Short-term sacrifices have started paying off for mompreneur Courtney Jacobs.
Time has been the biggest concession for the wife, mom of two and owner of IDR Agency as she launched her Biloxi-based insurance firm.
“Two years in, I have figured out how to obtain a healthy balance, but prior, it was hard,” Jacobs admits. “When working hard to build your business from scratch, every second counts.”
Life since starting IDR has been “hectic” and “nonstop,” but Jacobs says she wouldn’t change a thing. Above all, she’s determined to show her children and future grandchildren that they aren’t limited by their environment or societal pressures.
“We can be and do whatever we choose to,” she says. “It just takes work and strategy.”
Juggling various life roles also requires consistent support, which Jacobs has in her husband, Bryan.
“He picks up a lot of the pieces when I cannot be in multiple places at one time,” she says. “We make an amazing team.”
LIVING THE GOLDEN RULE
Personally and professionally, Jacobs’s life philosophy has served her well: Be a good person, and treat others how you would want to be treated. Insurance can be “confusing” and “foreign,” she says, so her aim is to make it accessible and understandable.
“There is a need for good people with honest practices in the industry, and I figured why not me?” she says. “I have always wanted to help people, so I am here to help with their insurance needs and questions.”
Before opening IDR, Jacobs worked in financial services in several roles. She also remains a part-time member of the Air National Guard with 11.5 years of service to date. A genuine love of people underpins everything she does.
“I sincerely care; this is what makes my business different,” Jacobs says. “My family is my ‘why,’ and I will continue to make them proud.”
First and foremost, Jacobs says, she is a wife and mother — and she appreciates the gravity of those roles.
“There are two little beings that think the world of me no matter my flaws or shortcomings, and I am the mirror they see life through,” she says. “It brings me much joy to witness their learning and innocence.”
What kind of example does she strive to reflect for Carsyn, 6 and Bryan Jr. 3? “Get that degree. Start your business. Learn that trade. Do not be afraid to do what makes you happy.”
“My dreams are for them to accomplish their biggest dreams,” Jacobs says. “Mommy and daddy work hard now to make whatever their hearts desire in the future possible.”
Jacobs shares experiences and advice with good friend Natasha Pickett, who has been in her shoes raising a little boy and girl who are now young adults. Pickett, who became friends with the fellow mom through a business proposal, admires how Jacobs plans quality time with her children.
“Even with her busy schedule, she makes sure that they have fun and entertaining mommy time every day,” Pickett says.
As a parent and person in general, Pickett adds, her friend has high expectations, sets boundaries, has clear standards and is affectionate, flexible and nurturing.
“Overall Courtney is an amazing friend and business model and an outstanding mom,” she adds.
THE JOYS OF MOTHERHOOD
Jacobs pours love into her children — constantly telling them that they are important, smart and capable of anything. She deems herself a stern parent when it comes to academics and respect, but she also embraces a healthy measure of fun and silliness. Whether they’re molding Playdough, coloring or blowing bubbles outside, the children enjoy all sorts of activities.
“Super girly” Carsyn is drawn to bows, dresses and bracelets and loves to sing and dance.
“Her attitude and personality mirror mine,” Jacobs says. “My husband often says we are twins.”
Bryan Jr. is laid back and quiet at times like his dad, Jacobs says, “but then he has a side that is wide open and ready to take on the world. He is fearless!”
Both are fun-in-the-sun kids who delight in the beach and the water. Some of the family’s other favorite pastimes are reading together and playing games.
“The four of us mesh well together and just love spending time with each other,” Jacobs says.
One aspect of parenthood that took Jacobs by surprise was its unpredictability. Moms and dads go into every day praying their children are protected, but ultimately, their control is limited.
“All you can do is try to steer them to make good decisions and keep their faith at all times,” she says.
It’s natural for moms to worry that they can’t be a good parent and have a fulfilling career, too, but Jacobs is living proof that a woman doesn’t have to choose. To have the best of both worlds, she advises, “find a good support system and GO!”
“Remember your ‘why,’” she says, “and everything else will fall in line.”