Lidia Minko leads the Munich chapter of ParentPreneurs. Being an entrepreneur, business owner and a mom of a little boy she knows the beauty and the challenges of parentpreneurship very well. After building a successful business in brand building with her partner Greg she is now starting a new “business baby”, one that especially caters to parents’ needs.
Tell us your story: Your background, purpose and mission, what drives your energy to run this business?
My story is long and – more or less – adventurous. But the whole plot changed when I became a mom. And found there was no way back into my life as an employee in the advertising industry. Pretty soon my partner Greg found himself in the same situation, which gave us one more reason to start something new.
We decided to build our own business. One that resonates more with our idea of (family) life and our shared values. But as a family we need a roof over our heads first of all. So we started off with branding and design work for clients under the roof of MINKOMINKO mindworks, while simultaneously building a coffee brand specialized on parents’ needs with our business partner and fellow ParentPreneur Janna.
What are your 5 key take-aways of the past “Corona year(s)”?
- Embrace challenging times.They keep you focused on what’s important, so you can find solutions (right now) and do the right thing.
- If you feel lost or need support, find your tribe and build a village – that’s how the Munich chapter of ParentPreneurs started.
- Invest in yourself, not only your business. The experience gained is more valuable than the money you may lose or win.
- There are no dead ends in business, just wrong turns. You can always change your perspective to find better destinations. In our case: We lost our dream client due to Covid-related budget cuts, found more business opportunities that we can handle, and are now on our way to build a business where we won’t have to trade time for money.
- Growth can be painful in the moment, but will be rewarding in the long run. True no matter whether you’re a kid, a parent or a business owner.
What is your focus and top priority right now?
From the time the kiddo was born he became the top priority. Always. But I won’t deny that other things are important, too. Like constantly working on myself to really be present for him, my partner and our business. Our professional priority is to gain more and more learnings from working closely with our clients – who are mostly founders – in order to take their and our own business to the next level.
Where do you gain most of your energy?
Traveling used to do the trick for me. It puts everything into perspective. Nowadays my family does the same. But the little rascal also takes a lot of my energy, so I try to balance that out by talking to friends and business partners, having a good coffee or meal, watching series or reading an interesting book.
What inspired you most on your way – a person, an event or a specific moment?
Same thing here. Traveling brings inspiration. In its absence it’s music, social media, people, architecture. These days I take what I can get my hands on. 😅
Which family model do you live?
Thankfully the one that feels most natural to us. At this point I’d say we’re equally involved in taking care of the family – money wise and care wise. We didn’t start off like that. The constant feeling that something’s not right was one of the reasons we felt like we had to start our own business and try making our own rules.
How do you as a family organize family and business?
Thankfully, my partner and I complement each other quite well in both areas. Each of us does what one knows / likes best. For instance, my partner is the designated driver. I’m the head of planning – from meals, to social life and business events. He takes care of the cats. I take care that our son’s clothes still fit. And so on. Whenever we feel an imbalance, we talk and try to figure it out.
Which support do you appreciate the most?
Our daycare has been an enormous support. From the first day on, the little one enjoyed being there and we were free to work on building the business. During this phase we also got lots of help from “the system” covering most of the (private) daycare costs and giving us time to settle in with a start-up grant. And of course, our network of friends and partners helped us during the last year to build an amazing initial client base.
Finally, the question from our last interviewee Anna: What does “beautiful work” mean to you?
First of all: When it’s self-determined. In our case this point got way better by becoming self-employed. Most of the time we get to choose the people we’re working with, the projects we’d like to support and the times we’re available for our clients. This leads to another point: “Beautiful work” also means only putting myself under “good pressure”. Meaning: Rising to creative challenges which force me out of my comfort zone in order to learn something new. But the most important point: Working with other beautiful minds towards a common goal.