When Dell Technologies came onboard as our presenting sponsor at Current Conference, we had no idea at the time, the incredible women that would enter our lives, not to mention the introduction to Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN). Through DWEN, Dell is empowering women entrepreneurs to grow their business through the power of technology, expansion of global networks, and access to capital. By spotlighting female entrepreneurial success and creating a supportive atmosphere, DWEN helps a group of like-minded women share best practices, build business opportunities through collaboration, explore international expansion, and access new resources that support business growth. 

Through DWEN, we were introduced to Talia Mashiach, a DWEN member, founder of Eved and mother to 5 children. Eved is the 4th business Talia started, all while raising a family in Chicago. Curious how Talia balances it all, we asked her everything from how to take an idea and turn it into a business, her best practices for managing the busy lives of 5 children, and her thoughts on working mom guilt. 

Interested in learning more about DWEN and joining a network of thousands of members around the world,  apply here.

Tell us about Eved and the inspiration behind it.

Eved is a Spend Management and Payments platform for large Enterprise companies to budget, process invoices and make payments for their meetings and events.

I started the company because I was fascinated that companies spend over $650 billion dollars on meetings and events, yet had no idea how much they were spending, who they were spending it with or what they were spending it on. I realized that the reason this category of spend was the Wild Wild West, was because the traditional procurement and financial systems didn’t work for meetings and events. Therefore, there were multiple different processes and payment methods that made it very cumbersome and inefficient as well as impossible to manage strategically.

We started Eved to bring a purpose built solution to manage this important category of spend and empower the business to be more efficient and more strategic with their meetings and events. We quickly realized that the most important service we could provide was a payment method that worked for this type of spend. B2B payments has become core to what we do and how we deliver value for our customers.

So many of our readers have a seed of an idea but are unsure of what steps to take next. What was the process of starting a business like for you?

This is my fourth company that I have started. With each company I learned so much and did better on the next one. The best advice I can give someone who has an idea is to make sure they understand how the company is going to make money, how much money it will take to get started and how much time. Sometimes you have a great idea, but that idea will never make you enough money for the investment of time or money it will take.

Creating a financial model where you write down where your revenue sources are coming from and what your expenses are over a three year period will force you to really think about the business and will help inform the next steps.

Like any entrepreneur, I imagine every day is different. There is no typical schedule. But with 7 children, are there parts of your day that are consistent? What does a morning routine look like with 7 children?

That has changed over time. I have five children plus a son in law and daughter in law who I consider like my own children. I also have two grandchildren now. One of my sons is away at school leaving only my two youngest daughters at home. One of the things I love most about being an entrepreneur is the flexibility to build my career around my life.

When I had five young kids, I had a company that allowed me to work mostly from home, minimal travel and no investors to answer to. If I wanted to take off more time in the summer and sales fell, the only person impacted was me.

Now as my kids are older, I have a company where I have raised millions from outside investors and our customers rely on our platform for critical business tasks. I have a tremendous responsibility to my shareholders, customers and team. The business is much more demanding of my time.

My youngest is in 4th grade and I take her to school almost every day. I try to avoid breakfast meetings and start my day with phone calls from my car as I commute downtown to my office. It is very special time for both of us.

Finally, I appreciate the flexibility to manage my responsibilities both at home and work and offer that as part of a core cultural values at Eved. Our motto is- never apologize for living a life, but never make excuses for not delivering the results. What that really means is we work very hard, but we measure hard work by results, not hours in the office. If a parent wants to be home for their kids at 4:30 and then pick back up at 8:30 to finish up their work, we know that is how they will be happiest and most efficient. Same goes for our PTO policy. We don’t have one. You take the time you need, but again, the results need to be there.

Efficiency is the name of the game when running a business and raising a family. Can you share any tips that help you make the most out of your work time and mom time?

We use outlook to schedule family things so my husband and older kids are always on the same page. When my kids were young I had a whiteboard calendar that I also put everything on for them.

  1. I buy birthday gifts in bulk so I am not running out to a store last minute. Just to my birthday gift closet
  2. I use peapod, Instacart and Walmart.com as much as possible to avoid the grocery store
  3. I am a big amazon user for everything else
  4. I turn off my email on my phone during family vacation so as not to be distracted at all and totally focused on family.
  5. I workout 4 times a week and eat pretty healthy to keep myself energized. I love Yoga.
  6. I have great housekeeper that I have trained to both keep the house together and cook fresh meals for our family.
  7. I go on a girl’s trip with my 5 closest friends once a year
  8. I try never to miss the things most important to my kids
  9. My husband and I have date night at least once a week
  10. I try not to schedule anything on Fridays- giving me a day to catch up on everything else going into the weekend.

You’re a member of DWEN. Why is having a community of like-minded women so crucial?

It is lonely building a company and you have challenges every day. When you have women who are going through the same thing as you, it is super helpful and supportive. I love that Dell has been so supportive of women entrepreneurs. Dell was my first client at Eved and that is the greatest gift they ever could have given me.

What is one piece of advice you can share to parents navigating growing children and growing businesses?

At different points in your life, you will be able to do different things. Give yourself permission to build your business around the demands of your family. It is ok that you don’t grow your business into everything it could be when you are prioritizing time with your family. The kids will get older and you will have time then.

Your time is your most valuable asset. Make sure you are spending it in a way you won’t regret. Your kids are only young once.

What is one piece of advice you can give to mothers who may love their jobs but also experience mom guilt for loving their work?

The best parents are those that are fulfilled and happy from within so they are sourced to give everything back to their families. Loving your job is making you a better mother to your kids. You should love your job and having something for yourself is super important. Imagine what kind of mother you would be if you didn’t love your job?

What do you love about raising your children in Chicago?

I love Chicago. The combination of a big city with so much to do and the nice Midwest interaction between people. I also love that there are so many colleges and opportunities that the chances of my kids living near me as the grow up is pretty high. So far I am two for two and get to see my married children and grandchildren every week.