I’m Lesley Simpson-Gray, aged 39 and I run Business Services Guide.com, an on-line directory for local, recommended businesses.
I’m married with 2 children aged 10 and 5. We bought the business to save my sanity after 7 years of being a stay at home mum. Adopting our daughter had forced me to shelve my plans to revive my marketing career. Running my own website would allow me to be my own boss while I looked after the house and family. What were we thinking!?
I find it hardest in the daytimes, when I miss my circle of friends. It makes it harder to ask them for help to cover emergencies like when my daughter was sick the night before my first networking lunch. She was fine the morning after, but it would have been easier to cancel my lunch while she was off school. I hadn’t realised how resilient and resourceful you have to be to juggle motherhood and business.
I take a lot of things for granted being married to an accountant. My husband handles my budgets and anything legal leaving me to get on with the areas I enjoy.
In the last year I’ve talked through my ideas with local business support groups. I’ve also got a focus group of clients who are trying my service free of charge in return for lots of feedback. I recently did an on-line course on in-bound marketing to bring my knowledge up to date. I try to find half an hour a day just to read blogs and Twitter links. This helps to shape my thinking and gives me some interesting conversation starters for networking meetings. I promote the business directory mainly through local schools putting my leaflets into book-bags or a link on parent-mail.
I get a buzz from using software to do new things on the website, but it can become a distraction when I get too involved. I use calendars, planners, anything which keeps me on top of the demands. I used to be fairly easy going with my time and my husband still is, so this often causes a bit of tension.
What do I find most difficult? It’s always a struggle to dash off and pick up the kids from school, leaving an important task unfinished. But it’s even harder to organise an entire day before I’ve turned on my pc.