Interview with Malin Lankinen, founder of Tutom Parenting

Malin Lankinen is founder of Tutom Parenting, she provides online parenting courses and coaching to parents across the world. Here’s her story.

What’s your career background?

Before starting my business, I traveled the world and amongst other things worked in Australia and Indonesia as a scuba diving guide and at amusement parks. So, I had no prior knowledge about doing business before I started.

How did your career change after having children?

My career changed quite drastically since they are the main reason, I do what I do. Everything I do springs from the desire to be the best mother I can be and sharing that knowledge with others is even better.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

I studied psychology before my children were even thought of. When I became pregnant with my first son, I became more interested in the relationship with children and their development and chose to learn more about it and took more classes about it.

During this time, I realized the knowledge derived from studies and research wasn’t being used as widely among parents as it could. That’s why I decided to deliver the ideas and scientific knowledge in a clear and understandable way to parents around the world. 

How did you move from idea to actual business?

To be honest, I was not prepared and hadn’t the slightest clue what I was signing myself up for. I registered a business, and somehow with much trial and errors and YouTube tutorials, I managed to get a website up and, in some miraculous way, got my first client a few days later.

What’s your USP?

First of all, I always get to the core of a behaviorsince only correcting a child’s behavior doesn’t solve the real issue. Only correcting a problematic behavior most often shows up as a different behavior and doesn’t help the child or the parents. 

Secondly, I approach my clients’ situations individually and holistically. Parenting isn’t an isolated event in life. It’s affected by work, other relationships, and many other factors. This needs to be taken into account.

There are so many mothers knowing how they want to parent, and they know many strategies to do so but they can’t keep it due to stress and frustration. When this is the case, we need to find the cause of the frustration and stress before continuing with the parenting.

There is no “one size fits all solution” to parenting, and only pointing out what’s wrong in one’s parenting isn’t sustainable. 

And thirdly, compared to many of the methods, programs, and opinions found on the internet, what I do is based on science.

Who’s your target audience?

Mothers with children ranging from 2 to 12 with a wish to parent without harsh methods, yelling, and punishment.

How do you spread the word about what you do?

Through social media, Google Ads, SEO, and the word of mouth.

What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?

It feels like I’ve tried most things, but the best thing I’ve done so far is to realize my weaknesses, and to be fair, I’m an expert in psychology and parenting, not a marketing guru. So, outsourcing the marketing part has had a great impact.

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

My own fear of failure. Though studying psychology, I’m not free of the fear of failure and I am still being a perfectionist. This is something I’ve noticed is problematic to many women in business (and outside of business as well). It’s easy to procrastinate and not feel safe enough due to that fear.

And your proudest moment so far?

When I got my first heartwarming feedback from a client that managed to turn around her family life with a completely new mindset and perspective.

Her transformation, happiness, and gratefulness for her new family life gave proof that my work paid off not only for me, but it was also life-altering for others. It was very powerful and inspiring. 

Why is work so important to you?

It’s important for me to do something meaningful in life, and the feeling when getting feedback from a mom who feels in peace and control in her parenting role is priceless. 

Who inspires you?

My children, of course, because of what I do. But generally, people who look at things from a different perspective, think outside the box and aren’t afraid to go for their own ideas and dreams inspire me greatly. 

How do you balance your work with your family?

Growing up, my father worked a lot and was mostly absent, physically, and mentally. I’ve always known I don’t want to walk in his footsteps, so my children always have priority.

I try to set some time off for them to have my attention every day fully. I never want my work to consume me; it’s supposed to lift and complete me.

What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?

First, join a mastermind or a group of likeminded people in business where you can get and give support, brainstorm, and challenge yourself and others.

Second, realize your limits and outsource those areas, so you keep developing and don’t get stuck. 

Third, don’t let you be your downfall. You’re the one judging yourself the hardest. Most people new in business suffer from imposter syndrome, procrastination, self-doubt, or similar. Find a way to get over it so you can focus on your business.

Find out more about Tutom Parenting.