A life less ordinary
Today it is the norm for women, and especially mums, to aspire to “have it all” – this means you will probably be hard pressed to find a mum who isn’t playing a whole host of roles as a matter of course in everyday life. From taxi driver to cleaner, cook to child-minder, PA to life coach, if you had to employ others to do the work of a mum within her family you would need a small army! Add to that paid work be it full time, part time or through self employment, and a small dollop of “me time” at the gym, socializing or whatever for sanity preservation, and it’s small wonder we are all feeling the pressure.
Mumpreneurs face similar challenges to other mums in juggling the demands of home and work but, in the early stages especially, the line between work and the rest of your life becomes so blurred it is almost imperceptible. There is no official start to your working day and no end of shift clock-off time, consequently it is easy to let your exciting new business idea take over every aspect of your life. Despite this being an entrepreneur is in some ways an obvious career choice for mums; self-employment allows flexibility, the holy grail for those seeking to balance work and earning potential with being there for their children. And yes, this sometimes means staggering bleary eyed to the computer in the early hours to get an hour in before the kids wake up, making calls and sending messages while you wait for swimming lessons to end, burning the midnight oil, and neglecting your ironing pile, but for most of us, that is a small price to pay.
Working for yourself can be lonely with no workplace banter or colleagues to bounce ideas off – but there is no reason it has to be! I started Networking Mummies, to go some way towards creating the support network you have within a “normal” working environment. So next time you see a group of mums chatting animatedly in Costa Coffee think twice – they might be discussing marketing strategies and the issues around patents as well as discussing X factor and the latest anecdotes about their children!
Having your own business is an immensely liberating experience after being in the traditional role of an employee – you are in control; your decisions determine the direction your business takes, and every minute of work and inspirational idea you have benefits you very directly. In simple terms you get out what you put in – not always the case as an employee! You can build your business and your profits while still being around for nativity plays, illness and school pick-ups. For me it’s an exciting balance of work and home that feels like an adventure our whole family is going on together!
So what is the surprising truth about mumpreneurs? I think it’s the idea that any mum can be one! It may seem too risky, too daunting, too difficult but is it really? If you have a dream, or a great idea you are passionate about and the support of those around you, your possibilities are endless! It’s true that you will need to be determined, work hard and think creatively to get your business to work, but these are things we can all do if we are motivated by the desire for a business to succeed.
Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back – if you want to work for yourself or have a great idea that you want to turn into a business make 2011 the year you become a mumpreneur!
Images by McClure Humphries Photography and are copyright of ©Networking Mummies 2010.
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