The Most Entrepreneurial Mom
Meet Dianne Linderman, of Medford, OR–teacher of business to
children, and owner of six of her own businesses. Oh yes, and author
of six books.
I met Dianne staffing her booth at Book Expo America, where she was
promoting books to teach entrepreneurship to children, under the
imprint ” The First Mom’s Club press.” Her newest title is The
Entrepreneurial Moms’ Club: Life is an Adventure. She also has
several titles geared directly at kids starting specific businesses,
such as My Cookie Business and My Pony Ride
Business–and a cookbook for her restaurant.
“There’s nothing out there [on entrepreneurship] in the book market
for children. I did some research in public schools. I asked kids
from kindergarten to 12th grade what they wanted to be when they grew
up, and if they’ve ever had their own business, and if they ever had
an interest in starting their business. Kindergarten through 6th
grade had vision, passion, and hundreds of ideas. 7th-8th graders
started to lose their passion. 9th-12th had no ideas, no vision.
They’d say airline pilot or something else way beyond the reach for
their education. I realized our schools are turning out employees,
not employers. America stands for entrepreneurship. It’s frightening.
My own children, 7 and 9–I’ve taught them to be entrepreneurs. We
give them no money, they have their own business, their own bank
accounts–and they make incredibly intelligent choices when they buy
things. We as a nation have to teach children the skills of business.
Without it, we’ll have a welfare nation.
“My son Luke is a passionate pocket knife collector. He can make $100
a day selling knives at garage sales, knife shows…he’s an
incredible salesman. I go with him because he’s only 9” and almost no
one can say no. “My daughter, Alexandra, 7, bakes cookies. She
markets them door-to-door and at a concession stand in my
store/restaurant, the Country Cottage.
“These kids have a vision, ideas, passion. They have the spirit of
entrepreneurship forever; I don’t have to teach them. It’s going to
keep them out of trouble. They’ve got the skills.”
Linderman, together with her husband and business partner David, also
operates a storefront called The First Moms Club, Entrepreneurs
Marketplace, where moms can lease space in a co-op, put in a work
shift every now and then, and have Linderman sell their wares, and an
online division at the www.firstmomsclub.com, which includes
brokering web design, publishing, and other services, selling
resources, ideas to start businesses, and more.
With 20 years in counseling, she sees herself as an expert on
parenting and relationships who teaches parents how to avoid daycare
and be home with their kids, as she has been. She’s currently writing
a new book with the working title, “Honorable Relationships.”
Tired just thinking about juggling all of this? You haven’t heard the
half of it. “I have two restaurants–Country Cottage Cafe and Bakery,
with online scones at www.countrycottagecafe.com, a publishing
company, a vacation rental business, a retail store, and my husband
and I are administrators of a private school that teaches
entrepreneurship. I teach women (or anyone) how to find their
passion, I inspire them, and I show them how to have as many
businesses as they want [while being] at home with their children. It
takes a support team. Single women can do this, but I have an
incredible husband. We’ve been partners in all of these business.”
Shel Horowitz, Editor of Down to Business, is the author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World.