Introducing Bridget from Parents in Biz

Juggling parenting and being their own boss, meet Bridget from Parents in Biz

 

I’m Bridget Daley, I’m a mother of 5 children aged 26, 23, 21, 15 and 8 years old. I live in London with my partner and children. I’m the founder of Parents in Biz and the editor of the Parents in Business Magazine. I’m passionate about supporting parents in managing the business family tightrope. I enjoy spending quality time with my family, reading and binge-watching Netflix.

 

Tell us about your business baby

I created the Parents in Biz platform to support and equip parents with everything they need to manage the family and business tightrope. The type of parents we serve are parents who are running a business, self-employed and freelancing.

 

What’s your why?

My why are my family and my innate ability to use my skills and experience to support and help parents who are running a business. When I started to study and train to become a qualified counsellor, it opened my eyes to a whole new world and a new way of thinking and looking at life. When I set up my first business over 10 years ago, I was faced with challenges I had never encountered before, and there was not the support out there for parent business owners like there is now. This fuelled my desire to set up something to support parents; this was in 2015 and Parents in Biz went live in 2017. I love what I do and that it’s helping others.

 

What do you find the hardest bit about doing the juggle?

Throughout my business journey, my children have gone through all the stages of child development baby, toddler, pre-schooler, school age, teenagers, and young adulthood. And I can honestly say that each age stage has been hard and a juggle. My current juggle with my older children is supporting them through the journey of young adulthood, so it’s supporting them with career choices, relationships etc. These are a big issue for them so being a sounding being a reliable sounding board for them is important to me. My 15 year old is in year 10 so he is doing his GCSEs so it’s making sure I am available to support him he is a gamer so there are many battles about time management. My 8 year needs her parents and recently went through the experience of being bullied. So as you can see my juggle is a wide variety so allocate time for my self-care is vital as well as time with my partner.

 

Who’s in your support network?

My friends and family are great. My partner Anthony went self-employed 7 months ago it’s great because we work together and bounce ideas off each other, it’s really nice that we can both do the school run together.

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

Carrying out due diligence on any person and company that you plan to work with failing to do this can be costly, and I’m speaking from experience.

 

What’s your favourite inspiration quote?

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Introducing Becky from The Art of Healthy Living

Juggling parenting and being their own boss. Meet Becky from The Art of Health Living

 

Hi, I’m Becky. I’m a full time blogger and copywriter as well as being a mum of two. Life is hectic but I feel so lucky to be doing work I love as well as having the flexibility to fit it around my family. I love running, baking, moaning, drinking prosecco and eating – ALWAYS eating!

 

Tell us about your business baby

The Art of Healthy Living is a healthy lifestyle website that started off as a bit of a hobby and has grown into something much, much more. It takes on the format of a magazine style site with articles posted both from myself and contributors covering all things fitness, health, food and wellness. I like to approach health and fitness from a balanced and realistic viewpoint – it’s all about everything in moderation.

 

What’s your why?

I love writing and wanted to get my voice out there. The response I’ve had from people has been amazing and knowing that I have helped someone feel better about themselves and made them feel as though they are not alone is amazing.

 

What do you find the hardest bit about doing the juggle?

Switching off at the end of the day. I’m currently living in a rental house as we’re doing a big house renovation and I don’t have a separate office. It means I have to be quite strict with myself when it’s time to down tools. However it only takes a child being off ill and it throws my work schedule completely off.

 

Who’s in your support network?

I have built up a fab network of local and not so local female business owners who inspire and support me every step of the way. We work alongside each other, refer each other and I know that if I ever need them they’ll be there.

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

It is OK to say no!

 

What’s your favourite inspirational quote?

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Series 2 – Episode 1 The Juggle is Real Podcast: My word of the year

And we’re back! I am so excited about bringing the podcast back. What a fun first series we had! I was so lucky to speak to so many amazing guests and I am thrilled to be doing the same with Series 2.

First up it’s me talking about my word of the year. Now this is a new concept for me, not something I’ve really done before and I felt like I’d give it ago. I completed my first year of being self-employed last year and learnt so much, it’s a continuous learning journey and I’m open to sharing that all with you. I hope you enjoy the first episode back.

Listen to the episode here:

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Introducing Rachel from Brownlow Brown Designs

Juggling parenting and being their own boss. Meet Rachel from Brownlow Brown Designs

Hi! I’m Rachel. I live in Bruton, Somerset, with my husband and two boys (Toby, age 4 and Rex, age 1). I grew up here, but spent my university years in Southampton and Winchester studying Fine Art and my twenties working in London. After falling pregnant with Toby (and unsuccessfully trying to navigate the London property market) we decided to move back out to the countryside. I worked in the charity sector for over a decade, but in between having my children I got the creative itch and started up my business as a side-hustle in 2017. After being made redundant at the end of 2018 I have spent the last three months full-time on Brownlow Brown Designs.

Photo by Danni Reeder – https://daniellereederphotography.com/

 

Tell us about your business baby

I originally started my business after I learned about the problem of plastic pollution, a little while before Blue Planet came along and everyone else realised it too. I wanted to do something to highlight the problem, so I created a tote bag emblazoned with the slogan Use Me Instead, to encourage people to use re-usable bags instead of plastic ones. However, momentum on building the business quickly slowed once I found out I was having Rex, and by the time I picked it up again I realised I wanted to expand and incorporate more products into what I was doing. After experimenting with brush lettering and painting, I eventually found my signature digital style of typography that I now use on prints and greetings cards. I want my bold and colourful designs to bring people positive vibes and brighten up their lives.

 

What’s your why?

I spent the last few years in employment working flexibly from home, travelling in to the office every couple of weeks. This really empowered me to manage my own time and workload, and it is something that’s massively important to me with my own business. Now that my eldest is in school, I find it really hard to fathom how I could get another role that gives me as much flexibility around family life as working for myself does. Being my own boss and managing my own time is probably my biggest driver. I’m also gaining a lot of confidence from having to make myself do everything – when you’re a one-person organisation there is no one to pass the scary jobs on to! It also means I get to learn lots of new skills, which also massively motivates me to carry on.

 

What do you find the hardest bit about doing the juggle

Despite the empowering feeling of being able to manage my own time, I’d also love to have more time to work! I’m quite strict about my working hours and I’m not really willing to give up evenings (neither do I have the time or energy to work in the evenings after putting the kids to bed/tidying/cooking/re-settling the baby) so I have to get my work done during the times my kids are in school/childcare. I have a constant internal battle about wanting to be there for the school run vs. wanting to do a couple more hours at my desk!

 

Who’s your support network?

I am extremely lucky to have my parents down the road, and they are a fantastic support. I’ve also benefited from The FMLY Store being in Bruton as I was able to keep the business side of my brain ticking over during maternity leave by attending their business workshops. Through these events, and Instagram and Facebook, I’m slowly growing my online support network. I’ve realised recently that, while it’s great to have more established businesses to follow and aspire to online, it’s just as (if not more) important to create connections with business owners who are at a similar point in their journey to you. Those are the connections I’ve been trying to nurture more recently and its made me feel much more connected to other self-employed people out there.

Photo by Danni Reeder – https://daniellereederphotography.com/

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

It’s taken me a while to realise that the people who have big launches and lots of overnight sales are in a minority – most people take years to build up their businesses enough to make a decent profit. It would have saved me a lot of self-doubt to have known this sooner! That’s why I’ve spent the first few months of full-time self-employment trying to properly set up the foundations of my business so that I can grow it in a sustainable way.

 

What’s your favourite inspirational quote?

I wrote this down when doing the Game Changers course by Guilty Mother’s Club before I set up my business at the beginning of 2017. I’ve had on a post-it note stuck up on my desk ever since and it is something I try and remind myself during difficult times.

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Introducing Natalia from Clear Desk VA

Juggling parenting and being their own boss. Meet Natalia from Clear Desk VA

 

I’m Natalia and I’m a Mum of two young girls – Rose, who is almost 3, and Arabella, who is 1. I was an English teacher for almost ten years in a previous life and now I run a Virtual Assistant business called Clear Desk VA. I’m married to a blooming incredible guy, called Chris, who puts up with my ridiculous house rules and is endlessly supportive.

I am the oldest of 4 girls, love being surrounded by female friends and having a boogie with a couple of glasses of fizz. We live in sunny South Gloucestershire, right near the estuary and the bridges that cross to Wales. Originally, we are from Worcestershire (yep, we met at school and then came together in later life!) and we live in a house that we are slowly renovating, one room at a time.

 

Tell us about your business baby:

 

My biz is Clear Desk VA. The idea for Clear Desk was born, as all brilliant ideas are, at 3am on one of the many long nights of being up with my youngest daughter, when she was tiny. I had this fire in my belly that I wanted to start my own business (I have lots of amazing female friends who are business owners and I wanted in!) but I just couldn’t think what it would be. I don’t “make” anything, so that was out, and I really wanted to do something brilliantly and be successful…which is when I realised that I just needed to marry together all of the qualities that I love: organisation, support and efficiency!

So, the idea to become a VA was born. I researched the heck out of it (love a bit of research!) and knew this was for me. Now, I am about to recruit my first Associate and my books are full, which is still hard to get my head around, as I only launched in September 2018! I simply ADORE my business and what it has brought to my life, as well as my family. It has brought opportunities, new friendships and a passion that I thought I’d left in the classroom, before I became a Mama. I pinch myself each week, honestly!

 

What’s your WHY

 

Ooh that’s a good question. This is the sort of question where you expect to read “my children”, right?! And, of course, they are a massive part of my ‘why’. I want to be a strong female role model for my girls and show them that working flexibly is an option, as a Mother.
But, to be perfectly honest, my main ‘why’ is Me. I want to keep striving to be the best person that I can be and pushing myself to be successful. I think I lost part of that, when I became a Mum, and finding that again has really made me feel like my old self.

What do you find the hardest bit of doing the juggle?

 

Childcare! Ugh – childcare! The blooming childcare juggle is hard, for sure. We don’t live near family so, when one kink in the childcare chain breaks, we have to try and work around it and it can be really hard to keep the balls in the air, keep clients happy and manage the dreaded Mum Guilt!
My husband and I have promised each other that, if we ever become grandparents, our motto will be “always offer”! Even if we live miles away, I think that’s something that I will really remember about this period of our lives.

 

Who’s your support network?

 

I’m so lucky to have a bunch of really strong female friends that I’ve met in the last couple of years, particularly Danni McCabe, who runs Mama Tribe and is a shining light of possibility and wonder. She has a great, creative brain and she’s such a fab support. Also, Maxine of Digital Bon Bons, of course! Her positivity is infectious and she’s such a wonderful friend.

Then I have my lovely girlfriends who I try and keep in touch with as much as I can. My best friend is in Oz for three years, completing a PHD, and I miss her a ridiculous amount. My other bestie is in London and we send each other lengthy voice notes on WattsApp everyday! Such a simple thing but it really helps to keep connected, when you don’t see each other as often as you’d like too.

 

If only I knew then what I know now…

 

How much your heart grows when you have children. It catches me each day!

 

Inspiration Quote that you love:

 

 

Find out more about Clear Desk VA here:

 

Clear Desk VA

 

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Ways to think about your business vision

What do you really want?

 

I’ve asked myself this question many times. When I first decided to launch a business and work for myself I thought about what I actually wanted. At that time is was to create something that could help people and ultimately lead to me saying goodbye to the 9-5 corporate life. As my business then started and grew I think about this in a slightly different way because now I have that flexibility and freedom to have the career I want on my terms, I now think about what I really really want from my business.

When you’re first launching especially when it’s on top of another job the first vision can be about the business doing “well enough” for you to do it full time. That’s the first goal isn’t it – to do what we love all the time. But it really does help to think about it on a more longer scale too and here’s some tips on how to do that.

 

Ways to think about your business vision

 

1) Mixing Business and Pleasure

I definitely feel the two worlds support each other because what I want to achieve in my business is very much linked to what I want for us as a family and the goals we have.

Start by listing down all the things you want for yourself and your family, it can be small or big things. You might like to be able to go to a class once a week or eve hire a cleaner (oh my a cleaner, that’s on my list). Perhaps you want to know for sure that every year you will have a holiday abroad together – it can be whatever you want. One of mine is that we finally decorate the downstairs bathroom.

Once you have your list then start thinking about how your business could get you there. How the business could support you in achieving what you want for you and your family. Can you work out how much the business would need to make for you to say “Yes – come and clean my house once a week”. Or think about what products or services you might need or even thinking about your current prices etc.

2) What does growth mean to you?

I think we can so easily feel that our business vision have to be big, contain loads of big milestones or goals when actually it really depends on what big or growth means to us as individuals. For example, I don’t want to grow into an agency. I don’t want to have employees. I want to stay small, I like being me, myself and I. Now that doesn’t mean I won’t outsource some work to a VA perhaps but in terms of company growth I’m okay with where I’m at.

I’m currently reading a brilliant book at the moment called “Company of One” by Paul Jarvis and I will be writing a book review post once I’ve finished, but this book focuses on exactly this and what it means to grow and how staying small might be the better thing.

Paul touches on numerous points throughout the book about instead of thinking big maybe we should think better instead and I personally love this. I don’t want to be huge, I want to work with soul-aligned clients on the schedule that works for me, the schedule that enables me to do all the other things I love to do to like be with my daughter from 3pm onwards and take trips to the park. Be available for school holidays etc – this is my growth. Plus I just want to be really good at what I do so staying small also enables me to have time and freedom to improve my learning and develop personally.

Have a think about what growth means to you and for your business as this can really help define your vision.

3) Get visual

Now for a vision I like to get visual. I’m naturally a visual thinker so images make sense to me and to be honest it’s why I love platforms like Pinterest and Instagram so much because they’re visual. I’m also a creative so design and how colours and graphics work together completely light me up.

When I’m thinking about the vision for my personal and business life I hit something like Pinterest and create a Vision Board. You might have heard this term spoken about quite a bit or it might be a brand new concept for you. If you’re new to it have a read of “How to create a vision board” blog post to help you get started.

Using all the things I have mentioned about start collating together images, you don’t even have to do this online, you could get a pin board (done this), a scrapbook (done this before too) and get fun and arty with some glue and scissors – be a kid again for a few hours and have fun.

Not only is this really good for the mind and soul but it’s a great way to see that your vision in a very real sense. Plus if you start visualising it from the start who knows what might happen right?

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