BBBY: What words best describe you?
GENOVA: Creative, Adaptable, Optimistic, Empathetic, Quirky, Protective and according to my 11-year old son, I’m “MLG”, which in the world of video gaming, it’s means you’re a pretty AWESOME!
BBBY: Who is one of the most inspirational women in your life? And why?
GENOVA: Definitely, I’d give this one to my mother. She is someone that taught me the importance of being accountable, goal-oriented, consistent, and never letting others dictate my happiness. I was too young to remember much, but I recall the stories of my mom deciding to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, but she could only take night classes, one or two courses at a time. This was long before online degrees and the more flexible class options that we have today. This was the 80’s, folks! Nevertheless, she kept her eyes on her goal, all while working full-time at what used to be called Washington Mutual bank. She always made sure to credit the support from my Dad, who juggled the three of us kids while my mom attended classes. Her four-year degree took her six years to earn, but with her dedication and sacrifice, she secured her career in Accounting (for 20+ years) and helped provide consistency for our family. Although it’s not a glamorous story, that is what I call an inspiration.
BBBY: What was the inspiration for starting your own business?
GENOVA: I’ve always had a creative bone in my body. In past jobs, my creativity is usually what stood out about me, whether I was creating a flyer or facilitating workshops/events, I always put my own touch or flair on it. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me “You should start a blog!” Truth be told, blogging wasn’t something I really thought I could make time for, but about a year ago, my husband and I decided it was best that I stayed home fulltime with our daughter, which allowed me more time to focus on my family. It also helped me see that I have an opportunity to still have a creative outlet, but on my own terms.
BBBY: What is the mission behind your?
GENOVA: The mission of Happily Ever Hauser is to inspire others to find their own “Happily Ever After” through sharing ideas for family fun, foodie finds, D.I.Y. projects, places to visit & more. Everyone’s definition of a happy life will vary, but if I can add some positivity, encouragement and light through my own tiny corner of the blogging world, that is very fulfilling.
BBBY: What challenges did you face when starting your own business?
GENOVA: My biggest challenge was actually just getting the courage to put myself out there. I’ve never had something like this that was completely mine. My words. My thoughts. My life. And no one else to answer to or guidelines to follow, but my own. I’m also self-taught in all sorts of things that come with blogging: content creation, editing, photography, web design, graphic design, marketing, networking, and the list goes on and on. I spend a lot of time researching on Pinterest (which I am low-key obsessed with) and YouTube. The information is out there, it just takes time and patience, trial and error.
BBBY: Do you have a life mission or inspirational quote that you live by?
GENOVA: I have many quotes that inspire me, but one that comes to mind is: “If you want something you’ve never had, you got to do something you’ve never done.”
It reminds me that pushing myself out of my comfort zone is okay. There’s always more to gain when you can move beyond the fear or nervousness that tends to hold people back.
BBBY: What inspires you to do what you do?
GENOVA: I truly want to spread positivity. There’s enough negativity out there and it’s too easy to find. I am inspired by the lifestyle I’ve worked to create and I believe it’s worth sharing. This may come across to some as braggadocios, but let’s face it, we hear too often about broken families and communities, so I want to do my part by sharing, creating and hopefully inspiring others with things that can bring happiness to various areas of our lives: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
BBBY: Tell us about a time in your life, where you felt most powerful as a woman.
GENOVA: By the grace of God, I’ve brought two children into this world. As much as I know of all the undesirable “side-effects” of a pregnancy such as mood swings, swollen feet, morning sickness, etc., I really felt powerful as a woman through my journey into motherhood.
BBBY: What has made you most proud and why?
GENOVA: I’d have to say, I am most proud of being a Mother. Motherhood has enriched my life like nothing else. I am proud of the children my husband and I are raising. Parenting is not easy! It’s good to see the fruit of my work in how my children are shining, learning and growing. I pat myself on the back several times about this! I know it’s cliché to say this, but it’s one of the most important jobs I’ll ever have.
BBBY: What's the most important lesson you've learned as an entrepreneur or as you started in this business?
GENOVA: I’m still in the humble beginnings chapter of my blogging journey, but one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned is it takes more than just publishing a blog post to grow an audience. I still remember hitting the publish button on my first post then sitting and constantly checking my blog stats. It was crickets. No traffic on my site, whatsoever. How naïve of me to think that tons of people would flock to my site, comment on my post, and subscribe all of a sudden. I learned that I had to find my audience and actually build my readership through shameless self-promotion and what I like to call “Golden Opportunities”. Social media has been one of my greatest self-promotion tools to work towards growth in this area and it’s an honor to have “Golden Opportunities”, like being selected as the July BBBY Spotlight Woman of the Month!
BBBY: What are 3 tips you can share with aspiring entrepreneurs or someone ready to go after their dreams?
Stay true to you. If it doesn’t feel right within you or with what you want to represent, don’t do it. Be authentically you!
There will be mistakes or disappointments. It’s okay! Learn from them and keep it pushing.
Never regret following your dreams or let the words of others discourage you. We only have one life to live, so live it!
BBBY: I feel most empowered when I...
GENOVA: I feel most empowered when I accomplish my goals, from big goals like “Yay! I started my blog” to small ones like “You see that IKEA play kitchen over there?...yeah, I built that!”.