Boss Mom of the Week: Suzanne Brown
I’m a mom, wife, consultant, expert on professional part-time working moms, speaker, blogger, author, and avid international traveler (I got to 40 countries before I turned 40 — woohoo!). I’m a mom to 2 young boys, ages 6 and 3, and I’m married to a great guy, who is really supportive of all that I do. Professionally, I’m a strategic marketing and business consultant, working on high level strategy for seasoned entrepreneurs and helping companies work better with their marketing agencies. For the past few years, I’ve been working on a patient project — a book about being a professional part-time working mom. I interviewed more than 110 professional part-time working moms to hear their advice, insights, and stories.
Tell us about your family and journey to becoming a Boss Mom.
I have two young boys, ages 6 and 3. There are energetic, curious, fun-loving, athletic, smart, and generally lots of fun to be around. My husband is very loving and supportive — I definitely hit the jackpot when I married this guy. We constantly try to do new things — most recently we went skiing. It was our boys’ first time to see snow or even know what skis are. We love to be adventurous as a family, whether hiking on a new trail nearby or visiting a new country. We have fun together and all enjoy cuddles, although some more than others.
I’m a big slow cooker fan, although I didn’t even know what one was until I got married and my husband had one.
What do you make for dinner when time is tight and dinner must get on the table?
I didn’t even know what one was until I got married and my husband had one. My favorite because everyone in the house loves it is a Kraft recipe for orange marmalade bbq chicken and I serve it with butter noodles or rice and a veggie. We eat tacos or tostadas regularly, so we often have lean ground beef that has been cooked and put in a bag in the freezer for a quick meal. I make our taco seasoning, so I get to mix it up a bit each time. And I’ve been known to do breakfast for dinner. Oatmeal anyone?
Where do you go for inspiration?
I love to read — all sorts of things. And I have been known to go to Pinterest to poke around and give myself a time limit to find new things and read new articles. I also get a lot of daily feeds, so there are loads of articles that grab my attention and lead me to other interesting articles. There are times when I need to change my location to feel inspired. Those are the times when we travel, even if it’s a day trip to somewhere nearby. Seeing new things often triggers new ideas in my head and helps me bridge ideas.
What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs etc)?
Podcasts: Boss Mom podcast (LOVE IT!!), some segments of NPR, I like to listen to TED talks, and am enjoying the newly launched podcast, Working Parent Network podcast, with fellow Boss Mom Sarah Argenal. Books: Own It by Sallie Krawcheck, Work. Pause. Thrive. by Lisen Stromberg and I admit I throw in a bit of Jane Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.
What is one piece of business advice that you’d give to a mom just starting out?
Be OK with baby steps. There is usually not some magical way to grow your business, so take the small steps and they will add up over time.
In one word, sum up your life as a Boss Mom.
Empowered. I feel empowered to make things happen in both businesses.
What are three core values of your business and how do those values relate to your motherhood?
- Intention – In business I focus on things that will make a difference in my business instead of trying to be cool and focus on the newest gadget. I don’t add tools or marketing platforms until I’m ready (e.g., I’m not ready to integrate Instagram into my marketing mix because I haven’t hashed out my strategy there yet). In motherhood, I’m intentional with what attributes we try to bring out in our boys. We want them to be adventurous and curious about the world, so we create adventures for them and allow them to lead in a safe place where they can flex those muscles.
- Curiosity – In business, part of my success is based on curiosity, especially as it relates to finding new information for projects and asking the right questions (e.g., interviewing more than 110 professional part-time working moms). In motherhood, we introduce new situations and topics regularly to our boys. We want them to be curious and be interested in exploring new ideas and places. We bring new games, tools, or even go to new places to bring out more of that curiosity in them.
- Balance – My whole story in business is about balance. Work-life balance as a part-time working mom, balance between strategy and creating a book, balance between understanding numbers and strategy and still being able to write and create, etc. In motherhood, it’s all about balance. You can’t push your kids too hard, but you don’t want to be a pushover about things. You want to nudge and give them space. You need to be fair, but also incredibly loving. You want to be supportive and kiss every wound, but you need them to be independent and realize falling down isn’t the end of the world and they can pick themselves up without mommy and daddy. And most of all, you want them to grow, but not too much that they don’t want a cuddle, a hug, and a kiss.
Connect with Suzanne Brown:
I will have a book launching in early fall (back-to-school time) — Mompowerment: Insights from Successful Professional Part-time Working Moms who Balance Career and Family (working title) and I have an opt-in on helping moms network where they are since networking was the #1 tip from the interviews I did with 110 professional part-time working moms. Learn more here.