Tuesday, 25 August 2015

My Story

This is my story and my reason why I have started When Baby Meets Business.

Life was going along in a very hectic manner – personally I was at the gym at least 3 times a week, feeling energised. I was building a great event management company and sometimes marketing business. We were running amazing events and getting asked to do more. I was building a network in Geelong as one of our plans was to relocate their after my step-son finished school. I was out of the house from 7ish in the morning and walking back in the door around 6pm, dinner and then back onto the laptop – big days and that was OK.

We then had an amazing crazy week – 3 events on – 2 days in Geelong. We went to a dinner we were sponsoring and I had some champagne, I remember going to the toilet and feeling the room spin and a very weird feeling inside me. It passed, we finished the dinner and went home to resume our week.
Only, it didn’t resume the same for me. I slowly started to loose energy. I felt sick. I stopped drinking wine. Then coffee. I was running on empty. I made an appointment at my dr’s, I thought I was dying. Then I was told by 2 people who knew me well and could see things were not right that I was pregnant. I laughed. I was on the pill. But my head started ticking over. I bought a pregnancy test. Yep we were going to have a baby.

My morning sickness finally passed and my energy came back – my 2nd trimester and start of the 3rd trimester were amazing productive times for me. I focused on the birth of my baby and buying things. People told me that babies slept, fed, pooped and that she would easily be slotted underneath my desk so I can carry on as usual. Some laughed at this notion. But I carried on blindly.
I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had the knowledge I have today. That is why I have created ‘when baby meets business’ – so you can learn and understand too.

You see my cherub slept – in my arms, for 40 minutes to the dot after screaming for 20 minutes. She fed – all day if I would let her (she still grazes to this day) and pooped oh did she poop! So they were right.

Yet there was so much they didn’t tell me – like how much more washing there would be. The sleep deprivation – oh my! The hours and hours of sitting on the couch, feeding, holding a sleeping baby, trying to keep on top of emails and work. How my friendships would change. That I would suffer grief all over again by appreciating how much my mum gave to me and missing having someone I could have an honest and open chat with about ‘baby stuff’. That at this time like no other in my life I would feel like I was always living in a pressure cooker.

It wasn’t all negative – I also wasn’t prepared for the amazing love I would have for this little person. How she would completely and totally change the way I thought about life and business. That I would go on this amazing life journey of change and upheaval constantly looking for balance and true purpose – 4 ½ years on I am still seeking these but I have made significant changes and decisions in order to get closer to living the life I want.

Over the last 4 ½ years I have spent time looking for balance in our domestic life, putting into place systems to make the running of the house easier. When our washing machine blew up I bought a bigger one – highly recommend that. Recently I bought a new bigger washing basket. So suddenly the washing seems under control – well the basket doesn’t overflow. I created a ‘control centre’ for the house and a joint family electronic calendar. I plan meals, shop regularly, purchase fresh goods and try and bake. Next year when my daughter starts school and needs to take lunches I hope these habits are going to pay off!

I tried a cleaner, and tried another and another. My great cleaner left us. I now clean a room a day – our house isn’t too big it is working at the moment. And it is cleaned to my standard. I am actually finding that the house is also staying tidier-win, win.

We have never had family support for regular babysitting/childcare so we have always had to pay for
this. Our first babysitter joined us when my daughter was about 5 months she came in 2 half days a week. This gave me time to be focused and do some work. Sophie started childcare when she was 10 months old for 2 days a week and we had a babysitter 1 day a week. My partner looked after her for 1 day and I the other. Then Craig started full time in the business again and our babysitter went to 2 days a week. For the last 18 months she has been at childcare for 4 days a week – off course this year it is kinder also. She is about to drop to 3 days a week, more on this later.

Visionary, my business, has always felt like my first born child. I started it way back in 2004, simply to enable event companies to contract me as needed and when they got busy. Sadly this coincided with the same time that my mum died, so I also dealt with grief and depression. But through the cloud I picked up some work with a local event company. Fast forward 12 months and I helped them secure a massive contract, which saw me going fulltime with that company and shelfing Visionary. 3 years
later and I saw an opportunity for a part time job that would give me some breathing space while I worked out if I still wanted to do events and marketing. Then people started knocking on my door asking me to run their events – Visionary was relaunched and took off so easily. That was 2008. So another 3 years down the track, I had merged with my partners business. We were doing events, weddings (I had also acquired a event/wedding hire business) marketing and ebusiness. We had stuff going on everywhere. We were running wedding expos and had been approached to run a baby expo. I had a pool of casual staff and also a wedding co-ordinator employed. We were in Ballarat and increasingly expanding into Geelong. It was crazy busy and I was loving it. Then along came baby Sophie.

After 2 years of operating in a pressure cooker. Of trying to delegate work to people, but finding the time managing and supporting them was just as much as actually doing the work myself I run our last wedding expo and pulled the expo/event arm from our business. I just could not keep coping on no sleep. It meant the loss of a job for 3 staff, but I had to do it for myself. I also wound down our wedding hire business and put it ‘on the market’. Within a year that business was no longer operating and most of the stock had been sold off.

I turned my focus to marketing – digital marketing specifically and also set about creating a range of automated products that could be purchased and accessed. I then secured a part-time role in the digital marketing space on a 12 month contract. Again many of the aspects of Visionary that I was working on were shelved – I had a credit card debt I needed to get in control.

Fast forward 9 months, Craig has now headed out to work full time. Visionary will be maintained and expanded on the areas in the business that are already successful. However we have other plans and it seems a good time to explore those – but that is another book!

If I had known what I do now back then, I am positive I would have made the hard decisions sooner and more proactively, rather than being reactionary. Yet I needed this life journey in order to get closer to doing what it is that I believe I should be doing – what that is I am not certain off. Right now I have to be the best mum I can be to my little girl and I have to generate income streams for today and tomorrow, in order to give my daughter the best start in life and leave her a legacy.

That is my story. That is how I have changed myself and my business since it met a baby. What about you? How have you changed? What are your realisations in life since having children? How has your business changed? How do you overcome issues?

No comments:

Post a Comment