Boss Mom of the Week: Nancy Cavillones
Nancy Cavillones is a mamaprenuer’s best friend and is on a mission to keep Boss Moms sane by handling the minutiae of their social media presence. She’s been online in some form or other since 1993, and still has the AOL dial-up tone stuck in her head. As a VA, Nancy exercises her creative and organizational muscles by writing Facebook copy, creating efficient systems for Boss Moms and sourcing content, as well as performing many other tasks that allow mamaprenuers to focus on their big-picture projects.
When she’s not VAing, Nancy serves on the executive board of the Redding Elementary School PTA, and is the Communications chair. She is also a board member at Pathways Togo, and volunteers as the Marketing and Communications Director for the organization. She is a member of the Social Action Committee at Congregation Shir Shalom in Ridgefield, CT and volunteers at the local food pantry.
She enjoys taking the scenic route, forcing her kids to appreciate nature, and spending time in New York City by herself in an desperate attempt to recapture her college days. She also likes to read and was most recently wrecked by Homegoing, a novel by Yaa Gyasi and highly recommends that everyone read it.
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Tell us a little bit about your family and your Boss Mom journey.
We are a family of five living in semi-rural Fairfield County in Connecticut. My husband and I have three children, ages 8, 6, and 3. If you ask the kids, they will say that we really have seven people in our family– our cats, Kingsdale and Penelope. I was a teacher for a very long time, but I always had little jobs on the side. Sometimes, it was contracting work, sometimes it was sewing small items for children. I reached a point where I could no longer be a classroom teacher. I wanted more flexibility and autonomy, because my volunteer work is just as important to me as my paid work. Working for myself allows me to be more committed to my causes. I was kind of floundering for a bit, because being a teacher was part of my identity for so long. I realized that my favorite part of teaching was helping people, coming up with creative ideas and figuring out how to make things more efficient.
When NJ (yes, Boss Mom NJ… who is an old friend) suggested that I think about becoming a VA, it really made sense. I’m all about social media and connecting with people, and helping people, and that’s what I do in my job! I also love that in being a VA, I use so many of my English teacher skills and I get to be an idea machine. Besides to being a VA to some amazing Boss Moms, I also have my own blog where I mostly write book reviews and write about my cochlear implant journey
What are some of your favorite go to meals when time is tight and dinner MUST get on the table?
Breakfast for Dinner, for sure! My kids never say no to that, especially if it includes bacon. Another quick meal is any protein I have, plus rice and a vegetable.
Where do you go for inspiration?
EVERYWHERE. I’m always reading, always asking questions, always figuring out how someone did something. I’m constantly consuming information from a variety of sources and filing away notes in my head. I get a lot of inspiration from comment threads in groups I belong to on FB, like Boss-Mom.
What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs etc)?
Right now, I’m reading Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman for my book club. On a daily basis, I check Google News, and I read blogs like Cup of Jo and Reading My Tea Leaves. I also rely a lot on my FB and Twitter feeds to give me interesting things to read and watch. I love TED talks!
What is one piece of business advice that you’d give to a mom just starting out?
Put in the work, be friendly, be overly helpful, respect personal and professional boundaries and always, always ask questions if you are unsure about something. I would also add, don’t be afraid to own your worth. I recently raised my rates, and it was a little scary, but I was prepared for people to say, “that’s too expensive,” and to be okay with not having that client.
What are some of your favorite quotes or words to live by?
I have a little tattoo on my ankle that was inspired by this amazing book called We Make The Road by Walking, which is a record of conversations between Paolo Freire, the Brazilian educator and advocate for the poor, and Myles Horton, a founder of the Highlander Center in Tennessee, a social justice leadership school. The title comes from a poem by an Spanish poet named Antonio Machado, so my tattoo is actually in Spanish: Se Hace Camino Al Andar, which translates to We Make the Way as We Go, or We Make the Path as We go. It’s a helpful reminder that I am in control of my destiny, that every choice I make matters in some way, and that I CAN DO THIS!
In one word, sum up your life as a Boss Mom. Empowering.
What are three core values of your business and how do those values relate to your motherhood?
Three core values of my business are Be Supportive, Be Solutions-Oriented, and Be a Cheerleader. As a mother, I strive to support my children where they are and help them forward. I teach them to figure out how to solve their problems instead of dwelling on them. Of course, I am their biggest and loudest cheerleader! (Literally. My daughter’s cheer squad came in first place at States, and I’m pretty sure all of the Northeast could hear me!)
If you’re looking for a VA,, visit Nancy’s website to learn more.
Or connect with Nancy Cavillones on social media.