What makes a Woman of Insight tick? We asked the five amazing speakers from our upcoming Sept 21st Woman’s Advantage® Retreat in the City to give their thoughts on success, motivation, the rewards of being an entrepreneur, and more.
Here’s what Robyn Hardy and Lorraine Pond (a.k.a. Bobs & LoLo, the award-winning children’s entertainers) had to say!
What is your definition of success?
Success to us is closely related to balance. Success is the ability to balance a career we love in music and arts with the required business acumen to exploit our creative identities alongside the opportunity to nurture our roles as mothers, wives and friends. Our relationship began when we first met at a summer camp as children. We have never lost sight of the value of these roots and the fact that our friendship strengthens our business partnership. Any conflict on the business side is balanced with acknowledgment of our individual goals and challenges and trust in our mutual values. We align our need to balance our business opportunities with the needs of our families and our friendship. As such, we have put processes and systems in place to enable our success – personally and professionally.
Has your definition of success changed from when you began to today?
Our definition of success has never completely revolved around traditional criteria like monetization, brand familiarity and growth. Our business has always had more emotive roots through arts and education. In the early days, our ambition and drive to turn our passion into a career did define benchmarks for success differently than we would evaluate our success today. We now have processes in place to help manage a lot of the areas of our business that at one point required much more of our time (bookings admin, accounting, distribution etc.). The support of our management team, talent agency and legal and accounting counsel also allows us to focus our energies on the things we now recognize as most important for our brand which includes creative development, project management and audience engagement – public relations, live performing and social media strategies.
What motivates you to keep going on?
Our belief that we are truly creating meaningful content and media for young audiences is a driving source of motivation for both of us. One of our main goals is to find innovative ways to inspire kids to care about the world around them. We use the tools of music, movement and make-believe to connect children with positive messaging about the natural world and at the same time show them that their actions can make a difference for themselves, the people around them and the planet. We find inspiration in our own childhoods, the young audiences we connect with on a daily basis and now our own children.
How do you keep going when the going gets tough?
Like any company, we have faced periods where we felt a plateau in business growth. For us, these periods generally fall during a time of decreased creative development and/or live touring. Our demographic is double-sided in that we see a fast turnover with our audience meaning there are always new little ones to reach, but we have to balance this with keeping a strong public presence in order to maintain brand awareness with new families. In our world, losing traction for even a few months can prove challenging. With our recent baby boom (4 children under 5 years between the two of us!), we have developed strategies to mitigate these challenges. Caffeine and a sense of humour help too.
What rewards are important to you as a successful business owner? This can encompass everything from money onwards…
Once again we would return to the theme of balance. While running a successful business requires passion, commitment, drive and more hours in a week than we likely want to admit, we also feel that we are granted a flexibility that we wouldn’t necessarily find working for someone else’s company. We set our own schedules, determine targets and define our measurements for success. There is a freedom in this, which is both rewarding and motivating. We also feel the reward and impact through the interactions with our audiences. From kind and thoughtful notes from parents to personal interactions with children at live appearances to hearing from fan “alumni” who are now young adults and pursuing their own careers in arts or education, all of these things fill our hearts.
In your opinion, who is a great female business role model? Why?
The first person that jumps to mind for us is Traci Costa, Founder and CEO of Peekaboo Beans. Traci has built an immensely successful children’s playwear clothing company based on family values, community and sustainability. We admire her commitment in supporting women in business, her authenticity both in person and through her social media networks and her passion for philanthropy via her work with non-profit organizations like Playground Builders. Traci truly epitomizes a great female business role model!