27 May Clocking On After Maternity Leave…
Well I did it. I left my main business after almost 3 years.
It’s been a juxtaposition of emotions. Sadness, relief and everything in between.
That’s running your own business though. The joy at being able to be there at the school gates every day is mostly cancelled out by being on call 24/7.
The fabulous times celebrating your successes sometimes follow with worrying times where you don’t know where your money will come from that month.
Business is fickle. It flatters you, reels you in and builds you up. Gives you a false sense of security and confidence only to decide that it no longer favours you.
It takes its ball and goes home.
I went back to work just 6 weeks after having Esmé. Not full days in the office but making a point of going in most days and trying to keep on top of online emails and queries.
At the time I thought it was a welcome distraction from worrying about the baby but really it just added a new dimension of anxiety and my heart was just no longer in it.
My heart in fact was breaking and shattered and I didn’t even have a fraction of it to offer up to the business any more.
Moreover, running a business with a partner is like a marriage.
You’re both different but can make it work if you really want it to. Sadly I didn’t feel like we were the same people any more and that walking away would give it the best chance of continuing.
Since having the baby I had become refocused on family and whilst I saw leaving employment as the best thing at the time for us all those years ago, I now longed for the chance to earn money without the other responsibilities that go with it.
It had clicked.
It wasn’t the idea of returning to ‘work’ that had terrified me, it was the thought of losing the balance again and not having time for the important things.
So that is what I decided to do.
I have taken a part time job in an office. Doing hours that suit the children so that I’m still there when it matters and managing to plan my new business.
Does it smart that I have gone back to working for someone else after being my own boss for all that time?
It did, a little.
My ego took a tiny smack to the face.
I quickly recovered though as I soon discovered there is a lot to be said for clocking on and off both mentally and physically.
I decided to continue the baby goods business I started whilst still at Lavish.
It didn’t ever get off to a flying start then, bringing in single figure sales, however since trying out other avenues online such as eBay, Amazon and online boutiques it has started to sell really well.
So much so that I have placed a reorder.
This was a particular victory to me as at the time, the failure of this as a start up really surprised me as I knew how much new mums loved to order online. It felt to me at the time like I no longer trusted my own business judgement, my confidence knocked as is it for many new mums.
Fast forward a couple of months and the sales are coming in, I knew deep down that sometimes it’s believing in your own hunches that matter.
Following a market research project I undertook, I learned that the problem with the baby business was that the website wasn’t user friendly, looked amateur and the prices and delivery charges were off-putting.
Luckily for me, my husband was the mastermind behind the Lavish website, winning a Gold Award at Mumpreneur 2015.
There were many an evening that we spent at the computer, editing and re-editing content and shaping the brand.
Following from the online success of these goods since, I plan to create a website that is lean, user friendly and easy to complete quick purchases.
The morals of this story are that you should never let anyone think you have lost your business mojo.
Trust your gut.
Also there is no shame in deciding to take the road most travelled for your kids, marriage and sanity.