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Sara Alter of MOMENT Consulting: “You will need smart people to help you grow”

Make sure to remind yourself that the timelines and goals you set for yourself should be based on your availability, your lifestyle, your capabilities, your resources, your funding and your business plan — no one else’s. Entrepreneurs tend to burn out when they are chasing unrealistic deadlines and deliverables. Remember, you are the boss. You make the […]

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Make sure to remind yourself that the timelines and goals you set for yourself should be based on your availability, your lifestyle, your capabilities, your resources, your funding and your business plan — no one else’s. Entrepreneurs tend to burn out when they are chasing unrealistic deadlines and deliverables. Remember, you are the boss. You make the rules. Set them up so that you don’t burn-out, but rather, set attainable goals that can actually be met.


As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sara Alter.

Sara Alter is a veteran entrepreneur, business coach, certified life coach, and the founder of MOMENT Consulting. With 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Sara advises mothers through the early stages of entrepreneurship, empowering women to build thriving businesses that align with motherhood. As MOMENT’s lead consultant, she helps her clients bring their brands to life while balancing her own career with — what else? Motherhood. Sara launched her first business, Pretty Please Nail Polish, a first-to-market personalized nail polish brand, in 2010 and began consulting for female-owned businesses in 2013. She narrowed her niche to work primarily with moms in 2019, when she founded MOMENT.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I started my first business when I was 19 years old and have continued to build off of that experience for the last 20 years. I began with a personalized quilting business in college and went on to found Pretty Please Nail Polish (@prettypleasenailpolish), a first-to-market personalized nail polish brand. While I had started consulting for women owned businesses in 2013, after having kids of my own, I became increasingly aware of the importance, both mentally, and emotionally, of having a career outside of the home. Leveraging two decades of entrepreneurial experience, I officially founded MOMENT Consulting in 2019, providing support to busy moms as they work to build and scale their small businesses, often without prior business experience.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

When I started my nail polish business in 2010, I was very isolated as a female entrepreneur. Social media didn’t exist in the way it does today, with so many resources, business tips and women owned businesses to connect with and be inspired by. It also wasn’t commonplace for a woman to leave a career and a good salary to pursue “a dream.” I was told “no” a lot and many men I sought out to work with in the industry didn’t take me seriously, at first. Even when I hopped on the subway down to Wall Street to meet with a free SCORE mentor, I felt slightly dismissed when sharing my business plan. It was an uphill climb to get the respect and support I needed to build a business as a woman.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Two ways: The first was support and the second was mindset. I knew I needed support so I pushed myself to go to networking events in NYC until I found like-minded women founders who could commiserate, inspire, and cheer me on. They were and continue to be a huge support to this day. The next thing I did was commit to a positive mindset. Once I got far enough down the road of building a business, there was no way I was turning back. I was going to find a way to build my business and prove to myself and every person that told me “no” that it could and would succeed. And it did!

So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

I think going through any kind of struggle, whether its personal or professional, can always serve as a powerful reminder that you can still rise, move forward, and succeed. It’s the perspective that stays with you. It’s the idea that any big win or big loss is temporary and it’s all a part of your bigger story and experience. As I always say, “add it to the resume!” It was a hard year of balance for working mothers, but I’ve seen so many of my clients rise to the occasion and that has been a huge inspiration. This year mothers put on new masks for protection and took off old masks of perfection. You can only cover up so much at once.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When my nail polish business was starting to make a name for itself, I was invited by a business colleague to set up a booth at a big fundraising event in the Hamptons at the home of a reality TV star. Fancy right? No! We were shoved in the basement pool house with no windows, no air conditioning and no food for the entire day and we weren’t allowed to leave our designated space. I think at one point someone brought us a piece of cheese. My friend and I laugh about that trip to this day, but the takeaway is that I got amazing press with celebrities holding my nail polish in a nationally syndicated magazine. The lesson is two-fold: Building a business isn’t always pretty, but to see results you have to do hard things. And that so much of what you see online and in the media is smoke and mirrors.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

MOMENT is unique in that all of our business services are designed with busy moms in mind. There are plenty of incredible business coaches out there, but to cater to a group of smart, driven, capable women, with limited time to make big impact, you need to understand what both motherhood and entrepreneurship look like, and make those two incredibly important roles work together. I understand my clients in such a deep and personal way. Moms have that in common. Entrepreneurs have that in common. I eliminate the fluff. Moms don’t have time for fluff!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Make sure to remind yourself that the timelines and goals you set for yourself should be based on your availability, your lifestyle, your capabilities, your resources, your funding and your business plan — no one else’s. Entrepreneurs tend to burn out when they are chasing unrealistic deadlines and deliverables. Remember, you are the boss. You make the rules. Set them up so that you don’t burn-out, but rather, set attainable goals that can actually be met.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My mom has been my biggest supporter from start to finish. Over the years she has helped me with everything from sales and packaging to distribution, PR, and most of all, cheerleading. To have someone in your corner who believes in you and your ideas, especially from such a young age, shapes the person you become. I hope to be that kind of support for my own kids.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Between unemployment, layoffs, and an increasing number of women having to step away from their careers to be at home with their school-age kids, the online coaching and consulting space has proven to be a huge support to women looking to make income from home. I offer free advice on my social platforms for women that aren’t able to invest in 1:1 coaching services and I hope to continue to inspire more mothers to devote time to focus on their needs outside of motherhood, should they choose, and to have the resources to build profitable, buzz-worthy brands.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  • It takes more than a good idea to build a profitable business
  • You will need smart people to help you grow
  • Networking is the cornerstone to any successful business
  • Get strong business and operations systems in place or you will always feel disorganized
  • To reach your ultimate goals you need to understand your WHY!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would start a movement called “MY HOUR”, where every new mom would know that for one hour, every single day, they would be expected to take one hour alone for themselves. Everyone in the family unit, and all caregivers would respect this time and support this movement, indefinitely. It would preserve sanity, promote self-care, and reduce burn-out. Mothers have the hardest job in the world, and we need to have them feeling strong, supported, and in a good head space, from day one!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@momentconsulting

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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