Working Mum Start Up Story
Four years ago, I was married, sharing the responsibility of bringing up two school aged children, working in a full – time role with the security of a good predictable income and with a joint mortgage. Since then, my life has changed dramatically. Following my divorce, I moved to single parenthood, with prime responsibility for the children. In addition, after re – mortgaging, I am the sole owner of our home and, by choice, I resigned from full time employment to start running my own business!
I had worked in the recruitment sector for 17 years, 10 of those with my last employer. As time went on, I knew that I wasn’t achieving or being driven anymore. I needed a new and fresh challenge. Job satisfaction is important to me, but so is finding the right work life balance for both the children and myself.
I looked for other full time employed positions. There were some great opportunities, but not so great locations for me. Leeds, York or Harrogate – all three major surrounding towns – but not practical from a work life balance perspective. For my children, it would have meant breakfast and after school club for my daughter whereas my son would arrive home from high school every day to an empty house.
I just didn’t want that lifestyle for them.
Clearly a role with the flexibility to handle my single parent role, but with a good income, was the ideal and so I started looking at ‘work at home’ opportunities and came across the SmartPA organisation – market leaders in outsourced administration and business support services. After careful due diligence I concluded it was far too good an opportunity to pass up.
Having had the initial call with them, I knew this was for me!
I progressed through the whole funding and training process, which I found to be very well structured and managed. It resulted in me thinking outside of the box and took me out of my comfort zone, but I loved it!
Having passed my training programme, and succeeded in being fully accredited – LAUNCH DAY arrived! Day one was surreal. I took my daughter to school, walked the dog and then sat at my desk to begin this new career phase.
First task was to make contact with as many of my own network as I could to let them know of my new venture, as well as explaining to them how much more productive they can be by outsourcing their administration.
Later that day I attended my first networking event! That certainly challenged me, but when I got into the flow of speaking with new people it felt right.
That was 6 weeks ago and what a journey it has been! I attend formal networking events three times a week now and enjoy meeting new people and telling them my story and listening to theirs. I believe in what I am offering, how outsourcing their administration, PA and Business Support to SmartPA can help them achieve so much more.
These are early days, and although there is some way to go before I can say that I am fully established in my own business, I feel I have achieved so much already – networking events, lunches, client meetings and phone calls are now a way of life.
I am confident, and I love the thought that success is in my own hands.
My top 5 tips when making a life changing decision:
- Will this decision have a positive impact on my family?
- Can I still support my family financially?
- Will I get a better work life balance?
- Only I can be in control of my success!
- Follow your gut and you won’t go far wrong!!
On The MMB Initiative
“I met Abbie at a conference / networking event in Harrogate. She listened to what I had to say with great interest and then she told me about The Initiative. When I was listening to her describe it, I knew then I wanted to be a part of what can only be described as a great group of women.
An all female environment can sometimes be a bit daunting, but not The Initiative, it is fun, engaging, empowering, comfortable, relaxed. In my opinion a must for all career driven women.
The people attending The Initiative meeting are all there for the same reason, to learn, to grow, to develop and to feel supported. I know from this group I will make long lasting contacts.”