By Kate Freebairn
I often use the hashtag #mumpreneur … but I’ve never really given much thought to what’s actually behind the label. It’s a label that not all mums who are entrepreneurs like. And each to their own.
I personally don’t mind being labelled as a mumpreneur. I’ve been called worse. Most days, you’ll find my with a phone in one hand, coffee in the other, baby on my back in a carrier screaming at me for more toast. Oh an another child hollering at me to put Peppa Pig back on. Throw into this running an online business, more chickens than we really need and a FIFO husband and you really know you’re alive. So many times, I’ve said to my husband, gosh I wish I had have thought of my business idea before I had kids. Imagine how far ahead we’d be. But without my journey through motherhood, I wouldn’t have a business. I wouldn’t have realised that my website was missing from the internet searches of local mums in my region. I wouldn’t have realised that mums need a single online hub to help them through their own journey of motherhood. I wouldn’t understand what creating a village of mums actually means.
Motherhood has fuelled my desire to create an online business. It’s fuelled my desire to create an income for my kids and still be able to take them school. Mums who are entrepreneurs have such a diverse experience to draw from. Most mumpreneurs have built their businesses (and often empires) by simply fixing a pain point or solving a problem for themselves … and then scaling it and building a business around that solution. For most mumpreneurs, their life as a Mum has provided a solid foundation to launch their business and create a unique lifestyle for themselves and their family.
When you think of Mumpreneur, you think of Dannielle Michaels, creator of B-Box. You think of Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice. But what about the “everyday” mumpreneurs, Mums in business who aren’t trying to make 20 million dollars in their first year, they’re just trying to provide a financial contribution to their family without having to enter the traditional workforce. Or the Mums who are working for someone else during the day and building their “side hustle” in the “spare time”. Mums just like me, who are trying to build a business, and at the same time, finding a part of themselves they thought they’d lost through those long, sleepless nights of babies and toddlers. Those are the real life mumpreneurs.
What makes mumpreneurs special is the fact that they build their businesses around their busy lives. Let’s face it, motherhood is no walk in the park, especially these days where many of us live hectic lives, often away from extended family and helpful relatives. Many of us have husbands who work away or long hours, meaning that this gig called motherhood can be a lonely one. Sending an email is not a simple process. It can entail prizing our smartphone from the the clutches of our Fireman Sam obsessed toddler or hiding in the pantry with our laptop resting amongst the pasta and couscous, just to connect with a potential client. Our children’s bedtime becomes the start of our workday as we have to leave tasks requiring full focus and maximum brainpower to the time when our babes are peacefully sleeping (or not in my case).
Many of my mum friends tell me how lucky I am to work from home. But what they don’t realise is that luck actually doesn’t have anything to do with it. Hard work, sleepless nights and hiding in the pantry has brought me the success I have today. Choosing to multitask while my kids are eating dinner or playing in the sandpit. Choosing to work late into the night so that I can take the kids to the playground the next morning. Choosing to leave the washing unfolded in the basket for another day so that I can finish a report. Choosing to go home and work rather than have coffee with the other school mums. And it’s because of all of this I don’t mind being called a Mumpreneur.
For me it’s a term loaded with positivity, a term that promotes strength, determination and guts. A term that says you have a million obstacles as to why you shouldn’t start a business, but you go ahead and do it successfully anyway.