Boss Mom Of The Week: Mallika Malhotra
Mallika Malhotra is a fun-loving photographer, visual storytelling expert and passionate entrepreneur behind mikifoto. She helps busy families and women entrepreneurs celebrate their stories to feel more connected and confident in life and business. She empowers women in business to share their message through branding and social media. She inspires curiousity and creativity through her engaging workshops and events. She believes expressing yourself should feel like a party!
Tell us a little bit about your family and your Boss Mom journey.
I am a photographer, a storyteller, a branding and social media maven, a party girl and a proud mama to three energetic boys. My husband and I have been married for almost 16 years. We have lived all across the country for his medical school training but now call NJ home.
I first discovered my passion for photography when we moved to the West Coast many years ago. I had two young toddlers at the time so it wasn’t easy to travel across three time zones to visit family. I found myself feeling disconnected and it was heartbreaking that my relatives didn’t know my sons’ personalities. So that’s when I picked up a camera and started snapping away. I wanted to capture every moment from milestones to the simple everyday moments in between. I wanted to help tell their story. Photography helped me feel connected again. It became my lifeline.
The next thing I knew, I was reading books, taking photography workshops and finding different ways to learn the craft. I was hooked! A few years and thousands of photos later, I realized my passion wasn’t just about photography. It was about the people. I wanted to help tell their stories. I wanted to help them feel connected to the things they loved the most. I wanted to help them feel confident with their self-expression. I wanted to help them celebrate life. Now I not only do photography but help women entrepreneurs express their message through branding and social media.
What are some of your favorite go to meals when time is tight and dinner MUST get on the table?
The crock pot is super helpful for those busy days filled with chauffeuring the kids to all of their after school activities. Chicken curry or chili is delicious from the crock pot. Taco night and Asian stir fry are also big hits in my house.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I am lucky to live near NYC. I can easily take the train in and be surrounded by inspiration in less then an hour. Just walking in the city has my brain stimulated. I also love reading, art, museums, fashion and travel.
What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs etc)?
I tend to read several books at once. Right now, I am reading “Louder then Words” by Todd Henry – “Living with Intent” by Mallika Chopra and “Likeable Social Media” by Dave Kerpen. My favorite blog is Design Sponge and Glitter Guide. My favorite podcasts are Boss-Mom, Build Your Tribe, Lively Show and Smart Creative Women.
What is one piece of business advice that you’d give to a mom just starting out?
Go at your own pace, it’s not a race! In the beginning, it’s tough to balance a new business, your home and your family. Take your time to figure out your groove. Put your blinders on to everyone who is claiming success and 6 figure this and that. Find your own path and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What are some of your favorite quotes or words to live by?
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” Neil Gaiman
“Don’t just buy stuff, do stuff” – Radio Shack.
In one word, sum up your life as a Boss Mom.
FULL….everyday there is both beauty and chaos. I have learned to embrace it all!
What are three core values of your business and how do those values relate to your motherhood?
My three core values are purpose, passion and connection. The days are often busy and full of ups and downs…it’s exhausting and overwhelming. But these three words keep me on track. They are my anchors. I believe so strongly in these values as a way of life and a way to run my business. I also try to model these values to my growing boys. If they see you living on purpose with passion for your work or your ideas and building meaningful connections, they too will start believing and practicing these lessons.
Come find me on Instagram @mikifotnj! Every Tuesday, I share a photo or visual storytelling tip. Plus, there is lots of eye candy of my daily adventures as a Mom, photographer and lady boss.