As a working mom, compromise isn’t just a skill to be honed – it’s a way of life. Balancing being present for our kids with professional growth is a constant need. But just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean it has to come at a high personal cost.

Mompreneurs like Nikki Lindgren, Founder & Managing Partner of Pennock, are showing us the way. Here’s how this mom of three went from being a business leader in corporate America to thriving as a business mom with her six-digit digital marketing agency.

Nikki Lindgren’s Beginning as a Mompreneur

Lindgren started her career in e-commerce, first at Pottery Barn and then at World Market, where she founded the e-commerce team. Its successful launch ignited a fire in her for digital, which she deepened through mastery of paid and search channels via agency partnerships.

“From World Market, I went to the agency that helped us with the launch,” said Lindgren. “I built out a team behind me that managed paid and SEO for 45 clients, including the New York Nicks, the Saints, Ben Sherman, etc. It was an exciting time! Then, I had my first kid, and the company merged with a subsidiary of LiveNation, so we decided to relocate for my husband’s work. KiwiCo (the STEM kit company for kids) was just a block away, so I joined their team. I had my second kid, moved to a tech company in the wearables space, and decided to set out independently.” 

Becoming a Mompreneur: Executing the Vision

After becoming pregnant with her third child, Lindgren was ready to put her expertise to work for herself. After years of successfully building out search and paid channels in-house, she had all the skills she needed to offer her services to beauty and lifestyle brands.

“My husband is a data person like me, so we created a forecast together and realized we could scale quickly. At first, it was just us, but soon enough, we built a team to put an account manager on every account. It wasn’t easy, as we had a lot to learn about hiring and building out the company culture along the way. But it’s now where I’m not on client calls and day-to-day work; I’m focused on strategy and growth. This is a big shift from the first two years!”

Today, Lindgren’s boutique agency has eight full-time employees and one open role. Pennock makes over six figures a year, and Lindgren can unplug on the weekends to be present with her kids (ages nine, eight, and six) — all while working 35/40 hours per week.

7 Questions on Making Life Work as a Business Mom

1. Tell me about your background and how you became a business mom.

Nikki: There are four primary skills that women need if they want to be business moms. First is maintaining motivation. Working in a business and running a home can feel daunting, so if you don’t have that inner drive, you won’t succeed. Some other skills I’ve honed and gotten good at that entrepreneurs need to understand are how to scale revenue, hire quality candidates for their business, and quickly navigate home responsibilities.

2. Did you ever want to quit?

Nikki: I never actively looked, but I did scan other options. For me, if I’m not loving my work in six months, I’m going to call it. For example, I recently joined a network with other agency owners, confirming this is what I want to do.

3. How did you build and maintain growth?

Nikki: Here are my main takeaways. Your balance needs to carry over a few months. You need to hustle hard running your own business and gaining accounts because it’s not something easily outsourced. Focus on building personal relationships; they’re a huge driver of growth. For example, 80% of our business is referrals. Last but not least, find clients you’re aligned with and who set realistic goals.

4. What are some cultural must-haves for running a good business?

Nikki: For us, it’s been essential to be de-centralized and support remote workers across the country, especially since many of our all-women staff are working moms. We offer competitive benefits, including healthcare, 401(k) plans with matching contributions, 20 paid holidays, and untracked time off. From there, it’s about tailoring your culture to meet your people’s needs. For example, we respect local time zones. Our people work their 9-5, and we also have days where we’re not glued to our desks. These little things are simple but impactful.

[Picture of the Pennock team]

5. Where’s an excellent place to start for moms new to marketing and beauty?

Nikki: My advice is to throw your ego aside to build experience at any level to acquire the skills. You must be okay with constantly learning and being a newbie at any age. Dive into paid versus organic versus email. Find the people in the space you want to be in and ask them to coffee. Offer your help. Start small and scale up. People are more open now to people who do not have the perfect background, and they’re hiring people new to the industry. It’s all about the relationships and showing up well to calls. Ops managers are so good at training. Last but not least, avoid clients that want gotcha moments. If they question your price too soon, they’re not right.

6. How do you approach work/life balance?

Nikki: Decide if it’s a fire drill or not. For the first few years, I would not unplug. Now, I work 35-40 hours/week. Some of my supports include leaning on after-school programs, having a flexible partner, and splitting home responsibilities. My husband helps with camp schedules and picks up slack in other areas. Having a house next to in-laws also makes a huge difference!

7. What advice would you give moms looking to take risks and start something new?

Nikki: As a service provider, you must pick a lane to build a business. Last year, we started to niche harder. Don’t be everything to everyone. It is much easier to be a leader in a smaller space. Be a big fish in a small pond—so many mom entrepreneurs cast too wide a net. Find what you like and stick with it.

Final Thoughts: Being a Business Mom Is Good For Everyone

Research shows being a working mom has many benefits for our children: Sons of working moms spend 50 minutes more per week caring for family members than their counterparts. At the same time, daughters of employed women are 1.21 times more likely to have a job themselves.

So, if you’ve got a great idea bubbling under the surface, give it space to bloom. Yes, do the groundwork of learning your skills inside and out, but don’t be afraid to fail. With the right mindset and preparation, your valuable knowledge can help your business thrive!