Your Name and Age: Suzannah Butcher, 46
Tell us about your family: I have two lovely children who I finally conceived after 8 years of fertility treatments. My son is 14 and my daughter is 12. I’ve been married to my husband Colin for 18 years. In addition to this, we have border collie named Skylar (my fur baby) and 2 cats.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
Over the years I’ve tried a few different businesses. I started out with a direct sales business, which I still do as an online side hustle. Since then I’ve run a few online ventures, including eCommerce businesses, online memberships and directories. Last year I had a bit of a “am I doing the right thing?” moment. I’d been feeling low for a few months and was struggling to keep up with the demands of life and running a business.
At the time I was running a membership for women in business, which I absolutely loved, but I was over-delivering on everything. This left me completely drained and I felt like my creativity had been crushed because I had no time to do anything other than write training courses.
Whilst I loved engaging with and supporting the women in my community, I had a niggling feeling that there was something missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I knew I was capable of more…something more fulfilling, where I could be completely ‘me’ and support others in the process.
The idea for Calmpreneur came to me when I was sat in bed one Friday morning in the summer holidays. I’d been crying that past week because I didn’t know what to do about my business moving forward and didn’t want to let anyone down.
It was a pivotal moment. I was making some notes on my phone about mental health and business ideas and asked the Universe for inspiration. The idea just popped into my mind.
When did you launch?
Slowly! September 2018 was when I announced I was changing direction. I was well aware of my mental wellbeing and didn’t want to have a big launch, so Calmpreneur has grown gently and organically.
How did you get started?
I set up the social media accounts, designed a logo with the help of my techy husband and put a website up. There were no proper plans in place long-term (not that I advocate this – it was just the way it happened).
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business
Doing what I want each day! Obviously there are some things which I don’t particularly enjoy (ahem, accounts) but I love having autonomy to be creative and flexible. Self-discipline is very important though.
What’s the thing you least enjoy about running your own business
The *shoulds*. There is so much advice online, so I try and stick to one or two people who I respect and admire and follow only their advice. Otherwise you just end up trying to do and be everything to everyone and that’s just not sustainable.
What has worked well about your business?
Simply being honest about mental health has been massive for me.
Before I felt like I wasn’t professional if I ever admitted to feeling anxious or struggling with my mental health so I would hide it, which made me feel like I was being fake.
I’m getting so much positive feedback from people who have joined my Facebook group or visited the website and that reinforces that I’m doing the right thing.
What’s been your biggest business mistake? How did you deal with it?
It was a few years ago now. I got drawn into investing in a network marketing opportunity. It was one if those FOMO moments. Good product, good money… but it felt like the devil had stolen my soul.
I dealt with it by leaving with my tail between my legs. I felt embarrassed that I’d shared it with my friends and family but hopefully they’ve forgotten about it now!
How do you fit in work with the family? Is your partner supportive of your business?
It’s much easier now both of my children are at secondary school, as I can work when they’re at school. I tend not to work in the evenings or weekends.
My husband is very supportive as he’s also in business and runs a website development/design business. He’s well aware of the daily challenges and highs and lows of entrepreneurship.
Are you working towards a financial goal for your business?
Yes. Although I’ve never been driven by money alone, I would like complete financial freedom for myself and my children. This means being mortgage free, zero debt and having investments.
Would you ever give up your business to do something else?
I wouldn’t give it up, I think I’ll still be going way into retirement if I’m lucky enough to live that long. However, I would study part-time – I love learning.
Do you have an exit strategy?
No and I won’t be making one because I have unwavering faith that I will get to where I want to be.
Have you had your ‘I’ve made it’ moment? Tell us about it. If not when do you think it will come
It hasn’t come yet but there are stirrings and rumblings that it will be here within the next couple of years.
Where do you hope to be in five years time?
My life now is amazing, I’m very lucky.
I live near the sea, walk a lot in nature, have the family I always yearned for and do something I love. So like this but with more financial security please!
I’d also like to have written a book about my journey.
Your website link: www.calmpreneur.com
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