“If there is such a thing as a “business mom crush,” mine is Jill Salzman. Jill and I have spoken to each other in person for maybe 3 minutes total but we have had a fun Facebook messenger/email relationship for a few years. I met her somehow through Naperville Moms Network and I have always thought we had had a lot in common. That being said, she is totally a better speaker and WAY funnier. North Central College brought her in as a speaker for an event ConVerge, their center for innovation & entrepreneurship, hosted. A few of my friends and I went to hear her, and, I may or may not have peed in my pants laughing. I admire her for being 100% HERSELF. Like 100%. No apologies, no hiding behind a perfect facade. I love her wild eclectic pictures that she sends out with her daily email newsletter, like this picture of her on a bike. I love that she wrote the book: The Best Business Book in The World*: (*according to my mom). It is next on my list (https://www.amazon.com/Best-
Business-Book-World-according/ dp/1726845044)! I also am super excited that Jill will be joining us as our speaker for our March Networking Luncheon on 3/21! You should be there!” – Dr. Cathy Subber
The Branch: What is your name, town you live in and how many kids do you have?
Jill: Jill Salzman, Chicago, 2 kids (11 and 9 years old)
The Branch: Did you always know you wanted to be a mom?
Jill: Sure did! I’m the oldest of 4 girls so I was always in charge of little people. I adore them. I even remember deciding on the night of a babysitting gig that I wanted a baby immediately because she was so cute. I was 13. My Mom had to explain to me why that wasn’t a great idea at my age.
The Branch: What are the greatest joys in your life?
Jill: The quality time that I spend with my daughters over a great meal, which sometimes means getting takeout, parking it on the couch, and watching TV during dinner…and music. So much music. Can’t live without it
The Branch: What challenges have you faced?
Jill: What haven’t I faced? As a divorced single mom of two kids running her third business, it’s been on heck of a roller coaster ride getting to where I am now. Family crises, business snafus, and basic everyday life all present their own challenges — but I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world since they’ve shaped me to this point. I might be the only person who hopes for more challenges and failures to come. It means that I’m growing as a person and a businesswoman. I’m not one to fear failure, I’m more the type to fear stasis.
The Branch: Who has inspired you most over the years?
Jill: The members of my organization, The Founding Moms. There are a lot of comics I look up to — and I’m pretty obsessed with Stephen Colbert — but whenever I have a bad day, I look at what other mamas are doing. They’re the ones who get it. We’re all going through similar challenges in our day. They know what supreme exhaustion looks like. They know how hard it is to sell well. They know the ups and downs of entrepreneurial life and home life and I love that we can share it all together.
The Branch: What are you most proud of?
Jill: Other than the pat answer that would be my daughters? I’m most proud of how I launched a mere idea and have grown it into a worldwide organization from sheer might and a poop-ton of trial and error. I never understood that, by the way. It should be “trial-and-error-error-error.” It’s amazing to me how much can go wrong in building a business and yet, if you stick with it, you can see such success that it blows your own mind. I know I sound like I drank my own Kool-aid…and I did. But when you watch tired Moms come to your meetings with a mere idea and grow their business into million-dollar businesses, or when you see women with very little confidence who wanna do great things grow into confident women at the top of their field? It makes this mama so proud.
The Branch: What do you like most about being a mom?
Jill: I love most the opportunity that having kids has given me to raise two awesome citizens and send them on their way into this world. The love we share is not a love I knew before. And what they teach me every day about myself is so valuable…that they’ve started to invoice me and I’m not sure I can afford it.
The Branch: What part is most difficult for you?
Jill: I find it most difficult when my babies are hurt, emotionally. Whether it’s a bully in school or really any bad experience they’ve had anywhere, I become the Mama Bear who wants to fix it immediately. It’s tough to watch and seeing that both of my girls aren’t even teenagers yet, I know there’s more to come.
The Branch: Do you work outside of the home or stay at home raising your kids full-time?
Jill: Neither. I work inside of the home! I’m a work-at-home mama and a stay-at-home mama. A hybrid mama? I’m that type who is classified as “part-time” but we all know that means “more than full-time between the biz and the kids.”
The Branch: If I had one week by myself, I would go _______________ or I would do ________________.?
Jill: If I had one week by myself, I would go purchase a FlyNimbus ticket. You pay them, they surprise you last minute with a destination vacation. Brilliant.
The Branch: What makes you the most unique as a human being?
Jill: Tough to answer. I don’t think I’m unique at all. Some things I do are unique — I’m loud, bold, and I was born with a blonde streak in my hair — but I really am just like everyone else. I just do a lot of things before they would.
The Branch: What rules did you think you would follow as a mom that you totally break?
Jill: I thought I’d be a stickler for eating properly at a dinner table because that’s what I was taught. (See comment above about dinner on the couch.) I thought I’d be tougher on my girls in a lot of respects but they enjoy freedom as much as I do so we all respect that and stay our wild and crazy selves.
The Branch: What is your favorite family tradition?
Jill: Putting on Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” at random times throughout the year and having dance parties with my girls.
The Branch: What makes you feel alive?
Jill: Stephen Colbert.
The Branch: If someone could describe you in one word, what would that word be?
The Branch: How do you rate your level of “mom guilt” on a scale of 1 – 10. Explain.
Jill: Until my firstborn turned 2, it was turned up to 11. Now? 1.
The Branch: Do you have a favorite hobby or activity that you intentionally make time for each week?
Jill: I go out to listen to live music every week.
The Branch: What about yourself and your journey has surprised you the most?
Jill: I’m surprised at how I’m still growing a business and it’s actually working!
The Branch: What do you love about yourself that has nothing to do with being a mom?
Jill: How open I am to learning from people about how to become a better person myself.
The Branch: Any life lessons that you live by and would like to share?
Jill: “Just do it.” -Nike (<—I think I thought of it first but crediting them here for legal reasons)
The Branch: Words of wisdom for other young or new moms?
Jill: Stop overthinking everything. It’s all going to work out. The less you worry and the less you try to control, the better it gets. 🙂