Name of Business:Business Mums
Tell us about your family: I live in Northamptonshire and am married to Nick who is a lorry driver – works away from home part of the week and I have two wonderful children, Jack who is 9 and Tilly almost 5 – (that almost is very important because she doesn’t want to be 4 anymore because she’s a big girl now! Aren’t children wonderful)
My background was in banking managing call centres for a High Street Bank but not only had I become disillusioned and somewhat frustrated with some of the changes in service/procedure that I was having to manage the implementation of, but with a 2 hour commute each way, it wasn’t the sort of career that I could maintain and be the Mum that I wanted to be.
So in 2000 I walked away from all that and became a Mum-at-home and loved it initially, but over a period of a few years realised that very gradually my confidence has all but disappeared and if I was honest with myself, I wasn’t happy just being at home, I’d lost all sense of me – I was just Mum. I found myself missing the career that I had grown to dislike – surely that wasn’t right?
To cut a long story short I decided that I had to find something that I could do that would enable me to gradually get my confidence back, but still have the flexibility to be at home with the children because that was something I was not prepared to compromise on, I knew that working full time would not have made me happy either.
When did you launch?
I started my business working with Forever approximately 4 years ago and if I’m honest, didn’t really know if I was going to be able to do it, let’s face it I didn’t even have the confidence to pick up the phone and call a plumber – how pathetic!
How did you go about getting started?
A friend of my husband’s had first brought this concept of running a business from home to me, but I wasn’t really sure if it was for me, I had been a Bank Manager after all! My perception was completely wrong, I thought that I needed to be a sales person and out all the time doing demonstrations and things and that was my worst nightmare because I’m not very good at that sort of thing and I knew that it wouldn’t really be my cup of tea.
What I did do was start using some products and was completely blown away by the benefits I got with my asthma and allergies, which led to just a few of my family and friends being curious enough to also want to try them out and when they to got a benefit and started telling others, I thought to myself ‘I can do this!’ Thankfully I only needed to develop a group of approx 20 customer, which came from word of mouth recommendations.
What has worked well about your business?
The support that I received was crucial because that led be to getting my confidence back again at my own pace.
What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?
That’s easy me! My overwhelming sense of fear I found quite crippling at times, which I suppose really came from a fear of failure. When you are your own boss, there’s nothing to hide behind – if it doesn’t work it’s purely down to you.
I suppose I gradually changed my way of thinking, reading the right books and understanding how we can really hold ourselves back, I found hugely beneficial as well as mixing with successful people and learning from their experiences. I’ve since learnt that the only limitations we have are those that we choose to impose upon ourselves.
How do you fit in work with the family?
Amazingly well, I schedule everything in the diary that I need to with my children and work in the pockets of time that I have left, as well as taking off all the school holidays.
What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?
I would say go for it, you might just surprise yourself at what you can go on to achieve. Live your life they way that you want to – don’t live with regrets.
If you have a flexible working business opportunity, please explain briefly what you offer and how people find out more.
Since sharing my experience with people I have become amazed at the number of women out there who are feeling the way that I was and I passionately believe that so many women with a lot of experience and skills just get written off when they are not prepared to be as flexible as employers want them to be. A lot of people who are trying to put their children first end up working in jobs that they would rather not be doing, simply because it fits around their family commitments and unfortunately a lot of those Mums are not very happy. They start to believe that is all that they are worth now, which has a knock on effect with their confidence and self esteem and my mission in life is to help these Mums to start believing in themselves again and working with them helping them to build something for themselves that they can be proud of, that can help them to develop a professional career with all the perks of corporate life but on a part-time basis, working on their terms, in hours they choose and building a secure future for themselves and their families, as well as proving to their children that yes you can be a great Mum and be successful to! What better example can we give to our children.
Your website link: www.businessmums.org.uk