Welcome to the final story in our "Diverge" series, where we explore the journey of four Rochester entrepreneurs who left long careers and took significant risks to pursue their entrepreneurial passions. This week we tell the story of Becky Montpetit, former Director and Pastor of the Missions and Outreach Department at Autumn Ridge Church who launched Rochester MN Moms Blog.
This series was made possible through the generous support of Rochester Home Infusion, another female owned business in Rochester, Minn. and the only in-home infusion provider in southeastern Minnesota.
“I’ve never doubted for one minute what I have been doing. It has been incredibly fulfilling. It has been hard and challenging in ways that have changed me as a person and helped me grow into the woman entrepreneur that I never knew I wanted to be,” explained Becky Montpetit, Founder of Rochester MN Moms Blog.
Montpetit, a Rochester native, developed expertise in cross-cultural communications and community development early on, which helped steamroll her to where she is today. The groundwork was laid during her studies at Bethel University in Saint Paul, where she majored in sociocultural studies with a focus in anthropology.
“Even to this day, I don’t really know what that means,” Montpetit joked. “But what it did mean is that I had a lot of training in conveying concepts and communicating in different cultures.”
After college, she returned to Rochester and worked for twelve years in the local Missions and Outreach Department at Autumn Ridge Church, playing a variety of roles from Director to Pastor of that department. While at Autumn Ridge, she also worked internationally, performing humanitarian and cultural mission services for the church.
“In that time, I learned a lot of skills on how to effectively communicate with different populations, different sections of the community, different cross-cultural populations,” Montpetit explained.
While she enjoyed her work with Autumn Ridge Church, especially the connection she had to the community, everything changed when Montpetit and her husband AJ had their first child.
“I realized that a lot of the responsibilities of that job were not aligning with how I was choosing to be a mother to my child,” she explained.
To re-establish that link with the community and reorient with her family goals, Montpetit launched Rochester MN Moms Blog two years ago as her first entrepreneurial endeavor. Rochester MN Moms Blog serves as a resource for parents- primarily mothers- in southeast Minnesota by publishing parenting articles and community guides. The blog also hosts events for Rochester mothers and brings businesses to their readers who “fit within their lifestyle and the context of their growing family.”
Because this career change was such a divergence from her previous work, Montpetit said it was initially difficult to build up trust in the community.
“Asking people to trust you who don’t know you very well, don’t know your work ethic, don’t know your history, don’t know your past successes, conveying that was probably one of the biggest challenges that I had,” she explained.
Montpetit knew her passion and skill set were well suited to bring this resource to the parenting community of Rochester and persevered. Just two years later, the blog has over 8K followers on Facebook, regularly publishes digital resource guides and articles for parents in the community, and holds monthly events and family friendly activities.
Montpetit said she never doubted the decision to become an entrepreneur, but perhaps did not fully think it all through until several months into the process. She said her husband AJ, also an entrepreneur, loves risk and the learning opportunity that it provides.
“That sort of support system, you don’t really stop to think too much about what would happen if this didn’t work out,” she said.
For others looking to make a career change, Montpetit said to “look at what your passions are and where your passions lie.”
She explained that you can love your current career, but still might not be completely fulfilled. Adding one small piece can take your personal gratification with your job to the next level.
“Analyze what that might be for you. Analyze is there another thing that you can add to your career or responsibility, or maybe a side hustle,” she explained. “And who knows, your side hustle might turn into your full time entrepreneurial gig.”