Introducing Stephanie from Little Observationist

Juggling parenting and being their own boss, meet Stephanie from Little Observationist

 

Hello! I’m Steph. I’m a freelance social media strategist and content creator. I also have an Etsy shop where I sell photography prints. Home is in southwest London where I live near the river with my husband Jorge, 2-year-old daughter Emilia and our lazy cat Oakley. Some of my favourite things apart from spending time with family and friends are a perfect cup of tea with the teeniest dash of sugar, a hot bath with a great book, wandering around London with my camera and travel to somewhere I’ve never been before.

 

Tell us about your business baby

I’ve been a social media strategist since 2012, working full time in an office setting, which helped me to build an amazing foundation to take the leap into freelancing in 2018. The organisation I worked for those six years before I went solo are still a client, and I still enjoy the work we do together.

My clients now are mostly small businesses across a range of industries and there are many ways we work together. I create highly customised social media strategies, offer social media audits, set up new social media profiles, hold one-to-one training sessions, do some photography projects, write, edit and curate content, provide analytics, and many other things that small businesses don’t have the time or – in such a quickly changing digital landscape – sometimes also the knowledge of best practices, to do themselves.

The work that resonates with me the most has been with individual artists and small visual arts companies, study abroad and travel businesses and a charity I’ve now joined that advocates for inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I’d also love to start doing more work with small businesses run by parents that focus on children.

As a side project, I also have an Etsy shop under the same name where I sell photography prints. (http://www.littleobservationist.etsy.com)

What’s your why?

I come from a family of entrepreneurs who value hard work and support small businesses. Helping creative and innovative people reach goals and succeed is the reason I became a freelancer. I want to help those who deserve to stand out from the crowd share their stories and make themselves more easily found by the audiences they want to connect with the most.

 

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

Being able to strike a balance between work and family life is definitely the most difficult part, as I’m sure it is for most parents who own a business. As much as I try to be in the moment with whatever I’m doing at any given time, since I’m a freelancer, I’m always on mentally – brainstorming ideas for clients, thinking about my next Instagram post, considering analytics and more. I switch from work mode to mum mode in .5 seconds when my husband brings our 2-year-old home after nursery. There’s no commute or time for a break in between to ease the transition. It’s also difficult, after she’s gone to bed, not to go back to finishing what I was doing, but sometimes evening work is inevitable.

Who’s in your support network?

My husband has been very supportive of my work, understanding when I have to put some hours in in the evenings or bring my laptop on holidays. I have several friends who also freelance and we occasionally work together at a cafe or kitchen table. I’m also part of several very supportive Facebook groups full of creative entrepreneurs and freelancers both locally and around the world.

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

Sometimes you have to take a leap into the unknown to achieve things you never thought possible because they were out of your comfort zone. Life has a way of working things out when you take a calculated risk.

 

What’s your favourite inspiration quote?

 

 

Find out more about Little Observationist here:

 

Follow on Social Media here:

Series 2 – Episode 6 The Juggle is Real Podcast: Finding your voice in business and motherhood

It was an absolute pleasure to talk with Anita. In recent years things have really changed for Anita. She met the love of her life, she’s had two babies, the first was at 40 which inspired her blog of the same name, and she continues doing the career she loves – singing. 

Anita uses song to express a lot of what is going on in her life and in this episode we speak about voice. Particularly, finding your inner voice and how to listen to that above the noise and chatter around you. She shares her tips on how she has found her voice after becoming a mum later in her life and how she uses that to find the right balance between motherhood and still being her. 

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Listen to the episode here:

"Finding your voice in business and motherhood" with Anita Ryan

The Juggle is Real - Series 2, Episode 6

Find out more about Anita Ryan here:

 

Visit: http://www.anitaryan.co.uk/

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Introducing Ingrid from Dec + Dash Legal Consulting

Juggling parenting and being their own boss, meet Ingrid from Dec + Dash Legal Consulting

 

Hello, I’m Ingrid. I’m a wife, mum of two young (and energetic) boys, lawyer and founder of Dec + Dash Legal Consulting. My husband and I are from Australia and we came over to the UK on a two year working holiday visa. Six years, a sponsorship, a new business and two babies later, we’re still here and loving our life! I love being part of this supportive, inclusive and positive community of small business owners trying to create something outside the norm.

 

Tell us about your business baby

Prior to starting my legal consulting business, I spent almost 10 years working as a commercial lawyer in courts, law firms and in house. I love the law (#lawnerd) and I love finding solutions to make things work better.

After having my second child, I struggled to find a way to parent the way I wanted whilst still working in a field I love. As the same time, I was finding so many people, parents especially, who were running amazing businesses but getting stuck with their contracts, agreements, policies and the myriad of other legal considerations that come with starting a business.

I started Dec + Dash Legal Consulting in order to make legal compliance straight-forward, accessible and easy to understand so business owners can feel confident that they’re doing all the right things and can focus on the stuff that gives them joy.

 

What’s your why?

I’m not sure if it’s allowed, but I have two whys. The first is definitely my family. It’s important to me to spend quality time with my husband and children, and to be present for them as much as I can be. I don’t want to work so much and so hard that my children only see an exhausted, unhappy mum.

My second why is other mums like me. I know what it feels like to love motherhood, and to also love having a career. It thrills me when I am able to help women with the legal stuff in their business, so they can focus on doing and creating their incredible, life-changing, much-needed ideas, products and services.

 

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

I often find it very challenging to switch off from work and be present with my family. I frequently feel a pressure to be on and available any time of the day, night or weekend. This is something I’m working on every day, and doing little things like turning off my notifications in the evenings and on weekends, and limiting my use of social media during “mum time”, is really helping with this.

 

Who’s in your support network?

My husband David is definitely my biggest supporter. Often when I don’t feel very confident or lose sight of my achievements, it’s David who is shouting about the great things I have done or created. He’s also always easing my mum-guilt when I feel that I’m not giving my children enough, and reminding me of all our little parenting wins.

Next is most definitely the parent-business-owner community that I feel so lucky to be a part of. Communities like Maxine’s Digital Dreamers Playground, Doing It For The Kids and Mama Tribe are just some of the places where I feel completely supported. Everyone is so willing to share their knowledge, expertise and experience, no question is ever too silly, and we put #womensupportingwomen into action every day. I know for sure that I wouldn’t be where I am without this community and the wonderful people in it.

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

When I started my business, I thought I had to do everything on my own. I thought I had to learn every aspect (including marketing, accounting, building a website, social media marketing, etc) and master these things myself. I now know that there are *so* many brilliant and talented people who live and breathe these things, and I would much rather rely on my community of actual experts, than to try (unsuccessfully) to wear all the hats all the time. My motto whenever possible is “let the experts, expert” 🙂

 

What’s your favourite inspiration quote?

It’s my constant reminder that the good things come and go, the bad things come and go, so I try not to hold too tightly to either. It also helps me when I’m over-thinking things, to remember that nothing lasts forever and whatever is bothering me now will most likely be completely forgotten a month from now.

Find out more about Dec + Dash Legal Consulting here:

 

Follow on Social Media here:

Series 2 – Episode 5 The Juggle is Real Podcast: Why a support network helps in business

Running your own business and juggling parenting is a big enough mix as it is, but what happens when grief also gets thrown in. How to we cope when the worst we can imagine strikes us and everything becomes blurry and even empty. 

In this episode I am talking to the lovely Ingrid from Dec + Dash Legal Consulting. Last year Ingrid’s mum got really sick and sadly passed away. Ingrid was in the fros of launching her business venture, juggling life in the UK with her two young children and suddenly her world had changed. Ingrid and her young family spent several months back home in Australia and her business had to take a back seat.

During the episode we talk about grief, processing that emotion and loss but most of all about how wonderful people can be. How as small businesses we can be so understand and supportive to each other in the biggest times of need. 

Ingrid shares her experience of being a new business while dealing with such a life changing situation and how supportive networks helped her cope and come back. 

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Listen to the episode here:

"Why a support network helps in business" with Ingrid from Dec + Dash Legal Consulting

The Juggle is Real - Series 2, Episode 5

Find out more about Dec + Dash Legal Consulting here:

 

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/decanddashlegalconsulting/

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Introducing Sam from CeCe and Me

Juggling parenting and being their own boss, meet Sam from CeCe & Me

 

My name is Sam and I live in Southfields, a lovely family-friendly spot in SW London, with my husband and two girls Cecily (age 9) and Meredith (age 7). My business name is based on the nicknames they had a toddlers, purely because they were the catalyst to make it happen … more on this later!

I don’t get a lot of time to myself but I do love a good book, a walk in the countryside, an evening with friends, a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc (always a bottle in the fridge) and dark chocolate, my perfect weekend would involve them all!

 

Tell us about your business baby

I knew I wanted to work for myself and to work flexibly around my children’s hectic schedules and the demands of family life. One of the parental responsibilities I found utterly frustrating was taking my toddlers to buy new shoes, and this provided the inspiration to achieve my goal.

I set about developing an idea to make children’s shoe fitting a more relaxed and enjoyable experience for all involved, alongside training as a shoe fitter. My solution is firstly about convenience, bringing my expertise to the places families hang out, such as playgroups and cafes, or at home. Secondly it’s about confidence, providing trusted advice and guidance, with a carefully selected range of quality shoes to ensure everyone walks away happy.

 

 

What’s your why?

My mantra is relaxed parents and happy little feet. Ill-fitting shoes in childhood can lead to a lifetime of problems, not only with our feet but with our body’s alignment and posture. Educating parents and helping them make confident decisions about their children’s footwear lies at the heart of the business.

CeCe & Me has provided me with the flexibility I was seeking and so much more. I love my delightful little customers (and the big ones too!), the sense of community, learning new skills, the challenges and the inspiring business owners I have met. Running your own business can be hard, unrelenting and sometimes lonely but for me the highs definitely outweigh the lows.

I am convinced there are other areas where a mobile children’s shoe fitting service would be a welcome addition to the community and my new mission is to build a network of CeCe & Me children’s shoe fitters. If the idea of joining this crew appeals to you, I would love to have a chat.

 

 

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

That feeling of never being on top of everything! I don’t think it’s at all unique to running your own business, it’s just a fact of family life! There is always a niggle at the back of my mind about something I haven’t done, a ball that’s about to drop, whether it be family or business related. So I guess, for me, the hardest bit is never being able to completely switch off.

 

Who’s in your support network?

My Dad has been my greatest supporter and cheerleader from the start of this journey. He’s the wisest person I know and helps me see things more clearly.

I also have the most amazing network of local business buddies, some I have known for years and some I have met recently. Just seeing the effort everyone puts into turning their dream into a reality is an inspiration. I am a firm believer in collaboration and the fantastic results that can be achieved with mutual support.

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

I can do it… we all have the potential to turn our dreams into reality, don’t let self-doubt get in the way, don’t worry about what other people are doing or what they think, just be true to yourself.

 

What’s your favourite inspiration quote?

Find out more about CeCe & Me here:

 

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Series 2 – Episode 4 The Juggle is Real Podcast: Running a Parent focused business

Running a business alongside family life is hard as we know, lots of juggling, lots of jedi mind tricks on the kids, we know. So what’s it like to be running a business that focuses on helping other parents out? 

In this episode I am so excited to be speaking to Susie from Wiki Places for Kids who also happens to be one of the first business buddies that I made along my journey.

Susie has three children now while running Wiki – a trip advisor for parents giving you inspiration on days out with the kids. I don’t know how she does it so it’s really great that in this episode she’ll be telling us. Susie has gone on a massive journey with Wiki so far and she has big dreams for her biz. It’s great to hear her talk about the arrival of her third child and how she has become the biggest motivator for Susie and the business. 

Tune in to hear how Susie manages the day to day, what routines she has and how she is staying focused on achieving her Wiki Goals. We hope you enjoy the episode.

Listen to the episode here:

"Running a parent focused business" with Susie from Wiki Places for Kids

The Juggle is Real - Series 2, Episode 4

Find out more about Wiki Places for Kids here:

 

Visit: https://www.wikiplacesforkids.com/

If you enjoyed the episode why not share it to Pinterest so others can discover it too? I always love discovering new podcasts to listen too.
While you’re there if you fancy following me too, you’ll see all the latest content that I’ll be sharing.