Marin Gordon wanted the opportunity to inspire people, and that's why she and her husband, Brett, created their digital marketing agency, Grateful Gordons.
What originally launched as a YouTube channel about positive living and empowerment, captured from the tranquil beaches of Kamuela, Hawaii, grew into a multimedia agency that focuses on marketing and video production.
"It was actually kind of an accident in the sense that I was personally creating my own content, and people’s feedback and response was very positive," Gordon tells Mom.me via email about her business. So positive, in fact, that their at-home birth video garnered 82 million views in 2011. "My first thought was, we could take that positivity and do something really meaningful with this that could contribute value to someone’s life and business."
So in 2011, Marin and Brett launched the Grateful Gordons agency, and the couple has been able to balance that work with parenting their 3- and 5-year-old daughters. Marin talked to Mom.me about that tricky balance, as well as her advice for other moms who want to follow their passion.
What sets the Grateful Gordons apart from other marketing firms?
What you see is real, and we don’t compromise our values. If we come across a company or brand that is willing to pay us, but it doesn’t necessarily fit in well with our brand or doesn’t promote the type of message we want to convey, then we typically pass on those offers. We want to remain genuine to our beliefs.
Describe the moment you first felt successful.
I first felt successful when I was able to not only support myself financially by working for myself, but by doing something that I felt like I was really passionate about.
How have you made your career and motherhood work for you?
It’s a constant balance, a constant push and pull. You just have to continually reassess and work on being present. That’s a skill that develops over time, to be able to pick up your work and to also put it down so that you can be present with family.
As a successful female entrepreneur, what are some ways that you want to teach your daughters about "girl power"?
I want them to know that it’s not about girls or boys. Everyone has their own power, and it is equal to as much as you put into it. I hope that they can learn that they are loved so that they continue to love themselves through any adversities or challenges. There are things in life that will come up that can compromise that belief, but I hope that through love, they can spread that outwardly and make a difference. This, in turn, will help them see their own power and the power in others.
Everyone has their own power, and it is equal to as much as you put into it.
Has there been anything about building your business that has surprised you or inspired you in a way you didn't expect?
Absolutely! At the end of the day, the success of the company and the money doesn’t matter if your heart is not into it. It is very difficult to find success in what you do when it’s meaningless to you.
What's your advice for moms who are looking to start their own business?
Find something that you are passionately inspired by and not just excited by. Your business should drive you to compulsively create, even if it doesn’t make you money at first. If it lifts you up and makes you feel good, then that will be the easiest way to start a business and be successful.
What sacrifices have you made as a mom and an entrepreneur to keep everything in balance?
I haven’t pushed my business as far or as high as I know I can. The balance is time and energy, and if I put 100 percent of my time into my business, then my family doesn’t have a wife or a mom. The focus has had to be not to make a successful business as fast or as competitively as possible, but rather how to manage that and have a healthy home-life balance.
What would you say are the most important skills and experiences you've brought from previous positions to founding the Grateful Gordons?
Network marketing was huge for me. It taught me to never quit, no matter how many rejections I got. It taught me to focus on self-improvement and to build a business foundationally on values, rather than just seeking numbers or money. I learned how to connect with people and be a good presenter. Network marketing was monumental to me, and I recommend anybody to really experience it because of the invaluable skill sets you can attain. I also once ran my own fitness company, but during that time I was living out of my car and I had to figure out a lot by myself. I think that skill is developed from being down to the wire and finding yourself in a tough space. If you never find yourself in adversity, you don’t develop the skills to be a good problem solver.
If you could have lunch with any business person/mogul/entrepreneur/nonprofit founder living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Tony Robbins. He’s a very well-rounded and compassionate man, but still has a very firm and practical perspective. He’s a man with good intentions and embodies everything I feel makes a good business owner. I believe he deserves all the success that he’s had because he’s helped a lot of people along the way.