Nothing ever quite prepares you for what life is going to be like once you have kids. Sometimes I sit and think about life before kids and how much free time I had even when I was working full time. I had kids quite young compared to a lot of people and I often think about how things would have turned out for me job wise if I had another 5-8 years in the workforce before I had kids.
Mostly I am grateful that I had kids young and still had the energy to do the baby thing and start a business from home. It wasn’t easy and it has and still does take discipline and dedication on a daily basis but I would not trade it in for the world. The fact that it gives me flexibility around my kids and enables me to pick them up from school, drop them off, volunteer in their classroom, be home during school holidays and attend one-off events like sports day are some of the key reasons I am committed to making it work.
When I was 24 years old I had my first daughter and launched my first business when she was 6 weeks old. It was called Biddy Bags and it was a boutique social enterprise (profit for purpose company) which connected socially isolated nannas and mature-aged ladies through craft, economic participation and social networking. We took the designs of young designers and merged them with the skills and abilities of crafting nannas to make fabulous unique handcrafted products (handbags and funky tea cosies etc). Singer and songwriter Sarah Blasko came on as our patron and it was a wild, eventful and very educational 4 years of my life.
A few years after starting Biddy Bags I was approached to work closely with The Body Shop® to help in setting up a program in Brisbane called Bizness Babes which supported mums who were trying to establish their own small businesses from home. It was an amazing opportunity and one I was keen to be involved with so I said yes and that was where I first came to know firsthand just how great The Body Shop® was and realise their commitment to enriching peoples lives.
During my 4 years working alongside The Body Shop® I fell in love with their products (I was just raving about the Hemp Body Butter over here the other day) and I saw some amazing opportunities on how they were empowering women. The company was founded by an influential female entrepreneur, the late Dame Anita Roddick, who used her business as a force to encourage women to celebrate their individuality.
I will be fully honest with you upfront and say that starting your own business from home is not the easiest thing to do. It is not something that happens overnight. It is something which can take quite a bit of time to build to a point of sustainability. Is it worth the effort I hear you say? … ABSOLUTLEY!
Over my 4 years working in the Bizness Babes program I was involved with training hundreds of mums starting up businesses from home. From these experiences and my own, I can offer the following bits of advice to anyone considering this step for themselves:
If you are in need of money straight away I would always recommend having a part-time job that brings you a consistent income to sustain you while you spend your free days building your business. As your own business grows you can work less in your job until you can be totally free in your own business. It can take quite a while to get things off the ground, so some consistent money coming in will help take the stress and pressure off.
It is also a great idea to start building your own business from home when you aren’t immediately reliant on the income it may generate down the track. For example, if you are at home looking after your baby or toddler and your partner works full time and currently brings in enough income so you don’t need to work this is actually a great time to start building your own business. This takes the pressure off to begin with and allows you do a whole heap of learning so once you do need the money you are already all over it.
I know for some women they love the idea of running their own business from home so they can create a work-life balance that caters to their personal needs as well as their families needs but they don’t have an idea or are not quite sure what to do. There are lots of different options out there and one of the opportunities you may not be aware of is that The Body Shop® offers a way for mums to start their own business from home through The Body Shop At Home™.
Essentially you become an independent consultant for The Body Shop At Home™ which gives you flexibility to choose your hours, financial rewards, international travel opportunity and so much more. It costs $155 to join The Body Shop At Home™ and you receive over $600 worth of products and business tools to get you started. This includes ongoing support and training with everything you need plus no experience is required. Joining opportunities such as this is a great way to get training and experience running your own business which can be very daunting if you have never done that before.
I have had a few of my friends join up as The Body Shop At Home™ consultants and they have loved it. It has been a great way to earn some extra money for their family while still giving them flexibility for school pickups and drops off.
If this is something that sounds interesting to you one of the initial ways you can find out more is to host a party in your own home with friends at a time when it’s convenient for you. This will give you an experience of what it is like to see if it is a good fit for you. The great part if you do love The Body Shop® products this will open the door to exclusive offers, discounts and free products when you host a The Body Shop At Home™ party!
You can find out more how to order products, host a party or become a consultant here …