10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM STARTING MY OWN BUSINESS.  KEEP READING FOR THE 6 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BEING SELF EMPLOYED.

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Are you thinking about starting your own business?  Or have recently started one.  This blog is about the key things I have learned from four years of being my own boss!

If someone had said to me at the end of 2007 when I first left the workforce to have my eldest child that I would start my own business in 8 years time; I would have laughed in their face and called them mad!

Yet here I am.  Three kids and twelve years later and I’m sitting in my home office looking out to the garden at the autumn leaves all over the grass and reflecting on why I love having my own business and what I’ve learnt.

Initially the business was almost forced on me, but I was a willing participant with a steep learning curve ahead of me.  That curve is still steep – but that’s part of the fun of always learning.

When my youngest child was 4, I returned to the work force into a sales and marketing role however for lots of different reasons, it didn’t work out.  It was partly due to child care.  I really needed something a bit more flexible.  So I set up on my own, found some clients who wanted to work with me and off I went.

It wasn’t all plain sailing but I can honestly say the ups and downs have made me grow as a person and therefore a business owner.

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TEN THINGS I WOULD TELL OTHER MUMS THINKING ABOUT STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS:

  1. YOUR BUSINESS WILL EVOLVE – be prepared for things to change. What your business starts out being and looking like is often not how it ends up once you been working IN your business for a while.  And this is totally fine.  Just be aware that it is likely to happen.

2. THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO LEARN – I love the phrase “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable’ because it is so important to get used to doing things that make you be brave. To overcome the challenges that owning a business can throw at you, you need to keep learning and growing as a person.

3. PUT SYSTEMS IN PLACE – to work productively and efficiently you need systems. Whether that’s a program for your accounting or a content planner and scheduler for your social media.  Systems will create ease in your business and stop you wasting precious time.

4. KNOW YOUR BRAND AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR – be clear on your brand style, fonts, colours, tone of voice and what message you are delivering to your niche audience.

5. SET LIMITS – know when to stop. Remember that one of the main reasons for having your own business is to have flexibility to be there for your children.  So set limits and stop when it is time to stop.  And put your phone in a drawer for key moments like dinner time and bed time.

6. DON’T COMPARE YOUR JOURNEY TO ANYONE ELSES – it’s so easy to fall into the trap of constant comparison. Trust that you are on your own journey, you are putting in the work, taking action every day and you will get there in your own time.

7. IGNORE THE MESS! – Seriously. As working mums, you need to prioritise your work over the housework when the kids are at school or daycare.  Walk right on by the toys on the floor, the dishes in the sink and the washing to hang and get in the office!

8. ASK FOR HELP – in both your professional and personal life, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need hubbie to pick up the slack, don’t expect him to be a mindreader, just ask.  If there is something you really cannot understand with your business then find someone who can help you.

9. NETWORK – most towns and cities offer working women free networking opportunities. Be brave and get yourself along to meet other inspiring business owners.  If you can’t physically get to networking events, then do it online.  Facebook has plenty of mums in business type groups where you can go for help and inspiration.

10. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS & IN YOUR BUSINESS – always be mindful of the fact that your business is an evolving pliable thing. You need to work ON your business as well as IN it.  This keeps you ahead of the game, planning for the next season or campaign and aware of changes in your industry.

six THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BEING SELF EMPLOYED.

Having my own business has brought me great joy as well as some frustrations.  On the whole, being self employed is a wonderful journey.  

6 FAB REASONS TO BE SELF EMPLOYED
  1. WORKING FROM HOME – I really enjoy being at home. I’m very good at ignoring the mess (although it does get me down on occasion) and I don’t miss the commute or the office politics one bit.  Being my own boss is fun!

2. FREEDOM – I have learnt to be fiercely protective of my work days but I love that if there is an occasion such as a girls birthday lunch or an important thing on at school; I CAN be there. The only person I have to ask is me!

3. BEING THERE FOR THE KIDS – Following on from the above point, I feel like I am there for my children. I can actively participate in their schooling, I do school drop offs and am there after school for the obligatory snacking before whatever activities are scheduled for that day.

4. CARVING MY OWN FUTURE – I LOVE the idea that I am in charge of my own future and it is up to me to create the life that I want. 

5. BEING ENTREPRENEURIAL – it makes me feel like I’m playing at being a grown up sometimes, however I really like that I feel entrepreneurial. I’m my own boss, in charge of my own business and I can take it in whatever direction I want to to scale it and create revenue streams.  This is an exciting prospect!!

6. A SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT – I don’t need a boss telling me I’ve done a project well or I’ve met my KPIs for last month. I get a real sense of achievement in creating my business and working hard to make it a success.  Plus my kids are seeing me work hard for what I want to achieve and not limiting myself to what is expected.  We CAN be and do whatever we set our hearts on if we are prepared to put in the work.

Enjoy your own business journey!  Think about why you love or would love having your own business and what it would mean to you and your family.

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