Setting up a business, being an entrepreneur and working from home!
I'm Sarah, a mum of 2 little ones (aged 2 and 4 years). I also run my award-winning business Halia Rose, which enables mums to wear gorgeous jewellery without worry of it being broken or chewed through by little ones.
Being an entrepreneur can be tough!
Having previously worked in the corporate world where I had a team of people around me to bounce ideas off, I am now working on my own running my business so don't have the same daily contact with people as I used to, let alone able to regularly bounce ideas around and share feedback with others. I generally work from home so getting out there and connecting with other like-minded people has made a huge difference to curb any loneliness.
I have found other mum entrepreneurs to be incredibly supportive as they understand the real-life juggle! There is a definite strength and drive with women in business but I also think, as women, we often over-analyse things so it can feel quite lonely, especially if you don't have family and friends who understand what or why you are doing what you are. Juggling family life with running a business brings with it another level of complexity as quite often you are not working traditional hours of a corporate day and therefore switching your mind and focus from family to work constantly can be tricky - I know many working mums who constantly juggle the overwhelm and guilt of not spending enough time with either children or their business!
So, here are my tips for entrepreneurs or those looking to set up on their own:
Go to local networking events for female entrepreneurs and women in business. It makes such a difference to be with and chat to other like-minded positive women who "get" it. Not only have I made great connections and friends but I also find it really inspiring to hear other people’s stories. I now have a few amazing ladies I can meet up with or pick up the phone to and get their thoughts on something I'm working on and I'm more than happy to reciprocate. Join one ours here at Being More than Just Mum's
I realised I was spending a lot of my day in front of my computer (a habit from the corporate world!) but realised I didn't need to (and also shouldn't be!) My business has a creative element and I need to be out there, taking photographs, working on jewellery designs and not just sitting behind a computer! I am now in control of my day and how I spend my time and I love that I can be flexible with my job, not only around my children but also the things that I enjoy doing.
It can be quite overwhelming when you are working solo in your business - there is always something to do and if you're not working, then no-one else is going to do it for you. In the early days, I felt pretty overwhelmed and was heading towards burn out. I needed to re-introduce me-time and exercise for some thinking space and to manage my stress - I now do a regular yoga class which is great for some time out but also to see and chat to other people totally unrelated to my business.
Focus has been key. I'm pretty organised and break up my day into different parts in order to get things done - I love that no two days are the same but it is a juggle and taking the time out to plan ahead definitely helps with this.
I also find breaking up my day gives me some structure and enables me to focus on tasks without feeling overwhelmed about everything I have to do in order to run my business and juggle my family life. Included in my daily structure is my exercise and yoga, which helps with stress release and gives me head space to clear my head, plan and prioritise the important things.
Most of all, enjoy it! You set up your business for a reason (most likely because of a passion of yours) so you need to remember the “why”!
About Halia Rose
I was living and working abroad in Singapore when I had both of my children so had no family or old friends nearby and at times I found it quite lonely. With my first child I experienced a very difficult birth (emotionally and physically), which left me totally exhausted and my emotions were shot through. With only 2 months maternity leave, I wasn't ready to go back to the corporate world and wanted to spend time with my new baby so I handed in my notice.
Like all good ideas, they come from a need. With a young baby, sleep deprivation and no wider support network around me (other than my amazing husband), I wanted to feel like “me” again and being able to wear something designed for me was part of this. My body hadn’t popped back to its pre-pregnancy shape so buying clothes was not something I enjoyed doing at the time but wearing gorgeous jewellery was something I could do, however, I couldn’t find anything that I liked to wear that was also safe for me to wear around my baby. I also noticed that colour really affected my mood and emotional wellbeing and I recognised other mums were in the same boat. The idea for Halia Rose jewellery was born! I believe every mum deserves to look and feel good (however old your children are!)
The name Halia Rose comes from a mix of my inspiration and roots...both my children were born in Singapore and I wanted something to reflect this as they were (and continue to be!) my inspiration plus also my English roots. Halia is the Malay translation for Ginger and Rose is the flower of England...my daughter also has ginger hair and her middle name is Rose!