Pam Crombie wears many hats in her professional life. She runs Swan Framing & Gifts in Dartmouth, MA, works part-time as a Development Associate for Leadership SouthCoast, and also owns SouthCoast Business Advisors, where she assists startups and small businesses with operational support, cash flow optimization and accounting services. She’s been involved with EforAll South Coast since 2018, mentoring, teaching classes, and meeting with entrepreneurs, even when she’s not their mentor. 

What made you want to become a mentor?

I have always had a passion for volunteering and giving back. I was a Girl Scout throughout my grade school years and also was a volunteer firefighter in Swansea, MA, for nearly 20 years. I worked for a startup that helped launch other small businesses in Boston, and when I left that job and came back home to Swansea for another opportunity, I contacted EforAll South Coast to see how I could help. 

Can you give us some examples of the kinds of startups you have mentored with us?

Over the years, I have mentored many businesses, including a custom metal fabricator, a wig business, a female-led contracting business, a hot sauce company, 13 Stars (that just won first place at the Boston Hot Sauce Festival!), and most recently a permanent makeup entrepreneur.

What is your favorite part of being an EforAll mentor?

Being able to give back and share my knowledge with entrepreneurs. Many of the people coming through the program are parents that want to build a better future for their families, and it’s such a blessing to be able to help give them the building blocks to succeed.  

What do you think makes EforAll special?

Anyone can spend time searching the internet and potentially learn everything that EforAll teaches. But what makes EforAll special is the connection that is built between all the entrepreneurs in the program and their mentors as well. After finishing the program, the entrepreneurs now have a lifetime of support at their fingertips.

What advice would you have for entrepreneurs?

Running a business and being successful is hard, and it takes hard work and determination to succeed. Take every day as a new day, and don’t let small hiccups derail all your hard work. Never hesitate to pick up the phone and call a friend or a mentor for advice – we are all rooting for you to succeed! 

What are the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs face?

I don’t like to speak for other women, but the biggest challenge that my closest colleagues and I face is time management. It is so difficult to raise a family, maintain a home, likely maintain a full-time job and try to run a successful startup or side hustle. I’m a big fan of to-do lists and giving myself as much grace as possible – I have a small list of 2-3 things that MUST get done today and a bigger list of to-dos that would be awesome to get to. This way, I can focus on what is most important and feel extra accomplished when I get through a handful of my less important to-do items as well. 

Interested in becoming a mentor? Learn more here.