Sharon DeVellis will answer to a multitude of names like Mummy, Mom, Hey You! and sometimes Honey. She also takes on a multitude of roles including blogger, editor-in-chief, mom, wife, friend and speed skater. We love the humour in her writing and that she still finds time for herself despite managing 26 bloggers, 2 blogs, 2 kids and a husband.
1. Tell us about your business.
I’m a writer so I guess that means I’m my business. Kind of selling myself but not in a hookerish sort of way. I wouldn’t make a good hooker because I only like to wear yoga pants. Unless there’s some sort of hooker wearing yoga pant niche I’m unaware of in which case I’d probably be amazing.
So yes, I write. I write two blogs – one is called the Inside Scoop which has absolutely nothing to do with hysterectomies and the other is Speed Skating Mom. That one’s pretty self-explanatory. I’m also Editor-in-Chief at YummyMummyClub.ca.
You just gasped in surprise, didn’t you? I know. I can’t believe I have this job either.
2. Other than being an entrepreneur, who are you? Tell us about yourself.
When people describe me the word ‘crazy’ comes up quite often but I like to think of it more as ‘sanity challenged’.
Basically I’m a juggler. Only not flaming batons or balls, but life. Because that’s what we moms do, isn’t it? We’re always juggling trying to fit everything in including time for ourselves.
Last year I started speed skating which, in a way, I still can’t believe. It was one of those impulsive moments where I was all ""I’m going to try this"" and I called our speed skating club and asked to come to a class. It’s changed me in a fundamental way because I’ve found something that really lights up my life even though I completely suck at it. It’s become my mission to inspire other moms to find something that lights them up like speed skating does for me. It doesn’t have to involve high speeds and sharp blades. What it is will be different for every woman. But if you don’t take that leap and just get out there and try, you’ll never know.
See? I’m not always crazy. Every once in a while I have a moment of lucidity. This was one of them.
3. What motivated you to go into business for yourself?
I actually have a day job so the question should be ""Who was crazy enough to hire you?"" and the answer to that is Erica Ehm. She literally hired me after watching a video I made of me singing I song I wrote, only I can’t sing. And I’m not just saying that so you’ll be all ""Oh no, Sharon. You’re a good singer"". When I’m at a birthday party, I mouth the words to Happy Birthday.
Nobody wants to be responsible for making a child cry.
4. How do you overcome challenges and obstacles in your business?
I look at challenges and obstacles not as something to be overcome but a chance to learn. The only real obstacle in our way of achieving our goals is ourselves, that nagging voice in our head that tells us we can’t do it. I’ve started talking back to the voice in my head when it’s telling me I can’t do something. The more she talks and tries to make me doubt myself, the harder I work.
This is making me sound crazy, isn’t it?
5. What are your greatest strengths as an entrepreneur?
Discipline and focus. When you work from home, it’s easy to get distracted – you’re looking at piles of laundry, the phone is there just begging you to call a friend and twitter’s an Alt-Tab screen change away. Don’t even get me started on YouTube.
It takes a special kind of self-discipline to work set hours when the only taskmaster on hand is you.
Currently, my kids have no clean underwear. *That’s* when you know you’re focused.
Second is determination and being a hard worker.
And lastly, my ability to drown out the noise of my children fighting.
6. What are you most passionate about in your business?
For both YMC and Speed Skating Mom it’s spreading the message that women should not always be putting themselves last. There is no selfishness in wanting to pursue your dreams and passions. Think about it. Would we ever sit down and tell our children that they can follow their dreams but first they need to ensure everyone else in their life is happy and only then can they get on with the dream chasing.
Yet this is what moms do. We put ourselves last thinking there will always be time somewhere in future. Only the future isn’t a guarantee, is it? So we need to go out and live our lives to the best of our ability. This isn’t a dress rehearsal – we only get one shot at it.
7. What is one piece of helpful advice you would give to other entrepreneurs?
If you attempt something and it fails, you walk away with knowledge you didn’t have previously so you didn’t really fail at all. You should never be afraid of failure, what you should be fearful of is looking back and knowing you never tried.