WHY DO YOU DO ALL THE THINGS YOU DO?
Because I love it! I would never do anything I wasn’t truly passionate about, so you can rest assured that everything you see I do I do wholeheartedly because I really believe in them. I am also a person who thrives under pressure, and my creative nature loves to have a project to get stuck into – I planned and organised my wedding when Aurora was a baby too and loved doing that. Why self-employment? Well there is nothing more that I wanted than to be a Mum, and I always knew I would stay at home with my children until they were in full time school. Working around them gives me the opportunity to do both, plus I retain complete creative control which is what I like. I am fortunate that my husband can support us but that has given me space and time to really focus on preparing projects to be the best I can make them. Looking forward long term, no one can make me redundant, there are no glass ceilings, and the sky is the limit in terms of earning potential. My life is in my hands.
HOW DO YOU FIT IT ALL IN?
I am super organised – I would not function without my to-do lists and diary! I also use my Blackberry when out and about so I can keep on top of things like replying to emails, so there’s less to do when I’m home. I’m pretty nifty at typing one handed whilst pushing a buggy, in fact most newsletter and blog articles are written whilst out walking! I also make sure everything is organised in the home, as I can’t work with chaos around me, things have to be tidy. I get up at 6 which usually gives me time to make a coffee and get a few little things sorted before the girls get up, and I have to admit I don’t get to bed as early as I’d like, but something has to give.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR ENERGY LEVELS UP?
I practice what I preach. I eat really well, take multivitamins and drink Aloe Vera gel, walk everywhere in the fresh air, drink green tea (I only have one cup of real coffee a day) for a pick me up when I need it. I make sure I chat to family and friends – I take Bella to regular toddler groups to get to socialise with other Mums. Above all I am happy with what I do; there’s nothing more draining than being unhappy.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER MUMS WHO WANT TO DO THE SAME?
Mums are perfect candidates for self-employment as they are adept at multitasking, having to be flexible, and ‘just get on with it’ even when exhausted. We depend on ourselves so much yet many women doubt their abilities when it comes to applying the same managerial skills to paid work as they do in the home and with children. Bringing up children is, albeit the most rewarding job in the world, also the most challenging. If you have the strength to be a mother then you will be able to work for yourself. Go for it!
- Network – there are mumpreneur type networking groups popping up all over the place, some of which welcome pre-school children.
- Use social media – it’s free marketing (for the most part), and you don’t have to leave the house!
- Talk to everyone you know to get feedback – make your friends and family part of your research and ideas team, even if they don’t realise it! They’ll also be handy when it comes to telling everyone about (read: advertising) your new business.
- Get into the habit of good business practices such as bookkeeping – a simple list of what you’ve spent against a list of money you’ve earned is a start, then put all receipts & invoices in a shoebox – tax returns aren’t a headache if you’re prepared.
- Do your shopping online – unless shopping is your ‘time out’ then the reasons this is useful are self-explanatory.
- Take time out – walk, get fresh air, spend time with family and friends, and have things you enjoy doing (and do them!) outside of work. Batteries don’t work unless they recharge.
- Avoid mummy guilt – spend quality time with the kids, then when you do have to work and they watch some TV or play by themselves, you know they’ve had your attention. Remember that they need to learn to amuse themselves anyway.
- Look after your health – If you’re going to be extremely busy (that’s Mums summed up even without work), you have to be able to keep up physically or you’ll get run down and ill, then you’re no good to anyone. Eat well, sleep well, and get some fresh air and exercise.
- Take pride in your appearance – it’s extremely confidence boosting to know you look good & look the part, so make yourself worth the effort and take pride in wearing clean clothes and a bit of makeup. And it’s amazing how little details like earrings, perfume, and high heels instantly make you look and feel more professional.