I had a busy job working in London as an Investment Banker, and I must admit, my first nerves at leaving the stability of the job were short lived. On starting my first business, the London Dinner Club, I knew I’d made the right decision as it became a great success very quickly. I’d gained extensive networking skills whilst working in the City and this, together with a bit of confidence, I knew I could make it work.
Following the success of my first business, I decided recently to set up another, City Networking Events. Juggling this whilst still maintaining my goal of freeing up more time to spend with my children has been tricky, but for other mums out there who are thinking of doing the same, here are my top five tips:
Get an iPhone
I seem to live with my smartphone permanently attached to me. It is my lifeline and without it I simply would not be able to do what I do. Being flexible is key; whether that is to accommodate school runs or answer conference calls, responding to emails or making calls on the go is key to maintaining a good work-life balance.
Find good, reliable childcare
We run our businesses to spend more time with our children, but there will be occasions when you simply need to be somewhere else. For example, my networking events run in the evenings, so quite often, I need to put my children to bed and then call on my child minder to keep an eye on them while I go out to work. There will be other times too when you need to dash out to a last minute meeting, or something important crops up. Try not to rely on one babysitter, you will need five or six people you can call on.
I couldn’t do what I do without the love and support from my family and it is really important for the long journey ahead. When starting a business, your family will share your highs and lows so having their support on board will be the most important tool to your success.
When the kids are out at school, this is when I get most of my work done. The secret is to keep focused, write lists and set yourself achievable targets. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Prioritise the work which is most important and get as much done as you can.
Finally, my personal favourite is a good home shopping service – I’m the Queen of online shopping! From groceries to ordering kids clothing, Halloween outfits, amazon for books… This saves me no end of time, which I can then focus back on to getting my jobs done for the day!
Salima Manji is a mum of two from Fulham, West London, where she has just set up her new business City Networking Events. For more information please visit www.citynetworkingevents.com