Resilient Australian Mumpreneurs
Article Part 1
Everyone’s heard the name ‘Entrepreneur’. These people take on financial – among other – risks in the hopes of starting their own business. But not many will have heard of a ‘Mumpreneur’. If you haven’t worked it out, a Mumpreneur is a woman that juggles parenting with starting a business.
To best understand how they do what they do, you go direct to the source. We spoke with a few Mumpreneurs from the Women as Entrepreneurs community who are eager to pass on the knowledge.
Our first chat was with the Founder and CEO of Launch Pod, Natalie Goldman. Launch Pod works side-by-side with its female clients to help them start their own businesses.
These are women aged between 35 and 50, and can come from a range of backgrounds – from stay-at-home mums to corporate workers. However, starting your own business at any point in life is hard enough, but adding family obligations can make it near-impossible.
As a mother of two children herself, Natalie intimately knows the struggles these women face. “I love the challenge of doing things I never thought I would do before.” Natalie said. “It pushes me out of my comfort zone daily and I feel so much more alive.” It wasn’t always easy, but with experience in the field, she is able to guide her clients through the initial trials, and help provide a stable footing for their businesses.
The biggest challenge is time, not only for her clients to learn, but for Natalie to sustain. They need to learn to coordinate between commitments in their current jobs, family obligations, and their business aspirations. “It requires long hours and lots of disciple – but I am totally fine with ALL of that.”
We couldn’t let Natalie go without getting a few more tips for women just starting out as a Mumpreneur.
- 1. Write a business plan, have clear goals, and a plan to get you there.
- 2. Know your limits. Don’t overstep your capabilities – but don’t limit through fear either.
- 3. The power of ‘No’. If it works with your kids, it will work with your job.
- 4. Seek and accept support. This can be for your business, at home, or both. Remember: superheroes aren’t real, so don’t expect to be one. And lastly,
- 5. Get a mentor.
Next, we spoke to Amber Daines. As the CEO of Bespoke Communications, Amber has harnessed her 18 years of media and PR sector experience to now work with CEOs, start-ups and business leaders master their media interview, PR strategy, crisis management and presentation skills.
Despite a busy family life – two rambunctious boys under seven – it was her work environment that Amber felt was “unhealthy”. “I had been an employee for a decade…I was burnt out of working for other people.” Not only is she now able to say she loves what she is doing, Amber also loves the flexibility of her working schedule. She spoke cheerfully of being able to “attend events at my older son’s school in the day”, while “also being able to action new ideas faster than if I was in a large corporate or traditional agency.” Like all things, however, it is not always easy.
Amber also spoke candidly about the biggest challenges she faces. “Cash flow and the lack of back-up plans to keep the business and family running when the kids, or even when you, are sick.” Always learning from her experiences, Amber stated the most important thing she has learned was “Hire slowly, fire quickly. That goes for staff, suppliers, and clients.” On top of this, she was even kind enough to give us her top three tips for women that are just starting out as Mumpreneurs.
- 1. Take time to work out your ‘why’ before you even do a business plan. It will be your saving grace when you have to make the big decisions and get through the tougher days.
- 2. Fail fast and learn from it.
- 3. Find a good team of friends or business mentors you can bounce ideas off, even informally, as it’s a lonely business being an entrepreneur. “Finding that trusted peer group you can be vulnerable with is really a game changer. I have a business coach and mentors too.”
Despite continually working hard to grow her business year on year and with a new book and video series due to launch next month, she was also forthcoming about what she would have done differently. “Be more definitive on the types of clients and work I wanted to attract.”
Our third interview was with Susan J. Sohn. Susan is the Founder of Get Real Live, a business – or community – that connects people on several platforms. She is also in the process of completing her first book ‘The Challenges 21st Century Women Face’.
As a mother of three children, Susan started her business through blogging, and while it was slow to begin, she persevered. Susan then started hosting Live Events, “pulling people and community together to celebrate one another and to build community.” She continued onto radio; all the while raising a young family.
After doing all this, Susan stated what she most enjoyed about running her own business was: “I like the fact that this is something I’ve built.” Susan’s story is much like all the rest, and she is a great example of a Mumpreneur.
Our last interview of this session was with Carol Brunswick, CEO of AbdoMend. AbdoMend helps those afflicted with pain, tearing, infection, and lack of mobility from post-abdominal surgery. As a single mother of two following the sudden and tragic death of her husband, Carol took the leap into the world of entrepreneurship.
Her part-time role quickly became full-time, as her products received overwhelming popularity. The “business grew and grew. I love the satisfaction of making a difference to other mums and women whilst still having the freedom to be a hands-on full-time mum.”This multi-tasking can sometimes be a challenge, and Mumpreneurs need to quickly learn to “focus on one task at a time”, and learning to “delegate and build an online profile.”
While grateful of a business course that helped her build strong business foundations, create business plans and goals, she does wish she had invested her time and money in drawing up a business plan “right at the very beginning”. This would have given her “clarity and understanding” of her business, and would have allowed her to make better “decision and less mistakes.”
These four Mumpreneurs are among many of the Women as Entrepreneurs community operating in Australia. With each year, more women are taking on parenting and starting their own businesses. JOIN US TODAY! More interviews to come… Share this on Twitter via @We_Sydney #Mumpreneurs #WaE & Like us on Facebook