Today we’d like to introduce you to Deanna Mason.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve worked in the marketing industry for most of my adult life. I graduated from Georgia State University with a BA in Business, and just about all of my employment after that was within marketing departments of churches and non-profits.
When I had my first child in 2005, I had to make a decision between paying for childcare or becoming a stay-at-home mom, because childcare was so expensive, and it was hard to justify that expense based on my income back then. I decided I wasn’t ready to stop working, so I got a little creative.
I walked into a local childcare center and met with the owner. She gave me a tour and shared the cost for newborn childcare. I asked her if she was in need of any marketing support for the center, and she resoundingly replied, “YES!” I offered her my marketing services in exchange for my son’s childcare, and the barter was made on the spot!
That little side gig became my first business client 14 years ago and gave me my first taste of entrepreneurship.
After having my second child a couple of years later, my family eventually relocated to be closer to family. Instead of finding a full-time job in my new city, however, I offered my old job my marketing contracting services. They agreed to keep me on as a contractor and between that and a few other freelance opportunities, I replaced my full-time income and became a work-from-home mom.
From then on, my exploration in entrepreneurship ranged from eventually starting my own non-profit that offered faith-based programming to help strengthen the family unit and help parents pass down their faith to their children, to publishing an internationally distributed teen girl magazine that sold in retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada such as Barnes & Noble and Hastings.
And to add to the fun, I homeschooled my two children for nine years.
Now, I’m a business mentor who focuses on helping moms with faith-based businesses lift their voices in their faith communities and monetize their message and work. I have such a heart for helping moms because balancing ambition and family IS HARD. All of my mentoring and coaching centers around creating healthy and sustainable work-life integration rhythms in order to help my clients create the habits and skills needed to not only make the type of money they desire but to do it in a way that doesn’t compromise the priorities of family and self-care.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Things have not been easy.
Momming is hard.
Wife-ing is hard.
And entrepreneurship is very hard.
I’ve hit countless walls over the years, but the one that especially comes to mind is when I was at my breaking point with my magazine.
The demand for the magazine was growing, but my ability to support that demand was diminishing. I hired a publishing staff and interns to ensure we were able to keep up with production, but my company had no money to pay for other staffing positions that were needed. Such as:
Editor in Chief
Fundraiser & Grant Writer
and Social Media Manager
So I became the catch all for ALL of the roles we couldn’t hire for.
And I was still homeschooling my two children. #crazytown
I decided to enroll my children into school in an effort to offload some of my responsibilities. But all I did was fill that time up with more work.
I was highly productive but had zero time-management skills. And there was basically no self-care happening.
I was also stretched way to thin to give revenue building any significant focus – so there was no plan of action to hire staff in the near future because our revenue was not increasing. At all.
I eventually realized that there was absolutely no way I was able to keep up the pace I was moving. Something HAD to give. So, I contacted my Board of Directors and asked them to help me map out an exit plan.
And a few months later, I shut my entire business down.
I ended up taking about four years off from entrepreneurship (with the exception of a stint with direct sales). I desperately needed to get back in touch with what my life priorities were and what I needed to do to get things back on track.
My faith was important.
My family was important.
My physical and mental health were important.
So, I spent those years pouring into those areas and giving them the space in my life that they needed in order to thrive.
Eventually, entrepreneurship became important again, and in 2018, I started Refreshed Moms. The inspiration for the name came from my desperate need to figure out how to integrate my ambition with the rest of my life without compromising all the parts of me that were important. Refreshed is what I want my clients to feel as they build their businesses, and the name reminds me daily of how I want to feel as well.
Please tell us about Refreshed Moms.
Refreshed Moms is dedicated to helping moms with faith-based businesses lift their voices and confidently monetize their message and work.
I specialize in business mentoring around marketing strategy and brand messaging.
I also have a huge focus on time management and sustainable work-life integration.
I’m also the host of the Refreshed Moms Podcast – you can listen wherever you listen to podcasts.
It makes me tremendously happy to do deep work with women long term, and my Balanced Life Business Mastermind for Moms is currently my most happiest space to spend time.
But, in January of 2020, I’m launching a faith-based business membership community for moms to make my business coaching accessible to more women, and provide a container for faith support around your business journey.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I could redo any part of my journey, it would be to have found mentor or coaching support immediately. I don’t believe I would have experienced what I experienced with my magazine if I was working with a good coach. Since I’ve started Refreshed Moms, I’ve always invested in coaches to support me in different ways. My work shines brighter when I allow other smart, creative brains into my world.
It’s so hard to read the label from the inside of the jar. Getting out of my own head and being vulnerable enough to listen to the wisdom of others who can see things just a bit differently than me – better than me – has been such a tremendous gift.
There’s no way I would be where I am today without working with talented coaches.
I truly believe I would still be publishing my magazine today if I had a good coach years ago.
- If you’d like to trade in burnout for a life filled with spiritual rest, download the Refreshed Moms app on iOS and Android. Learn more deannamason.com/app
- Website: refreshedmoms.com
- The Refreshed Moms Podcast: deannamason.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @refreshedmoms
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/refreshedmomscommunity/
Naima Jasmine Photography