The Mother of all Deals: Danielle Connelly
Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.
It’s Motivational Monday, and today I’m profiling Danielle Connelly, a wonderful person I have recently met who tries to help other moms find the best deals in town. She has turned this idea into a successful, growing business. I was inspired by her great story, and hope you will be, too.
When her boys were little, Danielle Connelly started a blog designed to do what is chief on many young mothers minds: save money. What began as a small hobby has turned into a fast growing business four years later. Her website, www.motherofadeal.com, is a virtual treasure trove of deals that appeal to parents.
Here is her recipe for success: take a great idea (saving money), add some knowledge and hard work, and be at the right place at the right time.
Shortly after starting her blog, she had gone to a momcafe event – another growing enterprise where mothers spend a morning networking and listening to inspiring speakers. On this morning, a woman spoke about a self employment program at Douglas College. If you had been on maternity leave within the last five years and fit the eligibility requirements, you could actually get paid to attend this program through Service Canada.
The program is offered through many post-secondary institutions across the country, and is a perfect way of launching your own business, while getting support from like-minded and entrepreneurial instructors.
Inspired by the idea of working for herself, Danielle promptly enrolled in this program. It set the wheels in motion, turning her blog into a growing business.
She is undeniably a busy woman, her boys now four and six years old, but they are some of her biggest supporters. They occasionally help out at family trade shows, and her youngest will blurt out to strangers that his mother does Mother of a Deal.
It’s an ongoing exercise trying to be both a great mother and run a successful business from her house, she says. Setting boundaries has been a key element to keeping the occasional resentment her children show at bay. “Are you doing work stuff, mom?” they will ask. But she tries to make Mother of a Deal a shared experience for her family, and one they will hopefully benefit from as they grow.
Like any small business owner, Danielle has faced adversity along the way, but her online community has been overwhelmingly supportive. In 2009, her father passed away, and she decided to give up on her site to focus on her family. When she shared what she was going through with her subscribers, she experienced a huge outpouring of love from mothers, most of whom she had never met. Somehow, her site stayed strong through this tough time and continued to grow. She believes her father had a hand in this – he was so proud of her drive and determination to succeed. He continues to inspire her everyday, she says.
She has big goals for next year, when her boys are both in school full-time. She plans on making some changes to her site to make it a more interactive experience, and is hoping to attract more subscribers.
With the end goal of helping people help themselves, and the phenomenal success of other money saving websites like Groupon, Mother of a Deal seems like a mother of an invention.