Juggling parenting and being their own boss, meet Pip from Social Pip

 

Hi I’m Pip, I live in the fabulous market town of Hitchin in Hertfordshire which is full of thriving independent businesses, if you’ve never visited you really must. I moved here from London with my husband and daughter (who was less than 1 year old at the time) in 2008 and since then we’ve acquired a dog, an extension and another child who is now 9!! Before my London life as a recruitment consultant I was a secondary school teacher in Cornwall for 6 years, back then I never envisaged doing anything other than teaching and living in Cornwall forever, isn’t it funny how life doesn’t pan out the way you think it will?!

 

Tell us about your business baby

Social Pip was born out of an obsession and a flippant comment from my husband in 2012. I had been toying with the idea of returning to teaching to ease the issue of school holiday childcare but soon realised that the logistics and cost issues would still exist on the days I potentially would be working. ‘I really need a flexible, work from home job that fits perfectly around the kids,’ I joked to my husband while simultaneously tweeting from my Blackberry (ah the days when I could multi-task, how I miss you!) to which he retorted, ‘Well you’re clearly obsessed with social media and get how it should work for businesses, why don’t you turn your obsession into a business that would fit round the kids.”

Over the last 7 years Social Pip has changed from simply offering social media management to include 1-2-1 training, social media mentoring and most recently workshops. The one thing that has never altered is my mission to simplify social media for small businesses, to help them find a workable but effective social media presence using authentic and engaging content.

What’s your why?

Well of course my children were and still are my ‘why’ BUT I also needed to do something for me. I needed to keep the old grey matter ticking over (even if it has turned me into a social media geek!); I wanted to be able to contribute to life as a family in a monetary way and can still remember how good it felt being able to pay for some After School Art Classes and I wanted to get my haircut or buy myself some new shoes without having to ask for money or dip into the joint account.

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

The guilt! There’s always something to feel guilty about, whether it’s that you’re not devoting enough time to the children; neglecting domestic chores; doing too much work or not enough work; haven’t spent quality time with the husband; rushing a coffee with friends because you’ve got a pile of work waiting at home but if you don’t meet them you’ll also feel guilty! The guilt is real!

Who’s in your support network?

My husband for starters, despite the fact that he isn’t on social media and isn’t its biggest fan he’s definitely my first port of call for business issues and ideas and helps with school holiday childcare too so that I can work, albeit at reduced hours, while the kids are home.

I’ve also met some fabulous people online who I totally count in my support network (some I’ve met in real life and it’s totally magical when that happens) and one in particular, who I have met several times IRL, I know I can call on with all manner of questions, issues and moments of self doubt at pretty much most hours of the day! I actually fondly refer to him as my ‘social media husband’ (yes my actual, real husband is cool with that) because he is THAT special but you might know him as ‘BizPaul‘!

 

If only you knew then what you know now…

The magical work/life balance everyone talks about just isn’t attainable when you have children and a business because when you think you’ve got it sussed something changes.

 

What’s your favourite inspiration quote?

 

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