This is my mumpreneur story – republished from Motivating Mum. I gave you part 2 last week – now the story continues…
So where was I? Oh yes, finding against my expectations that I really enjoyed staying at home with my children. It only went so far though. Some days I desperately missed having some business stuff to occupy my brain – I felt a bit stifled and trapped.
I got some relief for this through the NCT (National Childbirth Trust for anyone not from the UK – a big organisation that provides support for new mums). I became Treasurer for my local branch, and helped to organise a post-natal support group of mums. They didn’t have a Post Natal Discussion Group Leader on Jersey at the time, and the training was only 1 year, so I decided to give it a go.
The training was very interesting. I originally chose accountancy as a profession partly because I am naturally a very shy person, and preferred working in the back office than dealing face to face with customers. So presenting to groups of women certainly took me out of my comfort zone a bit. But the course leaders were very encouraging – and I discovered that I do have real empathy and a talent for communicating and helping people in small groups. It was a real turning point for me.
Never one to keep still when there is stuff to be done, I was also attracted by an advert for Usborne Books in a mums magazine. Work what hours you like and get discounted books for your family. Sounded like a great idea, so I sent off for the starter pack and decided to give that a go too.
The last couple of years on Jersey were great fun. I absolutely loved being a ‘mumpreneur‘, earning a (very) small amount of pocket money, and helping people at the same time. The helping people bit was a new feeling for me, and later on it became even more important to me than the making money.
However I could feel the time ticking away – my husband was on a fixed length contract and before long we would be back in the UK. I felt, rightly or wrongly that I probably should be earning some money towards the household expenses when we got back, but I could see that Usborne and the Post Natal leading between them would probably not generate enough to justify me staying at home. I felt quite strongly by then that I didn’t want to go back to working full time in an office. I needed a big idea for my own business, and I needed one very soon.
The pressure I felt to come up with something, anything, that would stop me having to go back to work, led to me making what was, I suppose the biggest mistake of my business life. It’s not a big deal, because at the end of the day, every decision I have made has ultimately led me here, but I could certainly have saved myself three years of unnecessary expense and hardship.
Part 4 of my mumpreneur story is now here