It’s been over four years since Nicki Cawood left her career to spend more time with her baby son. Her story shows that you can change your business over time to suit your needs and those of your growing family. Over to Nicki…
Before I had Kieran, I worked for with adults with Autism, primarily in supported living environments. I loved my management position, the organisation, the personnel development, everything. I was building quite a career in a field I loved and believed in and I was looking at developing my role even further.
Then Kieran happened!
I fully intended to return to work full-time after maternity leave and had arranged childcare with my Mum (what a star). At my back-to-work interview, six weeks prior to returning to work, with Kieran snuggled in my arms, I burst into tears and told them I wasn’t able to return as planned. To be honest I am not sure who was more shocked, them or me! I had no intention of resigning when I walked in, but it was the right, if not somewhat impulsive thing to do. I went to see Roy (the long suffering husband) afterwards and told him I had resigned. Thankfully he was hugely supportive (and I think a little relieved!).
After the shock wore off I had to start thinking about options. As well as wanting/needing to contribute to the household I needed to be doing something that was for me, if that makes sense. While I was researching, I took on Avon and a HUGE round locally. Well if nothing else it got Kieran and I out in the fresh air and earned me a few quid. It wasn’t hugely lucrative, but with most things like this you need to go to the next level i.e. recruit and do leadership to make the real money and whist that didn’t daunt me, it wasn’t what I was looking for, and I just couldn’t feel passionate enough about it. Back to the drawing board…..
After much research, looking around, talking to people, I joined Usborne Books. At last a challenge! There were so many directions I could go with this, and I did! For the next three plus years I sold children’s books at a variety of events, large and small, direct to customers, to schools and libraries, via sponsored reading schemes… you name it; I found a way to do it. A challenge it certainly was and very quickly I was ready to take the next step. With a company like Usborne it can be difficult to earn a large income purely from personal sales, the money comes when you recruit and support a team of individuals who are running their own home-based business. Over the course of the three years I recruited over a hundred people and my income grew. I enjoyed the recruiting, talking to new people, often Mums in a similar situation as myself, doing newsletters etc. I was thrilled to be asked to talk at one of the leadership conferences on my recruiting success. However…
Pop back on Monday to read the rest of Nicki’s story.
Nicki Cawood blogs at Curly and Candid.
If you feel it’s time for a change and you’re looking for your next business idea, my new book could help. It’s called Start a Family Friendly Business: 129 Business Ideas for Mums and it’s out on 15th September.