'The Woman Behind The Business'


"The 'Woman Behind The Business, is an ongoing interview series, showcasing the 'Real' journey & work that goes on behind the scenes, of building an empire. I am thrilled to be working alongside, a collection of highly acclaimed Mumpreneurs & Fempreneurs, who are proud to share with us. Their honest approach to becoming a successful business woman, along with pearls of wisdom, to motivate, encourage & inspire you along your very own entrepreneurial journey."




Introducing Biacna Sobell owner of Boho B
Bianca Sobell
Owner of Boho B

What does the term 'Entrepreneur' mean to you? 
For me being an entrepreneur means that my desire to follow my dreams and be a success are far greater than my fears of failure. It's the difference between doing rather than simply dreaming. It's really about self-belief.

How long have you been a Business Owner? 
10 months in this business but I am an owner of other businesses too.

Why did you start your own business? 
Because my vision for Boho B was so clear and I believe that if you don't build your own dream someone else will just hire you to build theirs.
         
What does a day in self-employed land look like for you? 
My days are NEVER the same! As a designer, manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer there is always a lot to do. From choosing new fabrics, seeing clients, photo shoots, brand awareness and the constant push to develop the brand to its full potential my days are always packed.

Is being an entrepreneur, what you 'thought' it was going to be like? What were the connections & difference between, Reality & Fantasy?
Having grown up surrounded by entrepreneurs, I would say it was inbuilt. I come from a family of hard working successful individuals in their own right so I am lucky to have had no false illusions that if you want to be successful that means you need to put in the work. It is like any relationship, time and patience with a lot of effort and you will be successful. 
What was your biggest challenge when starting out as a new business owner?
As a designer I always want to make sure that my vision was created to the highest level. Manufacturing for me was the hardest to get right. Now we have a great team of seamstresses that work solely for Boho B ensuring that all our handmade garments are perfect!

Self doubt & negative belief, is something that we can all relate to, throughout our business growth journey. Can you share with us, how you overcame this as a successful & established business owner?
We all at times think we aren’t good enough, don’t we? Have you ever got to the point where you are bored of doubting yourself? That’s where I got to. Its when you turn off the noises and focus on the dream. Its when you realise that without question you are good enough. That’s when you will achieve. 

Building a business comes with many highs & lows. How do you manage the great Mum V Mumpreneur balance?
I’m not a Mum yet!  I can only tell you that my Mum balanced it very well and was a great inspiration.


In your experience, to date, what has been the best thing about being self-employed?
Freedom. The freedom to make my own mistakes and learn from them. The freedom to live life and grow my business my way.

What has been your steepest learning curve & biggest lesson learnt?
What’s cheap always ends up expensive 

As a successful entrepreneur, how do you deal with business overwhelm from both a positive & negative perspective?
I have an amazing support network. From family and my business besties, they are always on hand for the times you need to help you remain grounded.

What has been your biggest achievement to date, & did this change your Business Woman mindset? If so, how & why?
I have had celebrity collaborations and have signed a contract with a chain of department stores for Boho B to hit the high street!! This makes me more focused and more determined.

What one piece of advice would your now more experienced present self, give to newbie female entrepreneurs about to embark on their journey?
The most valuable things you can make are mistakes, you can’t learn anything from being perfect.

Do you have any final 'Pearls of Wisdom', you would like to share with the ladies, within in the M|MK Coaching community. That will both encourage & inspire their next steps?
One thing we can all control is the effort. Put in the time to become an expert in whatever you are doing. It will give you an advantage as most people don’t do this.

Website link: www.bohob.co.uk
Twitter ID:@bohobcollection
Instagram: @bohobcollection
Facebook group link: @bohobcollection


Introducing Veena V owner of YT Club & Mum to Millionaire
Veena V
Founder of YT Club & Mum to Millionaire

Name: Veena V
Job Title: Online Entrepreneur 
Business/Network name: YT CLUB, Mum To Millionaire and Real Mauritius

What does the term 'Mumpreneur' mean to you? 
It means women who are go getters and want to create their ideal lifestyle for themselves and their family

How long have you been a Mumpreneur?
Summer 2015

Why did you start your own business?
To be in control of my own destiny, be able to spend quality time with my son, have the ability to plan my own time and do things I LOVE doing

What does a day in Mumpreneur land, look like for you? 
It varies week by week, depending on if I have meetings in London if I’m out interviewing people etc so I’ll give you a ‘typical’ day if I’m at home…(warning this really isn’t interesting)

I drop my son to school, go to the gym and take a class called metafit (high-intensity workout) I’ll literally in and out of the gym in around 35 minutes 

I’ll then get straight to work after having a nice shower with no interruptions! This could involve filming videos at home, editing the podcast, working on projects for the week. I’m currently putting together some free video training which will act as an opt in on my websites.
Pick my son up at 3.15, take him to the park (if it's not raining, damn this weather!) then I’ll try to pick up work when he’s in bed at 8.30.
I’ve also started to switch my phone off at 10 pm to stop myself constantly checking social media!

Is being a Mumpreneur, what you 'thought' it was going to be like? 
Don’t get sucked into the filters of Instagram! Being a Mumpreneur isn’t that image of the beautiful women, holding a baby and working on her laptop!

It’s much harder than I ever imagined. More so in terms of time, from September I’ll be getting childcare in place to give me extra hours to work on my businesses throughout the week

What was your biggest challenge when starting out as a new Mumpreneur?
Definitely monetizing my brands. This is still a challenge now but I’m slowly making baby steps every day to overcome this. I’m brilliant at making the content, making videos, helping people - but I’m a crap marketer!

Self-doubt & negative belief is something that we can all relate to, throughout our business growth journey. Can you share with us, how you overcame this as a successful & established Mumpreneur?
I would not call myself successful or established - I think I’ve achieved maybe 1% of what I’m capable of! Whenever I start to feel demotivated, I give myself a break, I re-evaluate how I want my life to be, what makes me happy and what my strengths are. I always remind myself WHY I am doing this and that I deserve to be successful 

Building a business as a Mumpreneur, come with many highs & lows. How do you manage the great Mum V Mumpreneur balance?
You have to find your own way to balance! I think a lot of it is down to organisation and planning. I get my son’s stuff ready the night before so the school run and mornings aren’t stressful

In your experience, to date, what has been the best thing about being a Mumpreneur?
Spending more quality time with my son and building brands that are actually helping people

Many Mumpreneurs feel like they often compromise & sacrifice their mummy duties, to fulfil & deliver their role as a serious & respected Mumpreneur. Is this a challenge you have faced, & if so how do/did you deal with it? If not, what is your secret?
It's actually the reverse for me - I’ve sacrificed my work to be a better Mum. I love being with my son but I get very frustrated sometimes with the slow progress of my businesses. Right now I need to be here for my son as he has behaviour issues. He’s calming down a lot now (yay!) so I’ll be able to spend more time on my brands after the summer.

As a successful Mumpreneur, how do you deal with Business overwhelm from both a positive & negative perspective?
OMG, I’ve literally just come out of this. Since having my son I’ve never felt particularly overwhelmed but for the last 6 months, I have been all over the place. This is due to me launching 3 businesses at around the same time - so self-inflicted!

I’m getting over this by saying to myself -it's ok - I stop getting frustrated. I’ve slowly organised my laptops, house, have a separate notebook for each business. It really is all about planning and getting organised. Also get help!! I have just hired a VA who will be putting together the Mum To Millionaire blog posts for me.

What has been your biggest Mumpreneur achievement to date, & did this change your Business Woman mindset? If so, how & why?
My YT CLUB Tripods being shortlisted and then becoming a finalist as product of the year at the network mums business awards. It made me think wow, I really can do this and people are liking my brands. You can watch me live streaming from the awards at Aston Villa football club by clicking here.

You run an On-Line business & network, with an extensive tribe of followers, do you ever feel the pressure to have a 'picture perfect' online persona? What advice do you have for Mumpreneurs that perhaps do?
Oh goodness, no way, Mum To Millionaire is all about being honest, open and genuine. However, you do need to look professional and have a consistent brand image across all platforms - same fonts, same colours etc 

I like my brands to look slick but I don’t get caught up on perfection - I used to and it just wastes time! You can always come back to improve on images, graphics, websites just get it out there NOW 

What one piece of advice would your now more experienced present self, give to newbie Mumpreneurs, about to embark on their journey?
Be patient, it’s going to be hard juggling everything but YOU CAN DO IT. Also if you want to see results be consistent from the start.

You have a very successful YouTube Chanel, what are you Top 5 Tip for being confident online?
I just made this video all about confidence click here to watch it. 
I’m naturally not a confident person, it's all about putting yourself in situations out your comfort zone and practising 

You interview a vast range of emerging & well know Public Figures, do you have a Top 5 list of things to consider when interviewing?
1) Do your research
2) Do even more research! Don’t just look at their website, look at their social media, other interviews and really understand who they are
3) Practice at home your interview questions
4) Be yourself - don’t try and copy anyone - do the interview in your own style
5) Have fun, pretend the person you are interviewing is your friend

What advice would you give to women who are thinking about creating a LIVE or video documented series on social media?
DO IT - stop making excuses - get your phone out and start recording now!

Do you have any final Mumpreneur 'Pearls of Wisdom', you would like to share with the ladies, within in the MMK Coaching community. That will both encourage & inspire their next steps?
TAKE ACTION TODAY - not tomorrow. If you really want to make something happen then you have to put the work in and make it happen yourself. Yes it's challenging, but whats the point of life if you don’t even try and make your dreams into a reality

YOU CAN DO IT x

Website link: MumToMillionaire.com 
Facebook group link: Facebook.com/mumtomillionaire 
Follow my Mumpreneur documentary at youtube.com/vipregnancy 
For Confidence tips & to make better youtube videos at youtube.com/officialveenav 

Introducing Lucia Sandal Founder of The Power Womans Network 

Lucia Sandal
Founder of: PowerWomans Network

Name: Lucia Sandal
Job Title: Online Marketing Strategist & Success Coach
Business/Network name: PowerWomensNetwork
Number of Children: 

What does the term 'Mumpreneur' mean to you?
An amazing woman doing her stinking best to combine being the best possible mom to her kids with running a business she can be proud of, so she can provide for her loved ones and create a better future for them.    

How long have you been a Mumpreneur?
I’ve been in business for a little over 2,5 years. I started my first business in the wedding industry in December 2013, and then a year later started the PowerWomensNetwork.

Why did you start your own business?
I initially became an entrepreneur because after a great career of 24 years doing work that I loved, I decided that working a corporate job wasn’t for me anymore. Those feelings kind of started popping up after I had my first child in 2008, but after the twins were born in 2011 it really kicked in and I burnt out. That’s when I knew it was time for me to quit my job, even though I had no plan B whatsoever.


What does a day in Mumpreneur land, look like for you? 
I have a strict schedule, as I feel it’s the only way to be at my best in both roles as a mom as well as an entrepreneur. I’ll wake up an hour before the rest of the house wakes up to start my morning routine. This involves working on my mindset, reading and exercising for about an hour. When my kids wake up I get them ready for school, get myself ready and we’ll have breakfast before I take them to school. At school, I really take the time for them, like reading a book with the twins before class starts and then join my daughter as she reads a book out loud. That’s what’s expected from the parents so all the kids get support during their daily reading routine. I’m so grateful that I can do that every day because most working parents can’t. Then I’ll head back home or a shared work space to get to work. My working day usually starts with updating my social media and email, connecting with people and responding to messages. 

I have specific days for specific tasks, for instance, Monday is my content day where I’ll create social media updates, a blog post and emails to send to my subscribers for the entire week. Tuesdays and Thursday I reserve for sales calls and working with clients. Wednesday morning I reserve for emergency tasks that come up, and Fridays I try to keep free for networking, either online and/or in person. The afternoons (after 3 pm) and Wednesdays after 12 pm are for quality-time with the kids until they go to bed at 7 pm and then I’ll spend some quality-time with the hubby and work on my business for a few more hours. I try to reserve 2 hours every night for my education (I love doing online programs and I love to learn). I aim to be in bed by midnight.

Is being a Mumpreneur, what you 'thought' it was going to be like? What were the connections & difference between, Reality & Fantasy?
It’s even better than I thought it would be, but that’s mainly because my current business gives me more freedom to decide where, when and how I want to work. In my first business I was designing and styling weddings, which meant you had to be present to perform. Because this business is online I can basically work whenever and from wherever and that’s amazing. I must say that I’m not quite experiencing the time freedom I’d envisioned when becoming an entrepreneur because I don’t think I’ve ever worked this hard, although I had a pretty busy job in corporate. I guess it’s just because I’m so passionate about what I do that I sometimes forget that I’m actually working.

What was your biggest challenge when starting out as a new Mumpreneur?
Dealing with mom-guilt and finding a good work-life balance. I think that as moms we constantly worry about spending enough time with the kids. That’s one of the reasons I’ve created this strict schedule because it allows me to keep the two apart. When I’m working, I can really focus on being as productive as possible without any distractions. And when I’m with the kids I aim to really be in the moment and ‘disconnected’ from work so I can give them my all. This has really helped me deal with the feelings of mom-guilt.

Self-doubt & negative belief is something that we can all relate to, throughout our business growth journey. Can you share with us, how you overcame this as a successful & established Mumpreneur?
Entrepreneurship has so many aspects and stages, and each one of them comes with its own challenges that force you to step outside your comfort zone, take risks and jump while hoping that the net will appear. In order to cope with all of this I believe you need to continuously work on your mindset to make sure it’s supportive and provides you with the strength to believe that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be and that you have what it takes to become the person you need to be to create a life that you love and a business you can be proud of.
And that’s what I work on every single day during my morning routine.

Building a business as a Mumpreneur, come with many highs & lows. How do you manage the great Mum V Mumpreneur balance?
As I described above, by keeping a strict schedule and separating mom and entrepreneurship as much as possible. However, I wouldn’t want to call it ‘balanced’ because I’m not sure if there is such a thing when you’re a mompreneur.


In your experience, to date, what has been the best thing about being a Mumpreneur?
1. Being a mom
2. Being an entrepreneur

Seriously, I love both and even though being a mom always comes first, I’ve always said that I wouldn’t (or even couldn’t) be a full-time mom. I really need to have my own ‘thing’, because that’s what helps me be the happy and best possible mom to my 3 kids.

Many Mumpreneurs feel like they often compromise & sacrifice their mummy duties, to fulfil & deliver their role as a serious & respected Mumpreneur. Is this a challenge you have faced, & if so how do/did you deal with it? If not, what is your secret?
It absolutely is a challenge I have faced and to me, the only way to shine in both roles was to be fully focused and in the moment with the role I was currently in. I also try to involve my kids in my business. My daughter is at an age now that she’s very interested in what I do, so when I’m creating graphic designs for social media I often consult with her and she really has an eye for it. So I let her practice with my design tool and she’s looking forward to creating that for me in the near future.

As a successful Mumpreneur, how do you deal with Business overwhelm from both a positive & negative perspective?
Great question. Well, I’m a natural born worrier and a perfectionist. Or…I used to be. As an entrepreneur, I quickly learned that none of these was serving me and they would only lead to procrastination, over analysing and never getting things done. So through my mindset work, I taught myself to no longer worry about negative outcomes, but replace them with my desired positive outcomes. So I still ‘worry’, but about my desired outcomes and that has been a huge help. I also thought myself to only worry before making a decision, and after a decision is made focus on taking the necessary actions to make it true or right. Or like Maxwell Maltz said: “Do your worrying before you place your bet, not after the wheel starts turning.”


What has been your biggest Mumpreneur achievement to date, & did this change your Business Woman mindset? If so, how & why?
I’d say that my biggest achievement is that I’m still here and I’m still a mompreneur. With all the challenges entrepreneurship comes with - especially if you combine it with motherhood - it’s easy to throw the towel in the ring and give up. But I made a decision that this business is going to be a huge success. And that means that I will not simply do my best to make it work, but I will do whatever it takes to make my vision a reality. And there’s not a thing in the world that is going to keep me from doing that.

You run an On-Line business & network, with an extensive tribe of followers, do you ever feel the pressure to have a 'picture perfect’onlinee persona? What advice do you have for Mumpreneurs that perhaps do?
Well, not anymore but I definitely have. However, I’ve learned that people will see right through that. You’re not fooling anybody but yourself if you’re trying to be the successful person who’s making more money than she ever imagined from day 1. Not only will that be hard for people to believe, but more importantly your audience will not be able to relate with you. It will place you on a totally different level than where they feel they are and will cause you to grow apart, just like in any relationship.

So, my advice is to be authentically and unapologetically you, flaws and all. Share your wins and your failures, your worries and fears and teach them how you overcame them or how you’re dealing with them. This will make you much more human and relatable, and will allow you to create a more meaningful and honest relationship with your ‘tribe’.

What one piece of advice would your now more experienced present self, give to newbie Mumpreneurs, about to embark on their journey?
Do not try to figure it all out by yourself. I used to be someone who thought I could do it all and I didn’t need anyone’s help. But the truth is that you simply can not succeed as an entrepreneur by doing it all on your own. You need at least a community of peers to cheer you on, to brainstorm ideas with and to share your wins and failures. You need a team to support you so you can eliminate the overwhelm and spend more time with your family and get your much-needed ‘me-time’. 

You need a coach or a mentor that has already been where you want to go so you don’t end up wasting your valuable time and money making all the mistakes they can help you prevent. So the best piece of advice I can give is to not be afraid to invest in yourself. You deserve to invest in yourself, and if you think you ‘can’t afford it yet’ that’s when you probably need it the most. You can only achieve true greatness with the support of others.

Do you have any final Mumpreneur 'Pearls of Wisdom', you would like to share with the ladies, within in the MMK Coaching community. That will both encourage & inspire their next steps?
Yeah, I’d like to tell them to above all make sure to enjoy the journey. Entrepreneurship is a beautiful journey, that’s a marathon and certainly not a sprint. Everyday you learn something new that will get you closer toward creating the life and business you envisioned.

Just stay true to yourself to discover your purpose in life and business, then find the support and guidance to help you stand in your power and fulfil your true potential. Because you’re so worth it!

Website link: www.powerwomensnetwork.com
Twitter ID: twitter.com/luciasandaal
Facebook group link: www.facebook.com/groups/powerwomensnetwork/



Bianca Chappell Life & Business Coach
Founder of The Mumpreneurs|MK Network
Name: Bianca  Chappell 
Job Title: Business Coach & Organisation Founder
Number of Children & ages: 1 daughter aged 6, & 1 son, aged 3 

What does being a mum mean to you?
I believe being a mum, means you are a secret superhero of the world!

What are the challenges of being a mum & running a business/ working today?
The biggest challenge for me is ensuring there is a level balance of my time, for both motherhood and my role in Mumpreneur Land. As a mummy, a small business owner & founder of a high engagement on-line community, I daily battle with being present in both roles 100% of the time.Some may say its impossible to do this, but I have learnt over the years that, it is possible, just not always all at the same time. Above anything in life, my primary focus is my children, & I am building my little empire, ultimately for them. But in order to do that, I need to spilt myself what feels like 100 ways... And that can at times be a huge challenge to overcome.

You've managed to build a successful business around your little ones, was this a hard thing to do, & why did you choose to start?
I became a business owner & founder of my network by total accident!... Before I was given the blessing that is becoming a mummy. I was quite satisfied with being an employee.The moment I became pregnant with my first child, as if by magic, I inherited this new found personal driver, to want to contribute to the world more. Suddenly the responsibility of being responsible for this little person, baking away in my baby oven (as my daughter calls it). Filled me with this overwhelming need to do more in the world, & make an impact. Suddenly I found myself totally besotted with all things, pregnancy, birth & beyond.  

It was at that time during the middle of my pregnancy, that I started connecting with other mums online, & had organically founded an organisation dedicated to supporting the 'Real' journey of motherhood. During my second pregnancy, I was forced to stop & take stock of... life. It was a very turbulent pregnancy yet still a beautiful one.

I realised a lot about myself & my ability to simply carry on because that is what us mums do. But above anything, I reconnected with all my transferable skills, passions, aspirations, goals & dreams I had for myself. And decided to just go for it! I remember saying to myself, "Right! Bianca. If you can go through pregnancy, birth & beyond successfully, which you have done once already. Then you can go for your dreams too!" I literally spoke to myself (haha)... One of my mantras in life is if you believe you can. Then you can! And so I did, I bit the bullet just went for it. I built my business from the ground up, alongside developing a networking development agency, supporting Mums and Mumpreneurs.

I am now the proud owner of a Coaching practice, dedicated to supporting Mums & Mumpreneurs, & founder of a networking development agency for Mumpreneurs. I literally feel like I have the best job in the world.

What do you think is the most challenging part of mommyhood?
Finding time for me. Protected 'Me Time' where I can simply be Bianca. Although very rare, for me it is precious. It allows me to recharge, it allows me to guilt free bask in the things I enjoy & at times need. This may be something as simple as taking a bath without interruptions! or a lunch with friends.

Often as mums, we fall prey to putting that time for ourselves on hold, as it's more justifiable to invest that time in, or on our children, however. Over the years I have learnt, watering our emotional gardens as mums, is just as important as doing so for our children. So sometimes it's a necessity rather than a wish, to be selfish (for once) & take much needed 'me time'. So although at times, this is a challenge, It is one that I am always ready to fight for.

Best thing about being a mum?
The best thing about being a mum, is that I am mummy to Queenie & Remy. They are such an amazing set of little people. Two funny & loving children who are my lifes masterpieces, my greatest assets in this world. Who despite the highs & lows of this journey called motherhood. Fill me with so much joy, so the best thing about being a mum. Is that I'm mummy, to them.

We photographed your morning dance with your children, is this something you do everyday? 
Yes we do our morning dance most days, it just sets us all up straight for the day ahead. It started again by totally accident one day. When my daughter was about to have the mother of all tantrums when she was two years old, & a song came on the radio & she stopped, mid tantrum & started dancing. With tantrum aborted...(laughs) I found music was something that she loved to just vent her baby frustrations & het up energy to.Ta-Dah! The morning dance was born, and we have been doing it ever since.

Do you ever feel like you have split identities?
Oh yes, defiantly! when I'm in Mumpreneur Mode & working on my business or in the agency. I'm back to being adult Bianca, professional, confident, ready to lead the team & get the job done! Even my wardrobe changes! To be totally honest, I love that mode. It gives me a chance to still be 'Me' whilst still being mummy. It goes back to what I was saying about having it all, just not all at once.

The minute its time for the school run, & I leave the office, the transformation into Mummy Mode commences (haha).... The flip flops or Uggs go on, & I'm back to being fun mum! The children know mummy is building a business, and our daughter tells everyone "Mummy is working on a business for me, to have when I'm older". And I love that, I love that she is aware of what I do & wants to be apart of that. But am always concious that, building a business can interfere with ones life 24/7, it becomes like another child requiring & demanding ones time. So I try (don't always succeed haha) to keep Bianca the Business Woman, separate from Bianca the Mummy in the eyes of my children.

Do you feel like you have a healthy balance between work, life, home?
It could be healthier (laughing), but for now it works well. The day I have built the business and agency to a point where I can step away from it, for weeks on end, to travel the world and it all still stays afloat, thanks to staff who I trust to continue making the dream work. I will know the balance is at its healthiest point. I'm not there yet haha.. So until then, everyday is a battle to be present 100% in both my worlds as Mummy and Mumpreneur, as well as being a wife & maintaining a happy home for all. That is why I believe as Mums we are Superheroes! because we literally have inherent powers, to wear many many hats, juggle many many balls and keep them all up in the air.

Do you ever feel a pressure to be the perfect mum?  
No never! I don't believe there is such a thing, so I don't even try to be something I don't believe exists. My ideology of motherhood is that we are all our own perfect, and for me and my journey of motherhood to date, that belief system has worked. We are all perfect in our own role as mummy, and I have built my business around spreading this message as much as I can, in my coaching sessions with my clients. We have to as Mums, just be confident in our own ability to, raise, protect and nurture our children. This role of motherhood is not one size fits all, we have to make it our our own, and enjoy the journey. This belief has made me a very easy going mummy, who accepts that its a journey of trail and error, that may even be different for each child, and that's ok.

I read once a quote that said 'Behind every great child is a mum, who is pretty sure she is screwing up'. I love it because I think that pretty much sums up the 'Real' journey of motherhood.

Best part of your week?
It's always that ten minutes or so before bedtime, where the children have their hot chocolate and have a snuggle on the couch with me, without fail. Its part of their routine that is never compromised, even if we are out and the bedtime routine goes off track. We always, have even if its two minutes of snuggle time together. They love it, and so do I. In fact, when its a stressful day in Mumpreneur Land, or I'm feeling overwhelmed by life. That moment with the children is what I cling onto. Its our time to just exhale form the day, wrapped up in each other surrounded by love and total calm. That's just my idea of heaven.

Any other perils of wisdom you might like to add?
Simply if you believe you can in life, then you can! That is a mantra I live by in both my role as Mummy and Mumpreneur. This journey call motherhood, is a road of emotion, happiness, tribulation, joy, fulfilment, pain, risk and laughter. Yet we do it unselfishly, without public appreciation, and with no financial rewards. Why? Because us mums are priceless, we are amazing, and have been grated the biggest blessing of all. The honour of pregnancy, birth and beyond. So enjoy your journey, be confident in your ability, trust your instincts, and know that you are the biggest and best superhero there is, and ever will be.

Photo credit: Catherine O'Donnell Photography, interview in partnership with the Oh Mama interview series.
Bianca Chappell: Founder of The Mumpreneurs|MK  Network  & owner of M|MK Coaching



Liz Melville owner of  The Busi Mums Network
Name: Liz Melville 
Job Title: Online Business Mentor Business/Network 
Number of Children & ages: 1 son, aged 4 

What does the term 'Mempreneur' mean to you? 
For me, it means a woman who has taken the decision to run her own business, in whatever form that might take. She’s passionate about what she does and wants to create income but be flexible around her kids. 

How long have you been a Mumpreneur
So funny, as it’s a term I’ve never really applied to myself! I’ve been a woman entrepreneur for nearly 6 years now, and started my business back in October 2010. But I must have morphed into being a mumpreneur in October 2011 when my son was born. 
Why did you start your own business?
In 2009 I was in a senior management role in a blue chip company, and I hated it. I was stressed out, close to burn out and a mental breakdown, and I wanted to have children! But I figured that was never going to happen while I was in such a poor mental and physical state. So when a corporate restructure meant a round of voluntary redundancies, I leapt at the chance to leave corporate behind and run my own business as my source of income - which I still very much needed. What I do now wasn’t my first venture - I started out with a dog walking and pet care business which I absolutely LOVED. But I realised that it just wasn’t going to be practical for me to be walking 5 times a day for one hour when I was pregnant, so I began to look for another opportunity. And that’s when I set up Liz Melville Social Media in October 2010. It ticked every box in allowing me to use my experience in business to coach other, and also my love of Facebook marketing, which I’d used in my dog walking business. I also wanted to be master of my own destiny, and to be able to create an income stream that was totally flexible around my child and the lifestyle I wanted us to have as a family.

What does a day in Mumpreneur land, look like for you? 
Haha, I don’t think us mums every nail a specific routine! But a typical day for me starts at 6am when my son wakes up and I use that time to sit close with him, read books, and fit in a workout. It’s also a good time for me to quickly catch up on social media notifications and emails for 15 minutes - no more! After Ive dropped him off at nursery and walked the dog, I have 2 hours to focus completely on work. A big part of my routine is to plan out my week on a Sunday night, in 30 minute chunks, so I can get the absolute most productivity from short bursts of time when my son is in nursery. I wont touch Facebook unless its in my schedule to spend time on it! I get to have lunch with my son every day, and I love that time with him. Then I either have him with me for the afternoon, or on two afternoons a week he goes to a private nursery so I can fit in another few hours of work. But the main thing for me is to not be working when my son is with me. I try to be totally present with him in those times. It isnt always easy, so I do work some nights after hes gone to bed, particularly if Ive got a lot on. 

Is being a Mumpreneur, what you 'thought' it was going to be like? What were the connections & difference between, Reality & Fantasy? 
OMG, not in the slightest! I think most of us get sold on the idea of running our own business, and how we’ll have effortless control of our time to fit work in around our kids and family, working minimum hours a week. I honestly thought it was the easy option compared to corporate life. But that’s a total fantasy! If you’re serious about making your business a success, you need to work at it. And that can’t be done in just a few hours a week. It makes me mad when I see so many coaches selling the idea to mums that they barely need to lift a finger to earn a consistent income and not just have a hobby business. You need to put in the elbow grease, especially in the early stages. And if you’re doing everything on your own, it can be overwhelming. 

What was your biggest challenge when starting out as a new Mumpreneur
My business was a year old when my son came along, so one of my challenges was adapting to how best to keep it afloat while I went through the huge learning curve of being a mum, breastfeeding, nappy changes and all the new mummy stuff that you have to get to grips with. Sleep exhaustion was a killer! I was honestly putting out tweets that made no sense at all, and it was taking me 4 times as long to get anything done as it did before my son came along. But the biggest challenge was realising that I had to adapt my business model to accommodate my wee bundle of joy. I could no longer get out to breakfast network meetings or run half day workshops with a baby to breastfeed. I knew I had to bring everything I was doing face to face into the online world. And while I made that transition, my profits started to slide and it was SO hard to keep going when I was exhausted from lack of sleep. 

Self doubt & negative belief, is something that we can all relate to, throughout our business growth journey. Can you share with us, how you overcame this as a successful & established Mumpreneur?
I think this is something that continually haunts us. I know it definitely does for me. So many of us are working on our own from home and that can be a lonely place at times. It’s easy to look at what other people are doing on Facebook, compare ourselves to them, and get into the cycle of thinking we’re not good enough, we don’t know enough, and just not believe in ourselves. I’m not sure I’ve ever overcome this - but I do manage it much better these days. For me, the most important thing to do is to build a support network. To have people you know you can go to when you feel crap and don’t have a clue what to do next. Or when you’re overwhelmed, and want to give up. Don’t carry it on your own - go to your network and talk it through. That always works for me. A big dose of love and support can give you that boost you need to believe in yourself again.

Building a business as a Mumpreneur, come with many highs & lows. How do you manage the great Mum V Mumpreneur balance? 
I’ve really only got better at this in the last 12 months. What did it for me was one morning when I’d asked my son to get out of his pyjamas and get ready for nursery…..while I was tapping away on the laptop. He turned and said “I’ve got some work to do first mummy” That hit home. I knew he was mimicking what I was constantly saying to him, and I realised the effect it has when you don’t give your kids your full attention. So now, when he’s home with me, I am 100% mum. That’s where all my attention goes. And when he’s at nursery or in childcare, that’s when I switch to work mode. It’s a total myth that us women can multi task like demons - we can’t. We’re hardwired to only be able to focus on one thing at a time. So that’s what I try to do, and I hope it makes me a better mum AND a much more focused, productive business woman too. 

In your experience, to date, what has been the best thing about being a Mumpreneur? 
For me, the best thing has been that I’ve been able to spend so much time with my son while he’s still so young. We had huge problems conceiving - it was a difficult journey. And I swore I would do everything in my power not to have to put him in full time childcare. For a lot of women that’s simply not a choice they can take. But running your own business gives you that freedom. Time passes so quickly with your kids, and once it’s gone it’s gone. I’m so lucky I’ve been able to spend as much time as possible with my little boy before he goes to school.

Many Mumpreneurs feel like they often compromise & sacrifice their mummy duties, to fulfil & deliver their role as a serious & respected Mumpreneur. Is this a challenge you have faced, & if so how do/did you deal with it? If not, what is your secret? 
Oh goodness, I serve myself a big helping of mummy guilt every single day! But I do believe it’s only a sacrifice if we let it become that. I focus on this one thing. My son doesn’t care how much money I make or how respected I am. He just wants me, my love, and my time. So there’s no sacrifice for me in giving that to him. None at all. I make that my first priority, and then see where I can take my business in the time I have around that. Because I don’t want to look back and think “oh well, it doesn’t matter I was a crap mum at times, because look how successful and respected I am”. So my role as a woman in business will always be secondary to my job as mum. It then becomes a matter of only focusing on the one thing that will move my business forward in the time that I have to work on it. 

As a successful Mumpreneur, how do you deal with Business overwhelm from both a positive & negative perspective? 
It’s a killer, isn’t it? I know when I’m heading into a bad place with overwhelm - I get that tight feeling in my chest and it’s hard to get rid of. When that happens, I always turn to my coach to talk things through. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can become impossible to see the wood for the trees and to see the way out. I definitely need someone to give me a fresh perspective, and to talk me down! It just helps you prioritise what you need to do, and to re-assess how you can move forward and get the stress back under control.  

What has been your biggest Mumpreneur achievement to date, & did this change your Business Woman mindset? If so, how & why? 
My biggest achievement has been having Mari Smith ask me to work with her. She is THE major influencer in Facebook marketing. It’s not only skyrocketed my visibility, it’s also given me amazing perspective into the mindset and approach of a super successful businesswoman who I admire immensely. 

You run an On-Line business & network, with an extensive tribe of followers, do you ever feel the pressure to have a 'picture perfect' on-line persona? What advice do you have for Mumpreneurs that perhaps do?  
Oh gosh no! In fact I’ll often share my challenges with my community, to show them I’m human! I haven’t got all the answers. I make mistakes all the time, but I do feel it’s important to share those experiences with your community and followers. It will build trust MUCH more quickly when they know you’re just one of them. I’m a huge advocate of being your natural self online - actually offline too! Because if you try to be a ‘picture perfect’ persona, the stress of keeping up that mask will start to tell. And you’ll soon be found out. Just be yourself - people will love you for it. 

What one piece of advice would your now more experienced present self, give to newbie Mumpreneurs, about to embark on their journey? 
Have extreme clarity on your vision - for your business and for how you want your life to be. Don’t go into this with just a vague idea of something you’d like to do and try to figure it out as you go along. It won’t work. Focus on something you’re passionate about doing, because you’ll need that energy to get you through the tough times. And with your vision clear in your mind, set out your strategy for how you’ll make it all work. I know planning and strategy can all seem boring, and we want to get to the good bits of selling our products - but it’s important you build on solid foundations. 

Do you have any final Mumpreneur 'Pearls of Wisdom', you would like to share with the ladies, within in the MMK Coaching community. That will both encourage & inspire their next steps? 
Don’t do this on your own. Build that network of support to get you through the tough times. And be willing to ask for help - and to receive it! I wish I’d invested in myself by working with a coach much earlier. You need someone who’s not as close to your business as you are, to give you perspective, boost your confidence, and give you suggestions and ideas that you just won’t see on your own. 

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