer, songwriter, and speaker coach. The local newspaper and news stations have reached out about upcoming interviews.
What does the word “entrepreneur” mean to you?
Entrepreneurs are seekers and problem solvers. They use their passion to make their vision a reality by doing work that is meaningful. Entrepreneurs discover a need and work endless hours to bring their project to life to help serve others. They are willing to take risks, challenge themselves, build something from scratch and keep going even when they are misunderstood.
What is something many aspiring business owners think they need that they really don’t?
I think what holds most people back is the need to know how to do every step of their project. When you start a business or create a product, there are so many unknowns and it’s almost impossible to know how to do it all. Believe in your idea, think by action and commit to take the FIRST step. My book started out by jotting down ideas on the back of a field trip permission slip. Then it went to Canva, then to Word, then to Adobe, through the eyes of several editors, proofreaders, formatters and several other steps I learned along the way. One step at a time. As humans, we are great starters but bad finishers and if you are disciplined to complete all the steps of the journey through all roadblocks, setbacks and pivots…you WILL eventually cross that finish line. Forget knowing every step before starting. Instead, focus on WHY you’re doing your project and the HOW will work its way out.
Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?
“The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” Simply put, good things in life take time. A successful business takes years of work to get going, often with little reward. Many people give up during the journey, because they don’t see immediate results. Raising strong, empowered, self-disciplined and respectful kids also takes hard work and time. If we do the hard work now, our kids will bloom in time and develop a strong foundation. We have opportunities everyday to plant seeds in our kids’ minds to help them develop strong roots so they will eventually grow and thrive.