Today, Nicki continues her story. Here’s the link to part 1 of Nicki Cawood’s transition from career woman to business mum.
After three years things were getting a bit stale. Getting up to the next step in the ladder at Usborne would take huge personal sales on my part, as well as my team’s and personally I was finding this difficult. Running a home-based business under a company umbrella has it’s pros and cons. You start up for very title outlay, have resources, training etc on hand but similarly, to really excel you need to push the boundaries to rise about the group or you are “Another Usborner…”.
Kieran came to most of my everyday bookings with me, post-natal classes, numerous toddler groups, soft play centres, stay & plays… you name it (and he had a ball, as did I!) but he was getting too old to go to some of the post natal groups (a floor full of babies and a 2.5year old lumbering about doesn’t always mix!), wasn’t getting anything new from attending the same groups & soft plays over and over and besides, I don’t drive so it was difficult branching out into other areas. Roy at that time worked shifts so he was generally free until 2pm during the day and was quite happy to drop us off places then go for a butty or a mooch about, or home if it was close enough, but then he was made redundant and his new job was more office hours so I was faced with a growing boy, soon to be doing 2.5hr sessions at preschool five days a week, limited transport, fewer available events (the recession hit all areas!) and I was becoming despondent. I didn’t feel like it was working for me anymore. I had lost the passion, the drive and without these, no venture can thrive. I knew it was time to hang up my hat when someone asked to join my team and I referred them to someone else a little closer to them… That was the turning point. In a recruitment focussed role, if I didn’t believe enough in what I was doing anymore to sell it to someone else and be happy selling it, truly believing that I could help them succeed etc, it was definitely time to call it a day.
This left me in limbo. I tinkered with various projects, doing this and that, testing the waters almost, but nothing was jumping out at me. I found this quite difficult; I was contributing very little financially, and felt I was a bit lost! I didn’t want to really continue with anything sales-based, but what now?
The way forward
It wasn’t until earlier this year when I found out I was pregnant again (a very happy find too as we had been trying since Kieran was six months old!) that my focussed was regained. While doing Usborne and during my limbo time I had been writing guest posts here and there, doing some reviews for various companies and was loving it. My shift in motivation (and mood to be honest, I really was starting to feel down), really made me do some hard thinking. I was loving the guest posts, the articles etc – so why the hell not. I tied up loose ends and am now writing from home full-time give or take. I launched my blog as a way to let people know what I was doing, to showcase reviews, articles etc that I have done, and despite being at it “properly” for a relatively short time I have been very pleased with the amount of work I’ve been offered and am very excited about upcoming projects! Above all, the feedback and support from others, both close to home and from other businessmen & women I have been lucky enough to come in contact with over the past 4yrs+ has been amazing.
Summing it up.
In just over four years I have gone from career woman, to Mum, Avon lady, small business owner, to freelance writer. It must make me sound quite flaky but it has been four years in which I have learnt a lot about myself and about where I want to be. I have gained much experience in many areas and finally feel settled and confident that what I am doing is the right way forward. The transition from career woman to Mum working at home is not as easy as certainly I supposed it would be. If I could give any advice to anyone out there it is to look around, research, test the waters and don’t feel that something is forever because family dynamics and your own needs, wants and expectations chance.
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.