The “mumpreneur” – the title helping paint a clearer picture of those among us juggling full-time work and full-time motherhood – is something Canada-based media brand Total Mom Inc. believes should be embraced wholeheartedly. Founder and CEO, Anna Sinclair, is a powerhouse of a woman; both a mother to two boys and head of a leading network for mums with an ever-growing following in the millions. Her success story is proof that you really can thrive professionally and personally – without having to give up either part of you – all while attending to your wellness and mental health needs.
Acknowledging that such success could not be possible without a dedicated team behind her, Anna now strives to lift up other ambitious working mums by providing them with the tips, tools and access to the funding needed to make their individual goals a reality. Here we caught up with Anna to discuss her personal growth, the insights she has gained along the way, and the various ways in which Total Mom Inc. supports women to live the life they love while building successful businesses.
Can you tell us about your background and how emigrating from two war-torn countries has helped you find empowerment in the face of adversity?
Looking back at my childhood, I see a young girl who grew up fast and learned to create something from nothing. I often started over, whether learning new languages, making new friends, or watching my parents overcome obstacles. I quickly realised that I was adaptive to what life brings and was capable of taking on life’s surprises. This mindset has allowed me to face adversity with tenacity and determination.
Personal development and therapy have been a considerable part of this journey for me. I found that surrounding myself with empowered communities or individuals has created the space I needed to step into possibilities. I see myself as somewhat of a women-led business success story because I am a two-time immigrant and refugee; I was the first female in my family to go to college and university too.
I now specialise in entrepreneurship, strategic sales, and partnerships & brand consultation. My focus is on the future of brand partnerships, community growth, driving impact, and helping other women do the same regardless of their circumstances. I now find empowerment and confidence in the challenges that life or business throws my way, but most importantly, I see a need to help others create a life they love no matter the obstacles they are facing.
How were you able to channel empowerment later in life when dealing with the challenges of being a new mom and seeking to build success both professionally and personally?
We all face and will continue to face challenges. I believe that we have the power to step into the confidence and empowerment that lies within us. When you have a healthy mindset, the rest falls into place. I am fascinated with the practice of emotional intelligence, personal development, mindset, and manifestation. This plays a major role in my professional advancement.
I grew up learning to find creative ways to make things work regardless of the obstacle in front of me and have found this applies to motherhood and business as well. Entrepreneurship is all about failures, and so is motherhood. We will fail, learn, and grow, but what we say to ourselves matters most.
Becoming a new mum was another transition that brought on negative self-talk and confusion around my identity, my future, and my body. Transitions are typically challenging for many of us and are often accommodated with stress and anxiety. I find it difficult to create abundance in a state of stress, so looking at opportunities from a place of possibilities and as less of an obstacle inspires me to stay confident. It’s important to use these moments of growth and add them to our toolbox.
I channel empowerment by being optimistic, believing in myself, and staying deeply rooted in positive self-worth. I now look inwards for acceptance and make choices that leave me feeling in alignment.
Whether your first child or your fourth, life as a new mom can be a little rocky, in your opinion, what are the most common struggles mums face in the early stages of parenthood, and how can these impact them in their personal lives and careers?
The experience of motherhood is undoubtedly very personal to each person; however, one thread that remains consistent is that we experience a significant life transition, and our societal expectations become hard to navigate. There are many stigmas that mums face, particularly around life after a baby. I still face a great deal of judgement from those who see my busy budding career, but I am firm in my values of showing myself, my kids, and other youth that creating a career rich in passion and impact is something we all deserve.
Through my company research and conversations within my community, I have found that many mums feel they have to choose between their careers and raising their children. Not only for financial reasons but also this deep sense of guilt and judgement from the outside world. It’s ok to create a support system within the family unit that allows everyone to be seen, heard, appreciated and access autonomy in their life. I think it’s healthy.
I, therefore, help new mums create systems around their existing lives. These support systems have allowed me to continue to gain success today and to feel fulfilled by having a positive relationship with myself and the outside world.
As a global community of like-minded individuals, what solutions does Total Mom Inc. offer overwhelmed moms – business-focused mentorship and general wellbeing?
Total Mom is investing in women-owned business ideas while highlighting women across the country who are innovating, creating, and solving today’s pressing problems as well as driving impact with their companies. Busy mums are often challenged with time, resources, and funding but are passionate and eager to turn their business dreams into a reality. Total Mom recognises the thousands of mums we have met that share how difficult it can be to find a way to juggle it all and still find time for themselves.
We are bringing together credible experts across industries to share valuable knowledge and tips through our online programmes and events. The Total Mom programmes offer moms enrichment opportunities to actualise a holistic support system. A holistic approach recognises the person, the role, and the lifestyle.
Wellbeing has been a critical pillar of focus for Total Mom since the beginning. Mental health and wellness are underserved services and can often be expensive for many families – leading many to simply not have access to the quality help they deserve. I feel like we all discover wellness options at some point in our lives, through a friend or YouTube video, but new parents are so busy with the demands of raising their children and managing their hectic schedules that this often falls to the sideline, along with their other needs. That is where the support systems come in. We all have different resources to lean on for support, but the most challenging part as a new parent is asking, accepting, and building that village to fill our cups.
The Total Mom Show-Canada’s largest holistic festival sounds exciting. The Total Mom Pitch is a successful initiative with an attractive prize. Can you tell us more about the idea behind the competition and how it works to open up resources and opportunities for women-led businesses?
The Total Mom Pitch is one of the earliest initiatives that started in 2018 and is part of our Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programmes. Canada’s Total Mom Pitch & The Total Mom Business Summit are the heart of the Total Mom Business community. More than a business pitch competition, The Pitch programme offers a forum for women-led business ideas to be heard while receiving access to expert advice. Previous sponsors include The Scotiabank Women Initiative™, Visa, GoDaddy, and American Express, which offer access to funding, investors, expert advice, and workshops to upskill talented entrepreneurs to grow their businesses quickly.
Essentially, the applicants move through a programme that provides opportunities to access grants, capital, mentorship, national exposure, resources and opportunities. The year-long initiative prepares entrepreneurs to raise capital and develop a pitch while upskilling at various stages of their business and connecting with the nation’s most reputable business services and organisations.
The programme further features expert-led sessions, mentorship, and coaching via a three-month accelerator leading up to Canada’s Total Mom Pitch Live. The digital event features panels, workshops, Top 5 Pitch competitions and giveaways. The last digital programme reached 17 million, garnering $342,000 media value through our advocacy, interviews and features. We had around 5.4k women voting for the TOP 100 Canadian small business applicants and 1,200 replays of the Pitch LIVE finale. Millions of mums who have lost their jobs are looking for opportunities and are struggling to make ends meet, let alone invest in their business. The Pitch offers a forum for women-led business ideas to be highlighted and supported while also providing access to insider advice from industry experts.
In your opinion, how important are women supporting other women to overall professional success? Is there true power in the collective, and what is the best way to harness it?
When it comes to women supporting other women, it truly needs to be the most authentic experience ever. The action behind it is much more than just cheering women on over social media or liking their posts. It is a give-and-take situation whereby you truly stand for the success of other women working hard and acknowledge their efforts and progress through collaboration, sharing connections, and giving your most valuable asset: time. The women who make it to the very top build meaningful relationships and share their wealth and knowledge with others.
You can join many communities to connect with other women, but it’s about carving out time to support one another’s ventures and finding ways to champion them continuously. When you help other people, the universe has your back. In the act of giving, you will always experience abundance, as the energy behind it is both positive and honest. As you build your career, remember not only to take and ask but to serve and give to others. Through this action, you will make meaningful connections and create a community of supportive and grateful individuals who help one another rise to the top together. The best way to harness the power of this collective is to simply be a woman people can count on – show up in people’s lives the way you need them to show up in yours.
At Total Mom Inc, we elevate women to realise that they have the luxury of looking after themselves but the honour of looking after one another.
Total Mom Inc. recently unveiled its dedicated membership platform. Can you tell us more about the advantages this offers for those who sign up?
Absolutely! The platform has been in the works for about two years now. I wanted to take my time developing the experience that I want our members to take advantage of and break down the value in a way that worked for different people’s lives and circumstances.
The Total Mom Network ™ is a paid platform that gives members access to support, community and high-quality personal and professional development. It is an annual investment in yourself that creates the space for transformation. The platform offers an online holistic skills development and education, including Total Mom Coach ™ programmes that offer micro peer group masterminds and coaching in small groups of women who want an accountability partner, to track their progress, and get results faster. The Total Mom Academy™ offers signature programmes in partnership with major brands and partners, including access to weekly and monthly meetups, expert mentorship, online courses and digital products.
I want to share more but have to save the goodies for the launch. These are what will make it unique from many community platforms already out there
What about the Total Mom Influence Programme; what exclusive opportunities does this offer?
Each year, Total Mom partners with brands to give everyday mums opportunities to share their voices and opinions on products through event activations, sampling programmes, and even market research. I value the voices of mums like myself who are looking for safe and high-quality products and goods. Through the dedicated programmes, we offer brands valuable insights into what parents really think about their products and how they could create more sustainable and healthy options. We have a database of women who show interest in the initiative, and occasionally, we tap into that database to offer free products, private invite-only group experiences, and exclusive gifting.
What does the future hold for Total Mom Inc.?
The long-term goal is to provide millions of mums with personal and professional support, but for now, the focus remains on the launch of the network, the various offers, as well as the quality of the platform. I do hope to expand the festivals into other countries and create empowerment tours featuring special musical guests, expert guest speakers, and a line of lifestyle products. Eventually, I would love to create a fund, offering more financial support to women-led start-ups, and partner with organisations to develop programmes that aid entrepreneurs in growing and scaling a profitable business online.
For more information, please visit www.thetotalmomshow.ca.