After facing disappointment with her first product, stay-at-home mother and budding entrepreneur Shannon Rinckey has a new plan, a new mentor and renewed optimism.
The Signal Mountain mother of four—who has a bachelor’s degree in business and communication and a master’s in counseling— recently released an e-book aimed at addressing the emotional and psychological challenges of being a stay-at-home mom.
It was part of her business, SAHMconsulting. SAHM is an acronym for "stay-at-home mother."
But the e-book was a “big flop,” she said.
And that was initially difficult to take.
“After the e-book, I was heartbroken,” Rinckey said. “It was like crickets—just me, myself and my e-book.”
But about a month ago, Rinckey went to The Camp House to hear Sheila Boyington, co-founder of Chattanooga’s Thinking Media, speak.
And being the self-proclaimed “dork” that she is, Rinckey just went up to Boyington after her speech and asked her for help.
Boyington, whose background is in engineering, has had a successful business career in Chattanooga. She and her husband, Dane, sold a product, Key Trade, to ACT in 2012.
Recently, Sheila and Dane, who is the other co-founder of Thinking Media, launched Learning Blade, an online tool designed to generate interest in STEM applications to middle school students. The program will be aligned with Common Core Standards being implemented in states across the country, according to Nooga.com archives.
Sheila Boyington agreed to be Rinckey’s mentor, and now, the experienced businesswoman is giving the novice guidance.
Rinckey moved away from the e-book idea and has started counseling mothers via phone. She sells three different packages—a one-time $30-minute phone call, a weekly 30-minute phone call or a phone call once a month.
She talks mothers through their challenges—whether it’s getting a moment of free, personal time or connecting with their husbands—and presents them with action items so they can take steps toward their goals.
For a connector like Rinckey, that has been fulfilling.
Now, she is also developing a new product—which she didn’t want to fully divulge yet because she isn’t quite ready to take orders.
But she is excited by the potential, and she’s hoping it will be ready by March at the latest.
And she said Boyington’s help has been very important.
“She is moving me along in the process,” Rinckey said. “She’s holding me accountable.”
And Boyington said it is important for Rinckey—or any young person who is trying to find themselves—to have people to talk to.
“What I did was challenge her to come up with things she enjoyed doing, first of all,” Boyington said. “And, as for any good entrepreneur, [for her to find] a way to be able to generate revenue on a sustainable basis as opposed to selling your time. You can only sell so much of your time—you are limited.”
Although Boyington doesn’t really like labels, she was also a stay-at-home mother until her children got older and went to school.
And now, Boyington is offering encouragement to Rinckey and helping her get out of her box, she said.
“I think the challenge is more in your mind as much as it is physically,” she said of the challenges of juggling business and home life.