After leaving her home in Israel and moving to the United States, our NJMOMpreneur of the week, Ally Nathaniel, tried launching her first book only to get rejected over and over again by publishers who didn’t believe in her. When she finally decided to publish the book herself she became a self-made #1 best selling author! Some 40,000 copies and a few career turns later, Ally is now a best-selling author, book coach, speaker and mentor. And, did we mention she’s also a compassionate, self-aware mom? It’s safe to say we’re super inspired by Ally’s story. We know you mamas will be, too.
Best-Selling Author, Book Coach, Speaker, Mentor & NJMOMpreneur Ally Nathaniel
NJMOM: What do you offer to your clients, and how is it different than other professionals in your field?
Ally: With my business, I help spiritual women become leaders in their field by publishing a book. I help them raise their voice and tell their stories so they can make an impact and change the world. By sharing their stories, they’ll be able to connect with their ideal clients, transform lives and make a difference.
I offer a one-stop-shop where I help my authors not only write the book, but edit it, design the cover and get it published. I make sure that my clients don’t need to worry about anything so they can concentrate on sharing their magical stories. I bring my extensive experience of helping women grow to my mentoring relationships.
Keep in mind that being a mompreneur is an emotional roller coaster, so let yourself feel down when things don’t work out the way you wanted them to. Make sure your support network is there to catch you and accept that this is part of the journey.” – NJMOMpreneur Ally Nathaniel
NJMOM: What inspired you to get into your line of work?
Ally: When my daughter was 2 years old, I launched my first United States-based business, Playful Kitchen. This business was about empowering young children and helping parents and kids connect with each other through cooking. This was meaningful work and it brought me much joy. As a pastry chef, I developed a unique method of writing recipes that young kids can use, even if they can’t read yet, and I wanted to share it with the world. The best way to do it was to write a book, and that’s where my journey began.
I wrote over a hundred query letters to agents and publishers just to get rejected over and over again. I got rejected not because the idea wasn’t good, but because I couldn’t prove that I had enough followers willing to buy the book. Feeling rejected and overwhelmed, I knew there had to be a better way. That’s when I learned about self-publishing. To make a long story short, I wrote a short children’s book inspired by my now 5-year-old daughter, hired an illustrator and published it on Amazon. The book became a #1 bestseller and sold over 40,000 copies. This prompted me to write more books and help others become published authors. In case you’re wondering, my cookbook My Playful Kitchen was published a few years later, and I couldn’t be more proud.
NJMOM: What’s your favorite part about your business?
Ally: Working with women and helping them achieve their goal of sharing their story. People think that if you have a great idea for a book, writing it will be easy. The truth is that writing a book is much more than putting words on paper. It’s about putting yourself in the front line and sharing your most vulnerable moments, as well as your deepest thoughts. That might sound like a simple thing to do, but in reality, it brings up fear and people get stuck. I love working with my clients to overcome fear—to understand what lies underneath it so they can move on to write the next chapter and complete their book. I also love the process of honing the idea and finding the message they want to share with the world. I enjoy helping them find the essence of their desire to write a book.
NJMOM: What is your background in your business expertise?
Ally: I’m a self-made #1 best-selling author. I have over seven years of trial and error experience (which is the best way to learn anything), and I use it to guide my clients. I bring real practices, not theory. I teach what I know from personal experience. More than that, for many years, I worked with hundreds of women as an online community manager. This job was about supporting them during their pregnancy while getting them ready to give birth.I bring this experience to my publishing business while supporting women who are getting ready to give birth to their books.
NJMOM: What are you most proud of in your career?
Ally: Doing what I do, I still wake up every morning pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. The fact that I, a girl who grew up in a tiny rural community in Israel, help women fulfill their dream of writing and publishing a book makes me super proud. I’m also proud that I was able to take my passion for books and use it to help many other women make a difference and spread their light.
NJMOM: What is something few people know about you?
Ally: I’m a non-religious spiritual person and self-development junkie. I believe that we were put on this planet in human form in order to grow and improve ourselves so we can become better people and make this world a better place. Over the past 10 years, I’ve been studying the connection between our emotions and our inability to move forward in life. I practice emotional release (crying, laughing, getting mad, etc.) to allow me to grow my business and life. I even wrote a book about it that will be published soon (The Emotional Business IQ), and I’m about to launch a women’s support group teaching this to other women. Besides that, I know how to read Tarot cards and use it as a guidance tool for myself, my clients and for close friends.
NJMOM: What can we expect from you next year – personally and professionally?
Ally: Working with women is my passion, and therefore, I’ll be doing more and more events for women on top of helping women write and publish their books. My next big event is coming on November 7th, and it’s the 2nd Annual Unleash You Evening Event for Women. The topic this year is ‘Beyond Limitations,’ and I have four amazing panelists that will share their personal stories and wisdom to inspire and empower other women in the community. This is a fun event where women get together to support each other. I will also be launching a women’s support group soon, where I’ll be teaching the Emotional Woman’s IQ— a method I’ve developed to help women use their most powerful tool, their emotions, to grow their life and businesses.
NJMOM: What charitable cause are you most passionate about?
Ally: Everything that has to do with women and children. Whether it’s children with cancer or abuse survivors, that’s where my heart is.
NJMOM: Who is your role model? Why?
Ally: This is a very interesting question. Growing up, I didn’t consider anyone to be a role model. I grew up in a tiny community (a Kibbutz in Israel), and I don’t recall thinking about it or following anyone. Looking back, two people come to mind—Menachem Begin, who lead Israel to sign the Peace Treaty with Egypt, and Golda Meir, who was the first (and only) Israeli female prime minister. The lesson I learned from them is that everything is possible, it just takes courage and perseverance.
NJMOM: What is the best piece of advice your mom (or parent/role model) ever gave to you?
Ally: My mom told me that if someone has different opinions, it doesn’t mean they are stupid. This stuck with me and allowed me to love and get along with people who have different views than I do. She often said this about Menachem Begin, who was the leader of the “Likud”. This was the party my parents were opposed to.
Another advice came from my 11th-grade teacher, who basically told me I shouldn’t take responsibility for other people’s feelings. It was after I tried to break up with a boyfriend for the fifth time, and couldn’t because he told me leaving him will “ruin his life,” and I will be blamed for it. Although it took me years to fully understand that advice, this was a life-changing moment (so thank you, Asher, for being there for me—that conversation, sitting outside on the stairs, made me know you truly cared!).
NJMOM: Do you have a favorite quote you live by? Why is this quote so important to you?
Ally: This quote blew me away. It articulated what I was dealing with and working toward. It showed me that I’m not the only one dealing with a fear of success, which can be scarier than a fear of failure.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson
NJMOM: What are your favorite things to do in New Jersey with your family?
Ally: There are so many beautiful places in New Jersey. Woods, rivers and beaches—nature is all around us. This landscape is very different than the one I grew up with, which is drier and less green. As a family, we love going to the beach. Atlantic City’s beaches are beautiful, and my kids love the boardwalk. We also love the Alpine Boat Basin where my kids spend two weeks every summer at the Palisades Interstate Park summer camp in Alpine. his is also the place I go to when I need to relax and meditate.
NJMOM: What is the best part about being a mom for you?
Ally: Being a mom is a constant learning and self-improving process. I would never become a best-selling author if it weren’t for being a mom—I created my own inspiration, my children. The way I see it, being a mom is a healing process, and the more we heal ourselves, the better we are as a parent. Being a mom pushes you to confront old wounds (things that hurt or didn’t work out for you as a child) so your kids won’t face the same hurts.
NJMOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey?
Ally: There are so many, so let me give you some local ones: La Tabatiere Bakery in Closter – as a pastry chef, I appreciate tasty pastries and a good cup of coffee, which you can definitely find here; Veda in Tenafly—I love Indian food, and their buffet is fantastic; Ward’s 5 & 10 in Closter, which is my go-to store because you can find almost everything you need there, from art and crafts to kitchen tools to games; Nu Moda Salon in Closter, where I go to give my curls a cut…I found this place 12 years ago, when I moved to the country, and stuck with Niyal, my talented hairdresser, ever since; Emanuel Deli in Tenafly—it’s an Israeli grocery store where I go to buy the best pita bread and other fantastic Israeli and Kosher products; Dimora in Norwood, an Italian restaurant where I host my women’s events…such great food and a fun atmosphere; Dr. Stanley J Levenshus in Norwood, who is my chiropractor…stop looking for one and go see him, he heals both children and adults. I can go on and on, but these businesses are local, and I want all of you to know about them!
NJMOM: Where do you reside and vacation in New Jersey?
Ally: We’ve lived in Closter for the past 12 years since we moved to the US. Closter is a great little town which offers a variety of coffee shops and stores. We love going downtown to get ice cream or grabbing a cup of coffee and a pastry there. When my kids were younger, we used to hike near the Hudson River and go to the beach. We also like going to New York City and take historical tours. We live only 30 minutes away from NYC, so it is very convenient.
NJMOM: What advice might you have for a fellow NJMOMpreneur who is just starting out?
Ally: Make sure to find support because you’ll need it. Support can be a fellow mompreneur, a friend, a coach, a group. It doesn’t matter, as long as they get what you’re trying to do, encourage you during the hard times and celebrate your wins. Keep in mind that being a mompreneur is an emotional roller coaster, so let yourself feel down when things don’t work out the way you wanted them to. Make sure your support network is there to catch you and accept that this is part of the journey.
NJMOM: Anything else you’d like to tell moms in New Jersey?
Ally: Being a mom takes a lot. Although it is, by far, the most important job in the world, it is also a very isolated profession. Being a mom can be draining both emotionally and physically, so make sure to find the support you need. I highly recommend getting to know the “Hand in Hand Parenting” method. It kept me sane when my kids were young and made me the best mom I could ever be.