Many are often surprised to find out that I am a single mother of two. The youngest, Ms Maddison, (who by the way runs the place) has just turned 11. She’s a born fighter having arrived early at just 28 weeks. As only another mother could understand, running Women’s Network Australia between one hourly feeds was a challenging and exciting adventure.
Added to this already hectic time in my life, I also found myself suddenly single within a few weeks of her birth, so it just followed that Maddi’s cot took prime position at WNA’s Head Office. But the real point I am trying to make here is that there is no easy or lucky path to success – everyone has a story to tell and experiences to share on how they make it all work.
Strategies I’ve used to stay on track as a MumPreneur:
1. Forget the words ‘balancing work and family’ and start using the word ‘blending’. Balancing sounds like at any moment you’re about to take a big fall. Do whatever it takes to blend your family and your business. Both of my children have grown up with the office being an extension of their home. And if your clients don’t get it – get new clients.
2. Share your money. Hire a cleaner for at least 4 hours a week, get your lawn mowed and have your car cleaned monthly and work like a dog to ensure you never have to give up these extras. Hired help can provide justification and save your sanity on days when your life is falling apart and you’re questioning what on earth ever possibly made you think you could run a business. Yes – we all have bad days!
3. When hiring your staff for your business make sure they are kid-friendly and at least one has a background in childcare prior to their employment with you. This person’s skills will come in very handy for all sorts of sticky situations that arise in the workplace and with your life in general.
4. Don’t restrict yourself to the options used by others to manage kids and business. And have no guilt. I want my children to remember that their mum wasn’t always right, but she was never afraid and always willing to have a go.
5. Believe in yourself and think laterally. Surround yourself with extended family and friends who believe in you and your business idea, people who are like-minded and excited and willing to be part of your success. And always believe you are special enough for them to want to be involved and gain enjoyment from seeing you do really well.
I could go on but I won’t. It will all be in my book – Must write that one day!