With the new year upon us, now is the time to really focus on what you want to achieve. Perhaps it’s finishing that study course, chasing your dream job or making that business idea come to life?
This month, Leaders in Heels is running a ‘Day in the Life’ series to give you an idea of what other small business owners and entrepreneurs get up to on a daily basis and perhaps inspire you to chase your own business dreams.
Kicking off with our ex-Editor in Chief, Rashida Tayabali, who moved on to run her own businesses as a freelance writer and founder of Project Mum, a project matching service for other skilled mothers and growing businesses needing expertise for various projects. See what a typical Day in the Life of a Work At Home Mum (WAHM) is like:
1. What time do you wake up?
I’m usually up by 9am as I’m not a morning person. Early mornings make me cranky.
2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I make myself a cup of tea and sit for a few minutes in silence.
3. Breakfast – yay or nay?
I have breakfast with my three-year-old who I look after full-time while also running my two businesses as a freelance writer and founder of Project Mum.
4. How do you get to work and how long does it take?
I work from home so no commuting. I definitely don’t miss the commute!
5. What are the typical things you do every day?
Project Mum is a project matching service for growing businesses that need a specific skill or expertise to complete a short or long term project. Skilled mums on our database are matched to project requirements or expertise so I check email and social media after breakfast, answer any urgent emails and then it’s activities with my son. I start working after 2pm most days.
6. What decisions do you make and what is the impact?
I make all the decisions for my business and this affects the results I get and where I put in my time.
I pride myself on managing to find solutions to the most difficult of problems and inspiring other stay at home mums to build a business they love around their children.
Flexible work is definitely the future and mums should never have to choose between their work and family as I did. I believe it’s possible to do both and do it well. Stay at home mums offer tremendous potential in terms of skills for businesses and that’s what I want to action.
7. What do you love most about your job?
I get to work for myself and I love the flexibility and autonomy this gives me compared to when I was working in the corporate world.
8. How do manage all the tasks you need to do?
By making a weekly list and prioritising tasks. Limiting myself to between 3-5 things per week ensures I don’t get overwhelmed with managing a preschooler in the house full-time too.
9. How do you manage the balance between work and personal life?
I’m a little bad at this as I tend to be consumed with work when I’m really in the zone. I try not to work on the weekends unless I have a deadline and limit the number of apps on my phone to avoid wasting time.
10. How has the work environment changed from when you first began?
I’m a lot further along than I was when I first started in both my businesses and the amount of work I’m doing has also increased.
11. Who and/or what inspires you?
A challenge inspires me – I’m always looking to learn new things and achieve more.
12. Why do you do what you do?
Because I need to have certain achievements as an individual and as a woman separate to what I do as a mum. I’m fiercely independent and always have sought to do my own thing.
My aim is for Project Mum to develop into a place where mums can rediscover themselves by using those hard earned skills and knowledge they acquired before bubs to do work they really enjoy. A place where small business owners can get access to help, tips, and inspiration in running their own businesses.
13. Tips for other WAHM?
Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Nothing is more demoralising than this and it’s a complete waste of time. Believe in yourself and hang on during the bad times.
14. How do you define success?
It needs to be personal and is different for everyone, and you need to be committed to that definition.
15. What challenges have you faced as a WAHM and how have you overcome them?
Looking after my son full time means I don’t have the luxury to work as many hours as I can. I work around him rather than expect him to fit into my schedule. When I need help I ask for it. I don’t try and be everything to everyone and when I need time out I take it.
Are you a Work At Home Mum, tell us how do you manage your business and family in the comments below?