After the Profit

From store manager to owner: How one single mom made it

5 lessons for single mom entrepreneurs
5 lessons for single mom entrepreneurs

Juggling two jobs can be tough, but working two jobs and then going home to a third is even more difficult. Working this extra "shift" is a routine Tami Forbes knows all too well as a single, working mom.

Forbes began working as the store manager for a struggling Key West, Florida, pie business shortly after filing for divorce from her ex-husband. She was simultaneously working long shifts at a bar.

"Trying to rebuild a life on a single income in this town was incredibly difficult. I was very frequently picking which bill I could pay," she said.

Not only was Forbes faced with the dilemma of how to pay bills. She was also searching for answers on how she was going to pay for her cesarean section in order to deliver her baby — a procedure that can cost thousands of dollars if uninsured, as she was.

Luckily, Forbes' supervisors at the time brought in someone to help.

Carolyn DeVito
Women in business need to break THIS cycle

Serial entrepreneur and host of CNBC's "The Profit," Marcus Lemonis turned around Key West Key Lime Pie Co.'s production process and upgraded the pie recipe to include all natural ingredients. Lemonis not only invested in the business. Impressed with Forbes' attitude and work ethic, he also offered financial support to help with her maternity leave.

Lemonis increased Forbes' salary and appointed her to a full-time position at Key Lime Pie. Last year, after even more hard word, he gave Forbes a 25 percent stake in the company.

"When the show came to town, and I was put on it, I was working two jobs. I was humongously pregnant and suffering both health concerns and horrible financial concerns," Forbes said. "When Marcus came to me and said, 'What are you going to do?' I smiled and said, 'Whatever I have to.'"

When Forbes moved to Key West nearly 16 years ago, she worked as a pedicab driver and never envisioned herself leading a national business. She's grateful for how far she's come.

"I think that the feeling that you deserve your success is something that everybody should have," she said. "And I think, because single moms tend to be the people that think of themselves last and the least, they are definitely at the top of the list of people that should feel that and be there."

Skinnygirl founder Bethenny Frankel attends the Skinnygirl Cocktails Launch Party at 620 Loft & Garden on February 10, 2015 in New York City.
One multimillionaire's advice on overcoming obstacles

Forbes has been spreading that message to young women and other aspiring female entrepreneurs. She was recently the keynote speaker at the Women's Leadership Forum in Anchorage, Alaska.

Forbes said she told young women in business to "work it like they own it" and "maybe one day, [they] will."

And for working moms, Forbes said her advice would be to put family first.

"Your business may succeed. And it may fail," she said. "But your family is your one thing that's never going anywhere."

Are you an entrepreneur? Tune in to "The Profit" with Marcus Lemonis on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET. Only on CNBC.