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Photo Credit: Cosey Photography

Being a mother is a full-time job; add running a business in the mix and it can become quite stressful. There are women around the world that are trying to balance a family and following their professional dreams. We interviewed Arjia Thomas and Tammy Robertson; both are mothers and business owners. Here, they give advice and discuss their struggles and successes while seeking balance.

Background
Arjia Thomas is a well-known makeup artist in New Orleans. She has more than ten years of experience under her belt. She is also the mother of two girls, 8 and 9 months.

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Photo Credit: Tammy Robertson

Tammy Robertson, better known as “Tammy Sells Atlanta,” is based out of Atlanta. She has been in the real estate industry for 19 years now. Tammy is the mother of one son that is currently in college.

What led to you becoming a professional makeup artist and how long have you been a PMUA?
Arjia: Since high school, I’ve always had the love for makeup. I’ve always been asked by friends etc to do their makeup. Back then, I didn’t think anything of it, I didn’t think I was that good to be doing anyone else’s face but I did. As years past and time went by I worked in the makeup field with various different makeup lines. The plan was to do those jobs until I finished college. My last years of college I worked for MAC. At MAC I gained a different love for makeup. The knowledge and skills I obtained from MAC brought me to another level as an artist. I knew from there that being a Professional Makeup Artist would be my career. Success to me is achieving goals that I’ve set for myself that I never thought I would exceed In such a fast pace especially with balancing my career along with being a full-time mom.

How did you get into the real estate business? 
Tammy: I’ve been in the real estate business for 19 years. I started working at a residential property management company in Florida and after just one year in the business, I became a luxury leasing specialist and one of the top performers of the company. I soon moved up to a management position and after wanting a change, I relocated to Georgia where I was offered a property management position with a commercial real estate firm. After working with the company for almost 11 years, I was laid off after the company was sold. It was then that I realized my true passion was selling real estate, not managing it. I obtained my salesperson license and by having the advantage of my previous years of experience in the industry, I now sell and lease residential & commercial real estate.

As a mother and a business woman, what’s the definition of success to you?
Tammy: The way I see it, many describe success as having money not realizing they are often sucked into the pressure of maintaining excessively lavish lifestyles but are unhappy. For me, success is being free – free of the monotony of the corporate nine-to-five dead end job, where I’m no longer dreading Mondays and looking forward to Fridays, and fortunately being financially free. I awaken each day and decide how much effort I will put into my own businesses that day or if I want to escape for a quick getaway. Most importantly, success is also watching my son emulate the strengths he sees in me, attending college, working full time, and excelling beyond the stereotypes of what a young fatherless boy is expected to be.

Arjia: Success to me is achieving goals that I’ve set for myself that I never thought I would exceed In such a fast pace especially with balancing my career along with being a full-time mom.

Being that you are a full-time mother, how do you balance business and being a mother?
Arjia: Being that I am in control of my scheduling with my clients etc. I am able to balance my business and my girls at ease. Now, I wouldn’t say it’s a walk in the park all the times due to the high demand of services requested. My schedule is centered around my kids. I make it to where nothing is conflicted with their events/activities.

Tammy: It‘s quite difficult finding a healthy balance between being a full-time single mother raising a young man, building and managing my own business, and taking time out for myself. In order to maintain balance, I try to stay as organized as possible and dedicate spending time with my son as well as certain days for myself so I don’t become overwhelmed. When I deviate from my schedule, my home and work life can quickly become chaotic.

What important values and principles did you teach your daughters about life and business?
Tammy: I’ve always stressed the importance of being honest, being a leader, and doing everything with 100% effort and commitment. The most important thing I’ve taught my son as a young adult is to pursue anything he chooses to do career wise, as long as he is doing something he’s passionate about while living a purpose driven life.

Arjia: My oldest daughter which would have a better understanding is 8 years old. I have taught her that anything in life that you want/want to achieve it takes hard work and dedication. She sometimes makes the statement “mommy all you do is work” my response to that is I have to work hard to maintain a successful operating business and most importantly to always be able to provide for you and your sister for the present and future. Now she understands a little better than before as far as the business side of things. Other values and principles that I teach are to trust in God, the importance of family and ALWAYS be honest. As my younger daughter grows and becomes of age to understand she will also become accustomed to these values along with several more.

Being that your children are younger, what obstacles do you deal with daily as a mother and a business woman?
Arjia: My oldest daughter is 8 and my youngest is 8 1/2 months. My BIGGEST obstacle would probably be that I don’t get enough sleep. Everything else I’m pretty good with.

Being that your son is older now, what obstacles have you overcome as a mother and a businesswoman?
Tammy: Now that my son is older, I’ve been able to overcome the guilt of working non-traditional hours as an entrepreneur and I can now dedicate more time to my business development and growth since he’s become more self-sufficient and independent.

What advice would you give a woman entrepreneur who is also a full-time mother?
Tammy: My advice would be to establish structure by planning & scheduling weekly meals, chores, errands, and appointments. If affordable, reduce your workload at home by hiring a professional cleaning service, ordering meal prep or a private chef a few times per week, or possibly a personal assistant to manage tasks that are time to consume. There are far more female entrepreneurs and working women today than ever before, and with today’s simplified lifestyle options, these small expenses will enable you to invest valuable time into a more profitable business while allowing you to spend more time with your children.

Arjia: Being an entrepreneur, make it female is hard, HARD work. It takes time, it takes patience. But, as a full-time mother, it can sometimes be VERY discouraging. NEVER give up! NEVER. Stay focused, positive, and leveled mentally. I don’t care how tired you are, I don’t care how slow you think things are moving and you feel like you’re never going to cross that bridge before it clasps. Keep fighting, keep pushing. Things get worse before they are better.

King Davis

God first and everything follows. Entrepreneur, business and brand manager. Holds a bachelor's in Business Management and a master's in Sports Marketing & Management. Currently set to take negotiation & finance courses at Harvard Business School this fall. Responsible for the branding and marketing of various individual brands and businesses. || [email protected]