If you were to have said to me five years ago that my future self would be a successful business owner while juggling three little ones, I would have thought that you were crazy! Because back then, I was a full-time stay-at-home mom who had just shut down her first small business. So, the thought that one day I’d pivot to franchising and find success seemed far-fetched. But looking back at it now, I guess every path I took and every challenge I faced shaped my journey into becoming the female business leader I am today. 

I have always been a go-getter, even in my pre-entrepreneurial career. Before I was in the creative realm in product design and good at it too. I worked for a fabric company in Mexico City where I curated and launched their own furniture line. It was an incredible job, but I always had ambitions to run my own business one day. I wanted to manage my own company, lead my own employees and be my own boss. So I set off to fulfill that goal, returning back to school to pursue an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship. 

As I finished my degree, a friend and I launched a sustainable toy business. It was a cause we truly believed in, which was an important aspect to me in whatever business venture I pursued. You hear that starting a business is tough, but you don’t truly understand it until you’re in the thick of it. While navigating the challenges of a new business, there was also another aspect of my life taking off – motherhood. My husband and I began our family and welcomed a baby girl! It was a blessed time as we were excited to take on parenthood, but it was also difficult to balance an emerging company and still be a full-time mom. I grew frustrated with the business for taking too much time away from my family, and simultaneously, I felt I couldn’t devote enough time to grow the brand as I envisioned. It all became too much, so I ended up stepping away, shut the company down and instead focused on raising my family.  

For six-years I devoted my life being the best mother I could be to my little girl, then to two more babies after that. Even though my first business didn’t work out as I expected it to, I still had that itch to get back into entrepreneurship, but one that would be conducive to my kids’ schedules. So, when the littlest of the three entered daycare, I was ready to begin a new path. 

It was then that my brother introduced me to Apex Leadership Company, a school fundraising franchise that raises over $70 million annually for elementary and middle schools around the country. I fell in love with the brand’s mission: supporting budget-stressed schools, raising money through fitness events like fun runs and obstacle courses, while also teaching valuable leadership lessons in the classroom. The franchise model, with its proven business blueprint, gave me the confidence to lead operations successfully. So, I dove into the opportunity and took over as the new owner of the Apex North Dallas-Fort Worth territory. 

My transition into Apex Leadership Co. was not without its challenges. Having been out of the working world for six years, I found myself diving head-first into operating a large territory that served about 75 schools per year. The initial transition was intense, but my determination and belief in the brand saw me through. The Apex curriculum teaches so much about leadership to students that I myself learned how to become a better leader as a business owner. As a result, I saw first-hand the impact we were making with the schools and students we served. We would help financially distressed schools profit anywhere from $5k to upwards of $60k. Regardless of the amount, the educators were thrilled with the funds, which were used for crucial classroom upgrades, field trips, and other essential supplies they are in desperate need every year.

The real value, however, lies in the direct engagement with the children. In some of the schools we work, there are some students who have difficulties at home and may not feel prioritized, so when our team enters a school building, we set out to make 1-1 connections with every single student. It’s one of the best feelings in the world to see the kids light up and have the best time of their lives during our program. 

Now two years into being an Apex Leadership Co. franchisee, I’m incredibly proud of my journey and accomplishments – from once owning a failing business to running a thriving company that positively impacts the community and builds the leaders of tomorrow. Balancing motherhood and business ownership is still challenging, but Apex’s franchise model has allowed me to grow as an entrepreneur – even becoming a multi-owner with the brand – while still getting to spend quality time with my family and raise my kids. 

To all the moms out there starting or wanting to start a path in entrepreneurship, don’t give up hope! Find a business that aligns with your values and busy schedules. Embrace the challenges and learn from your mistakes. I’m grateful to have found my place with Apex Leadership Co. and witness how well it integrates into my family’s life. My now 8-year-old daughter even teases that she’ll switch schools if Apex isn’t at hers. I laugh every time and feel immense pride in the impact I’ve made on her as a successful female business owner.