A bit over 7 years ago I entered the next stage of my life - parenthood. I was never one of those maternal clucky women, I just wanted to see what it was going to be like. Great reason to become a Mum lol... My first child Judd was a new challenge I had to learn how to manage. I didn't have a business when I had him so I actually got to experience a proper maternity leave for the first 10 months. OMG it was so boring! I very quickly realised my life was not going to be all about child rearing and needed adult stimulation, the ability to solve bigger problems and serve on a grander scale.
I returned to my day job after 10 months and loved it for a while. I once again had adult friends/colleagues and things to go to like social activities and people to assist through my management role within Specsavers. Our world was shook in March of 2010 when my husband pulled me out of my work to tell me he lost our Specsavers business overnight (one he was a franchise owner of, not the store i managed) due to a poor decision on his behalf. This was the biggest Blessing in disguise that could have happened to us now 6 years later looking in hindsight...
This rock bottom moment gave me the leverage to build a seven figure business from home within 4 years of starting it as a scrappy start up. The things I started doing as a result were:
- Take 100% responsibility for everything that happens to me and everything I make happen
- Remove all excuses in my life as to Why something can't be done. If I don't want to do something it's not that I can't, its simply that I don't want to and its not important to me.
- Step out of my comfort zone on a daily basis
- Grow so much on a personal level through the work I did on myself and gain courage and strength when things don't go as planned (which in business happens a lot)
- Become super resourceful and able to solve problems at lightning speed
- Triple my productivity and fine tune by organisational skills. I did not have an assistant up until 3 months ago!
- Enable my husband to quit his day job under 3 years of starting the business
- Become a professional speaker with a CSP worldwide known accreditation.
Just to name a few...
This blog is really about unravelling what I have done, sacrificed and committed to as a mumpreneur...
Lets start with the Sacrifices for the first 2 years mostly:
- I sacrificed a good 18-24 months at the start of the business doing 80+ hour long weeks juggling study, day job, being a mum, trying to launch 6-10 new ideas and get some income from the business which was worked on any hours I had outside of the day job...
- My social life and weekends - there were none. I also didn't go on a holiday for 2 years, which for those that know me is like 15 years in someone else's life. We travel every 3-6 months normally even when we were just in day jobs.
- My luxury spending. I remember crying to my husband that my mum was buying Judd's clothes and how I could not buy him even a little toy.
- My relationship with my husband was also put on hold while I grew he watched for a little while and then decided to grow with me. We are stronger than ever now!
- Many of my friendships that I had before I started in business if not all of them. People no longer got me and what I was doing. Some were intimidated, some were sceptical and others just not interested...
My commitments to success as a mumpreneur were:
- Networking twice a week as a minimum to build a new network of friends and colleagues that can relate to what I am doing and I can surround myself with those that stretch me and give me new ideas.
- Breastfeeding my 3 babies till they were 12 months old. I had a goal and followed through. I did not have any maternity leave with Mika or Xara, I did everything between breastfeeds: clients, networking, interstate travel, phone calls etc. For those of you that are curious how I did this full time when I travelled for business this is what I did. I expressed every single night 1 feed until I built it up to 20 feeds in the freezer. If I travelled less than 48 hours the baby stayed home and I would replenish the feeds on my return as I would be expressing while away. Funny stories with all the breast milk left behind sometimes (my Liquid Gold - I used to be so distraught realising that I left it in some fridge and had to start again)... If I travelled more than 48 hours baby and hubby came with me and I just popped in and out of commitments to feed her. It was crazy, it was tiring, it was a true commitment to my children that are super strong and healthy... Don't ask me how I did it, I can't even remember now even through its only been 4 months since I stopped with baby 3 - I kept saying to myself - Just 1 feed at a time....
- Acceptance of those helping me look after my kids. If I was to be great at what I do, I had to accept how my husband takes care of us all, how my mum helps us when we need her and how those that have our kids in care 3 times a week add to upbringing of my three little angels. I think they learn different things from everyone and I want them to have those experiences of different personalities.
- Taking lots of holidays with my family now that we are living our Ultimate Life. I work very hard and super long hours still, I travel more than ever before for business but my commitment is also to play hard, have lots of Just Family time so we take 3.5 months off a year together collectively and we have 40 weekends together as a family. I get a lot of one on one time or family time. The only difference is that when its ON for business its really ON!
- Loving all 3 of them as they would like to be loved. Judd loves to show me his footy cards and have challenges on the IPad as I am a pretty good gamer :) Mika loves to do her hair and mine too. She also loves shoes and to dress up - my kind of girl. Xara is still very little at 16 months but she does love to be hugged and cuddled being at this age. She also loves to give me things and play ball. All of them love One on One time, so I make that happen individually on weekends and our holidays we go out on Dates one on one.
So what have I done as a result of being a mumpreneur:
- So far have helped 120 other solopreneurs become published authors for the first time forever changing the way they see themselves and the results they achieve. The ripple is spreading far and wide.
- Grown a community of 20 000 around me through social media, my database and my offline network. People know me and constantly reach out for collaborations and interviews.
- I've written 7 books myself even though I didn't speak any English before I was 14...
- Have hosted, spoken at and attended over 1000 events in just 6 years!
- Was the Ausmumpreneur Finalist in Product Innovation in 2014.
I love the life we have now designed. It's not easy, its totally worth it. I now realise my business is my entertainment and when it feels like that you want to do it more and more. There is flow, systems, huge rewards, giving, sharing, serving and still moments when I feel I can't do this anymore, I am tired, I don't feel the passion. I have a good rest and wonder what drugs I was on when I have that little winge a couple of times a year.
My kids are beautiful, they make me richer (not poorer as people tend to say) they challenge me and show me so much love. They are not aware as yet what their mum is doing and how different it is from the norm. For them I am just their mama. We all get rewards for great results and their beliefs are so different to the beliefs I was raised with. I can't wait to see what they will be like as adults.
Mumpreneurship is a choice. Not everyone can do it or would want to. Would I have done it had I know what I had to go through now being where I am? Probably not, but it's better not to know and just to put one foot in front of the other. Your are doing the best you can with what you have available to you right now. Just aim to be better tomorrow and take Massive Action towards your goals. Your Kids are watching after all :)
Love Nat x
P.S. Come along and hang out with myself and my husband at our home in Diamond Creek at our next Ultimate 48 Hour Author Blueprint for Business Success events on May 3rd - there are 4 each spots left in the 9-1 and 5-9 sessions. There are intimate events of up to 10 participants. We share a meal together and you walk away with a ton of knowledge on how to write your book in Just 48 Hours!