What’s my greatest challenge as an aspiring mumpreneur? Not enough time or money. Oh and not forgetting the lack of sleep (milk in the washing machine, dirty socks in the fridge – you get the picture).
The fact that I’ve had the word ‘aspiring’ in front of my job title for about eighteen months now gives you some idea of how long the research phase takes when you have babies.
But we mumpreneurs face even more challenges than a mere lack of time, money and sleep. If you’re short of cash from being on maternity leave or working part -time, then you need to start a business on a shoestring, which means you might have a lot of competition. And that means your marketing needs to be good if you’re to stand out from the crowd. That’s a tall order if this is your first journey into the world of business.
Most businesses have one main aim – to make money. Most mumpreneurs run businesses with two aims – to make money and to work around their family. This is a tough juggling act, especially if you’re grabbing an hour here and an hour there when the children are napping or at pre-school.
So why on earth are so many of us doing it?
• Because we refuse to miss the first years of our children’s lives by working full-time when they are tiny.
• Because we refuse to be restricted to the typically low status and poorly paid part time jobs out there.
• Because we’ve earned our own income all our lives and don’t see why we should stop now.
• Because we want to show our daughters what women can really achieve. And our sons, too.
• Because we’ve got talent and we want to use it.
• Because we get such fantastic support from other business mums. We don’t compete, we collaborate.
• Because childcare is outrageously expensive so many of us have no alternative.
• Because we want to.
Having children shifts your priorities in ways you cannot imagine until you do it. Of course your children become the centre of your world, but with this can come a huge burst in motivation and creativity. Your time becomes more precious – any working time is time away from your babies – so you want to make the absolute best of it.
The urge to provide for your family is not just for the guys. Mums have it too.
It’s this potent mix of instinct, motivation, determination and (let’s face it) necessity that drives us to start our own businesses at one of the toughest times of our lives.
Watch out, here we come.
(First published on the Start Up Donut Blog, picture by Tie Guy II)