Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Raleigh mom, business coach helps women entrepreneurs build highly profitable businesses

Posted December 29, 2013

Clare Luffman is living the dream of many a working mom. She's working for herself from home, pulling in a solid income as her family's main breadwinner and working only during the hours her son is at school.

But Luffman, a business mentor who works with women business owners, might never have made it this far if it wasn't for a life-changing diagnosis.

Very soon after her son was born seven years ago, the Raleigh mom noticed her breast felt thick as she nursed. Doctors quickly diagnosed her with advanced breast cancer. Her chances of survival were slim. For 18 months, she underwent surgeries and treatment and now is doing well.

But the diagnosis also forced her to take another look at her life. She'd always had a feeling that life had more in store for her than a 9 to 5 job. For years, she'd worked in the corporate world in human resources, training and coaching and loved her jobs. Luffman holds a master's degree in organizational training and development from N.C. State.

"It had been nagging at me and that experience made it more 'what am I waiting for?,'" she said of her breast cancer experience. "Time is of the essence."

Luffman knew she wanted to be home with her son. But, to do that, she also knew she needed an income. Her husband is a high school teacher. Clare Luffman Raleigh mom, business coach helps women entrepreneurs build highly profitable businesses

She stayed home for a couple of years, working as a Mary Kay sales director, helping other women, many of them moms, build their own businesses selling the company's cosmetics. That job helped her hone her idea for a business - to help other woman build their own businesses, whatever they may be.

A few years ago, she went back to work as an office manager for a law firm to raise money for her business plan. She left the job a year ago when her income as a coach and trainer, which she squeezed in during lunch breaks, equaled the paycheck she was bringing home. 

Today, she has worked with dozens of women from around the country through online podcasts and mentoring programs. She now works specifically with women who are selling services or their expertise - personal trainers, coaches, photographers, web designers and others - in small, three-month programs of six to eight people.

Her aim is to help women like her build streamlined, family-focused and highly profitable businesses while working part-time hours. She works with them on all pieces of their businesses - from consistent marketing plans to organization. 

Luffman said she's been pleasantly surprised by how quickly her own business has taken off. In fact, in 2014, she plans to cut back her work hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays to just 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

"I am them," she said. "I know there are other woman who want to be back in the home and financially it's not a reality for them. They want the business, but they want to build the business around the family."

Luffman certainly has managed that for herself.

For more, go to Luffman's website and Facebook page and check out my video interview with her. She'll be sharing tips over the next four weeks aimed at helping us all get our lives in order in 2014. So stay tuned on Wednesday for the first tip from Luffman!

Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.

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