Tell us a bit about YOU and your family?
I am mom to 4 boys aged 11 – 24. I have always worked while raising them, but have also been able to be very involved with their school activities. I am lucky in that I work from home and even though I have a nanny who sees to the kids needs after school, I am around if they need me and am able to keep an eye on them. I am not married, but have lived happily with my partner for the last 14 years. I am a very goal driven and organised person. About 7 years ago, I gave up smoking and started running instead. I have completed quite a few half marathons and run 2 – 3 times a week. I also decided to take up karate with the 2 younger kids and am proud to say that last year (the year I turned 50), I achieved my black belt in karate.
What is the name of your company and when did you start your business?
My company is called Most Organised Mother Diary – my first publication was 2011.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs and this is what we do, we start businesses. I have owned a very successful IT company, back in the day when everyone was just starting out with home computers. Amongst other things, I also ran a bookkeeping business, which was hugely successful. I sold it to go into a startup business with partners. Although the business only lasted a year and ended up being liquidated, I learnt so much during that year about running an online business. Like I said above, I am very goal driven. For many years I have wanted a retail product that people could buy more than once. I had no idea what the product was going to be, but with my years of being a mother, my organisational skills and my years in my own business, the diary is a perfect product for me.
What are the challenges you face or have faced being a working Mom and how have you overcome them?
Us women are often the ones who do the shopping, run the household, fetch and carry kids, do homework, cook, etc and still hold down a job on top of that. My way of dealing with that has been to be completely organised. If you stick to certain rules and routines, it can really help you cope. Of course I use my diary to help manage all of this – and that is exactly what my diary is about – it is a tool to help other moms with managing their time and families.
What is the hardest part or have been some of your struggles starting your own business?
Working capital – my business has huge capital outlay each year before I can get my diaries printed. It has resulted in my production being delayed a couple of times, which then results in late delivery of stock and that directly affects sales. I have finally got that sorted, but it has taken a couple of years and cost me a lot in lost sales. The other thing is as women, we feel we are “superhuman” and can do everything ourselves. It has taken me a few years to realise that multitasking is completely overrated, one needs to focus on one task at a time to be effective.
How do you balance your business and your family?
With my M.O.M Diary!!!!
What or whom has been the greatest support for you and your business?
My partner, Juan has supported me and all 4 kids financially while I have been getting my business up and running – he has been incredibly patient about letting me live my passion.
During the journey, I have sometimes wondered how my kids feel as I have worked incredibly hard over the past 4 years and it has taken a while for the results to start showing. But when my 13 year old son does an oral at school about his hero and picks me as his topic based on my business, I realise how lucky I am that they are so understanding. I often get little notes and messages of encouragement from all of my boys – who could ask for more than that?
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I wish could go back and start again knowing what I know now. I have learnt so much over the last 4 years.
What advice can you give other Moms out there who are starting a new business?
If there is something that you are not good at doing, find someone who is. Even if you don’t have a full day available to work, manage your time well and make the most of the hours that you do have. Don’t multitask, it does not work! It is not always easy, but if you can push through, it will all be worth it in the long run. There are lots of women out there running their own businesses, connect with them and support each other. Set goals.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us that I may have missed?
I think you have it all covered!!
If other Moms would like to keep in touch, how can they contact you?
I would love to hear from other moms starting their own businesses.