Circus skills – Juggling life, multiple families and a career as a female entrepreneur
This time last year I left home at 8.30 every day and headed into a safe corporate world five days a week. I enjoyed my job and I was very good at it. It had its challenges, but it was familiar and for the most part things were always under control.
Work/ Life balance
At home, I was blending my simple life as a single mum plus son with a new extended family. As soon as our new entity as a five started to develop and bed in, it became clear to me that whilst corporate life provided a regular income, it didn’t work for our brood and it wasn’t presenting me with the stretch I needed. After much soul-searching, I gave up my job.
I flirted with the idea of consultancy in my field of communications and branding but knew it wouldn’t hit the mark. Instead, I decided to give myself the biggest communications challenge of my career and enter a new sector, financial planning and set myself a challenge of making numbers accessible to people like you and me.
New routines to get used to
This morning at 8.15am my son whizzed off to school on his scooter and my partner and boys reversed off the drive also heading to school.
I always use that first five minutes of calm to contemplate the day ahead. Completing work for clients, a coffee chat with a new contact plus a few important calls are all most firmly on todays’ agenda. But as any parent of primary school age children knows, those plans quickly go up in smoke when World Book Day is looming.
The never-ending list
While I was making breakfast for five this morning, I was also rifling through my sewing box for unwanted buttons, scraps of fabric and reels of cotton I’m unlikely to ever use. So, while I’m working hard for clients today and building my embryonic business, I’ll also be mentally designing an Elves and the Shoemaker book in a box, working out how I can get my year 6 son into a costume on the day itself and secretly hoping that a costume designer is going to leave made to measure costumes with associated books in boxes on my doorstep.
I’m in my ninth week as a business owner, female founder and jack of all trades. Lessons are coming thick and fast. When you’re pregnant with your first child people smile knowingly and say things will never be the same again. My first impressions of self-employment are much the same. What are the rules? What should your daily routine be like? What constitutes a successful day? Can you fall out with yourself as your own boss? How can you make the shift in other people’s minds from your old corporate self that does job A to a free-falling solo figuring out job B?
So, while I’m working hard for clients today and building my embryonic business, I’ll also be mentally designing an Elves and the Shoemaker book in a box, working out how I can get my year 6 son into a costume on the day itself and secretly hoping that a costume designer is going to leave made to measure costumes with associated books in boxes on my doorstep.
Here are my coping methods so far:
- I think about what is stopping me get through my to do list, for example, and I imagine I’m back in my old office, coaching a team member to remove the barriers so they can crack that task that’s proving to be a bit of a muddle.
- I’m talking to peers and being very honest about what is going well and what I’m finding tricky.
- I’m investing time speaking to brand new people who have made a similar leap and are open to sharing their experiences.
- I’m realising how the golden hours of a morning are the key to be achieving my goals for the day and how by afternoon, I’m best out on the road creating new ideas and connections.
If you want to find out more about my journey from corporate comms to helping individuals and businesses figure out their finances, I would love to hear from you. The coffee and cake are on me.
You can connect with me on Linkedin or visit my website.