LaToyia Dennis, the founder of the Motivated Moms Tour, is on a mission to motivate moms across the nation. She launched the tour this year in her quest to “help moms create strategies for success to live a healthy life of purpose, in abundance, and financially free by offering motivational, inspirational, and educational content that allows them to fund their dreams to be great women and extraordinary moms.” Powered by Prudential, the tour has already been to Houston and Detroit earlier this year and will be making stops in Atlanta in August, and Miami, Los Angeles, and Newark, New Jersey, in the fall. The tour boasts extraordinary speakers, panelists and moms in every city, and is moderated by Michele Thornton Ghee, BET Centric’s SVP of media sales, and author of Stratechic and Statechic 2.0.
Rolling out had the chance to sit down with Dennis, the visionary behind the tour, to hear what she had to say about the inspiration for developing the tour. She also spoke to us about what it means to her to be a motivated mom and gives some great advice on how women can be extraordinary women. Check out the exclusive interview below. We want to hear what you have to say. Let us know how you feel in the comments section.
As the founder of Motivated Moms, tell us how the organization came about.
I’m an advocate for early education, I run a nonprofit called A Chance to Learn, and was invited to teach a class on parenting. At the end of the class, we had several moms come up to me and say, “… It’s hard for me to be engaged in my child’s education because I don’t have this or I’m not that.” So, I left that meeting feeling like, “OK, it’s one thing for me to advocate early education, but it’s a whole other thing for me to motivate moms to be great women so that they’ll be extraordinary moms.” So, Motivated Moms is about moms investing in themselves to become great and live out their purpose so that we model that and be extraordinary moms and raise better kids.
You’re a mom. Tell us what it means to be a Motivated Mom for you.
I am a mom. My son is 7 years old and his name is Chance. For me, a motivated mom is living a life of purpose and abundance and financially free. Those are the barriers that cause us to not be fully engaged parents. [For example], with my son, I was working, busy, and I’m texting and he’s talking, and he said to me, “Mommy, talk to me with your eyes.” It caught me so off guard, and it broke my heart because it said to me, you could be here and not [be] present. And I wasn’t present, I wasn’t engaged. So, for me, I was a product of rape. My mother was 12 years old when she was raped by my father, she was 13 years old when she had me, so I want to be the mom that I didn’t have. So, Motivated Moms for me is helping moms live a life of purpose, in abundance and financially free so that we’ll be more engaged parents.
We can definitely understand the motivation behind the tour, and we’re sorry to hear about the unfortunate circumstances behind it. But we’re happy that you decided to use the situation for good and empower others with your gift. The tour is currently on its second leg, having already been to Houston and Detroit. How did you decide you wanted to make this initiative a tour?
That initial conversation, coming out of that parenting session I spoke on earlier, I called a friend of mine and I said, “Hey! I just taught this parenting engagement class and I want to motivate moms to be great women and extraordinary moms.” And she said, “Ok, I’ll give you the money to do the tour.” That was Prudential. Initially, when we started talking, the whole premise was around, as moms, we plan baby showers, we plan out —sometimes — our pregnancy, sometimes it’s not planned out, but we rarely plan for early education. We rarely say, “Oh, it’s going to cost us $175 per week to put our kids in daycare.” And so, it was a conversation around planning financially for early education. This year, the focus with Prudential is really on retirement. As a mompreneur, when I quit my six-figure job to do this full time, I felt like I couldn’t afford to give toward a 401K. And so now I tell my friend Dorinda, my goal is for every mompreneur is to invest in their retirement. It’s like the tithe, you can’t afford not to. Every year, we build on a platform of what we want to communicate to moms, and this year is retirement.
What’s the one takeaway that you would like these motivated moms to walk away with?
One takeaway for the motivated mom for me would be: It’s OK to invest in yourself to become a great woman so that you are automatically an extraordinary mom and [you] raise better kids. At the end of the day, we have to position ourselves to raise better children.
To find out more about the tour, please visit http://www.motivatedmom.org/tour/
Photos courtesy LaToyia Dennis: