[Dr Julie Goldstein has been featured in an earlier interview here. In this 2nd interview, she shares about the exciting phenomenon of offline crowdfunding!]
1) Tell us more about Media Particle / Mothernist’s role in the CrowdFundHerLive! event and what was most memorable for you as a panelist?
Media Particle is a Singapore based company, that homes in on psychology-driven content media and services for the Web, and Mothernist.com is Media Particle’s first vertical; a video platform that works as a resource for women and men, but mainly mothers aged 25-45 who lead busy lives, and want to feel integrated doing the things they love and being in their different roles with ease.
For CrowdFundHerLive! Integrated, I partnered with Woomentum, that runs an offline crowdfunding program, and suggested a themed session on motherhood and entrepreneurship. Media Particle/Mothernist’s role is always to promote online tools, in this case to facilitate lives of aspiring parents who want to venture into entrepreneurship, and feel more enabled to do so, no matter at what stage in their lives.
Woomentum believes that crowdfunding is a space in which women can play by their own rules; Mothernist feels aligned with this message and wanted to bring as much awareness as possible to different ways in which women can feel a sense of independence, belonging and empowerment, with the use of crowdfunding to promote business being one of them.
The second part of my role was to shed light on women feeling integrated when they are doing what they love, even though taking care of a household and children may feel overwhelming at times. Most importantly, Mothernist’s role entailed adding a psychological angle to the benefits of women in entrepreneurial roles. There has been a radio show on the WOW club with Michelle Martin in which I talk about this more extensively, and I added some insights on this being a panelist on the night itself.
Most memorable as a panelist was to see how different women engage in business, some do not smile and I took a lesson or two away. I also felt that seeing the candidates rise up to the challenges ‘live’, getting brand ambassadors, and raising funds was incredibly inspiring. It was such an honour to be among all the inspiring women that made up the night, including the crowd.
2) How does CrowdFundHerLive! work, and what are the benefits of participating in offline crowdfunding?
The technicalities of the CrowdFundHerLive are part of Woomentum’s program, which is staged in phases to get a candidate ready to pitch their business. Not all businesses are crowdfundable, and so there’s a vetting process as well as a lead up to the event itself in which candidates receive guidance and input on their preparations. During the evening, candidates get support from the crowd, and there is a lot of interaction among all parties involved. The crowd gets an opportunity to pledge and show allegiance to a business.
Benefits of offline crowdfunding are the community feel, and the way the crowd is harnessed, that is not the same as campaigns which are run online. In addition, one cannot underestimate the more personal guidance candidates receive through the program which is experientially extremely rewarding.
3) What is psychological mediation and why is it important in business?
Psychological mediation simply put means to understand the relations between the variables. So to understand how an entrepreneurial business is run, one might ask several questions such as who are the key partners, what is the value proposition of the business, what are the customer segments, what is the cost structure, etc. The mediation part would be to understand how all these parts hang together, and how they relate to the person managing the business.
A business owner might be very passionate about her business, but have the relationship between customer segments and value proposition not entirely worked out because she is very creative and has not thought about the more practical approach to her products. It’s understanding the challenges and fitting them to the individual/entrepreneur and circumstances that matter in business, which set the stage for further growth.
Moreover, psychological mediation has played an important role in more corporate spaces with small innovative businesses, such as those coming out of the Hub Singapore. We are talking along the lines of having the psychological support to build on skills such as taking perspective, feel integrated and enabled to multi-task and work at various levels. Being an entrepreneur is extremely challenging and often likened to being on a roller coaster ride. As an entrepreneur, one needs to be able to stand strong, and weather the storms and multiple challenges of running one’s own business.
Find out more here: http://www.mothernist.com/therapy/entrepreneurs-consider-psychological-support/
4) There is an increasing number of Mumpreneurs in Singapore – which are the most pressing challenges these women face in their entrepreneurship journey and what are some useful tips you have for them?
An increasing number but sadly not enough of them yet! A lot of women do not feel enabled to start their own business, either because of funds, comfort, and the feeling of conflict between their multiple roles, when for instance child rearing may be suggested to be the most important task, and all else should be put aside. There needs to be strong push or pull factors involved, and strong emancipation for women to step into entrepreneurship. By push factors I mean being unemployed or unsatisfied with work conditions and by pull factors I mean the desire to be your own boss, financial benefits, or the desire to achieve a better work-life balance. Such factors can be strong influencers.
The challenges that women face are the interrole conflict that Mothernist often talks about, meaning that there are incompatible or conflicting pressures from work and family, such as job-family role strain, work-family interference, and work-non-work role conflict. Second would be the myths that women have to combat, such as that women are still often seen as not wanting to own a high growth businesses, or as not having the right educational backgrounds, not being able to draw up business plans, and their interests not being attractive to venture capitalists. Third is the access to capital to start a new business.
Tips are to take support that’s out there to start a business. Understand your motivations from the start, and then move slowly, become a member of a community of like-minded people, there are plenty of co-working spaces in Singapore that are not costly, and where you get coaching and mentoring included in your package, find organizations and support groups that can help you network, grow your business, and support your womanhood and motherhood all at the same time.
Find a therapist who can help you in the domain of work, I have personally helped women get to where they want to be, and I find its a journey that they have been happy to take, despite the challenges. Work on resilience and integration, and build yourself up (just as you would your business or your family) by taking small steps in the right direction. Last, and particularly for those women who want to be ‘superwomen’ – success is the exception that confirms failure; don’t be scared to fail, you will if you want to be successful.
5) How else is Mothernist enabling women in the working world?
Mothernist is a video platform and resource where women can find short videos and articles, as well as events and workshops on various topics in the domain of work, and work-life integration. [Example of a video on Mothernist: Breathing Technique to Relieve Stress at Work]
Mothernist has also expanded on its services, and is offering online and offline psychology and therapy services at No7 Grange Road (Somerset), working in synergy with Fertility Coaching Asia. Please visit the website www.drjuliegoldstein.com or write in from Mothernist.com for further info.