When I was on maternity leave, that urge became so strong, I made the leap. I left my well paid, full time job, and jumped into the unknown.
Whilst it’s been one of the best decisions I have ever made, it hasn’t been plain sailing. So I wanted to use this blog post to give you some honest thoughts about what it’s like to run a business when you’re on maternity leave (or simply when you have a young family), and how to go about starting your own part time business.
Since starting my business, THE most important thing I’ve learned so far is this:
An OK idea with a fantastic execution is far better than a GREAT idea with an OK execution.
Traditional startup philosophy starts with the assumption that a successful business is down to having an original idea. And if we look at some of the successful startups in past decades, that seems to ring true, doesn’t it? I mean, who wouldn’t have wanted to be the one to have thought of the idea for Facebook, for example?
But is this really true? Let’s challenge this assumption for a minute.
So, you’ve got a great business startup idea. What’s next? Well, common advice about launching a startup is to spread the word as much as you possibly can prior to the big day. But what I’m going to explain in this blog post is why that approach could be a mistake, and I’m going to suggest a pretty strange alternative strategy but one that can be very effective. It involves a bit of help from your closest friends.
The fact you are on this blog means that, on some conscious or subconscious level, you do have a desire to start a business (or already have). Perhaps you are unhappy in your job. Maybe you want something more rewarding in your life. Perhaps you want success. You might simply want a better balance between work and family life. Perhaps you are due to go on maternity leave and you are worried that your employment isn’t going to cover the cost of childcare when you return. Or perhaps you are just bored and frustrated at the 9-5 commute and you want freedom.
Everyone knows the obvious entrepreneurial skills, don’t they: drive, ambition, hard work. I could go on. But sometimes, life throws challenges your way that mean that those normal set of skills just aren’t enough on their own.
For example, ff you are a mom, do you ever feel like you are at a disadvantage in starting up a business because you are trying to balance your work with family life? Many times I’ve had that same feeling. Sometimes I’ve wondered if it might have been easier to start a business when I was in my 20s and had all that time to myself. But now I’ve been running my business for a while, I’ve realised that I actually launched at the perfect time. More importantly, I’ve realised that my dual role as business owner and a mother gives me a unique competitive advantage that many startups just don’t have. Here’s why:
Spoiler alert: running an online business and being a full time mom isn’t easy, and there is no easy answer in this blog post.
However, I know I have a lot of readers on this blog who are women thinking of starting a business but who are also raising a young family. If you’ve read my About section you’ll know that I have a young daughter (later edit: now I have three children!), and that I launched the business when she was just a baby.
What I will try and do is keep this short and sweet (I get it: you’re busy!). I want to give you a few practical tips that have helped me over the years.
Before planning your website launch, know this. One of the best strategies for succeeding in the world of online startups is by starting small (or lean, which is the fashionable team at the moment. But I use the word small. It’s straightforward and it doesn’t remind me of dieting).
When it comes to launching your website, small is the way to go. In this post, I’ll outline my top tips for helping you do that, and help you to avoid the stress that comes from trying to launch any new website. (more…)
If you are thinking about doing paid advertising, you are probably considering how to design your ad. So let me ask you a question: are you designing it to look beautiful? Or are you designing it to work for you?
I love fashion and lifestyle magazines. Whenever I travel, I’ll buy two or three at the station or airport to keep me occupied for the journey. And if you flip through any of these magazines you’ll see some stunning ads full of beautiful models, gorgeous locations and elegant typeface.
So it is tempting to create ads that showcase beautiful design, your stunning logo, and inspiring images. But before you do so, read this article. I will explain why beauty isn’t everything when it comes to advertising online.
One of the best things you can do to help your business succeed is to form a network online with other business women. I’m part of one, and it’s probably helped to grow my business more than anything else. On top of that, having peers to talk to about your fears, hopes and dreams is something that is invaluable during moments in your business where things do seem difficult or challenging.