Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The lifecylce of a mum in business

This article originally appeared in Inside Small Business

One of the many questions I pondered when writing When Business Meets Baby was when is the ideal time to start a business – before or after you have a baby?

I considered the motivations people have for starting a business and the lifecycle of a business. I also considered why people have babies and the growth stages of a baby. I concluded there was no ideal time to be mum in business, all you have is today.

Being flexible
When you look at the life cycle of a baby, every month, week, day and hour bring more developments. At each stage their needs and wants change, and it is different for every child. While the journey may not be an easy one, and you will make sacrifices, it is possible to balance raising healthy, happy children and growing a business.

Maintenance vs growth
When you have a baby, you’ll need to make the decision about whether you put your business into either maintenance mode or growth mode. Your decision will depend on so many different factors – the stage your business is in, the staffing or resourcing you have available, finances and more.

Maintenance mode – This mode will only really work if your business is already developed. Think of it as pressing the “pause” button. It is not viable to keep the business in this mode for too long – business basics say that we need to continually develop, market, and give effort to the business.

Here are some tasks that will help you maintain your business:


  • Before baby is born, create marketing content and schedule their release.
  • After baby is born, answer emails, Facebook messages and other forms of communication.
  • Send a couple of newsletters.
  • Update your social media a couple of times (just automate it!).
  • Refresh your website and all your social media.
  • Look at your accounts – assess each service or product, examining what is making money and what is not.
  • Complete any legacy work from before baby was born.
  • Revisit your business plan and consider what is your core business.


Growth mode – Employment of this strategy will depend on whether you have a start-up business or an established business. It will also depend on the funds you have available to invest. Here are my three top tips for implementing growth mode after the baby’s birth:


  • Work out how much time you will have available for the business and then commit to using that time well.
  • Surround yourself with the right people, in terms of business support. You need people who are both clever at their area of expertise and who also understand your business.
  • Develop the business. Always think big picture. If this strategy is going to work for you then you need to make sure that your limited time is spent working on – and not in – the business.


Remember, too, that it’s OK to grow slowly – at the end of the day, you can only do what you have time to do. While focusing on growth in your business, it’s also important to ensure that you are engaged and present with your children when you are with them.

Rachel Allan, marketing consultant and author of “When Business Meets Baby”

Monday, 5 February 2018

Choosing Success

Being an entrepreneur and business owner is challenging. There are amazing ups, but terrible downs. For some,you may get stuck in the downs. I am really interested to understand the difference between those who climb out of the downs and those who choose to exit their business at this point.

Of new small businesses being started, 70% are owned by women. Sadly, 1 in 5 of these businesses will fail in their first 5 years. These women can not make it out of the downs, to experience enough ups.

So, can you choose success? Is it really that easy? What is at play, in your mind and in your physical environment holding you back from being the absolute best version of yourself. Here are some of my thoughts. I also want to hear your thoughts - you might choose to comment on the blog, email me or take our survey.


Here are my seven reasons I believe women are not seeing success:

1. Feminine Vs Masculine energy
Men and women are different. We see the world differently. We have different ways of approaching problems. We have different emotions, and respond differently to those emotions. It makes sense that we do business differently.

One is not right or wrong, better or worse. It is just different.

In my experience, I have seen women become incredibly successful within a male dominated corporate world - I have also seen these women have to use masculine energy to make it.

Increasingly,  I am seeing women who are clear on their identity and choosing to enhance and utilise their feminine energy. Showing up in the world authentically. Time will tell if this will have the same success as trail blazing women before us who have shattered glass ceilings and led the feminist movement.

Statistics are showing that increasingly women are leaving the workforce and corporate world, choosing instead to create their own small business. Gender equity is becoming an issue because women don't want it - this world is not aligned with growing a family and creating a work life balance.

I believed that the old boys club was being broken, and that old money in communities was not dominating. However, I recently had a conversation with a local business women, whose business survival was in doubt because of the 'old boys club'. She even told me that one of them walked out of a meeting with her because she was 'a woman' - yet he was happy to take rent money from her!

How should women show up in their business? What energy should they have? How do you show up in your business? Jump into the survey to answer these or comment below.

2. Lack of Confidence
This is so common with women. Starts with statements like - I am just a.....mum, housewife, volunteer, secretary - whatever! No person is 'just a' all those jobs have amazing skills, skills and experience you bring to the role.

Women feel the need to be perfect and have all their ducks in a row before they hit the go button. Have you heard yourself say 'I just need to do X, before I could possibly do Y and Z'. Believe in yourself, back yourself and just do it!

Here are some other things that are confidence killers:
Guilt. I have spoken so many times about guilt, it is a wasted emotion, it is seeing the world through old fashioned societal views of the role of women, it is comparing yourself to others highlight reels on social media. Bin that guilt!! Believe in your purpose and big picture.

Lack of purpose. Understand that every single person on this earth has a purpose, a mission. What is yours? Become aligned to it. Show up every day being connected to your purpose.

Lack of passion. I believe confidence comes from being authentic, acting with integrity and having a passion. A passion that drives you every day to achieve your mission. Stretching yourself, standing out - because you believe in your purpose, you are backing yourself and showing up confidently in your world.

Ego. By being confident you have more people you are reaching, this good right. Them someone says something to you, disagrees with you, unsubscribes or stops following you - you hurt your ego. Only your ego, but your confidence gets hurt too. Self-doubt creeps in. DON'T LET IT! Remember your purpose and your passion.

Competition. Then you find someone is doing what you are doing, or running programs you want to run, written a book you want. Again, you decide it is not worth it - ego gets hurt again. What if you make the choice to show up in the world and do it your own unique way. In a world of abundance there is enough for everyone. Will you allow competition to stop you being successful?

Ability. Our final reason for not being confident in our own ability, I believe, is we are not aware of our strengths and weaknesses. We do not play to our strengths and acknowledge our weaknesses. We do not believe that we can do it.

Do you agree with these statements? Maybe you can think of others. Jump in and answer in our survey or comment below.

3. Lack of a Support Network
I have said this before and will say it again - there is no way that we can do all of this alone. Women we need support in our homes, with our children and in our business.

Join supportive networking groups, take part in a mastermind or coaching program. Go to workshops or conferences. Meet people. Connect with likeminded business owners. Get a coach or mentor or both. Become accountable to someone.

Get a cleaner. Babysitter. Someone to wash the car, mow the lawns, walk the dog. Whatever you need to maximise the use of your time.

Create strong relationships with your child's friends parents. Your mummy and daddy network will be there to help you over and over again. Picking up or taking to school. Play dates. Cooking.

Look at help you need in your business - can you automate or outsource to ease the pressure. Do you need to hire a staff member.

Do you agree that you can't do it all alone? What support do you find beneficial. Jump over into our survey or comment below.

4. Work Life Balance
I hear so many women say 'I have no work/life balance and that is the way it is'. I don't agree with this statement. I have many pieces of writing talking about this.

I believe we have changed the way we think about 'work' - what we do for a living and to earn money does not shape who we are - it is not our identity. Also business progression and success is not linear and rational - especially when you are juggling a family and possibly even a part time job. It is like waves - there are the up times and the down times - when you have the down times you need to give more to your business. Does this make it feel unbalanced?

There is also this thing called - Superwomen syndrome or Super mum - and I say NO WAY to that. Again I have written heaps on this. Does putting too much expectations on our self mean that we don't feel balanced in our life?

Your life doesn't have to be 'perfect' by others standards it only needs to be perfect by your standards. And if your standard of perfect is making you feel unbalanced and stressed then it is time to change your standards.

What do you think about balance? Can it be achieved? Pop over and complete the survey or comment below.

5. Fear
So many fears in our life. Being too successful. Being seen as too ambitious. Fear of failure. Being judged. Taking on too much responsibility. Being found out as a fraud (the 'impostor syndrome'). Fear of being invisible and the list goes on.

Can you relate to any of those?

People are afraid of no. They won't stand out from the crowd. Fear stops them being confident. Ego feeds the fear. Squash that fear I say. Live your purpose and be strengthened by your passion.

What fears do you see in yourself or others? Comment below or jump over to our survey.

6. Planning
I am a planner - so I can relate to too much planning and not enough doing. I will often say to myself 'stop dreaming, thinking, planning, mapping and JUST DO IT.' There is no point doing all the planning if no one hears about, buys it, uses it!

At the other extreme, jumping in and doing something with NO planning can be equally as bad. You will be seen as always reacting, jumping from one shiny thing to another. You will not be focused in your business. You won't see milestones or achievements. You won't know what is working and what is not. Basically you will be stumbling around in the dark.

Which are you? What is your thoughts on planning? How essential is to business? Comment below or in our survey.

7. Money Mindset
Having a good relationship with money, accepting wealth, welcoming money into your life. Saving, budgeting, pay yourself, do not over commit. Outsource, get a coach, spend money to make it. Have you heard all of these things and been totally confused and lost on money.

Maybe you have tried a program and every day you tell money how much you love it and still nothing. You ask the universe and you can not see how it delivers. Maybe this works for and maybe it doesn't.

What works for everyone is knowing your numbers. Where does the money come from, what are you spending it on. Understand where your customers are in your lead funnel and how many. Pull more of those people through your funnel to sales.

Get control over your finances and stay on top of your numbers. Understand the flow of and value of money in and out of your business.

What is your money mindset? Do you have a good relationship with money? Is this important? Do you know your numbers? Comment below or take our survey.

8. Lack of Understanding Marketing
Formal qualifications and over 20 years marketing experience is telling you to understand marketing. Who is your customer and what appeals to them. Your products and services - are they what your target market wants? How are you communicating to them? What is your mix - online and offline? Your lead funnel? Measuring and reviewing it? How about your messaging is it clear?

I believe you need a marketing strategy, which is well thought out and considered.  A strategy, backed with sound research, giving campaigns which are measurable - all feeding your customers into a lead funnel which provides sales and customer retention.

If you do't understand marketing then you need to learn. You don't need to do it yourself, you can outsource. To effectively outsource you still need to understand what it is you are outsourcing and how it fits into your businesses bigger picture.

Comment below your thoughts on marketing or complete our survey.

Do you agree or disagree with these thoughts. Share your own thoughts below. I would love to hear them!