Turning 40 a year and a half ago, was a really exciting time. I had a great role as a marketing manager for a PR agency. I loved my colleagues and it fitted around the children, allowing me to drop them off and pick them up, which was really important to me. So when I was made redundant very unexpectedly a couple of months later, it really took me by surprise. I had to decide what to do next. I was convinced I wouldn’t find another great role that fitted around school hours, so I decided to freelance.
I had freelanced before, but I got used to the comfort of working in a permanent role. Being made redundant gave me the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on the direction I wanted to go in. It felt daunting, but I knew if I didn’t take the leap then, I never would. Something about turning 40 really does make you think about what you want to do with your life.
Taking the plunge
I started running PR workshops and also launched Mumala Club. Originally it was an online networking hub for mums who are their own boss or just starting out. Since then I’ve opened it up to all women, as so many of my friends that don’t have children wanted to join too, which was great.
I’ve worked in PR and marketing for over 15 years now, so it made sense to share what I’ve learned, with other women who want to grow their businesses too. As I’ve always done PR for other people, I found it easy to get the Mumala Club name out there. Since then I’ve been featured in tons of different publications including Forbes a couple of times, which I was really proud of and I’ve even been on Radio 4, which was fantastic.
Using my skills
Having been used to working part-time before has really helped. I’ve always found that I’m good at getting work done. When you are only in an office for 5 hours a day, you have to be strict with your time. This has really paid off when it comes to running my own business. I don’t mess around and I make decision quickly. I don’t have to wait for anyone else to decide either, which is great.
I’ve met some really awesome women through Mumala Club and even got some PR clients from it, which I wasn’t expecting. I do a lot of Facebook Lives in my group and I think my passion and enthusiasm shows. Not to mention the amount I like to talk!
It’s so hard when working from home not to feel lonely. So having a networking group online is so important. Mumala Club has been going so well, that I’ve also launched daytime networking sessions in real life! It’s great having online support but really important to get out and meet like-minded people. Even if they don’t have their own business, make sure you meet up with your friends too. You deserve a little time off! When my husband gets home from work, he can tell if I’ve been on my own all day as I don’t stop talking!
Take a break
It’s so important when being your own boss that you treat yourself for the work you do. I always try and break down tasks into manageable bites and then make sure I get a reward at the end. If you worked in an office, you’d stop to for some lunch with a colleague, or have a slice of the birthday cake on offer. So you need to make sure you take regularly breaks and celebrate with the occasionally bar of chocolate or some Jaffa Cakes when you’ve finished a piece of work!
Flexibility In Freelancing
And don’t forget that being your own boss is all about flexibility. So make sure you take advantage. Start the day with a hot chocolate in the local café, when others are rushing to the office. Or head to the gym or go for a walk during the day. There’s no point being your own boss, if you don’t benefit from it. So many people I talk to, sit in their home office or at the kitchen table and don’t stop. Being your own boss is all about taking advantage of flex-appeal. So make sure you make it work for you.