Y’all. Jackie is wicked impressive. Are you ready for this? Jackie is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Munaluchi Bride Magazine, the #1 nationally distributed wedding magazine that caters specifically to women of color. Aside from the print magazine, which comes out twice a year, they release digital issues and maintain a website ’round the clock. The digital issues have been viewed by millions worldwide and the blog has grown over 780% since its launch in summer of 2011. Jackie is involved with all company operations, overseeing the blog, magazine layout and content, and overseeing social media efforts. She’s the real wedding deal.
Jackie also is the real mama deal. She has three children, a 6 year old girl, a 4 year old boy, and a 3 year old girl. During the week they are all in school. (Note from Jackie: Thank God!) So school time is when she gets a large bulk of productive work done, which she describes as the type of work you do when you can actually hear yourself think and, as she so aptly puts it: “You’re not juggling this one fighting with that one, or this one wanting a jelly sandwich, or this one needing to use the bathroom.” Once the kids are all back from school, there’s little work that gets done until they go to sleep at 8. Then it’s on to what her husband Chike and her call The Second Shift. This can last for several hours, then they’re off to sleep and up early to do it all over again!
Here’s what Jackie had to say about being a SpitfireMom.
How does being a mom influence your work?
In my opinion, being a mom has made me more organized. As a mother, you don’t have the opportunity to put things off with regards to your children. You have to be on top of everything because there’s only so much time in the day for productive work which forces me to organize and prioritize. For my business, it also means determination, organization and endurance. I’m more determined to succeed and be a viable example for my children. They, well at least my 6 year old, understand what my husband and I do everyday and it has definitely impacted her. She’s highly interested in learning more about what I do and sees the power of creation.
And, it’s upped my compassion. I’m definitely more compassionate towards fellow mompreneurs. I can understand what they are going through day to day in their households and the challenges that may arise.
There’s also the negative. Like guilt. Often times, we get caught up in keeping up on social media and email and everything else that comes in between. Our children see that. They see us constantly on the computer or our thumbs scrolling up and down on our smartphones. They see us immersed in technology and the only thing they want to do is mimic that. And while we’re busy being busy, they are losing quality time and the power of conversation. Sometimes I have to just turn my phone off completely and take a step back. I also eliminate television and electronics on school days. No iPads or Kindles for the kids. It’s amazing to see them socialize with one another and use their imaginations when technology is not babysitting them…
Do you talk about your kids with clients or potential clients?
Most clients don’t realize I have children at first. But when the topic of children comes up, I don’t hesitate to talk about mine. They are a part of my life and basically come with the package. There’s never been a situation where I didn’t want a client to know I have kids.
We know a SpitfireMom like Jackie has tips to share, so we asked for her best time saving trick (This may be the best answer yet.):
Scheduling and structure. For the children, structure is everything. Kids thrive off of structure. They need to know what’s happening each day. Even when my kids were smaller, I would bath them at the same time each night, and that helped with getting the kids to sleep longer through the night. Now we have them on a set schedule throughout the week. It works for them, and for us as well.
As it pertains to business, scheduling is a lifesaver for me. I feel social media takes up quite a bit of my time. So I schedule as many posts as I can. For my website, articles are scheduled in advance, and my Facebook and some tweets also get scheduled. Also, I have certain social media outlets connected to others. For instance, I connect Instagram with tumblr (which I rarely log into but still brings us traffic.). So when I post on Instagram, it automatically goes to tumblr. Same thing with my website articles, they are all programmed to post to Twitter and tumblr automatically. With all of these little things taken care, there plenty more time for other business operations…and family time too.
What’s one thing you haven’t figured out?
I’d have to say I’m worst at emails. Right now I have 225 emails that are unread. And by “unread” I mean they’ve actually been read but need a reply, so I mark them as unread so I remember to reply. Hasn’t worked that well so far… Heidi knows that first hand! Figuring out a way to manage my emails, and several other Munaluchi email accounts, has been a challenge.
Things have started getting better with a new system I have in place. I put reminders in my calendar for just about everything, just because I don’t think there’s enough space left in my brain! If there’s something that’s crucial, I put it in my calendar with two alarms. Also, I use Evernote to remember important ideas. It has been a lifesaver for me. I basically use it as a braindump.
And, if you’re a mom entrepreneur and just found out your expecting, Jackie says:
I would say congrats! It’s an exciting time in life that comes with many joys and challenges. What’s most important is maintaining your health and embracing the change that is going to come. Business doesn’t stop because of pregnancy. It just changes a bit. And just as your newborn grows, so does your business. Nurture your business the same way you nurture your newborn, and the results will be astounding.
Jackie, you are ah-mazing. Thank you for the wise words on nurturing all our babies, even the business ones!
Julie & Heidi
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