Jana is the founding owner of moomie.co.za – the biggest online parenting forum in South Africa. She is also a mother, writer, editor and runner. Creating new things excites her and she hardly ever runs out of ideas for her business.
Please tell us a little more about yourself and your journey thus far.
I am a mom to three littlies, Nienke (7), Sion (4) and Neva (2). They keep me busy and on my toes! I run and manage Moomie, and am also a magazine editor. My life is full and busy but I love it. New challenges keep me alive and excited. I get bored very easily – much like a toddler – so am constantly looking for new challenges. My journey started as a newspaper journalist but it has evolved so much. Even though I am passionate about content creation, I have ventured into other parts of online marketing – especially videos – and find it very interesting. Connecting with your end-user is very important to me.
You are busy with some very interesting projects. Please tell us a little more about them.
Moomie has just launched an app on both Apple and Play store. It’s very exciting, because it’s like you have little groups (just like on WhatsApp) at your fingertips. You don’t have to “join” it or be “accepted”, you can just join in and start chatting. You can even share pics and videos. It’s really exciting.
We are doing a major cool campaign with the Fisher Price brand. I am so excited about that because I grew up with Fisher Price and still have this old Fisher Price toy I am keeping for my grand kids. My mom keeps it at her house. I love running campaigns like this and thinking of new ways to connect to the consumer. I like thinking about out of the box ideas to keep advertising and marketing fun and exciting.
How did Moomie come about?
I was pregnant with Nienke and working as a newspaper journalist. Whilst I loved my job, I wanted to create something on/of my own. I wanted to have more freedom, exploring other aspects of what I find interesting. The idea took form in my head after I belonged to a forum whilst pregnant. It grew very fast and I had to learn very quickly what it takes to run a website with thousands of pregnant women!
What are you passionate about?
Inspiring people. I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting you all riled up about your own ideas. There is no such thing as a bad idea in my books. Maybe your idea just needs a bit of direction or planning but creating and thinking of ideas are what makes me feel alive. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote: “Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will”. I tend to agree with that.
Who or what has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
Currently there are two people who really inspire me. Vinny Lingham and Sylvia Gruber. I work with Sylvia’s company on Moomie and she has been guiding me the past year. She has so much talent. Where I think of ideas and become all romantic about it, she is really good in channeling that into something productive. Vinny is just the most inspiring entrepreneur ever. You will see him on Mnet’s Shark Cage soon. I have met him in person and was so impressed that he took time out to meet with me.
What is your personal motto?
“Keep it simple” and “there’s no such thing as can’t”.
What advice would you give a woman wanting to follow her dreams?
Just go for it. Don’t let anything stop you. Don’t necessarily quit your job. Hang on to it. But start in the evenings, in the morning, during your break. Work on your idea, craft it, shape it, make it come to life. Don’t wait, because no one is going to hand you anything on a silver platter. It takes hard work to succeed in anything in life. It won’t come easy and you won’t sleep much. Haha!
What are your top 3 business tips?
- Adapt your vision when necessary. Be open to “flow”. Sometimes a very rigid idea of how you want things done can keep you from reaching your potential.
- Get the right people who understands how your head works and who you can rely on.
- Use the right Hosting Company.
What would you say is the secret to your success?
Determination. Absolutely. I don’t give up on what I believe in. Many doors have closed in my face. Many! But I continued on and I will continue on for as long as I believe in what I do.
Your favourite quote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” ~Marianne Williamson
Your favourite daily affirmation:
“You are a machine!” Hahaha! No, seriously, I try and stay positive all the time. I do believe in affirmations but I don’t really have one that I affirm every day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
My younger self brought me to where I am now, so my advice would be: “stay as impulsive as you were then”. One of my characteristics, I suppose, is my relentless belief in what I want to accomplish. If I have to max out my credit card to do it, I will. It’s not the best advice but I go for what I want. I don’t just talk. I do.
Which book are you currently reading?
I don’t have time to read at the moment but I bought a book, Exposure, by Ava March, recently at the airport and finished it in a day.
What book can you read over and over again?
Anything from Marian Keyes.
One general piece of advice you would like to share:
I said it before, but get the right hosting company. It is so important, you won’t believe. With a forum of thousands of moms chatting, down time is the last thing you want. Have you seen angry, frustrated pregnant women? Yes, exactly. Get the right host.
Is there anything that Xtraordinary Women can do to assist you on your journey?
You already are assisting me and thank you very much for having me. It’s a great honour and privilege. I am still surprised to think of myself as an entrepreneur but I love the journey. Your readers can like our Facebook Page and register on our forum.