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Posts Tagged ‘women in business’

Juggling act

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Running a business and being a mum really is a juggling act!  I’ve spent the day writing social media plans for next month, whilst I’ve got a roast in the oven and washing on the line.

For many years my business was my baby, I put my heart and soul into it.  It was my life.  But, since I became a mum (and step mum) things have changed.  I now have two babies to look after!  Most days I manage to do some form of work, but I’m often checking emails whilst building a jigsaw or reading a book to my little girl.

However, despite it being a juggling act I actually get the best of both worlds.  I can be at home and have precious time with my daughter, but then run a successful business as well.  So, how do I do it…

  • Be organised

My biggest tip is being organised.  There is no way I could do what I do if I was not super organised.  I have lists for each client and what we need to do, plans for social media, plans for advertising, plans for future plans.  I then have a weekly list of everything I need to get done that week with priorities, I even then have a notepad, where I write down what I need to do each day.  I know it sounds a lot, but when you’re juggling ten or so clients at a time, you need to write everything down and plan everything.

I also then have lists at home, shopping lists and lists of what we’re going to eat each day for tea.  I have a work calendar and also a family calendar, so everyone knows what they are doing and when.  My little one is only two and a half, so I think this planning is only going to stand me in good stead when she starts school!

  • Communicate

It is also really important to communicate well.  Not only does it help you to be organised, but it ensures my clients (and family) are happy.  I have a rule that I will always answer emails in 24 hours, or even just acknowledge people if I can’t give them an answer right away.  I also pick up the phone.  We often fire out emails when we’re busy and I’m guilty of that, but if I have something tricky to explain about a piece of work, or if I need a question answering urgently I use the good old telephone to sort things out – an art, which seems to be getting lost these days!

  • Support

Probably the key to my success is the support I have from family – particularly my Mam and mother in law.  Between us, we share the childcare.  If I have an important meeting to attend, I know one of these great women will jump into action, swap shifts and be there to help.  April goes to Pre-school in November, so I will have even more time to get things done!

  • Give yourself a break

I recently let things get on top of me.  I didn’t know whether I was coming or going and felt like I was doing a million and one jobs all the time with no respite.  It seemed like I put everyone at the top of the list apart from me!  I discovered a book called The Self Care revolution, which is fantastic and really gives you a handle on how to manage things, coping mechanisms, stress and how to ‘give yourself a break’.  I think we’re all too hard on ourselves to be perfect at everything whether that is work, motherhood, looks, ageing, weight loss and some times, we just need to take a step back and realise that actually we’re good at what we do.  We may not be perfect at everything, but we’re doing our best!

I now make sure I take some time out for me, cinema, spa days and a daily dose of Yoga.  Have a read…it could help you too!

  • Enjoy it 

The biggest thing is that I love my job.  I enjoy meeting clients, forming relationships, doing marketing and seeing projects come to fruition.  I also love being a Mummy (as most mothers do) and although I say I’m juggling, it’s not really juggling as it’s just life!  It’s what I do and I love it.  I get the best of both words, being a Mum whilst running a successful business.

If you are thinking of starting your own business and you’re a mum, I’d say go for it.  Yes, it will be hard, yes, there will be times when you want to go back to 9-5, but the rewards far outweigh the negatives.  There is no looking back!

International Women’s Day

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

 

8th March is International Women’s Day.  This is a day to celebrate women in the workplace and to encourage every person – both women and men to play a part in helping drive better outcomes for women and helping to create a more gender inclusive world.

I have never personally felt that my gender has stopped me from doing what I wanted in life or in my career.  I guess I grew up in a changing world where there were more opportunities.  For my grandmother, this would have been so much different.  At that time they would traditionally have done domestic jobs or stayed at home with the children; not having the opportunities in education as I did.  I think we’ve moved on even more since I was at school and see lots of gender inclusive opportunities for children; including my step daughter playing football or the opportunities (or acceptance) she has to pursue careers that may have traditionally been associated with males.

Being a business owner I understand the challenges faced by those who run a business regardless of being a man or a woman.  And being a Mum now too, the additional challenges I face trying to juggle both.  I’m not sure there are as many Dad’s who stay at home to raise the children and run a business?

Running a business never really occurred to me as being an option when I was at school.  However, I recently read that women account for under a third of those in self-employment, but over half the increase in self-employment since the recession started in 2008. Between 2008 and 2011 women accounted for an unprecedented 80% of the newly self-employed.

There are now almost 1.5 million women self-employed which represent an increase of around 300,000 since before the economic downturn

Women account for 17% of business owners, ie. owners/ managers/ employers.  However, there is still a long way to go.

I feel passionate about being a woman in business, inspiring young girls and encouraging them to think about running a business as a future career.  I feel proud of what I have achieved and keep achieving (despite often sending emails with a baby on my knee or catching up on work at 10 pm).

I have always been inspired by other women in business and looked up to them.  People such as Jacqueline Gold and Karen Brady are my icons.  Closer to home my old boss, Liz Pugh at Walk the Plank was such an inspiration to me.

For the past 2 years, I have won the award for Sole Trader of the year at the North West Enterprise Vision awards.  These awards celebrate women and all we do in business.  I feel this award really recognises what I have achieved and the battles I face running my own business.  There are so many fantastic women in business that ought to be recognised and by having events like International Women’s Day and the EVA awards really highlights the power and influence women can have.

I hope that when my daughter enters the working world things have moved on even further – with more opportunities, equal pay and support for women’s advancement.

Lisa scoops 2 EVA awards

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Amidst the crazy year I’ve had, having a baby and running a business, I was proud to announce that I won an Enterprise Vision Award for the second year in a row!  I was once again shortlisted as Sole Trader of the Year in the Enterprise Vision Awards.  I won this category last year and it was a fantastic event that I decided to enter again.

Last year I was 26 weeks pregnant, so I didn’t get to celebrate properly when I won.  However, this year I was going to enjoy myself and it was also the first time I had left my baby over night.

I didn’t think I would win two years in a row and had convinced myself that I wouldn’t.  When my name was announced to say I was overwhelmed and emotional was an understatement.  I had to then give a speech to 600 people and I froze.  I could not get the words out and just burst out crying.  Luckily the audience were amazing and just cheered me on.  Last year I was cool and composed.  I deserved the award, but this year I felt like I deserved it so much more.  I have been through a really tough year having a baby 10 weeks premature (read more here), but despite everything I still managed to run a business and keep things going.  This year’s award felt like recognition for that.

Lisa Jackson wins second enterprise vision award

Lisa Jackson wins second enterprise vision award

Lots of champagne was consumed, dancing was done and a trip to the casino too!  We had a great night and really let our hair down.  Not only did we leave April, but it gave us the opportunity to reflect a bit about what we’ve been through the past year.

The awards recognise women in business in the North West and I feel so proud and privileged to have won this prestigious award once again – up against some stiff competition from other fantastic businesses.