Mom Means Business: Liz Jenkins

Hi Liz! Tell us a little about yourself, business, and family.

I'm a Certified Professional Organizer specializing in residential organizing and move management/unpacking. I've been married for 23 years, and have a 14 year old daughter. We also have a lab, 4 cats, a bearded dragon and 6 chickens. We live in downtown Franklin in a 1945 bungalow.

At what point in your business did you have children?

Our daughter was born in 2002. I started my current business in 2005 but had been a business owner previously in Florida. We moved to Franklin, TN in 2005 and that's when I started A Fresh Space.

How did that affect the way you run your business?

When my daughter was younger, it meant that I structured my work hours around her school schedule so I could pick her up from school each day. If I couldn't do that, she'd need to go to after care or my husband would need to get her if he was working from home that day (he travels a lot). I still try to be home when she is so we can spend some time together, even if she doesn't want to (she's 14!). It's also one of the reasons I have employees so I don't need to be on every job and can be available if needed.

What is one trait of yours that you hope your child inherit from you?

Being organized. It isn't working so far...

Have your children influenced the work you do in any way?

In the sense of understanding how busy families are, and the challenges they face. When we organize with clients, we take that into consideration for not only the systems but the maintenance of those systems.

I know being a mom and an entrepreneur can be a tough job. How do you treat yourself on special occasions? How do you celebrate the small victories?

Pedicures, reading a good book and a glass of wine. Ideally all at the same time.

What advice would you give to a mom thinking about starting a business or a business owner about to have children?

Realize that your attention will always be divided. Kids needs come first and while growing a business is important, the time is limited where you can be with your child. The balance is difficult but important to keep in mind. I also recommend setting clear boundaries with things like when you are on the phone, your technology (don't share your tech with kids!), your work materials & office supplies, etc. When your work stuff is considered fair game, your business will suffer.

Do you use any tech/apps to keep your life together?

Google calendar (the family has a shared calendar and my company has a shared calendar), Basecamp, Google Drive, Quickbooks, Square...most of my company is virtual and our personal/family docs are also held in the cloud. We try to be as paper free as possible as well as use tech to keep everyone in the loop about what needs to be done and where everyone needs to be. To be honest, though, I still love my physical notebook where I keep my daily to-do's and brainstorming ideas.

Where can we follow your story online?




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