How do you progress your career and be a hands-on working mother? What are the options for women? If the family budget permits, you could go part-time. If your current employer or another organisation grant the options you could work a four-day week or full-time but flexibly.
Career progression in the traditional sense, bigger job title, higher salary, corner office maybe harder to obtain if you’re a hands-on working mother due to for example the ‘have to be seen’ and ‘presenteeism’ i.e. work late and full-time to be promoted culture of some roles and companies. When surely it is the output and results that count. Right?
Of the course the picture I have painted is not the reality for all working mothers. Congratulations if you have managed to keep working. Respect to you (& Aretha Franklin of course may she RIP). However, some very clever women who held ‘big jobs’ have ended up in underpaid and/or over-qualified roles to be there for their children (e.g. drop offs, pick-ups, mummy taxi for extra-curricular activities, homework and the list goes on…) through the pre and primary school years.
So, what happens if you don't want to tread water or you can’t afford to tread water in your career due to being an older parent. Dare I say what if you still have that nagging feeling that you still have your best career years in front of you and so need a personal and professional challenge. Is still ambitious; and well of course need the money for the family budget and/or your independence (Westfield here you come)?
There is a third way. I call it the third 'E' (after Education and Employment) for career progression and motherhood and that is 'Entrepreneurship'. Hence the rise of the mumpreneur.
“A mumpreneur is a multitasking woman who can balance the demands of being an entrepreneur and take care of the family at the same time.” (Mayooran, 2017, p8)
Let's debunk a few myths here of what it means
to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship
is not just a male sport. Rightly or
wrongly it has an image that everyone goes into business to start-up, scale up
and sell out. When the reality is that
99.9% of businesses in the UK are SME's (Small to Medium Sized Enterprises).
No one is saying leave your job tomorrow and fly by the seat of your female pants. There are lots of different ways of being an entrepreneur and mumpreneurs are proving it and rocking it. From the 10% entrepreneur (one day a week) to the 50% (not 50 cent) to full time. Mum's are taking control of their working and family lives and keeping their careers moving. You can too through entrepreneurship!
Like Sandrine Olmi, a Registered Nutritional Therapist and a Mind, Body, Eating coach. Sandrine helps mums who just had a baby heal their body and build strength through nutrition and lifestyle strategies. Find out more about Sandrine’s Start-Up Story here.
Business Feature of the Week: Savoir Fayre Nutrition
1. Tell me about your business.
I am a Registered Nutritional Therapist and a Certified Mind, Body, Eating Coach. I help mums who just had a baby heal their body and build strength through nutrition and lifestyle strategies. I also help women rebalance their hormones and restore gut health the natural way.
My programmes are for women who feel tired, overwhelmed and depleted after child birth as well as those who may be suffering specifically from digestive issues, hormone or mood imbalance or weight issues.
I enjoy helping women feel empowered to choose the best food for them and their family to be and remain healthy.
2. When and why did you set it up.
I decided to study nutrition because I suffered from digestive issues I couldn’t seem to resolve with the conventional medicine. I looked for a short nutrition course and ended up signing up for a 3-year course which gave me a diploma in nutrition. It was never my intention to become a Nutritional Therapist. However, in year 2, I started making progress with my health and I saw what a difference Nutritional Therapy can make to people’s lives. By the end of the course, I decided to quit my full-time, well paid, corporate job and I set up my own practice.
3. Where did you get your business idea from?
As I was studying, I soon realised that becoming a Nutritional Therapist would allow me to create my own business close to home and run it on my terms. At the time, my husband and I were in the process of adopting a child. To be a mum while still being able to do something I am passionate about was my motivation to set up my business.
4. How did you set up your business?
There are many ways of practising Nutritional Therapy. You can welcome clients in your home, you can hire a clinic room, or you can run online programmes. I was very lucky to find a clinic room not too far from home. And I also decided to visit clients in their home. Since my focus is around family nutrition, it makes it easier for people if I come to their home. We can look at the food they eat, the pre-packaged products they buy, the supplements the family are taking, and we can also spend time in the kitchen preparing healthy meals. In the last year or so, I have focused on my online presence. My plan is to write an online nutrition course for new mums.
5. What problems did you encounter? How did you overcome them?
Setting up your own business is rather challenging. It starts with writing a business plan, defining your target audience and your offer as well as creating your own brand. Building a website, writing content, setting up social media platforms are all essentials when starting a new business. I did find it very overwhelming. You want to do everything at once. But let’s face it, there are only so many hours in a day. Although I had a marketing background, I soon realised that I needed some guidance. The best thing I ever did was to get a business coach to give me some directions and to help me get things done in a very focused and efficient manner.
6. What have been the benefits to you in running your own business?
My daughter came along 2 years after I had set up my business. The great thing was that I was able to “pause” my business while I looked after her for 1 year. Now, I can do a job I truly love, and I can enjoy the flexibility of being able to work whenever I can. I work 3 days a week as well as Saturday mornings. I get to drop my daughter off to nursery and I pick her up every day. I am also on call if she is ill and I get to attend her various activities at nursery. I feel that I can really make the most of this very special time! Kids grow so fast!
7. What has been your proudest business achievement so far?
When a client comes to you with digestive issues that are so debilitating that this person can no longer socialise, their work gets affected as well as their private life and you are in a position to help them, there are no words to describe this feeling. I feel very proud for having taken the risk to set up my business and given it a go.
8. What is it like to run a business with a small child?
Let’s face it, being a mumpreneur is not easy. When you are committed to make your business work, it will mean spending some hours getting it off the ground. I have worked many late nights to get it started. But I make sure I listen to my body and I take time out to look after myself. It may sound like luxury but if we want to keep going long-term, our health as mums comes first. A strong mum = a strong family
9. In hindsight, what one piece of advice would you give a mum-to-be and / or mum who wants to be a mumpreneur?
The one piece of advice I would give is to not hesitate to get some help. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and invest in some professional support for the tasks that you will find particularly challenging. Whether it is web design, social media or branding, there is nothing more valuable than talking to a professional. It may sound like a big investment, but it is worth every penny. It will allow you to get on with the tasks you can do well.
Want to find out more about Sandrine?
Hi, I’m Sandrine, a Registered Nutritional Therapist and a Mind, Body, Eating coach.
I help mums who just had a baby heal their body and build strength through nutrition and lifestyle strategies. I also help women rebalance their hormones and restore gut health the natural way.
When working with me, you will get very simple nutritional advice which can help you feel nourished, energised and inspired even if you have very little time on your hands.
I help you identify which foods are best for your body and your baby if you are breastfeeding. I also share lots of ideas to help you save time in the kitchen while preparing nutritious meals for your family.
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