[quote style=”boxed”]Planning, planning, planning. I write down every step to achieve the idea, pick the day I want it launched and then pop the steps in my diary from that date backwards. That way, each time I get to a new day in my diary I know what I have to do and am always on track.[/quote]
Alli Price, founder of Motivating Mum first started launched her business as a life coach four years ago, at the same time as giving birth to my first daughter, Amelie. Stuck at home for a lot of the time either feeding and changing nappies or working on the computer she quickly realized how isolating it was to work from home and decided to host a networking lunch in the hope there were other mums like her. There were – 40 or so of them – and the Businessmums’ Networking Lunch was launched.
Four years on and over 700 mums had been to a Businessmums’ Lunch in the UK to hear mumpreneurs from Organix, Cath Kidston and Bravissimo (to name a few) speak. However, she realized that as inspiring as these women were there was a need for the opportunity to turn theory into practice. Brainstorm in a Teacup was introduced; a chance for mums in business to not only work on their business, but to offer their skills and experience to help others at the same time.
Following emails from Scotland, Wales and more she decided she needed to launch Motivating Mum nationally and bring support and advice to mums in business across the UK. January 2010, following a huge website overhaul and 7 months pregnant, Motivating Mum Mark II was unveiled. The new website included articles and features, an online forum and phone mentoring with established and successful mums. In addition, she took on associates in other parts of the country to run Motivating Mum events.
In April 2010 she gave birth to Freya and, being a sole trader with no funds for staff, was back brainstorming ideas for the business the next day in Hospital. Breast feeding whilst running workshops and networking followed a few weeks later! Then, not content with simply running a business and raising two kids she relocated back to her home town of Melbourne, Australia later that year and nearly sent herself grey in the process. It was worth the trip and the box of hair dye though as she’s ecstatic to be back.
And that’s where she is right now. In a new house in her old country with a (relatively) new business. And her aims? To create a business just like the one she had in the UK as when she’s helping mums in business she’s happiest.
What are you working on right now?
I am always working on a million things – it comes with the territory. But big things I am working on are a charity event where mums all across Australia will be jumping out of planes, a special Mumpreneur booklet that will be inserted into a national magazine – allowing mums in biz to reach this broad market for a much cheaper price than advertising as they’re all sharing the costs of the booklet.
Where did the idea for Motivating Mum come from?
From the isolation and loneliness experienced at becoming both a new mother and new home business owner at the same time.
What does your typical day look like?
My typical day is getting up with the kids, getting the five year old off to school and then, hopefully the 2 year old to nursery or out the door with Dad! Then onto the computer for as long as possible or out the door myself to run an event. Then school pick up, after school snack and juggle playing with the kids with sending a few more emails. Dinner time, bath, reading stories and bedtime for kids and then back on the computer until approx. 12am. Repeat.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Planning, planning, planning. I write down every step to achieve the idea, pick the day I want it launched and then pop the steps in my diary from that date backwards. That way, each time I get to a new day in my diary I know what I have to do and am always on track.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The mumpreneur trend – not only because it hopefully means more business for me – but it’s exciting that women now have another option other than being a SAHM or returning to the workforce.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I had a terrible cleaning job when I was living in Sweden for a few months where I had to clean a recently vacated flat and the fridge was full of mould! The only thing I really learned from this was that I never, ever want a job like this again. Other than this job, I’ve always quite liked what I did even when I was a dishwasher in a hotel. Washing dishes you really get to just let your mind wander and chill out a bit!
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. I have always had an innate trust in life, that I go the places and meet the people I’m meant to and that fab opportunities will always present themselves. I love the journey and haven’t been disappointed yet!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Networking! I just can’t believe all the benefits you can get from one networking event – clientele, referrals, business advice, support, cross-promotional opportunities, recommended suppliers and for mums working from home, the chance for some adult conversation and an opportunity to lift the loneliness.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have had to start up twice now, here and in the UK and both times have had no money to do it with. This means that I have to do everything myself – I am the accountant, branding expert, seo consultant and more. I taught myself through reading loads and loads of articles and blogs, talking to any person in business who would listen to me, observing what others have been doing and also bartering – a lot. Barter is my favorite currency.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you’re in Australia and looking to start a business then opening a warehouse for mums in biz would be amazing – there are so many mums out there desperate for help and not able to afford the !
If you could change one thing in the world – what would it be – and how would you go about it?
I would try and make more people less focussed on money and more on helping others. For example, a mum I know can’t afford a lawyer to fight for custody of her child as they all charge $300 an hour! I have no idea how I would go about this but I guess a start is making my prices affordable and trying to encourage others who utilise my services to pay it forward.
Tell us a secret.
I don’t have any secrets to tell, I’m pretty much an open book!
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
- I love Mailchimp.com – what’s not to love about a free newsletter service, especially for mums starting out who don’t have loads of money to spend.
- Successfulblogging.com offers loads of great tips and info and you can even sign up for free tips into your inbox – fab!
- Buildalittlebiz.com is a great site for small businesses, with info on everything from social media to branding. I personally find the mum behind buildalittlebiz very inspiring.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I absolutely adore The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It is fabulous for encouraging creativity and is also really good for helping you get in touch with who you are and what really interests you.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
- twitter.com/brandmeetsblog – great tips on blogging and working with brands.
- twitter.com/motivatingmumuk – my UK franchisee always has the best articles and blogs on business.
- twitter.com/mumpr – great blogger and clever pr mum
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
My daughters make me laugh out loud on a regular basis – the last time was when my oldest decided to face paint herself and came out looking the like Creature from the Black Lagoon!
Who is your hero?
I love, love Laura Tenison of Jo Jo Maman Bebe – she started out years ago with a simple idea and which she then developed into one of the most successful baby and kids clothing companies in the UK, all the while remaining true to her brand. She is completely self-funded, has amazing reward and education programs in place for her staff, has developed a charity supporting mothers and babies in Africa and still found the time to talk at my little events in London.
What keeps you motivated?
Whenever I get an email from a mum saying that I’ve helped her is what keeps me motivated – it’s quite simply the best feeling in the world and probably something I will never tire of. I also love, love the creativity required to run a business – to develop a brand, market it, come up with new ideas for events and promotions – it’s like coloring in but for adults!
What do you love about being a mum in business?
I love being able to be home for my kids, take them to activities, hear their stories. I also love the opportunity to build something that is mine, to be creative, to continually learn. I also love being able to build something that helps people who need it.