I used to think Proverbs 31 was written to encourage the homemaker, wife and mother. But one day when I was reading it, I realized the Proverbs 31 Woman was more than a Wife of Noble Character; she was also the ideal mompreneur. That’s exactly what the theme of Tammie T. Polk’s book is — The Virtuous Business Woman. And we are blessed to have Tammie as part of our circle of Christian mompreneurs, to share her wisdom and encouragement with us. I’m honored to share this conversation with her on the blog today.
Q. What does it mean to you to be a virtuous woman?
A. To me, being a virtuous woman means remembering that virtue and faith still have a place in our lives, even in this busy, digital world. Many times, we feel like we have to put our convictions aside in order to be what is perceived to be successful. It also means that I see that I am a lot closer to being this woman than I think I am. So many think that her lifestyle is unattainable and don’t see the progress they’ve already made. It is a matter of making a conscious effort to do what is right and to be guided by the principles of God’s Word, which isn’t always easy.
Q. You write about putting family first. What is your best advice for a mompeneur who is having trouble balancing business and family responsibilities?
A. Yes, that’s one thing so many struggle with. My best advice is to use your family! Find out what their gifts and talents are and allow them to use them to help you in your business! Even use the things that annoy you about them. Another thing I would say is to pay attention to what you may perceive as a family distraction. Many times, those things that they do to distract you just might be their way of showing you that they want to help if you’d only take a moment to show them what you need.
Q. I love the fact that the book is also a workbook! What is the process you recommend for women when reading this book independently or as a group?
A. Yes, it is. That was the hardest part–coming up with the exercises! When reading this book independently, have a notebook on hand. You’ll need it! The questions that I ask in the book aren’t stop and answer quickly type questions. Pray over them and journal your answers. Take it one chapter at a time–there are 21 of them. That will give you the greatest benefit. In a group setting, the same thing applies. Putting too many chapters together can make you feel rushed. That’s one thing that I hear from women when I do my workshops–they want them to last longer because they feel rushed and don’t have the chance to chew on it all.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your story – how you got started in business?
A. My business started out as a comment on a thread in a homeschool mom group on Facebook, where a mom asked about earning extra money. Next thing I knew, I had a Facebook group of 15 women who I was working with in order to help them build homeschool consulting businesses using the background they had. As some groups do, it died out and I started looking for a new direction. I did the whole make my business like everybody else’s thing–until I wrote my book. My vision shifted to using my books as my platform…my program. I wanted to help women to work through the books themselves and build themselves, their businesses, and their families all at once. Conversations I had became blog articles and even turned into another book–The 7 Virtuous Business Woman Slayers. I soon started being featured in book clubs and book talks, then I started speaking in conferences. Next thing I know, I was challenged by a friend to start doing Lunch and Learn Workshops…I’ve done three so far–two in person and one online.
Q. How do you work with Virtuous Business Women today?
A. Today, I take the message of my books into businesses and churches. I offer 1:1 mentoring for women as well, where we work through either one or both of my Virtuous Business Woman books from cover to cover. I have a Facebook group where I do weekly videos about the book chapters and am also turning them into online courses for women to work through on their own. A retreat is also in the works. The most exciting thing is this, though– I recently started the process of separating The Virtuous Business Woman into two separate books–that was one piece of feedback I got constantly, so that will be out in the next week or so. For now, women can reach out to me directly for a copy of the book.