Meet a True ‘Maven’ of Balancing Life and Work
Running a family is hard enough, but running your own company on top of that is no easy feat.
Mothers are now defining their roles as successful businesswomen more than ever. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center Study, mothers are the primary breadwinners in 40% of households with children in the U.S.
One mother, in particular, exemplifies this finding.
In addition to taking care of her three young children, Nancy Johnson Horn is a blogger, businesswomen, and professional multitasker. Many may know her as The Mama Maven, or the woman with the inside scoop on all things family and children oriented.
She started her career after studying speech communications at SUNY Oneonta, and went on to work in the fast-paced world of broadcast television. Her hard work landed her a job in production for the Food Network and freelanced for FOX 5 in New York City.
Ready for another challenge, Johnson Horn set forth teaching elementary school in New York City while earning a master’s degree in education. Even after the birth of her first child, Johnson Horn still showed no signs of slowing down. She became a product reviewer for The Celebrity Baby Blog and a writer for Mommies With Style, as well as providing insight to parents for several other websites.
Today, on top of being a mother of three growing children, Johnson Horn manages her uber-popular blog, The Mama Maven, works as a social media consultant, and makes traveling easier for busy parents as of partner of JetSetBabies.
Johnson Horn is no doubt the ultimate multitasker. She has become the go-to woman for guidance, tips, and support for parents by honing her skills as a supermom and intelligent businesswoman.
In an interview, Nancy Johnson Horn explained to us how she grew her businesses and shared advice on how she stays on top of her demanding schedule at work and at home:
It’s “I need coffee o’clock”.
— Nancy Johnson Horn (@themamamaven) March 15, 2014
1. You have had a very diverse career, starting from broadcast to teaching elementary school to blogging. You work with a marketing strategy firm and you are a partner in a business that ships baby supplies to parents on vacation with JetSetBabies. What do you find most rewarding about your career path?
I kind of like wearing different hats. I wear one hat working for a marketing strategy firm called Forty Weeks, which specializes in pregnancy. I work with a couple of clients, handling PR outreach and social media voice. I consider my blog another hat, I attend brand events and conferences and do product reviews and videos. I’ve been on several press trips (to the island of Jamaica, Cancun, Paradise Island in the Bahamas, as well as brand events in California, Colorado, Miami, and North Carolina). My latest hat is JetSetBabies.com. I joined this 10 year old business as a partner in the fall. We have an online store and parents go on and order baby and toddler supplies before they go. We deliver straight to their hotel or vacation property. This way there’s much less to take on vacation. So much easier for parents than lugging an extra suitcase with diapers, wipes, and baby food. I’ve been that mom on vacation, taking too much stuff. That’s why I am so happy to be a partner in this business.
2. What made you get into blogging and start up your website, The Mama Maven?
I’ve always been a writer and I was able to take a lot of good writing classes at Oneonta. In early 2007, I started writing product reviews for a friend’s website (The Celebrity Baby Blog). I was still on childcare leave for my first child, who was 16 months old. I didn’t get paid, but I really enjoyed myself. Later on the website was bought by People.com and I ended up writing for them for 5 years. I also wrote for another blog, Mommies with Style, during that time. I also edited another website and wrote for iVillage and BabyCenter. I didn’t start my own blog until 2011. I knew I had a lot to say and it was time to do it on my own platform.
3. How do you stay organized and manage your time?
It’s not easy and I continually struggle to be organized. I do a certain number of hours for different clients and try to stick to a schedule. I make a lot of to do lists. Most of the time I get my work for my clients and my business done — and then I work on my own blog. I try to get a blog post up every day or every other day. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home and have a flexible schedule so I can pick my kids up and spend time with them. After they’re asleep, I finish up projects.
4. What advice do you have for students, and even parents, that are having difficulties juggling multiple responsibilities at once?
Figure out what has to get done and what you can delegate — do you really need to do everything? Make lists, use iCal or reminder apps. It’s hard to keep so many balls up in the air, but I do well when I have a lot of things going on.