THANK GOD I’M AN ENTREPRENEUR!
WHY EVERY WOMAN SHOULD RUN THEIR OWN BUSINESS BEFORE BEING A MUM!
It’s only June and all ready, 2013 has been a year of massive change for me! I’ve always been a stereotyped career woman and my priority has been the dozens of business ideas floating around in my head. I’m hands on in my business and I’ve always got a buzz from being as busy as possible. I will admit, when I first found out I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time thinking about how it could work. How could I make my business run without me? What did I have to do to make sure I could take a step back? Was I crazy for thinking that I could do this? Can women have it all?
The truth is, the last three months have made me even more glad to be an entrepreneur. Since the birth of my son, I’ve been overwhelmed with thoughts of how grateful I am to be in this position. Running my own business gives me the freedom and the flexibility to get the best of both worlds and this is an idea that women all over are catching onto. In 2011, Bank West conducted research into the area and found two amazing statistics. Women are in fact starting new businesses at twice the rate of men and a whole 70% of women have considered pursuing a business idea since becoming a mum. In fact, this is something that’s happening so much we’ve even got a term for it – Mumpreneurs!
So what’s so good about it?
Being a mumpreneur gives me more flexibility and more choices. I make the decisions of what I want to do each day. Do I want to go to the office? Do I want to work from home? Do I want to spend the time my son is awake with him and only reply to emails when he’s asleep? These are options most women simply do not have. I am lucky to be in a position where all of these are a possibility for me and I am able to take a step away from my business and allow my staff to handle the day to day running of the company. As a mother, I cannot explain how important this is to me. I’ve heard horror stories of working mothers missing big milestones and I can confidently say I will not be in this situation. As my priorities change and my son’s needs change, I am able to change what I do to make sure I can continue to get the best of both words.
Another benefit of running my own business is the money involved. It allows me to maximise my income and creates a source of residual income that I know will be there no matter what I decide to do. It also saves me money! By choosing to work from home or even being able to make the choice to bring my son to work, I don’t need to worry about the costs of childcare or even feel the guilt I’ve heard so many of my friends talk about. For me, this is priceless.
One of the other great benefits is the fact I don’t feel the isolation that I know many first time mothers experience. I’m not stuck in my house with only my child for company, craving adult conversation. I continue to exist in both worlds and I think this makes me better at both of them too. I’m maintaining a huge part of who I am as a mother, but I’m also putting quality time into my business. It’s forcing me to look at only the important things, to let go of being such a control freak and leave those unimportant decisions up to other people in a way I never have before.
Of course, it’s a challenge trying to balance two responsibilities that are so big. My staff all ready know that when I say I’ll call them back, I will probably forget and I’m not sure when I last slept for more than a few hours at a time. This is a huge learning curve but I’m so excited to be embracing it and I know that by doing this I am creating the best future I can for my son.
If you are a mum or a mum to be or even if you’re just starting to think about having a family, I can only say that now might be the time to look into starting your own business. Start small and then dream big. Come up with an idea that you love and take those first steps. Get out there and talk to people about what you want to do and then slowly you can start to make it happen. I know you’ll be glad you did!
So, don’t fear being an entrepreneur if you want a family. If anything, hurry up!