Maryann Lombardi on Supporting Women and Non-Binary Individuals Turn Their Ideas Into Profit

I recently had an interview with Entreprenista and I thought I’d share it with you. The original article was posted January 31st, 2023.

Hi! I’m Maryann Lombardi. I am a business launch coach, author, feminist, single parent, and dog mom. I help women and non-binary individuals build wealth and independence by turning their expertise and personal experience into profitable businesses. I believe tacos should be their own food group, wine is best when it is Spanish and shared, and it is time for a power shift in business. Let’s turn your idea into profit.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I had two businesses back in my 20’s, and I started those because I didn’t know how to get a job otherwise so I created one for myself. This time around, I knew I was going to jump way before I actually did. I wanted time freedom. I didn’t want to be beholden to the notifications on my phone. I didn’t want to ask permission for leave to live my life. But I picked the date to leave my executive gig after a phone call with my boss. During the call, my boss spent 3 minutes explaining to me why missing a call because I was in the bathroom was not an acceptable excuse.

So Maryann, what was your background prior to starting your own business?

I’ve spent the past 20+ years working with governments, institutions, and small businesses to build the policies, programs, and resources that help entrepreneurs thrive.

Did you always know you wanted to be a mamaprenista?

Yes. Even though I didn’t feel like the word entrepreneur represented me. When I was younger I always pictured the entrepreneur as some bro start-up dude who worked in tech. I didn’t see myself represented in the language of entrepreneurship. I still think that is a challenge.

As you launch a business, spreading the word is crucial. Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out?

My marketing strategy has been a robust, consistent social media campaign, heavy on video. Weekly live shows on all platforms and live show swaps with other entrepreneurs from complementary industries. With and active engagement, requests to connect and DM’s strategy to go with it. I am currently working on more visibility through writing and speaking opportunities.

Mamaprenistas face challenges every single day. What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and?

The biggest challenge has been lead generation and sales. Part of the challenge has been about me discovering more directly who my target market is. The other part has been a mindset shift away from the kind of partnership building and community building that benefited my past work, to a new approach that benefit my business now.

Do you believe in work/life balance, Maryann? What are some of your best tips?

I believe that work/life balance is a lie. I have written quite a bit about this. There is only life. The job of your work, your business, is to support the life you choose to live. Equal distribution is never possible. When we strive for work/life balance, we pit work and life against each other. We are trying to find some equal distribution between the time you spend on your work and the time you spend on your life. You find yourself bartering and rationing time and attention between the two. If you give more time to your work, you’re giving less time to your life. If you give more attention to your life, you’re giving less attention to your work. One is always losing and the other is always winning and we are striving for some unattainable, highly subjective thing called balance. This creates an escalating drive toward balancing the growing responsibilities on both sides of the seesaw that just get more wobbly by the day. This is forking stressful, a recipe for burnout, overwhelm, physical and mental health problems, and a sense of being underwater all the time. What we know as work-life balance today, originated as work-leisure balance. It encouraged workers to spend time on leisure activities outside of the hours they spend at the office. The problem with this for women and primary caregivers is that their work hours are not confined to the time they are in the office. Women’s work is never done. They work their paid shift, their unpaid shift, the night shift, and every other shift.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your entrepreneurial journey?

It takes time, so focus on the journey more than the destination. There is so much focus on winning fast and quick fixes but the truth is more simple. It takes time to grow a business. It takes commitment. It takes a willingness to put in the work, and try, and try again. It takes time.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

I have a chapter coming out in the fastest growing personal development book series – The Change book series. And my first article with Brainz Magazine came out last week

Maryann, what’s next for your business?

2023 is all about live launching my 90 day launch sprint group program and visibility. I’m hoping to grow my client base and leverage my writing into speaking opportunities. I’m also working on developing a micro-grant program and have some funders interested in that. My long-term plans merge my business launch curriculum with my ecosystem-building work with cities. More to follow on that.