Here is a confession that I fear mums like me might get stoned for saying out loud.
Loads of that mum stuff…
Not for me.
Taking kids to parties… not high on my list of favourite things to do.
It is fine if there is wine…
But if not, I am not great at making small chat over toilet training, starting solids and what the best type of nappy is.
Talk to me about online business, making sales, funnels, email marketing, FB ads and you’ve got my attention.
Doesn’t happen a lot though.
I usually try to outsource the parties to my husband and when I have to go, I make the kids share their party bags with me as tax.
Rewinding back to when my daughter turned one, it makes sense to me now why I was looking forward to returning to work. I love my time with my children, don’t mistake me for a monster mum, but I also love my time.
My background and skill set was in graphic and web design, but I wanted a change, and we wanted to start investing in property so little old me thought it would be good to get a job in real estate to learn the ropes of buying and selling. I picked up a part time job for a popular property buyer and took myself off to work enjoying the peace of mind from the mum-hood life, it lasted for about 2 minutes as I found this job was a new type of hell.
I remember my new boss, yelling at me because I had accidentally let a telemarketer through to him on the phone. He wasn’t impressed and I still remember feeling so belittled.
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It got worse when I was advised that part of my role was to clean the toilets which was news to me since it had never been mentioned before and continued on with my fingers becoming red and raw from sorting, scanning and filing mountains of paperwork for months straight.
I high tailed it out of there, only to be faced with a new kind of hell, called discrimination from job agency to job agency for being a mother.
I remember when I rang one agency back to follow up, I heard the 20-something-year-old receptionist put her hand over the phone and say ‘you know, the one with the baby’
What? I am a real human, with a real name, and a skillset and you’re defining me as ‘the one with the baby’
After months of looking for a job and starting to get a little worried, coincidence or no, I finally got one when I took my wedding ring off and side stepped the gap in my resume which was my maternity leave. I learned that not everyone was excited about my new baby as I was and it was better to shut my mouth about it.
It didn’t pay off, because about six-months into the job, I was asked to see the boss without warning, who suggested I leave, quietly.
Dumbfounded because, despite having to take some sick days off when my daughter couldn’t go to daycare because she was a germ hotel I thought I was doing pretty well at my job. I had no one suggest otherwise, and a few minutes into this so called meeting (aka firing) I realised it was dodgy AF and I recorded the rest of it on my phone, it went something like this:
Boss: ‘It is better for everyone if you wrap up things today.’
Me: ‘But, I don’t understand, did I do something wrong?’
Boss: ‘My suggestion is you leave quietly’
Me: ‘Please can you explain to me why you want me to leave, can’t we talk about it?’
Boss: Let’s just say you don’t fit into the office culture’
Me: ‘Maybe if we can just talk about why, we can fix it?’
Boss: ‘I wouldn’t push me on this if I were you’
Me: ‘Why not?’
Boss: ‘I’m not someone you want to mess with’
Boss: ‘I will give you 4 weeks pay to go away quietly’
Me: ‘Double it.’
I remember driving home that day and ugly crying the whole way.
What just happened? I felt so worthless, so bullied, so helpless. At the complete mercy of some 50-year-old year dick of a man that had complete control over me providing for my family.
Loads of people stay in a job for the security, but here is something to ponder. You are putting your security into someone else’s hands. Real security comes from being the one in control.
It was this realisation in the days after that made me angry, I never wanted to put my fate into someone else’s hands again, that could just take it away in a flash when I had done nothing wrong.
Sitting in peak hour traffic everyday wasting my precious time.
Taking my daughter to daycare and missing out on stuff with her.
Holed up in a small cubicle working on demand.
Being trapped by a salary that could never scale.
Having a boss think he can bully and control me.
It was time to be brave, take control and start my own business so I could do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. Like for example, if I wanted to book a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia with my daughter leaving the next day, I could.
Those first few weeks of getting my web and graphic design business and another business I had rolling were scary and I was terrified I would never make any money, that I would look like an idiot, that I would fail.
But the most amazing things happen when you get uncomfortable, when there are no other options, when you are going to drown unless you sort this shit out now…
Empowerment starts to spool, softly it starts to flicker in and louder and louder you hear a calling you to step into your power. What you have resisted for so long, now pulls you forward. A deep knowing that you’ve moved beyond. When you move past your fears, you feel wiser. Purpose streams in and lights everything up.
Peace, contentment, acceptance settles. Clarity and certainty overtake the fear and overwhelm. You think with precision. Decisions feel easy, and light. Direction unfolds in front of you.
And, for a few years I went on an incredible journey of learning about myself, and life, being a mum and a business owner where I eventually matched my old full-time income.
I worked harder than I ever had before. I made loads of sacrifices, I got loads of stuff wrong but I worked from anywhere with my laptop.
If my daughter or son couldn’t go to daycare, they stayed home with me.
I took time off when I wanted to, and best of all, I was my own boss completely in control of when I worked and how much money I earned.
This experience positioned me to exactly where I was meant to be so that when the idea of Business Jump finally came to me, I stepped it in and took it to a million dollar business within 18 months.
Him firing me was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
It pushed me to fend for myself.
To stop playing small.
That nothing comes from playing it safe.
With grit and determination we can achieve anything.
So you might be thinking, great story Nat, but how do I actually do it? Ok, let’s break this down to together.
1. Are you even cut out to be a business owner?
Because some people aren’t. And, by that I mean they aren’t prepared to get uncomfortable and if that is you, that is totally cool. But, a business might not be the best option for you then because all the time we will come up against challenges, problems and fears we need to work through, so let’s go through some of them and see:
Are you willing to find solutions to problems?
Business is never a straight line to success, it is a up and down journey of constantly finding solutions to problems, working out what works, what doesn’t and then refining and scaling. I always say, success is for the last person standing and if we can go in with the mindset that there are going to be problems to overcome, you won’t be shocked and know it is just a normal part of the process.
Are you willing to work out how to move past your fears?
Running a business will trigger a whole lot of fear you never even knew you had and it will trigger all your limiting beliefs. Fear and ego will use any excuse to keep you safe, but you have to remember you are amazing, you are capable and that if you can grow and birth a tiny human, you can sure as hell run a business. When you find yourself thinking ‘I can’t do that’ challenge yourself, and ask ‘why not?’ and if you feel you can’t move past your fears yourself, find someone (like us) to help you move through it so you can stay true to what you want in life.
Are you willing to learn new skills?
Business is just like going to TAFE and learning accounting but in a different format, but most people don’t realise this, they think they can just get started and sales will come. Not true. In the early days you want to be allocating more time learning, then doing. Shortcut this process by learning from someone who has been there done that instead of working it all out by yourself.
Are you willing to put time and hard work into growing a business?
You might read some of my stuff and see all the awesome perks to having your own business but I always try to be super clear, the amazing stuff comes after the hard work is put in. We pay for the amazing stuff with hard work, sacrifice, sweat and overcoming our fears. You can business anyway you like, while still working full-time, or part-time or while you are a SAHM but you need to put in time to grow it.
Are you willing to move past your mistakes and failures?
Anyone that thinks they will never make a mistake is deluded, and there are also good chances you’ll fail a few times. And, you know what? That is amazing, fail fast because then you can use that experience and work on getting it better and better each time. I can easily point out quite a few of my failures, which if they never happened, I wouldn’t have Business Jump. Business Jump is a collection of my failures that all came together to finally make the ultimate success and within my failures in Business Jump, they have made our systems and processes stronger and stronger each time.
2. Are any common myths holding you back?
I see and hear loads of people saying loads of things in business circles that I have experienced not to be true, and the worst part is, they use these myths to hold them back from getting started so let’s break a few of them down:
If other people are doing the same idea, you can’t do it:
Almost every day I hear ‘I want to start a business but the market is so saturated’ or ‘I want to start a business but then I saw someone else doing the same thing’
98% of the time, there are always going to be people doing the same thing as you, and everyone has the right to start whatever business they like, including you! And, here is something to consider: How do you even know they will still be in business six-months down the line? You just don’t so you can make decisions based on anyone else.
If you’ve spotted similar businesses who are already successful, then that is amazing because they have already validated there is a market for you and that your idea can be successful.
Now you just need to get smart in a few areas to overcome the noise in the online world and stand out, and this is what I teach to my Business Jump clients. Clue, there will always be many similar businesses, but there is only one of you.
You have to know what you’re doing, and/or have qualifications:
Question for you, when you became a mum for the first time, did you know what you were doing? Sure, you may have read some books, lurked in some forums or Facebook groups, but when it is your first baby, you have no on the ground experience, right? But yet, we are expected to keep a human alive. We all worked it out as we went, and business is just like that as well.
You have to have a full business plan:
I secretly hate business plans. I am not a planner, I can’t even plan what we are having for dinner until the same day so I can personally a test to that saying ‘to not plan is to plan to fail’ or however that goes, I’m not great with sayings. I know there is a certain type of person out there that needs to plan and research and that’s cool if it is you and makes you feel better, but take into consideration this, it is usually all redundant when you actually start your business. Nothing compares to on the ground intelligence, feeling out what your audience is asking for and engaging with and building around that.
You have to start at the right time:
Not really. When is there ever really a right time for anything? It is better to start and work on it when you can, then not start at all. You’ll always find a reason as to why it isn’t a good time. Life is busy, but boy, does it go fast. If you take this approach I promise you, you’ll end up a few years down the track wishing you had of started earlier.
You have to have a lot of money to start:
Not true either. If you have money to spend my best advice is to spend it on learning from someone who has been there done that, that can guide you and create everything for you properly from the start and help you move through your limiting beliefs and support you along the way because you will absolutely get to where you want to go, faster.
Or, if you literally have no money, but you are proactive and can make decisions, know what type of business you want to start, what your business name is going to be and what your domain is going to be, you can start right now for about $100 by purchasing the domain name and hosting. Then purchase your theme from here. For most, this latter option will take you loads longer and may be a bit frustrating because you are trying to DIY by yourself and you do run the caution of your website looking unprofessional BUT give it a try, maybe it will turn out amazing!
3. What is your business concept going to be?
This one is going to come down to a few various factors that we help our clients consider and it holds the majority of people back. Maybe you have NFI, or maybe you have too many ideas, maybe you’re stuck in analysis paralysis or maybe you’ve tried something and it didn’t work. Start with a few core instrumental questions….
Do you know what your passion / purpose is?
So the word ‘passion’ gets thrown around a lot, but the truth is, can we can combine a business that feels fulfilling and has authentic meaning with also creating an income. They are not exclusive. When we are doing something that we love, we are also less likely to burn out or throw the towel in, like I explained when Business Jump was featured on Kochie’s Business Builders on Channel 7.
Here is the catch though… loads of people have no idea what their passion is, and they think that if they wait it will just rock up one day and say ‘I am here! I am your passion, let’s do this!’
We find our passion from doing, not waiting. Even if we are unsure, even if we start with a general interest. It then creates a breadcrumb trail that eventually filters out everything that we don’t like and shines a light on what we do like. If you want some guidance on finding your passion and wrapping an online business around it, check out this.
How soon do you need to make money?
There is a wide variance on this one, sure, we all want to make money, but some people are able to hold off on this part longer than others. Your answer on this one will determine which type of income stream is going to fit best for you because all the income streams you can apply to your business have pro’s and cons to them. You can read more about income streams here.
What should your concept and niche be?
My million dollar advice on this one is to start with something that is in your everyday life already that comes easily and naturally to you. Here is the kicker though, you may not recognise that it comes easily to you, but if you’ve ever had someone says to you ‘wow, you are so good at that’ or ‘I find that so hard to do’ well, there is your massive arrow pointing to an idea that needs to be investigated. Sometimes, it also takes someone else to point it out to you, like I did for my beautiful client Andrea, click here to read more about that.
The reason why we start looking for ideas that are already in your everyday life actually feeds into your content marketing strategy and sets you up for success. As you get further down the business line, you need to understand your audiences pain points, their fears, their objections and how you can provide a solution to them by repeating it back to them in your messaging. If you are your audience, then you know exactly what they are thinking because you’ve thought it also.
Another reason is, we pretty much all know when someone is faking it, if you are pushing a product or service just for the sake of sales people will pick up on it. When you generally love what you do, and truly believe you have something to offer that can help other people, well, that is just a whole other level of meaning and fulfilment and once you’ve experienced this, you’ll never want to go back.
As I spoke about when Fetch TV asked me to consult on their marketing strategy, you need to understand your audiences pain points, their fears, their objections and how you can provide a solution to them by repeating it back to them in your messaging over time and different platforms in various storytelling formats . If you are your target customer, that had the same thoughts, pain points, fears and objections then you can tap into that intel and you know exactly what your target audience is thinking because you’ve thought it also.