I launched my breastfeeding wear label, Borne Too when my second child was 4 months old. People said I was crazy and in reflection it was a bit crazy. It was an idea I had been working on for a couple of years after having my first baby so, when it came time to launch, I just wanted to do it and I did.
Fast forward 18 months and I’d love to tell you the business is raking it in. It’s not. I mean, it’s going, but it’s a lot of work. A sh**-tonne in fact, oh and a lot of money (spent, that is, not made – yet)
Behind the scenes, I’m a mum-of-two, my husband works FIFO and I also work part-time as a registered nurse. The juggle is real!
I hear a lot from other mums ‘I don’t know how you do it’ : referencing my husband working away, working part-time shift work and trying to keep a business afloat with two small children.
I’m here to tell that you can do it. Anyone could do it. I’m not anyone special, it’s just that this is my situation (which I choose to be in) and so I try to make it work as best I can.
And because I love myself (in a non-narcissistic way)- I don’t just want to feel like a slave to my children, I want to explore my own hopes and dreams and realise some of my own goals, too!
As the sole owner of Borne Too, I tend to immerse myself in all things biz-related, trying to fill my brain as much as possible and learn all the things for small business. I listen to a lot of podcasts, read articles and interviews with many inspirational entrepreneurs. Many of the interviewees are people whom I would consider pretty successful in business. Whether they turn a huge profit, have a hefty following or have become synonymous with their brand, they have all achieved cool things in the biz-space. Even though you hear that most of them hit hard times, had their own struggles and pit-falls, I often find myself wishing I could have interviewed them during those times – to find out how they made it work.
I realised, though that I’m like those entrepreneurs, amid the crap many successful businesses go through – trying to make this work. I’ve got young kids, a career I still enjoy, a partner working away, two mortgages and don’t forget the dog, yet I’m still finding time to nurture my fledgling business. If that aint making shit work, then what is?! I thought I could share some tips that help in the daily juggle/struggle (however you look at it!).
- Use a planner/diary/notebook. Write. It. Down. Jot every note, every detail, every appointment, idea, meal, bowel movement. Just everything. (well maybe not your poop schedule, but you get my drift) I have come unstuck many-a-time when I haven’t written something down. There’s this thing called mum-brain. It’s real and it’ll get ya if you don’t write things down. I’ve learnt the planner/diary is essential in mum and business life.
- Use your village. Accept offers of help for babysitting/food/playdates or impose your kids on your support system. You must book time away from your kids if you want to get shit done. Because anyone with little kids knows how hard it is to even make a sandwich without getting interrupted. Use the offers of help or if you lack family and friends to help you, book them into daycare or find a good babysitter/nanny because you NEED the time to yourself. Trust me, it will improve your relationship not only with your biz, but with your kids, too.
- You can listen to podcasts when doing anything. I chuck them on when making dinner, driving in the car, or even when we are doing arts and crafts with the kids. Multitasking at its best and some of the niftiest business tips I’ve found have been from podcasts.
- Outsource what you can. When your budget allows, outsource tasks. There are affordable outsourcing options around, too. You are only one person, you cannot physically do it all so why not take the pressure off with little bits here and there? Another option is automation – automate the things you are able to: schedule posts, emails, sales or whatever you can!
- Rest and recharge. Sometimes I get so caught up in the ‘should’ and ‘need’ to’s that I become overwhelmed. It is so important to make time for yourself. A simple meditation, a cup of tea on the couch, go for a walk, or have a facial. If you don’t rest, you’ll burn out. Taking a break from social media is a good place to start – whether it’s a few hours, few days or even weeks if needed. I always find I come back more inspired when I have a break.
That’s just a snapshot of how I ‘do it’. Don’t get me wrong, there are many days when it feels like nothing gets done, but hey, that’s life (especially with kids!).
By no means would I consider my business successful like many of the interviewees you hear from on those inspiring podcasts and articles. However; I would consider myself successful in the sense that despite juggling the mum/FIFO/work life I am still making progress in my business and I still have as much passion and drive as when I started, if not more.