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Mastering the Art of Mumpreneur

Running my own business has been one of the most rewarding but challenging experiences of my life!  It fulfils a lifelong dream I have had to work for myself and be master of my own destiny.  Working from home gives me the flexibility to work hours that suit me and the opportunity to work in with our crazy family life.  BUT… it is not for the faint of heart!  The challenges sometimes seem insurmountable and on occasion my confidence wavers and I am left wondering if I can do this.  Here are some of my tips for surviving the journey.

Be Confident

I have a fundamental belief that I can do anything, it all comes down to how much work I am prepared to put in to achieve a goal.  As a small business owner you need to have an unbreakable belief in your ability to make it work.  Self-doubt is corrosive and can very quickly undermine your energy levels whereas positive thinking breeds positive energy.  Surround yourself with avid supporters and energetic, like-minded individuals who will encourage you along your start-up journey.

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Adjusting to Life – Working from Home

Have you ever tried to work on your business with a toddler at your feet, a partner off at work and an ever growing pile of emails and missed telephone calls?  Welcome to my day and that of many other mumpreneures around.

When I was first pregnant I went to great lengths setting up my office to make sure that it was “child friendly”.  Naively I had thought that by bringing my baby into a world where I work from home, she would adjust and understand that quiet is needed when I am on the telephone and patience is required when I need to answer an urgent email.  Now I just look back and laugh! What was I thinking?

My daughter is 2.5 years now; and realistically it took me almost 20 months to figure out how to wear all 3 of my hats and not feel like I was letting anyone down.

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The 3 Questions Mumpreneurs Must Ask Themselves

We all know that there are some extraordinary women in this world. Women who not only raise a family and juggle the household, but create, kickstart and grow a successful business. What else do we know? Well there is a new word in the English language to describe such a person and that is “Mumpreneur”.

The Oxford dictionary explains it as “a woman who sets up and runs her own business in addition to caring for her young child or children”. To me that sounds so beige. Too compartmentalized. Being a mumpreneur is a serious commitment, where life and business simultaneously flow together. I believe mums can have a financially successful business that is also personally fulfilling while nurturing a family as well. They just need to know the steps and have the courage to do it.

If you are about to jump into this world or already have jumped, there are 3 important questions you need to ask yourself in order to create your success:

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Finding a balance between running your business and being a new mum

My husband and I run multiple ecommerce businesses, and as such, have everything from “mature” sites to brand new online stores that we’ve launched quite recently. It’s been quite a journey for us over the years, but last year we also decided that maybe it was time to throw a baby into the mix!

Of course, we had some idea that our life would change completely, everyone knows that right? But when our baby boy was born in May 2015, I really didn’t understand just how completely and utterly dependent he is on us. Much like our younger businesses really.

Fortunately, we spent the nine months of pregnancy relatively wisely. In hindsight, there was always more we could have done, but we spent much of that time focused more on developing systems and building our team than “chasing the next big thing”. This meant training people to do our customer support, shipping, web development, and marketing, so that we would be able to spend our limited time steering the ship, instead of rowing the boat.

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Juggling motherhood and business

Like many corporate women who realised they couldn’t maintain their demanding career and be a mum, I set out to create my own business working from home. While I’ve always been the type of person who is very busy, highly organised and internally driven to succeed, it wasn’t long before I realised that working from home with a baby rarely goes to plan. And while I’d heard so many people say don’t try to do anything else except sleep and eat once the baby is here, it’s not so simple when you’re running your own business as there’s no one to pick up t he slack for you!

Over the last 2 years I’ve managed to build a good rhythm and while I’m by no means an expert, I’d like to share a few tips that have helped me work from home while being a mum:

1. Chunk out your day

I find that doing too many things at once can make me more inefficient and left feeling frazzled. I’ve learnt to chunk out my day so that I’m able to focus on one task at a time and complete it to a higher level rather than rushing through millions of things and making errors along the way. For example, I might allocate 2 hours to paying invoices, 1 hour to responding to customer emails and 2 hours to drafting up and scheduling newsletters etc. I will ignore any new emails that come through during times that I haven’t allocated to checking/responding to emails.

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How Your Entrepneurial Journey Can Empower Your Children From an Early Stage

Setting on this start-up journey after the birth of second child meant dealing with constant worries about my parenting commitment, business challenges like any other parent. There are many articles written about how parenthood can help you with entreprenuership or make you an efficient employee, but there wasn’t much satisfactory information about reverse effect on our kids.

Guess, I didn’t have to wait long to find out. Recently I met with few mothers who run their own business and got the opportunity to discuss the impact of their business journey on their family / children. So this article is a summary of these conversations and my personal experience with my little ones.

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MummaToo

I never envisioned being a mother.  I had dedicated 7 years of my life to creating a successful business and didn’t think I had room for being a mother and a businesswoman because of the demand on my time for both of them.

The business I own is not a very baby friendly business, even though it is run from home.  It is a dog boarding facility so it isn’t a place a baby can crawl around safely and because it is like a dog park, in that dogs run around with other dogs, the concentration level whilst at work has to be 100% – Suffice to say, for me, having both world of career woman and mother was not in my mind’s grasp.

And as I write this, I am staring at my beautiful almost 7 month old son and have found out I am also 12 weeks pregnant with the second one.   How did this happen?  Well, the stories are true … if you find the right person, things change and things sure did change.  Not only will I have two babies under 2 by November this year, I also have two stepchildren, which are my partners.  Going from zero children to four within the space of 3 years!

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Law and Disorder – 4 Business Tips From a Successful Lawyer-Mum

I started my legal practice when my son was six months old. That was nearly two years ago. The time between then and now has been a roller coaster of excitement, stress, joy, fear, exhilaration, frustration and absolute fulfilment. Whilst every day continues to hold new lessons for me, here’s what I have to share so far with those who are thinking about, or trying to, combine parenthood with running a business.

1. Be a proud parent

Setting up a new business with a breast-fed baby in tow meant that I didn’t really have a choice but to include my son in the planning process. This meant bringing him along to meetings with the likes of accountants, software providers and web designers. One such meeting was with four men, none of whom batted an eyelid when I chose to breast feed my son partway through.

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Top 5 Tips to Juggle Parenthood and Business

Back in Nov 2013 when I had just finished 2 years of dedicated research and effort developing Smart Cleanse and was ready to launch it onto the market, I found out that I had a new project on the horizon. A baby! Something I have of course always wanted, but in my later 30’s I resided to the fact that I was now a career woman or Entrepreneur.

Becoming a Mumpreneur at this stage of the game was not something I predicted at all. Even though it was definitely tricky timing career wise with the huge commitment I had made with Smart Cleanse, without a doubt my little 8 month old Leo is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

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As a single mum CEO – I couldn’t do it without an Au-Pair

I was living in Asia when both of my children (now six and seven) were born. At this time, I had help from a wonderful live-in nanny, which was not considered a luxury in the Singaporean culture.

When I moved back to Australia following my divorce in 2010, I realised I needed this help at home if I were to be a successful CEO and mother to my children.

For less than $300.00 per week, my Au Pair looks after my children from Monday morning to Friday afternoon, at which point I take off my CEO hat, switch off my computer and am with them as ‘Mum’.

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