I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some incredible women this year, who are smashing all gender stereotypes and showing that they can achieve amazing things. It is really inspiring to see. The key is choice – the choice to work as women and have the same opportunities as everyone else should we so desire. I talk very openly about this in my latest podcast with Kylie Reid, Founder of EGG. Why should we feel guilty for enjoying our work? Let’s stop saying words that we feel are expected of us and instead speak the truth. You love your job but you happen to be a Mum? Amazing, bash on. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids. If anything, becoming a Mum gave me the kick up the butt to do a job I loved enough I was prepared to leave my amazing little people, who happen to also be the hardest job I have ever had. On the subject of honesty, being at work sometimes feels like the biggest treat. But it’s more than that. Some people think when a Mum decides to work that it’s simply a ‘little hobbie on the side’. Patronising words such as ‘mumpreneur’ are thrown around – hello, let’s move with the times. This word was coined in the late 90’s and it’s grossly outdated. I personally love the term Mum Boss, and I loved chatting to Vicki Psarias, author of Mum Boss, because she does a very similar role to mine and she really understands that it is so much more than just a hobbie. To quote what she said to me last week (full article here):
‘Why can’t we have both a career and a family if we so wish? We can. It requires compromise and juggling but it’s possible. I love my work and need both spheres of my life to connect, in order to feel content. The older I become, the less worried I am about what people I don’t know, think of me. It’s liberating and beautiful in equal measure.’
Let me ask you, what is your identity and if you are a Mum, did you lose it slightly after kids? I have always loved a bit of quiet time to enjoy reading, writing and being creative. I adore creating content. Becoming a Mum didn’t strip me of that passion. Yes, it stalled it for a bit. Especially in the early days of sleep deprivation and snuggle city. But once I surfaced up for air, I had to be strict with myself to take that time. Focus can be hard though. There are times, as working parents, that we feel like we are juggling way too much. I have been hearing a lot of parents joke about how much is expected of us at Christmas time. Sometimes I feel like I need a full day a week to catch up on school admin and what is required, gifts, money for charity, different outfits, different trips, meals to order, new gym kits to sort and old ones to collect. With all the stuff that goes on and then trying to juggle a job, it can feel like a bit of a melting pot. Which is why support is key.
I want to talk about another inspirational Mum Boss. I was recently invited along to check out a business mastermind session with the lovely Nikki Hutchison from The Simplicity Concept. Nikki has so much experience in terms of what it takes to run a successful business. She really understands the daily challenges of driving a new business and she loves to talk strategy. Not just any old strategy either, one that will have an impact and drive your business or project to the next level. Nikki has been running some fab monthly business clubs in Leith for over a year now. I was a speaker at one of them in September and I really enjoyed the vibes. What was very clear to me is that Nikki is well respected and most certainly an inspirational businesswoman. I love her energy and the way her brain works. Nikki had attended a Mastermind earlier this year where someone suggested that she should start running her own and that gave her the push to actually make it happen. To quote this fierce Mum Boss:
‘I love bringing female founders together and sharing knowledge as a group, I find it really rewarding. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true!’
The set up was really relaxed but I found it so useful to be sat round sharing with a bunch of like-minded people. People who have been through the same challenges we all face when we launch and run a business. Sharing questions, ideas and challenges was really insightful. We all had an allocated time to share and listen, which was powerful. There was loads of amazing, practical advice around the table and I felt really inspired by the group. I was reminded of one of my biggest challenges in business which is to stay focused. My issue is that I love so many parts of my work, that I want to do it all sometimes. I have always been clear that my purpose in the work I do is to help people get their mojo back. Even if that simply means helping someone to smile and have a bit of a laugh. It takes loads of hard work behind the scenes to build a brand. My vision has always been very clear and I have no doubt that things shall continue to grow with effort and passion. But, as Nikki reminded me, sometimes we need to take the time out to work on our business and not simply in it, rushing through deadlines and the day to day tasks. Brainstorming is key, as is taking time to get creative and excited about new ideas. We are made to be creative beings. Being creative brings us to life and we are ALL creative in one way or another. Okay I’m going to say it – being creative is great for our mojo.
The event lasted 2 hours and I filled a lovely notepad (kindly gifted to all of us) with tips. The business mastermind was great networking too and I made some wonderful new connections and started to really focus (Nikki simply loves the word focus and I think she is onto something). Everyone in the room had a vision, everyone had challenges. Sometimes there is nothing like a good brainstorming session, some fresh ears and eyes to give you the boost you need. I certainly got a mojo injection. I would highly recommend attending one of Nikki’s mastermind events. I thought it would be nice to get some more chat from the Business Queen herself. So hello lovely Nikki.