Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
My name is Emily Thorpe I am married to Andy and we have 2 boys who I would call spirited (!) called Fin age 11 and Jakey age 8
We live near Chichester on the South coast.
What’s your business called?
Happy Working Mum
Can you describe it in one sentence?
I help mums to ditch the mummy guilt, and go from stressed and overwhelmed to relaxed, happy and balanced.
When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
When I was pregnant with Fin, I imagined what kind of mum I would be, I was envisioning something like Mary Poppins; happy, playing games, singing songs.
My reality was a million miles away, I felt guilty for going back to work, I was SO tired, stressed and overwhelmed with all the things I thought I should be doing.
Then when I had 2 boys I found to my horror I had become a shouty mum! I decided to train as a Life Coach so I could work from home, but in fact my life coaching training gave me all the tools I needed to be the Mary Poppins mum I’d dreamed of, without leaving work. However I became so passionate about helping mums that I gave up my career as an Air Traffic Controller in 2015 to become a coach full time.
How did you fund your start up?
I was fortunate that my day job as an Air Traffic Controller (part time) enabled me to have the time and resources to start my business. Being a coach does not have a lot of overheads as it is usually done over the phone or Skype.
So really it was just my initial training, having a website created and having a coach myself.
How do you manage working around your children?
One of the key points I share with my clients is about having boundaries. We all have different commitments so there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution however it is vital that you compartmentalise your time and attention to allow you to be fully present, whether you are working or playing with the kids, There are lots of practical ways to fit both work and quality time into your life. You definitely can have both.
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
I always do the school run and get home by 8:45 and I tend to tidy up or put a load of washing on before 9. I like to spend the first hour of my day on self care, that could be going for a walk or a bike ride, meditating, listening to audio books, generally feeding my body and soul in some way. The rest of my day will depend on what coaching commitments I have, but I usually fit in a combination of the following;
some marketing (Facebook posts/ blog posts)
some connecting (emails/calls)
some creativity (planning workshops/projects or writing articles)
some big planning (looking at my goals/schedules)
and finally accounts
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
Doubting that I can do it or will be successful. This is all about taking your hand off the back door and taking that leap of faith. For a while when I started I had the thought in the back of my mind that if it didn’t work out I could just continue with my ATC career. But there comes a point when you have to go full in on your vision and your dream and when you get to that point your commitment levels and determination go through the roof.
What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
One of the main reasons for being a Mumpreneur for me was the flexibility. I remember having to go to work when Fin was poorly, Andy was on a day off thankfully, but all Fin wanted was cuddles from his mummy and it broke my heart to have to leave him. They’re older now and not so clingy, even when they’re poorly but I definitely have more options to work the hours I choose.
What are your plans for the future?
I would love to enable mums all over the country (even the world) to ditch the ‘mummy guilt’ and beating themselves up for not matching up to this image of a ‘perfect’ mum. We’re all different and all perfect right now and we can have so much more fun, love and connection when we’re free of the burden or guilt and criticism.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Firstly find someone who is doing what you aspire to do and ask if you can buy them a coffee or lunch in exchange for asking them about their business. Find out how they started, what works, what doesn’t, their business best practices. This will save you so much time and effort, there is no point reinventing the wheel. Secondly, get a coach. If you’re not where you want to be, chances are you have some blocks or limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck, A coach will cheer you on and keep you accountable, but they should also challenge you and kick butt when necessary!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Keep going. You are unique and you have a unique gift to bring to the world. No-one else can do what you do, the way you do it. So don’t give up, just keep going :0)