“If you’re commanding a good salary in your current job, there is absolutely no reason you can’t generate the same income on your own.”
- Juliet Thomas, Impact & Image Coach & Proud Mumpreneur
With soaring childcare costs and a lack of fulfilling part-time work, it’s no wonder that Mumpreneurship is on the increase. A recent survey found that 65 percent of mothers with children under the age of 10 are considering launching their own business in the next three years. But what is it about being your own boss that particularly appeals to mums? Having taken the plunge myself last year, I’ve put together my top Five Reasons Why Mums Should Work for Themselves… and I think they’re pretty compelling! If you’re a mother and have been toying with the idea of setting up your own business, read on…
1. You can build a schedule that works for YOU and your family
This is one of the top reasons why anyone should be self-employed – the flexibility and freedom of being in control of when and where you work makes a hugely positive impact on your lifestyle. YOUR business, YOUR rules – simple! When you work for yourself, you can build a schedule that fits around your family life, not the other way round. Say goodbye to the long commute, take a break to do the school run, spend the afternoon with your children and work in the evening… whatever suits you best. Of course, the need to prioritise your time doesn’t disappear and, as a driven person, you’ll probably still end up working hard. But the only people you’ll need to answer to are your clients, and you get to set their expectations.
2. You can be more present
When I returned to my full-time corporate job after having my son, I felt like I was never able to be fully present in the moment… If I was at home, I was worrying about the work I’d left behind when I ran out of the office – if I was at work, I was dashing around like a crazy person trying to fit everything into a squeezed schedule. When you work for yourself, the time that you set aside for your family is sacred. You’re the boss and you get to decide when stuff gets done. No more calls or emails at the weekend (if you don’t want them), no more worrying that you’re missing something important when you take a day off. Equally, when you’re working, you’re working; you’re not clock-watching. And you’re not trying to miraculously achieve in 8 hours what everyone else is achieving in 12. You can be the best version of you in every aspect of your life – and it feels good!
3.You feel less guilty
Oh, the dreaded working mums’ guilt! Feeling guilty for putting your children in childcare whilst feeling guilty for not being able to put in the long working hours you used to. Of course, it’s not particularly rational – we know we’re setting ourselves impossibly high standards, and yet we continue to punish ourselves… “It’s really tough,” I used to say to friends, “I feel like I can’t win”. And that’s just it – we all want to do well at work, provide a great life for our children AND be there to share the best bits with them; it’s not physically possible for most of us. As a self-employed mother, you won’t necessarily achieve the impossible, but you’ll be following a path that you have carved for yourself. You’ll be able to say I’m doing this because I’m passionate about it, it makes me happy and it makes me proud. Being happier and more content in yourself will banish the guilt because, even when you’ve had a really busy day, you’ll be able to look your children in the eye and say, I love what I’m doing – I’m doing it for you AND I’m doing it for me. It’s all about striking that balance.
4.You can make money!
Yes. Really, you can. This point is particularly relevant because, whilst we’re not all desperate to make a million (though it would be nice!), money ranks pretty high on the agenda for most mums. A 2012 study found that 58 percent of mothers return to work through financial necessity. Of course, this makes a lot of sense – financial security becomes even more important when you have children. But don’t let it put you off starting your own business. If you’re commanding a good salary in your current job, there is absolutely no reason you can’t generate the same income on your own. And you may find that you quickly earn more than you did before because you are directly in control of your time and therefore your income. Not to mention the money you’ll save on childcare!
5. You get to be an awesome role model
Entrepreneurship is the future. To succeed in the modern business world, whether it’s within a large organisation or going it alone, you need to be entrepreneurial. Being innovative and actively seeking out new ways to add value is how to get ahead. As a self-employed parent, not only are you developing your own entrepreneurial skills, but you’re also preparing your children for success. The fact is, when we work for ourselves, we’re more likely to engage our children in what we’re doing, simply because we’re more likely to be passionate about it… and self-employed parents are able to model and share a wealth of entrepreneurial skills with their children: goal setting, networking, recognising opportunities, innovation, independence, thinking outside the box… Not to mention the critical lesson you’ll teach your kids by simply taking the plunge, which is: do what makes you happy and don’t fear failure.
So there we have it… Mumpreneurship looks like a rather attractive option, doesn’t it? No wonder employers are struggling to retain their top female talent!
Are you a Mumpreneur? What are the pros and cons of working for yourself whilst bringing up a family?
Juliet is an Image and Impact Coach specialising in boosting personal impact, confidence and presence to help people Make an Impact at work. With a background in operations management and global leadership, Juliet has a knack for spotting untapped potential and a passion for developing people. Visit Juliet’s website here
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