- October 2, 2016
- Posted by: Dr. Elise Cohen Ho
- Category: Parenting & Family, UWP Blog
In 2013 I had the distinct pleasure of meeting, and getting to know, Dorien Morin Van Dam. All these years later I still think of our conversation, her heart and her mission as a mother and as an entrepreneur. I share this interview again as through her journey we can find great insight into the management of a parent and entrepreneur’s life.
Dorien and her husband are raising five beautiful children, Willem, Marquel, Johan, Janneke and Andries. At the original time of the interview the two oldest, Willem and Marquel, were both 16, Jonah was 14, Janneke was 12 and Andries was 8 years old.
One of these children came to her through her heart, her good nature and her desire to help those that do not have the same opportunities that her birth children do.
Dorien, how do you juggle motherhood and owning your own business?
I am extremely fortunate in that I work for myself (as a Social Media Specialist) and can make my own hours.
I try to schedule everything so that I work while my kids are in school and this way in the afternoon I can concentrate on them.
For instance, I will schedule phone calls when I know I have an extended period of drive time or when I am waiting at the skating rink for my daughter.
Can you tell me more about what you do as a Social Media Specialist ?
My company, More In Media, is a social media management company, specializing in online engagement. We manage Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, blogs and more.
What are your top tips for an entrepreneur ?
1. Write a business plan.
2. Research your market, what people expect and what they will pay for it.
3. Be prepared for everything.
4. Provide customer service AND customer appreciation. A client needs to feel that they matter and as business people we need to realize that they absolutely do matter.
5. Stay up to date and never stop learning.
6. Rely on your support system and motivate your support system. If you do not have people that can help you to accomplish what you cannot accomplish on your own than work on those connections.
7. Celebrate all of the successes, yours and those of other people and businesses that you are connected to.
Can you offer one of your favorite tips for feeding your family ?
Organization. Before my morning is over I know exactly what dinner will be. If I do not do this than everything runs off schedule. I like the Crockpot and I cook a lot of Dutch food. (Visit this link for Nutrient-Rich Recipes from the Netherlands & Beyond)
What type of activities do you enjoy as a family ?
We just enjoy spending time together. It is so important.
If we do not establish relationships with our kids when they are young than how can we expect to have close relationships and be aware of what they are doing, who they spend time with and what they are enjoying?
I truly love spending time with each of my children. My twelve year old daughter and I trained, and completed, a 1/2 marathon together. That has been fun as I love running and now she is a part of that.
What is next for you and your family ?
The older two are nearing the end of high school so we need to consider all of their options and work on making them occur. Of course, the dating discussion is also something that we have been faced with.
Truly I just want to raise five happy and healthy children. I want them to reach for their dreams and achieve them.
How about you? What is the biggest lesson that you have learned as a mother or father or from a parent?