what you can learn from this family of multi-generational founders
Ever considered going into business with a family member? Or someone from a different generation? Imagine a company run by four women, ranging in age from 17 to 52, and all being related, while working and living together in the same home.
That’s exactly the set up at Womaze, a Florida-based startup run by the Wiser family: mom Corin, and her three daughters Becca (21), Leah (21), and Hannah (17).
Womaze is an app focused on self-empowerment for women. It’s a “toolbox for life” with channels on mental health, body image, relationships, spirituality, and self-care. Each week, they feature a guest curator like Rebecca Minkoff, Jazz Jennings, and Nitika Chopra, who shares her top tips and resources. It’s a curated platform of videos, articles and podcasts to save you time from sourcing them yourself.
Twins Leah and Becca were so committed to the company’s mission that they took leaves of absence from George Washington University to work on the business full-time. Hannah is a senior in high school and juggling homeschooling while running a startup. And mom Corin put her previous career on hold to work alongside her daughters.
Hannah shares, "Womaze has shown me that there is nothing more powerful than a group of women with one shared mission. I now understand that there are no coincidences in life, and that all four of us were meant to do this together. When you find the people who share your goals, hopes, and dreams, hold on to them. For me, they just happened to be my family. "
Each family member also shares her top tip for us if you’re running or considering running a company with your family, and/or that is multi-generational:
Create shared boundaries
"When you’re running a company with your family, boundaries are essential. We all live together and run Womaze from our house, so we’ve had to create different 'rules' to help us know when it’s time to unplug and disconnect from working. After 8:30pm, we try not to discuss anything work-related unless it’s urgent, and we make sure that we each have a bit of personal time in the morning before the day gets super-busy,” says Becca.
Clearly delineate roles and responsibilities
Leah explains, "When we first started Womaze, we were each doing a little bit of everything. We quickly realized that we would be far more productive if we divided responsibilities and departments based on our strengths and expertise. As soon as we did this, everything changed. We’re much more effective when we each focus on our own individual areas and give each other the space to come up with creative and meaningful ideas."
Pause and take breaks
"A huge part of Womaze is encouraging women to take care of themselves emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. As entrepreneurs, self-care can very frequently get left behind. We’re doing our best to practice what we preach and support each other when we need to take a break. We even have a code word that signals when we need to take five to regroup. We understand that we can’t bring our best to the table when we don’t feel our best,” remarks Hannah.
Put ego aside in favor of the common goal
Corin continues, "We’re a multi-generational team with many different perspectives, so being open-minded about everyone’s ideas is crucial. I’ve always seen my daughters as my greatest teachers and I’ve made a conscious effort to always treat them as equal partners in the business. Putting egos and family dynamics aside so that we can make sure Womaze can thrive is our main priority."
Becca also adds: “Success requires so much more than hustle . . . it also requires tremendous alignment. Being in the flow and inviting the feminine energy into running the company is just as important as the hours and hours spent working tirelessly. Not only do we have ‘to-do’ lists, we also have ‘to manifest’ lists because we understand that so much of what we’ve been able to create has come through manifestation. When you’re doing something for the good of humanity, you’re a magnet for attracting everything and everyone you need. ”
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This article was originally published on Forbes.
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