Award-winning entrepreneur, business coach and founder of the ‘I Can’ Method sets out successful lifehacks for juggling work and family life
Motherhood was my main motivation for setting up my business. As a bankrupt single mum on income support, I needed to figure out how to save our house and keep a roof over my son’s head. My goal was to create a business that would give me the space, time and lifestyle to be at home, be an accessible mum and not miss out on the precious moments of my son’s childhood. I wanted to have my own business so I could write the rules.
Through the decades I’ve realised that running a business equates to raising a child and it’s a useful parallel. Having the idea/having the baby is the launching off point. How do I get this great idea on its feet? It’s all about learning with everyone giving you advice and telling you what you should do. Right from the start, remember Founder’s Rules aka Mum Knows Best. Take in the information relevant to you, listen to the experts but also your gut instinct. Nobody knows your baby like you do.
As time goes on, your business starts to evolve, gets on its feet and starts running. You must catch it and keep up with it. It’s rewarding to see your baby growing but growth brings new problems. Gradually the growth becomes manageable, you’ve found your mojo and you know what works and what doesn’t.
Use your time wisely, be present with whoever you’re with and focus on the thing in hand. Now is the time to bring in help so that as CEO you can focus on growth-building. There’s no time for endless small tasks and micro-management which sap your energy.
Bring people in to do the £10 per hour and £50 per hour tasks; you’re focusing on the £100 an hour job. Do the same at home. Would you rather come home from work and start cleaning the house or spend that time reading to your child or catching up with friends?
The teenage years equate to another business growth spurt. Scaling up without overwhelm requires the right people and support team and a huge amount of trust and connection. And university graduation equates to the exit stage. What is your exit strategy? This is one of the most common problems I help female CEOs and entrepreneurs figure out. I expanded my SIMPLY BOWS AND CHAIR COVERS business by franchising it. I then reinvented myself, after my son left home, as a property developer and now a business coach and mentor.
Mentoring requires me to be 100% present in the room, fully focused on the person I am coaching, and I love it. Don’t be the parent on the phone at the school gates. Some of the most precious moments of my life have been watching my son ride. He’s a professional equestrian with a passion for horses that matches mine for business. These are the life hacks that have enabled my success. What they add up to is my mantra pinned above my desk: you are never too old, and it is never too late to design a life you love.
MOTHER’S DAY LIFE HACKS
- Work smarter, not harder
- Be firm on boundaries – say no if it doesn’t serve you
- Don’t be a busy fool – make informed decisions
- Don’t rush into anything, particularly business partnerships
- Stick to your cut off time and lead by example with no phone calls or emails after 6pm
- Delegate, delegate, delegate – don’t be a control freak
- Be present with whoever you’re with
- Don’t be a martyr – happy people are proactive and productive
- Take your time – no need to rush
- Be kind and nurturing to yourself every day of the year – this mother’s day heart is for you.