Just over a year ago I had a new baby, but it was very unlike my previous two children. It had been discussed for a short while and was very wanted, but there was some doubt as to whether this was the right time. I already had 2 children, but I had a new partner and she also had 2 children, so how would the new baby fit in? Perfectly, because I’m not talking about a real baby; I’m talking about my ‘business baby’ – Mum’s The Boss.
Like many mums, both Sam and I rejected the ‘going back to the traditional workplace’ option once we had had children. We were both drawn into the ‘franchise type business model’ which were not what we had hoped for, but then we met and formed our support network. Mums the Boss was started from a casual comment on a forum, and has grown to what we have today – a large and growing network and support group for the many mums who have their own businesses.
Recently a year old, I spent some time thinking about the journey that that we had been on and what had happened in the past year and I kept finding parallels with my own real children. I was lucky that I had very few sleep deprived nights with my own children, but Mum’s The Boss has given me a few! Nights when I couldn’t switch off because of decisions to be made, excitement because of some good news and the fear that I didn’t have the first idea about what to do next! Is this sounding familiar yet?
But it wasn’t just the night time – every waking moment it seemed that the business was there lurking in my mind. It may not be shrieking ‘mummy mummy mummy’ at full volume but it was always there being thought about. Unlike going to work, and similar to having a baby or child, there is no ‘day off’ or lunch break as such, it is a constant companion.
Once we reached our first birthday though, I noticed a shift in my mental attitude. Yes the business still commands my attention, and yes I am still a novice. However we have created, grown and nurtured our baby, it is starting to ‘walk and talk’ independently and I am able to finally relax a little. We have made it this far, past all the initial hurdles that lie in wait for new businesses. I can leave the laptop off on a Sunday and know that whatever may be in the inbox will always wait until Monday. I know that a bad day will inevitably be followed by many good days, and that you can’t plan for every eventuality, but most things can usually be fixed.
We now have experienced a full year so are more confident about some of the routine and organisational side of things. However, just like with real parenting, just when you think you’ve got them all figured out…..they change again! This year we face we face new challenges and ‘growth spurts’ and however far we have come and have grown in confidence we will always have those lingering doubts, just as I do with my children; is this the right way or the best way?
Luckily, as ‘parents’, Sam & I seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet, and both enjoy the natural antidotes to parental and business uncertainty; chocolate, cake, wine and laughter!
How do you feel about your business? Have you got words of wisdom for us? Please share your experiences.