I was first introduced to Michelle Arevalo via a Facebook group for Valley parents. I immediately had a connection with her because Michelle is a working mom, lives in the Valley & we have similar goals. What I also liked about Michelle is her spirit of community & helping other mompreneurs, which is what this segment of my blog is all about!
Earlier this year, Michelle started an organization called Playdate Connection. Playdate Connection is a community & networking organization for parents. I was intrigued by this concept & wanted to learn more about how Michelle came up with this idea.
Please meet the latest Real Mom of the SFV, Michelle Arevalo!
How/why did you begin your business?
Michelle: Playdate Connection is an organization which enhances the lives of busy parents. Through building a supportive community with other like-minded parents, our goal is to encourage business, education, health and charitable giving.
I started Playdate Connection because I needed more of an intellectual outlet after being a Stay-At-Home for 5 years. I had my first child at an age which is considered “late,” when I was 37 years old. Before having my first child, I was very focused on my career and on my first business which was a Full Service Staffing Agency, Criterion Resources. One of the biggest challenges for Stay-At-Home Moms or Working Moms is finding time for self-fulfilling endeavors which make them feel good about themselves within the professional world.
Thus, I wanted to create a platform that would enable mothers to “have it all” by having both a thriving business and family life.
As a working mother, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Michelle: My best piece of advice for female entrepreneurs is that success does not come easy. In the beginning, most business owners have to really put a lot of effort and time into making your business prosper. The first part of having a successful business is to bring it to the point where you have planted enough seeds where prospective clients/customers are coming to you due to your building of networking contacts and/or having an effective marketing strategy. However, you can never stop efforts in building new business because the well can always dry up at any time. Therefore, you need to always have more potential clients/customers to replenish your client base. If you cannot handle the workload, then delegate it to a trusted strategic partner and share the earnings with them.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Michelle: Being that I was born and raised in the SFV, I am a little biased. However, the one thing that I love about having a business in the SFV is the solid business community. In the past, I used to belong to 3 Chamber of Commerce organizations: the West Valley Chamber of Commerce (Formerly known as the Woodland Hills Chamber of Commerce), the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Northridge Chamber of Commerce. I found that even though the San Fernando Valley is considered a huge geographical area in comparison to most suburbs, the local business community is still tight-knit where many people know one-another or the degrees of separation are close.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Michelle: When I first started my staffing agency, I did not start working with some type of accountability partner(s) until after my first year of business. I think it is valuable to get perspectives from other people or with just one person when you face challenges in your business. My business coach was Aaron Danchik of Synchronized Solutions.
When you are starting your business by yourself, you really have to find a strong support system because there will be times when you are stuck and you need advice.
For this reason, I started Playdate Connection so that parents can turn to each other. They will always know that they are a part of a strong community that supports one another in different aspects.
In so many of my Real Moms of the SFV interviews, I’ve heard time & again about how the local San Fernando Valley business community is tight-knit. Big city, yet small town feel! I am all for Michelle’s suggestion on getting other business associates perspectives or perhaps tapping into a mentor or life coach. There will be challenges in your professional AND personal life, so reaching out for guidance & business advice is something we should all consider.
For more info on Playdate Connection, check out their website & make sure to “like” the organization on Facebook to get the latest updates! For example, there is a Charity Drive & Pre-Black Friday Boutique that Playdate Connection is organizing. It is happening at Mama-San’s in Burbank. You can get the details here!
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The image shown in this post is used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.