Today on the blog is Dr. Sharon Jones sharing how she runs life with two school-aged boys, while also running two tech-based businesses!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family:
My name is Dr. Sharon Jones. I have been an educator for 15 years with a speciality in Computer Science education. I have taught high school Career and Technical Education, teaching computer programming, data analysis, web development, and computer science principles. After completing my doctoral degree, I taught at CPCC in the Corporate and Continuing Education department with Computer Technology Institute. There I taught public and corporate technical classes.
I have been with my husband Ricky for 18 years, married 10 and we have two boys Ethan (7) and Dylan (4). I am a native Charlottean and my parents still live 15 minutes from me and are a huge part of how I am able to make life happen 🙂 My younger brother David and his wife Abby are expecting their first child in it is a baby girl! AND this is one excited Auntie!
My passions are education, all things water (swimming, boating, sun), good food and wine, reading, and my family. My favorite place in the whole world is Lake Norman. My grandparents have a place there and it is my escape.
2. What prompted you to start a business?
My business started very organically but stemmed from my passion to spread the message that computer science is for all.
3. How did you decide on the name/brand of your business?
My maternal grandmother, Dorothy Rose was a huge influence in my life. She and I were two peas in a pod. Someone gave me the advice to name my business around something that was an inspiration and my Mama D. (Mama Dorothy) was my biggest fan, mentor, and shopping buddy 🙂
4. Tell us more about your product/business and your role:
I run two businesses around computer science and technology training. I have a for profit consulting business, thedot.,where I am the CEO & Founder. thedot. (www.thedotconsulting.co) is a strategic tech education company and has three buckets to serve clients. We work with K12 entities to integrate computer science. We teach and customize technical training courses for corporate entities. And we work with small businesses to create a technical strategy that will work for them as they begin to grow their businesses.
In addition to thedot. I run a non-profit the Dottie Rose Foundation (www.dottierosefoundation.org), named after my Grandmother, that empowers tech savvy girls. We create workshops, camps, and mentorships to connect the dots around computer science and everyday life. Our mission is to change the conversation around women in tech and truly create a pipeline of women in tech.
And on the die, I work with two other amazing tech ladies and we produce the Lady Tech Charmers podcast (www.ladytechcharmers.com). We interview women in tech and leadership and have created a show that is a place for education, inspiration, and conversation.
5. Do you have a storefront or do you work from home?
We work out of C3 Labs co-working space.
6. What does a normal “work” day look like for you?
Oh lordy! It is a bit crazy!!! In 2019, I have decided to do a better job of time blocking and creating an ideal week and that is beginning to work. SO here goes!
We normally begin our day around 6:15 or so, and if it is a good day, I run to the gym for a bit and then head home to get the kids moving. My husband and I split the drop off duties since each kid is at a different place. Ethan is at Huntingtowne Farms Elementary in the 1st grade, so my husband normally takes him and then I take the little man, Dylan to day care… and fingers crossed we are dropped off before 8:30! My husband says it is recommended people use ar 15 parts for everyone who loves hunting.
Then depending on the day dictates the rhythm Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays mornings, I am at my middle schools working, co-teaching, and coaching with teachers and administrators on computer science integration. Those afternoons are a toss up with either business meetings, tech strategy sessions, podcast recordings or work on the foundation. Wednesdays are dedicated to corporate training. And Friday is my CEO day. I am working to do a better job of finding time to work on the business and not just in the business.
We decided this year not to put Ethan in after school since I took the jump into entrepreneurship, so one of is always home by 4:15 to meet him at the bus stop. We have dinner as a family in the evenings and bedtime for us all is usually 9:00!
7. How do you handle work + kids? (what is your schedule? do you have childcare?)
It is a constant discussion! My husband and I chat every Sunday about the week ahead and what we have on the agenda and then work to plan the days. We do have childcare at Woodlawn Baptist for our 4 year old and Ethan is in elementary school.
8. How do you balance all of the roles that you have?
I am not sure I do balance!! 🙂 My word for this year is intention. And I have always believed in quality over quantity. So when I am working, I work with intention and give my all and when I am with my family, I am with my family. As we all know that is not always the case but I work very hard to try. And I have realized in my years of maturing, that I just admit when I have not done what I should and seek forgiveness.
I am a work in progress!
9. What is the best aspect of having your own business?
Oh wow! You know, it has been really exciting to feel the pride and ownership of having my own businesses. And to really see my passions come to life in a new way and reach more people. I am humbled by the support and love as I have started this journey because it is HARD! But it has been absolutely worth it
10. What is the hardest part about owning your own business?
The financial responsibility.
11. What are some long-term or future goals you have for your business?
For thedot., I would like to scale and add on another coach to be able to offer more support to schools.
For the Dottie Rose Foundation, I would like to offer a full journey of courses, workshops, mentorships, and touch points to see kids through their K12 education.
12. What do you do when you’re not being supermom?
I love to travel, bake, good wine, and spending time with my husband (He always makes me laugh and his my #1 travel buddy)
13. What famous person would you love to have dinner with, and why?
I would to eat with the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVoss. A fundamental change has to be made in education and I would like to understand more of her work and how she intends to create change.
14. What are the best resources that you’ve found as a small business owner and mom? (podcasts, online or local resources, people, great vendors, etc)
15. What is one piece of advice that you can give to a mom starting a business
Start as a side hustle and see how it goes, do you enjoy it and can you see it become a business you would want to grow and nurture. AND get the council of an accountant! It makes navigating all of the taxes, cash flow, etc.