Mumpreneur Reaps the Benefits – profile of Anna Seager May 21st, 2013
I recently read an article about how “mumpreneurs” might be the answer to our struggling economy (http://news.sky.com/story/1065411/mumpreneurs-could-be-lifeline-to-recovery).
Whilst I don’t particularly like the term “mumpreneur” (I am sure lots will disagree, but personally, I find it a bit patronising) the story did make me think about all those mums who are busy juggling kids/home chores/business/being a wife etc etc – so they can work in a free range, flexible way and be there for their family.
This is exactly why I chose to set up my own business – for flexibility. Admittedly, there are some days where I do think “wouldn’t life be so much easier if I just went to work for someone else 3 or 4 days a week, collected my pay cheque and slept well because I didn’t have a “to do list” of a million things that kept my brain whirring away at night”! However, there are many more days where I am so happy I’m my own boss and have the flexibility to make my own choices.
[viralpullquote ]I am so happy I’m my own boss and have the flexibility to make my own choices[/viralpullquote].
For example, a few weeks ago, I chose to take the afternoon off and go and cheer on my daughter’s hockey team in their County Cup hockey final. Today, I am taking the whole day off to go and see my dad, who is undergoing rigorous chemotherapy at the moment.
Having this kind of flexibility, is the reason I chose to go the mumpreneur route and not to get a job. I see friends of mine, who are employed, missing out on their kids’ special events, time and time again because they can’t get the time off, but I don’t have to answer to anyone, and this allows me to watch my kids grow up as well as having a strong sense of self-worth as I am making a significant contribution to the family income.
For me, another benefit of being a mumpreneur is that the business has grown with my children. When I started out, my children were still quite young – 3 and 5, so the hours I could put into it were quite limited. Slowly and steadily, as they have grown and the Mummy hours have eased off, I have been able to put more time into Little Crab Designs and have gone from earning a bit of pocket money to earning a substantial income, whilst doing something I love and still being able to be there for my children (now 10 and 12).
So if you’re reading this, at home with little ones, wondering how you are ever going to be able to go back to work – think about going down the mumpreneur route. It was the best decision I ever made and who knows? – You could even be part of the revolution that is going to turn our fragile economy around!?
Anna Seager – founder of Little Crab Designs – nursery wall art specialists
If you liked this article – do check out my blog – charting the ups and downs of running a small business round a family.
The Mumpreneur’s Guide to SEO April 25th, 2013
So you’ve found your perfect business idea and have set up the website. Now you’re waiting for people to find you. You probably know that search engine optimisation is going to be important, but how do you do it?
Calling all Mumpreneurs: Get Creative this Christmas December 5th, 2012
By Kate Miranda, Director, Mumpreneur Marketing.
The countdown to Christmas has begun. For many of us Christmas is a frenzied infusion of family, friends, presents, excessive food and alcohol, plenty of cheer and special memories. For mums, it’s multitasking taken to the max with the ever expanding ‘to do’ list. Have you found the perfect present for your husband’s visiting second cousin? What about his wife? Pass the wine, please!
The bizarre thing is, once the chaos of Christmas day has passed, it is often followed by a sudden and almost dull calm. The kids are occupied with new toys and gadgets. Dad seems content to potter and recuperate. These are the moments we have to seize for ourselves. Seize some time and space to think and create. Unleash your inner mumpreneur.
Mums by nature are creative beasts – I mean beauties. We have occasional moments of inspired brilliance and the lucky mums have more frequent moments of brilliance. Many mums who act on these moments become successful mumpreneurs by transforming their ideas into businesses.
If you are thinking about starting your own business or contemplating how to grow your mumpreneur business in 2013, use the Christmas break to get creative. Use the mental break from the daily machinations of work to think laterally. Brainstorm business ideas with friends or random relatives. Most will relish being involved.
Nothing saps your creative spirit like churlish children, cleaning or the cold so take time out to visit a place that inspires you, like your favourite gallery or cafe. Somewhere you can get headspace. Use this time and space to come up with creative ideas that will help you connect with more customers. If you haven’t changed your tagline in a while, come up with a new one. It’s great to keep things fresh. Brainstorm taglines and slogans with friends. Think of an idea for a PR campaign or competition idea you could run with a local media partner.
Go viral. Challenge yourself to come up with a viral campaign or a new product. Here are some great examples to help you get started. The tone of a viral campaign can be either funny (Meet Doug Pitt. The Second Most Famous Pitt in His Family), or funny and terrifying (Extremely Scary Ghost Elevator Prank in Brazil), or funny with a serious message (check out Vinnie Jones for the British Heart Foundation). Originality is what will create an impact. It won’t cost you anything but your creativity and time to make a video on your phone and upload it onto YouTube, which is now the second biggest search engine next to Google with more than two billion views a day.
If you are looking for a place to start, why not use the number 2013. How can you hang a campaign off these numbers? 2013 is the year of the Snake and the United Nations has declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa, a super food high in protein and gluten-free. If you are in the nutrition, diet or fitness industry, get creative with Quinoa recipes for your customers.
Bouncing off current affairs stories can also be an effective way to increase brand awareness. If you deal in fair trade products respond to the Starbucks greed on a grand scale story by launching an email or viral campaign around the word fair. We pay our fair share. We play fair etc.
If you are planning to throw a bit of creative marketing into the Christmas mix this year be sure to have fun. Be imaginative. Get carried away with possibilities.
If you are looking for creative marketing ideas, contact Kate Miranda or try one of her DIY marketing workshops designed for business mums who do their own marketing. firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted in - Blogging for Business, - Confidence Building, - Get Motivated, - Image and Branding, - Marketing your Business | 4 Comments »
5 Steps to making your business a success April 4th, 2012
Starting a business can be one of the most exciting yet stressful things you could do in life. There’s the euphoria of being your own boss, choosing your own work hours and following your passion, and then there’s the stress of getting your product/brand out there and staying motivated when times get tough. To ensure your business gets off to the best possible start, here’s my personal 5 step guide to making your business a success: Read the rest of this entry »
Life, death and everything in-between! April 3rd, 2012
I wrote a blog for last years ‘mentoring month’ on motivation. My life at that point was calm – although balancing all aspects of family life, working on my coaching business, and managing everything else was not an easy task – the waters of life had gentle waves with the focus on the future.
Then, my Mother (my last surviving parent) took ill. Although she had suffered for many years with various ailments and had started with Dementia, the call that came to say that she had months, perhaps weeks to live was a complete shock. Life became a circle of visits, phone calls and trying to maintain some form of ‘normality in-between. Utilising the power of laughter, music and positivity helped throughout this period. Read the rest of this entry »
Ring to Win April 2nd, 2012
Feeling connected is lovely. In this scary age when old people can lie undiscovered for days in their homes, stricken strangers get stepped over as commuters run to catch their trains, or people wonder if you’re crazy if you smile at them at the bus stop or attempt conversation in the supermarket, the internet can make us all feel closer.
We interact with our hundreds of friends on Facebook and feel cared for, we meet new friends or colleagues on Twitter, and we run our lives – business and social – via email and text message. Read the rest of this entry »
I spent three years thinking about my business.
It’s an online one, so I tried learning HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL and all the other horrible acronyms that techy geeks treat as if they are the holy grail. But they just seemed like a random collection of letters to me….
All that happened was my head exploded, I spent a lot of money on Amazon (well someone benefited) and I still didn’t have my business.
Then, I gave up work to look after my little boy and girl.
I lasted three months as a stay at home mum; and launched my printable reward charts business. It was an accident; I just though, hey, I’ll explore how much it costs, and before I knew it, I was doing it. And despite all the hurdles, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
And do you know why? Lots of reasons – eight to be precise. Hopefully, some of you who also have a sneaky idea in your head may just try your ideas out now too. It’s worth it – honest.
- Regret – it’s always a shame when you look back on life and say, “if only.” So give your idea a chance, and if it doesn’t work, you can always say you tried it, can’t you?
- Learning new skills – my god, I haven’t learned so much since I was at school! And you can bet that you will be learning as much as I did. You have to do it all as a small business, and that’s great. You will become a seriously active learner again.
- Finding new talents – in learning all the new stuff, you find new things that you are actually quite good at. I have discovered a talent for social media, and for writing. I’m not an expert by any means, but good enough to impress, and good enough to be proud of what I do. And I am sure you will find something like this too.
- Meeting new (and wonderful) people; there are so many other entrepreneurs out there. And networking is a joy. Everyone feels like you when you take your first tentative steps into the networking jungle…so don’t be nervous – just remember we are all bricking it! And once you have got over that fear, there are some lovely people out there that want to help and guide you.
- Discovering social media – What is Twitter? What’s the point of Facebook? Why bother with LinkedIn? All the questions that we ask before we dive into social media. I wouldn’t be without the support network and the followers I have on these media now. They help to answer my questions, and I hope to answer some of theirs too.
- Being able to help others – businesses are often about helping others, whether it’s my business that helps parents with tough challenges, or a cake business that helps people’s celebrations go with a bang, or someone who helps another organisation get their name known in the press. And there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that your efforts have helped an individual or a business to succeed.
- Involving my children in what I do - my business is child-related, so I involve my kids. However, it’s not just my kind of business where you can involve your children. Talking to them about what you do, and why you do it is really important. And if your idea means you work from home, then you will get many more opportunities to do so. Even if it’s just asking them whether they prefer this design to the eBook cover or that one! My daughter and son actually helped choose my logo. This involvement can do wonders for your child’s self esteem (and your mummy guilt…!)
- Building confidence – having your own business is a massive confidence boost. So if you are a naturally shy person, you will find yourself doing things for your business that you would never do for yourself – like selling to strangers. If the business doesn’t succeed, how you deal with that can shape you as well.Lessons learned from failure are some of the most valuable lessons we can get.
What about you other mums and dads out there who finally went with that idea? What were your final motivations? How has it been? Have you any encouraging words for our would-be entrepreneurs?
Helen Neale regularly blogs for her printable reward charts business KiddyCharts. She always has a thing or two to say about being a working mum, a small business owner and a social media geek.
How I became a Mumpreneur and got rid of my plastic household March 23rd, 2012
I’ve been thinking about ideas how to combine my family life and work for quite a while. I knew I wouldn’t go back to my old job, working maniac five days a week and not seeing the kids most of the day. Additionally, it is usually my turn to stay at home when the kids get sick or during term breaks. A part time job didn’t seem to be an option either as my previous job required to be present full time. So I was thinking about being self-employed and had a few ideas spinning in my head already.
One afternoon, during a play date, a friend of mine asked me where I got my aluminium drinking bottle from (an unhealthy old one as I would find out later). I told her I got it from somewhere in Germany but was sure they would be sold in the UK as well. When she replied that her son hates the plastic water bottle he always took to school, I immediately had an idea. I thought I would purchase healthy bottles for schools in the area as my friend’s school was not the only one to provide plastic bottles only. And if her son hated the bottle, I was sure a lot of other kids would too. That’s when I started researching and found out all about BPA in plastic and how it can harm you and your kids’ body. I realised that I fed all my three kids out of non BPA free baby bottles. I just didn’t know about BPA at the time. I also did heat their milk in the microwave, meaning I did everything wrong and can just hope it didn’t harm them too much. That’s how my journey started.
I was always striving to find healthy, natural products for the whole family but now I realised my household was full of plastic and unhealthy products. I started throwing everything away which was not marked as BPA-free and suddenly questioned everything. Which lunchbox can I still use? Which are the healthier options for drinking bottles compared to plastic and aluminium? Where shall I put my leftovers in? Which alternatives do I have to avoid tins and cans? Which chemicals are in my shampoo and which washing detergent is safe? Questions over questions…
Eventually an enquiry came along from one of the healthy stainless steel suppliers from the US (whom I asked for prices for bigger amounts) whether I wanted to become their UK distributor. After doing some calculations I decided to go for it and became UK distributor for Green Bottle – eco-friendly and BPA free water bottles made out of stainless steel.
I feel very balanced since starting my own business 1.5 years ago. It is something I am doing for myself, not the kids, not the husband just for me. It feels great but of course it is sometimes a challenge switching between work and family.
The other day my daughter couldn’t go to nursery because she’s been sick. I was supposed to have a work meeting though. I thought of cancelling it but we agreed I would just bring her with me. Luckily it went well as she was sitting nicely and not interrupting me a lot. But kids are so different it wouldn’t have worked with my boys at all. My business bag was a great mixture between work stuff and nappies plus food and toys to keep her happy. I’ve been proud I could go to that meeting as it was important for me and I’ve been proud of my daughter too.
You see, you can combine work & family and feeling balanced at the same time.
Daniela Schaffrik is Founder and Director of A Fine Choice Limited.
Please have a look at my blog where I share lots of experience I made as a Mumpreneur.
Telephone +44 (0)7904 959 574
Top 5 Time Management Tips for Juggle Mums March 22nd, 2012
If you’re like most time pressed Mumpreneurs, you probably find that much of your time and focus is spent juggling day-to-day administrative and office management tasks (and your childrens’ social diary) rather than on actually growing your business.
Planning your day efficiently can really give you hours back, increase your productivity and help you leverage your time more effectively.
Here are my top 5 time management tips for time starved Mumpreneurs:
1. Set goals. Set yourself achievable daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals for your business and family life and stick to them. If they seem overwhelming break them down into manageable chunks and tackle them one step at a time.
2. Plan your day in advance. In the evening or the first 10 minutes of your current working day, plan your ‘to do’ list so that you can start your day with focus. Batch similar tasks to be worked on together and add times to them so that you know precisely when you will work on them.
3. Use your calendar effectively. Block out time to work on specific projects and stick to these times. Schedule everything from phone calls to meetings to picking the kids up from school. Never agree to calls or meetings with no clear agenda or end time.
4. Switch your phone to voicemail or divert it to your call minding service and use that time solely to clear the items out of your to-do pile.
5. Manage your email inbox effectively. Aim to clear your inbox. Once you have deleted unwanted mails either action or file the remainder immediately - you will find that your inbox is much less of an interruption and source of stress. If you regularly receive a lot of emails then allocate a couple of set times in the day to go through and action items.
Mums in Business at Home – what a difference an hour makes March 12th, 2012
In an interview last year I was asked the question “If you could only work on your business for 1 hour a day what would you focus on to make it a success?”
That’s a great question and started me thinking about how important it is particularly for us mums to get the most out of the time when we’re working in and on our business, so here are some ideas and strategies to help.
A space to call your own – well for an hour or two! – being a mum in business and working from home means clear boundaries between business and family is important. I’m fortunate enough to have a separate space in my house and the physical boundary of a door can be important to avoid the distractions of for example house tasks (think ‘out of sight, out of mind’) allowing 100% focus on the business when I’m in that space. Dedicated space however isn’t possible for everyone in which case drawing up a schedule for use of the kitchen/dining room table and posting it up on the fridge for family members to see should help. You and they will know that the physical space is yours for the allotted time giving you also the mental space to focus on the work you need to get done.
Be realistic with time and tasks – trying to cram in a full revision of your business plan or update of your web site in an hour or so isn’t realistic for most of us so break the big tasks down in to smaller, achievable ones working towards the overall goal. Many working from home mums with school age children will be working the ‘split-shift’ work system – you get the children to school, start work on the business, collect children from school (play, dinner, bed), then back to work on the business once they’ve gone to sleep (that’s the theory anyway!), sneaking in business calls, emails or anything else when you can.
This is a demanding schedule and it’s important to prioritise tasks according to when you’re most productive. For example if you’re a bit of a night owl and some of your best ideas ping in your mind later on, save the more creative tasks until after your children have gone to bed. Longer tasks such as business reviews will need blocks rather than snatches of time to work on so schedule those in when you know (all things being equal!) your time is less likely to be uninterrupted.
Make routine work – I know it sounds obvious but tasks such as checking emails and using social media lend themselves perfectly to a routine. Recent research says many people are starting to develop the FOMO (fear of missing out) complex in relation to social media in particular but the reality is if you’re running a business you can’t be on Twitter and Facebook all the time! If you’re using Twitter for example schedule in the reading of timelines, postings and RTs twice a day. With email, decide on the frequency you want to check them and stick to it. If you are using ‘push’ notifications (posts/emails are pinged to your smartphone) set the phone to ‘silent’ so your work flow isn’t interrupted. If you’re that worried about ‘missing out’ on the latest news from your social media network it might be time to re-think how you’re using it.
Remember emotional boundaries – as well as the physical boundary of the kitchen table or separate room to work in, it’s worth remembering to set your ‘emotional’ boundaries too. By this I mean being clear in your head when you are ‘business woman’ and when you are ‘mum’. I try to schedule in at least 15-20 minutes before I do the school run to clear my head of business things and get back in to ‘parent mode’. Throughout the course of a day we switch from work to parent mode often without thinking about it, but taking a little time to think of ways to help you make that switch may help you be more ‘present’ both with your children and your business.
A change of plan doesn’t mean you’ve failed – whether you’ve had a call from the school to say your child is poorly or you’ve realised a piece of work you’ve taken on is taking longer than expected (it happens to all of us), try not to see a change to your work plan as failure. If you haven’t a partner to share the unexpected childcare situation the bottom line is your family comes first (see ‘Remember why you’re doing this’ below). If a client job is taking up way more time than you bargained for resulting in the re-scheduling of other tasks, try not to see this as a failure either. Take a moment to think about why it has happened, evaluate your strategies for how you calculate and cost out your time (that applies equally to service and product industries by the way) learn from it for next time, and move on. I have had to learn over the last 5 years that it’s fine to be a ‘good enough’ Mum, and there’s no reason why this can’t be applied to your business as well.
Remember why you’re doing this – it’s easy to get caught up in the whirl of day-to-day business when the children are at school – fitting in client appointments, calls, making products, delivering services and much more. Being time limited makes us focus on the tasks in hand often at the exclusion of anything else (including eating!) and I know there are occasions when I’m sitting in the car waiting to pick up my son from school wishing I had ‘just another hour’ to work on the business. Having a family and running a business are not and never should be mutually exclusive in fact for many mums the freedom of being able to work around the children as opposed to the children around the work is a key factor in deciding to start a business in the first place giving flexibility to be around for children that employed work often doesn’t. For others being self-employed is just a way of life, it’s what we’ve always done long before the children came along. Whatever your reasons, remember that you’re the boss so when she says ”take a few hours out to see the class concert” listen and act!
Get yourself a coach or mentor – this is one of the best pieces of advice I can give anyone starting or running a business regardless of whether they are a Mum or not. Coaches can be helpful for working with you on confidence issues, business skills and attitudes, whereas mentors can help to bounce ideas around, progress specific business goals and of course to learn from their experiences. Whether you choose a coach or a mentor, the main thing is to find someone you feel happy to work with and who will support you in achieving your goals and getting the best out of the time available. Time spent on mentoring or coaching is some of the best time you can spend and will benefit business and family. My mentor keeps me focused, challenges my thinking, and allows me space to share difficulties and frustrations as well as teaching me strategies to make better use of my time and maximising business opportunities when they arise.
So now, if you’re interested in my answer to the original question at the start of this guest blog you can read the full interview here but in a nutshell I said I would split my 60 minutes into three parts allocated to social media interaction, personal interaction (e.g. telephone calls) and focusing ‘on’ rather than ‘in’ the business looking at areas such as business plans, targets, exploring strategic partnership opportunities. Oh and a little bit of speed mentoring too. That’s an awful lot to pack into 60 minutes but is definitely achievable.
Now it’s my turn to ask you the question…“If you could only work on your business for 1 hour a day what would you focus on to make it a success?”
Lorraine Allman is Managing Director of Speed Mentor Central® a company providing services and expertise to entrepreneurs and small businesses. She personally offers business mentoring and practical support to anyone thinking about starting or already running a business, and is an author at the number one ranked Small Business Blog and one of the leaders of the micro-enterprise initiative Enterprise Rocks.
Lorraine is supporting Mummy Mentoring Month by offering two 30 minute mentoring sessions and a two-hour practical support session for one lucky person. You can follow her on Twitter @beindemand
This blog is part of my Mummy Mentoring Month series – support and advice for you and your business from a different guest blogger, each day throughout March. Follow the link to see how we are raising money for charity with this initiative.
Motivating Mum: The Best of the Year so Far November 19th, 2011
OK, I’ve posted all my Christmas reviews now, plus the guest posts that I had stacked up since October. But we are still in the middle of NaBloPoMo, so I still have to come up with a post a day for another 12 days, and I have to say that this morning I was hit with the dreaded blogger’s block.
In desperation I headed over to look at the new Google Analytics. I thought perhaps I would look and see which of my posts have been the most popular over the past year – then maybe I would get some inspiration as to subject matter to blog on with.
I tried to imagine before I set the report running which my most popular posts of the year would be. The results have certainly surprised me in some areas, but they have definitely given me inspiration for the future as to what exactly the Motivating Mum blog should cover.
I am going to do this in two sections (fills up a blog-dry weekend – plus ten posts is a lot of links to ask you to look at all at once). So here are the 6th to 10th most popular posts that I have made this year – in reverse order, plus a small comment about what I have learned.
I hope you enjoy reading them – please feel free to like, tweet or make comments (with lovely backlinks from commentluv) as you see fit.
10: What to Do When your Computer Crashes This tells me that it is good to blog about disaster. It acts as a warning to others, and also tugs at the emotional heartstrings, as we all think – that could have been me… this also reminds me that I never made good on my promise to blog about all the Cloud solutions that I am now using to stop this from happening to me again. (3-4 extra ideas now added to my blog queue)
9: Free Advertising for Small Businesses This post was written by Natalie Strong, as part of Mummy Mentoring Month. I think the key to this post’s popularity is that the title is a keyword that I’m sure a lot of people are looking for.
8: Mumpreneur: Who Me? My take on the news that the word mumpreneur has entered the dictionary. This word splits the community – you either love it or hate it. And anywhere that there are strong emotions, good blogs will follow…
7: Maternity Pay and Allowance for Business Owners This is a great factual post by Ingrid Niang – also part of the Mummy mentoring month series. This post reminds me that one of my core missions is to provide support and advice to businessmums out there – I will be actively searching out more information of this type.
6: What not to Wear for Five Year Olds This was one of my very first blogs – about one of those great parenting dilemmas, and how I solved it. My children are an immense source of inspiration to me.
So there you have it – the first half of my bloggy Top 10. Stay tuned for the Top 5 posts tomorrow. I’d also love to see your Top 10′s if you want to share – please leave a comment and a link if you do…
Mumpreneur Profile: Louise Villis of Kids Do Travel October 26th, 2011
Having worked full time in sales and marketing for a fibre optics company before children, I was under no illusion about how hard it would be to re-enter such a fast moving industry. When I worked for this company, I was very privileged, to have a mobile phone, it was the size of a brick, but at the time, it was the latest technology. With this thought and the fact that a full time 9-5 job would not really suit our family life, I decided to look for ideas that I could fit in around the children and their many endless sporting activities and my general taxi service duties.
When my youngest daughter Becca was going on a school trip, we were missing one vital component, a suitcase to put everything in, we had large bulky suitcases in fairly boring colours but not something unique, different and manageable. Having seen what was available online and on the High Street in my search, I realised I had found the perfect idea – a one stop shop for children’s travel products. Our range of products from that point has expanded and evolved, from children’s suitcases to lunch bags and drinks bottles. An inordinate amount of time has been spent sourcing quirky unique products from children’s luggage, travel games, towels and towelling robes, children’s ID wristbands, Chair Harnesses, BubbleBum – ‘the booster seat in a bag ‘to car organisers.
As a mother of two children and a husband who in their early years spent long periods of time abroad, I would often take the girls on my own to see him. As a parent, taking a two year old and four year old on a plane on your own, can be a very daunting experience, I think the key is organisation, and I did manage to get it down to a fine art.
I also felt that one of the hardest times to entertain your children is when you go to a restaurant, this is a pleasurable family event, but can end up with both parents very stressed, so within our website we have tried to cater for this too with our travel games and restaurant fun.
I have been fortunate to have always had a much valued second opinion when deciding on products, styles and designs, who better to ask than children themselves.
Our website is now approaching its first anniversary, which seems unbelievable, where has the time gone? The response to our website and the events we have attended has truly exceeded our expectations and have resulted in interviews and features in many different magazines.
Life is very busy, manic at times but to any mother with similar aspirations, the effort is definitely worth it. There are also very supportive mumpreneur sites whose resources have been invaluable. To achieve a balance between work and home life from a mother’s perspective is the ‘ideal’ and possible.
You can find Louise and her brilliant range of children’s travel products at www.kidsdotravel.co.uk
Mumpreneur? Who Me? October 22nd, 2011
So it seems that the term ‘mumpreneur’ has entered the English language officially, as it has been recognised by the Collins dictionary in its 11th edition.
I’m sure a fair few of you are really happy about this, happy that the status which you use to define yourselves has been given official recognition. Several of my friends on Twitter have said that this term makes them feel empowered and liberated.
Let me just say before I go off on a rant, that I am more than happy for anyone else who likes the word mumpreneur to use it. At least I understand what it means, and I absolutely defend anybody’s right to define themselves in any terms they choose.
I also continue to use the term on Motivating Mum – after all if it is an official buzzword in the ‘mums in business sector’, then I really need to get with the programme and keep up with the times.
However I can honestly say that I hate the term ‘mumpreneur’, and would very rarely refer to myself as such, if ever. I posted this opinion as a tweet recently and got the biggest response from any tweet I ever posted. Great for my ratings, but most of the replies were asking me why I felt so strongly. So I’ve tried to put some structure on my thoughts and my extreme negative reaction. It’s more than 140 characters worth, so here goes….
Feelings of Inadequacy
I first came across the term mumpreneur when I took over Motivating Mum last year. Back then I was new to the whole ‘mums in business’ scene, and the term ‘mumpreneur’ made me feel quite inadequate.
To my ears, a mumpreneur was someone who had started something new, forged out her own path, made a success for herself, at the same time as raising a family. There are many successful businesswomen who happen to be mums, that I would apply that label to, but I felt excluded by it – surely not me. I even blogged about it “Am I really a Motivating Mum?” I couldn’t even bear to use the term mumpreneur about myself, it just seemed wrong.
When I got more familiar with the word mumpreneur, I realised that most people were applying it to any woman who has children, and runs a business or works from home. OK, so that does include me then.
Once I got over that hurdle, I couldn’t help but be struck by what a linguistically awful and ugly word it is. I’m a bit of a language snob I’m afraid, and this word just makes me cringe.
When I hear the word entrepreneur, I hear the two French root words of it: ‘entre’ – between, and ‘prendre’ to take or carry.
So I can easily understand the original meaning of entrepreneur a go-between, or one who facilitates trade between others. I can also just about see how that meaning became bent to encompass anyone who struck out in business for themselves.
But mumpreneur? Following the same logic (which I just cant help with every new word I come across), that then means a mum-taker, or mum-carrier? It’s just truly awful.
Added to that the word mumpreneur just sounds so dreadful. When I hear it, I get two negative associations, first of all I hear mumps, and then when I hear some people who pronounce it mumprenyoooor, I can’t help but think of manure.
I realise that this linguistic nonsense is just me, but there it is, a personal pet hate. I’m a pedant and happy to be so.
Several people who saw my tweet rant against the term mumpreneur, replied to ask me – what other term would you use then?
When I’m writing, I sometimes use the term ‘mums in business’, or ‘businessmums’. That’s as close to the same meaning while still being recognisable English and not some French or American mumbo-jumbo
But I do also question whether we need a specific term to describe mums who happen to run businesses or businesswomen who happen to be mums?
I don’t tell the mums at the school gate that I am a mumpreneur, I just tell them I work from home or I run a business. I very rarely have to mention my business and the fact that I am a mum in the same breath, it’s just not relevant.
When I advertise events for mumpreneurs on my site or blog, I always get comments back – I don’t have children, can I come, or shame that’s no good for me, I’m a man.
Although my business targets mums who do or would like to run businesses as it appears to be an easily identifiable market segment, I don’t want to exclude anyone. If anyone wants to read my stuff, and or come to my events, I don’t care who employs them , what sex they are nor how many children they have, as long as they don’t mind the fact that children are always welcome at my events and allowances are always made for the needs of mums.
I am businesswoman, I am mum, I am both. But generally for myself I choose not to let one job colour or excuse the other.
There, I have ranted. I hate the term mumpreneur, because it makes some people feel inadequate, because it sounds so silly, and because I feel it is irrelevant.
However let me just finish by saying that these sting opinions are entirely my own, and I am more than happy to use the term mumpreneur to describe other people who define themselves that way. I get the feeling after reading the responses to my tweet, that mine is a minority opinion and that most of you will welcome this new word to the English language.
But at the end of the day, expressing a contrary opinion is one of the great joys of blogging, so thank you for listening.
If any of you would like to leave your comments and reactions below, I would love to hear them. Several people thought my tweet sounded gruff and unfriendly but that was never my intention, and I apologise if I have upset you.
Please leave your comments and links, below, mumpreneurs, mums, dads, childless people, children or whoever you are.
A Mumpreneur is Born: Part 5 – The Right Path August 18th, 2011
I left you dangling again didn’t I? Here is the last but one part of my business history…
As I came to the end of my PT training I felt a bit backed into a corner – I had spent all my available money on training for something that I didn’t feel right to teach. I hadn’t managed to get slim and fit myself. I didn’t really know what to do next – I wanted to at least be slim by the time I finished my training – otherwise I might just have to give up and go back to work, and then how would I face my husband, who had invested in me for nothing?
I decided to ‘cheat’ a bit. The fitness industry is very much against very low calorie diets, but I wanted to give myself a kick start and a confidence boost. So as a last resort I signed up to do Cambridge Diet, after a friend I met online had a huge success with it. I know it’s shallow to think that your personal appearance could have such a big impact on your self confidence, but I knew I wouldn’t feel right working as a personal trainer if I was overweight. That was still my plan at that stage – because I didn’t have a better idea.
The diet was a revelation for me. The first week is tough but after that I lost weight steadily over the twelve weeks I did it. I lost nearly three stone, which did wonders for my confidence.
However the thing which really got me thinking was the job of the Cambridge consultant. Over the 12 weeks I was there I learned that Cambridge is a distributorship business, just like Usborne – so I understood how it worked. The set up costs are really reasonable – well within my reach. You get to counsel people one to one – a skill I had learnt with the NCT and with my Personal Trainer qualification. I knew that I had a real talent in that area. However I felt much more confident teaching weight loss with Cambridge than I did teaching fitness, because I had done the diet successfully myself - whereas unfortunately good fitness habits still elude me today…..
The best part of all, is that my weight loss efforts inspired my husband too, and he also lost more than 2 stone with Cambridge. So when I told him I was thinking of adding Cambridge to my PT business he was very supportive.
By the time I got to my goal weight I knew I wanted to be a Cambridge consultant, with or without the PT business. I did the training and set up my new business in September 2008. Apart from a few little hiccups at the start, I knew very soon that this was exactly the thing for me. I set up my room, and carried on my business with the children in the sitting room next door. Mums at the school who wanted to lose weight brought their own children with them, knowing that mine was a child friendly weight loss class. The business was immediately profitable, plus I felt a buzz that I was really helping people. It was the perfect fit.
So why am I here now writing to you as Motivating Mum? Another happy accident – and probably worth a separate post…..
Finally I have written Part 6 and here it is
A Mumpreneur is born – Part 4 – The Big Idea that went wrong May 30th, 2011
If you have read my story so far (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3), you will know that I got to a point where I felt I needed to find a business idea soon. I had no money of my own, and my husband is also an accountant, so I was going to have to come up with a plausible business plan, or else he would not want to invest in it. He is the scariest of Dragons, and is very risk averse.
After my success on the post natal leading course I thought that I might like to become a life coach or NLP practitioner, or possibly a reflexologist, as I love having reflexology, and had discovered a new passion for helping people on their life journeys through my NCT work. By my hubby would have none of it – he doesn’t believe in any of these “alternative therapies” and felt that I probably wouldn’t make any genuine income from it.
Then one morning, what seemed like a flash of inspiration hit me. I did some research, cleared it with my husband, and signed up for some training. At last I had my small business idea.
I was at the gym, trying desperately to get back in shape after the birth of my son. I have never really enjoyed exercise but always seen it as a necessary evil, so I had booked some sessions with a personal trainer in order to motivate me a bit.
The trainer was probably in his early 20s, very powerfully built, with a physique that showed that he clearly worked out every day and had never been unfit in his life. I got on the exercise bike at his request (I hate cycling) and after less than a minute he cranked it up to such a level that I physically couldn’t turn the pedals. When I complained, he uttered a quote that will stay with me for the rest of my life, “Come on dear, try a bit harder. I’ll have you running a marathon in 9 weeks!”
That attitude was so wrong for me on so many levels – for a start I am not “dear” – I may have been old enough to be his mother but he didn’t need to remind me of it. And the idea that I was physically capable of running a marathon in 9 weeks, or the idea that I might even want to, just filled me with disbelief. He clearly had no idea what a woman of a certain age who has never been fit and has just given birth to boot, is capable of, nor what motivation she needs.
Coming out of that gym, I decided that women like me deserve better from personal trainers. I decided that the kind of trainer I would like, if I ever saw a trainer again would be a woman – preferably one who had become fit after being unfit and who understood a bit about bodies after childbirth, body insecurity, and the whole psychological thing about having been useless at exercise all my life and wanting only to get a little bit better. I also decided that really I would like to never have to consult a trainer again.
First I was upset, then I was angry, then finally I got determined. I would become the personal trainer that I wanted to have. I would follow the training programme, get fit myself in the process, then use my new found knowledge to reach out to all those women, who for one reason and another are not confident in their bodies and want to make small steps in exercise.
I put my new plan to my hubby and he thought it was a wonderful idea. So I took out a loan and applied for the training. It takes 2-3 years of study to become a personal trainer, with practical experience, so now I had a plan.
I wonder if any of you have spotted the fatal flaw in this plan? I have left you a clue – it’s right at the beginning. The problem with this plan for me is that I don’t enjoy exercise. I followed all the training to the letter, I studied all the books, I did the case studies and I passed the exams. But when I was on the courses, and chatting with my classmates, talk always got round to what sports they did and how they loved to get their exercise. They loved ski-ing, snowboarding, climbing mountains, some had studied martial arts or dance, others played football, rugby, hockey, tennis – I always felt like a bit of a fraud amongst them, although I kept my feelings to myself. My husband had shelled out good money for this course and I wasn’t going to let him down.
Coupled to that, I wasn’t really finding time to exercise myself. With two children at home it was costly and time consuming to go to the gym and put them in creche. My husband was happy for me to have the gym membership – as he had to agree it was necessary for my training, but I still procrastinated at every opportunity. A year or two into my training I still hadn’t lost much weight or significantly improved my own fitness. I knew at that point that this business would probably be wrong for me, but I still felt that I had to battle on, as I have never been a quitter. Besides which , I knew I wouldn’t be able to persuade himself to finance me through any other training, so I didn’t really see any alternative.
But I should know better than to despair – the solution was just around the corner…. Part 5 is here
A Mumpreneur is Born – Part 3 May 28th, 2011
I was looking through my past blogs to choose ones to include in my new Daily Dose of Motivation series, and I realise that I’ve left you dangling. I wrote Part 1 and Part 2 of my story early last year, then got caught up in some other stuff and forgot to continue.
So where was I? Oh yes, finding against my expectations that I really enjoyed staying at home with my children. It only went so far though. Some days I desperately missed having some business stuff to occupy my brain – I felt a bit stifled and trapped.
I got some relief for this through the NCT (National Childbirth Trust for anyone not from the UK – a big organisation that provices support for new mums). I became Treasurer for my local branch, and helped to organise a post-natal support group of mums. They didn’t have a Post Natal discussion group leader on Jersey at the time, and the training was only 1 year, so I decided to give it a go.
The training was very interesting. I chose accountancy as a profession partly because I am naturally a very shy person, and preferred working in the back office than dealing face to face with customers. So presenting to groups of women certainly took me out of my comfort zone a bit. But the course leaders were very encouraging – and I discovered that I do have real empathy and a talent for communicating and helping people in small groups. It was a real turning point for me.
Never one to keep still when there is stuff to be done, I was also attracted by an advert for Usborne books in a mums magazine. Work what hours you like and get discounted books for your family. Sounded like a great idea, so I sent off for the starter pack and decided to give that a go too.
The last couple of years on Jersey were great fun. I absolutely loved being my own boss, earning a (very) small amount of pocket money, and helping people at the same time. The helping people bit was a new feeling for me, and later on it became even more important to me than the making money.
However I could feel the time ticking away – my husband was on a fixed length contract and before long we would be back in the UK. I felt, rightly or wrongly that I probably should be earning some money towards the household expenses when we got back, but I could see that Usborne and the Post Natal leading between them would probably not generate enough to justify me staying at home. I felt quite strongly by then that I didn’t want to go back to working full time in an office. I needed a big idea for my own business, and I needed one very soon.
The pressure I felt to come up with something, anything, that would stop me having to go back to work, led to me making what was, I suppose the biggest mistake of my business life. It’s not a big deal, because at the end of the day, every decision I have made has ultimately led me here, but I could certainly have saved myself three years of unnecessary expense and hardship.
I won’t leave you dangling this time…part 4 is already written and will be along in a few days….
When Stay at Home Mum isn’t enough May 22nd, 2011
Some women make a very positive choice to stay at home with their children. They willingly give up work, and settle into a nonstop routine of domestic bliss, cooking, cleaning and raising their brood. The loss of income and status from their job is more than compensated for by the glow of satisfaction they get from caring from their family.
Or so we are led to believe….
For some of us it is not so simple. To start off with, in today’s economy, it isn’t always a free choice. Some of us find ourselves forced into the stay at home situation, by redundancy, relocation of their partner (as in my case), or simply because the cost of suitable childcare just doesn’t make going back to work a viable option.
Many women, forced into the staying home role, will do their best to make a go of it. They will tell themselves that it is worthwhile and how wonderful it is to be able to share the children’s oh-so-fleeting early years.
And so it is some days. When your child does something special – first steps, first words, learns a new skill. When they hurt themselves and you are able to comfort them. When you can take trips out on a sunny day, and visit children’s activities without all the schoolchildren and working families being there. When you have one of those days when your child is being perfectly behaved, loving and needs and loves his mummy, then being able to stay at home, can feel like a total blessing.
But those of use who are living or have lived this lifestyle will know that not every day feels like that. Particularly in the early stages, you can really yearn for and miss the working lifestyle that you had. At home, there are some very long, boring, lonely days, when you wonder if the chores are going to ever stop. When your children are unhappy, whiny or incessant, it can feel like mental torture and you can long for them to just be quiet, and some adult conversation to stop you from going mad.
Then your partner comes home, asks politely “what did you do today?”, and you can feel angry, guilty or a failure because the story of your day is that you managed to get dressed, did some cleaning and you went to the supermarket . You can see your partner thinking “Is that all?”, whether or not he says it, and somewhere deep down you agree with him.
I would like to hold out some lifelines to anyone who is living this life at the moment.
Firstly – there are a lot of stay at home mums in the same boat – most of them I expect. I honestly believe that the totally contented nest builder is a bit of a myth - I have certainly never met one.
Secondly – this stage doesn’t last for ever. It’s a few years at most. Before long they will have school and other activities and you will start to find more and more areas of “me time”. If you can just hold on to your sanity through the toddler years, you will emerge, a stronger and wiser mummy.
Thirdly - there are a few things that you can do to improve the situation. These are some ideas that worked for me, that ultimately led me to a lifestyle where I feel balanced and very happy. My children are 6 and 8 now, and I feel like I have found a solution where I can enjoy them and enjoy being me. So here are my tips:
- Recognise and work through any issues you have with the change in your statusFor me, leaving a Finance Director role to suddenly be a SAHM and not be allowed to work was horrid (see my story part 1 and part 2). I hated not having my own money, I hated not being able to get credit in shops, and I discovered that I absolutely detest the word “Housewife”.
My own solutions were not to use Housewife (I describe myself as Full-Time Mother, and never “just a mum”). I needed endless discussions with my husband and an understanding from him that I would spend some of the household income how I liked and would not come to him for every decision. I took a position of Treasurer on my local NCT committee, in order to get a small bit of the feeling of being useful. And eventually I realised that I needed to have some part time work and earn my own money, just for my own self-esteem.
- Allow yourself to DaydreamIf you do not feel fulfilled in your current role of Stay at Home mum, but your current situation does not make it sensible for you to go back to your old career, then enjoy the fact that you can start with a clean sheet of paper.Spend some time dreaming - in an ideal world, how much would you like to work, when would you like to work, where and how? What kind of work would you enjoy doing? What are your unfulfilled ambitions? Write down and ponder any ideas that come to you, however different and silly they might sound to you (see “How to pick your Business“).
If you have this exercise ongoing in your mind, then when you spot opportunities that might suit, you will be better placed to see them for what they are, and grab them.
- Find some activities that are just for youWhen my children were very little, my “me time” consisted of having a hot bath for an hour every so often, with the door closed, hubby looking after the children, and me with a good book. Later I joined a gym with a creche and was able to leave my children for an hour while I exercised. Now I run a business during the day, and pay a babysitter one night a week, so I can go up to London and sing with a choir.
All these things saved my sanity.I would urge any stay at home mum, to find some activity that she enjoys, that has absolutely nothing to do with children or homemaking, and practise it as often as possible. Take an evening class, learn a musical instrument, join a book group, poetry or writing group, drama, dance or art class. Rediscover a hobby from your childless days, or start a new one. You could even volunteer. These things do not have to be expensive, but can give you something else to think about and look forward to (and something a bit more interesting to tell your partner about).
- Get help
My hubby is a lovely well-brought up , traditional Irishman. In many ways I love this. But once I started staying at home, he assumed that absolutely all the domestic duties would fall to me. This was probably the biggest bugbear in the entire set up for me – I absolutely hate housework, and really resented doing it all while he helped not a bit.Some guys can still be persuaded to help you even when they work and you are at home. If you have a partner like that – take any help that is offered. Delegate any chores you can to those members of your family who are able and willing to do them. For our family – I ended up taking regular part-time work for 3 hours a week, while my children were at nursery, and paying someone to clean my house while I did it. This simple change improved my feeling of happiness immensely.
- NetworkWhenever you can, talk to other mums – online, or preferably in person. We are all in the same boat, and no matter what issues you are facing, there is always someone who has trodden the path before you, and will offer advice or comfort. If you don’t have a child-friendly networking group in your area, then set one up. Have a look at Motivating Mum events or put a post in our forum.
- Keep smilingHug your precious children and love your partner. Be thankful and grateful for the little things and the lovely stuff. Some people think this is rubbish, but I love keeping a diary of all the good things and fun stuff, which I can refer to when times are not so good. I also love looking through old photos. Even though I hated parts of it at the time I now look back on the toddler years with happiness and pride, and feel so glad that I was there.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post, and any more tips and advice that you might have in this area. I wrote this for a friend who is living this at the moment, and I’m sure she will be reading, and would love to hear other people’s tips, advice and expressions of support.
Adopting a Business April 27th, 2011
My daughter took part in a concert a few months ago in aid of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering. In between the songs they had bits of narrative, from adopted children, adults who had been adopted, adoptive parents, and the mums who had given the children up for adoption. It was very moving and emotional.
One theme that came out very clearly was the interesting and wonderful bond that develops between adoptive parents and their children when the process works successfully. I know from some of my friends that have adopted children, that in the beginning it’s easy to feel a bit odd – not like a proper mum. It all feels a bit unreal, like you are just pretending or cheating somehow.
However the stories from the adults who were adopted and the adoptive parents later in life showed that a real bond of parenthood can grow between adopted parents and their children. Most people would say that their “parents” are the ones that raised and loved them, whether or not they are the ones that gave birth to them.
So what does this have to do with me? Well I sometimes feel a bit similar about Motivating Mum. I go out and about meeting all you mumpreneurs and sometimes feel a bit awkward. Most of you have had your own idea and are building a business up from the ground, from an original idea. Even if you take on a franchise or distributorship you still have to make it your own and strike out in your territory.
When people ask me “How did you come up with the idea for Motivating Mum?”, or “How did you get started?” I have to say that honestly it was not my idea. Motivating Mum was set up by the incredibly talented Alli Price, who has now returned to her native Australia and set up a sister site there. I haven’t had to design a website, find my first customer, decide on products or prices – it was all done for me. In effect, I have “adopted” this business, which Alli very kindly left behind her when she emigrated. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time – answered an ad – and – there you have it…..
So there are times when I don’t feel like a proper mumpreneur at all, and I take my hat off to those of you who are really breaking new ground in your chosen fields. Sometimes I don’t feel worthy to stand side by side with you at all – I’m just a cuckoo.
And then again, as I start to really get to grips with the business and grow with it, I realise that my personality is starting to show through, and the UK business is really starting to form in my image. Mummy Mentoring Month for example – that was mine – building on a small idea that Alli had last year, I turned it into a great big festival of mentoring, which I think went very well indeed. I’m even feeding ideas back to Alli, and the joint business is growing together with great sparks from both of us.
So as I sit here in the aftermath of that, I can start to feel proud of my efforts, and realise that I am a real mumpreneur, even if my story is not the usual one. If Motivating Mum was a child, I think it might be able to call me “mummy”.
To any of you out there who think that for some reason, your business is not a “real” business and you are not really a mumpreneur, just sit back and take stock. There is no perfect business model that qualifies you for mumpreneur status. If you think you are doing it, then you are, whether “it” is making a few pounds of pocket money, or running a multi-million pound corporation from home (I wish). The big success stories get their stories published and win the awards and they inspire us, but for every one of them, there are countless thousands of small mumpreneurs out there just doing their little thing.
So go out there and be proud of your baby business, whatever its origins. I sure am!
My Journey as a Freelance Accountant April 16th, 2011
Sarah Hamilton – SJH Accounting
This Blog is about my journey as a Freelance Accountant. I’m still at the beginning of my journey but I’ve already learnt a lot along the way including:
- You can never network enoughIn my experience joining networking groups has been an extremely worthwhile investment in my business. Networking has provided me with some fantastic leads to generate new business and more importantly has given me access to a wonderful team of experts to help my business grow. I would recommend investing as much time and money in networking activity as you can.Make sure that you update all of your contacts efficiently and that you have face to face meetings with people who you connect with. Collecting a pile of business cards is a waste of time and effort. The more you reach out and connect with others, the more you will benefit. You will also learn so much from others who are further along their business journey.
- Support others as much as you can and you will reap the rewardsIn the early stages of your journey, be prepared to give advice and support others wherever you can. Use every opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. Run free workshops, prepare useful, insightful blogs and always be on the end of the phone to support others. Also, be prepared to listen to others and take an interest in their business. Your business interests may not be aligned, but never under-estimate the connections other people may have.
- PerseveranceAs a one-person business, you will encounter more challenges than you could could ever imagine. My advice is to persevere and stick with it and eventually your efforts will be rewarded.”The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
— Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
- Be prepared to move out of your comfort zoneYour work will no longer be handed to you on a plate. You will have to reach out and bring in new clients. You will also be responsible for all aspects of your business from IT to Marketing. You will need to ensure you have the best support your budget allows in these essential areas of your business.‘I used to have a Comfort Zone,
Where I knew I couldn’t fail,
The same four walls of busy work
Were really more like jail……..
I couldn’t let my life go by
Just watching others win
I held my breath and stepped outside
To let the change begin’………..
- Be resourcefulIt is amazing what you can do to kick-start your business on a shoe-string budget. Be resourceful; look out for free training courses (also a good networking opportunity), free software and even answer questionnaires to gain rewards such as free subscriptions for different services and products. Sign up for newsletters provided by support networks such as Motivating Mum UK. There is a wealth of free advice on all aspects of business available from this website.
- Use Social Media – it’s free!Get connected for free on Twitter and Linked In. This will enable you to connect with others and demonstrate your expertise.
These are my ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ that I have gained along my journey. I still have a long way to go and I’m still learning. Good luck. You will never look back!
Sarah Hamilton – SJH Accounting
This blog is one of 45 featured in my ebook Motivating Business Mums – now available from Brightword publishing.
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Posted in - Business Networking, - Confidence Building, - Get Motivated, - How to Use Twitter, - Marketing your Business, - Starting Out, Mums in Business | 3 Comments »
How to use Facebook: Networked Blogs April 13th, 2011
I’m still very much a newbie at this blogging thing. When I took over Motivating Mum in September last year, I had a personal facebook account (and had mastered Bejeweled Blitz and Farmville) but not much else. I did once have a try at blogging a couple of years ago but I soon realised that writing the blog is only the smallest part of it – promoting it and getting it out there is what matters. I was rubbish at that, and soon gave up.
This is why Motivating Mum has been such an opportunity for me. An established website and brand all nicely set up and ready to go, with a ready audience, and some fairly clear instructions from the previous incumbent about how to go about promoting it. Get on facebook. Get on twitter. Blog weekly.
So I’ve been doing that – although it hasn’t exactly been with a sense of purpose as yet. People tell me I can write and yet I feel I still need to discover my true blogging voice and get a sense for what my blog is really ‘about’.
One of the best ways to go about this research, and indeed one of the best ways to promote my own blog while I’m about it, is to go visiting other people’s blogs, commenting where I can, and also taking notes of cool things that make their blog interesting and different.
It was on one of these blog visiting missions that I first came across Networked Blogs. I was aware of Google Friend Connect – I have it on my own site – and this widget seemed to be just another version of that. I clicked it to follow the blog I was on and found to my delight that it is so much more than that.
Like I said above, I’m still a complete newbie, and the fact that having never heard of the site before, I was able to connect my blog to my facebook page and twitter stream within minutes, shows how simple it really is. Having got my own blog set up nicely on facebook I was further delighted to find out how easy it is to visit other mummy blogs from within the Networked blogs application.
Fast forward a few months and I’ve found loads more interesting blogs I want to read, and connected to a few of my favourites in a more user-friendly way than the clunky RSS feed. Not only that, but readers for my own blog are pouring in – it seems like the “I like yours and you like mine” etiquette so beloved of twitter, is alive and well here too.
So I can warmly recommend Networked blogs on facebook – give it a go – You can find my blog as a separate tab on my facebook page www.facebook.com/MotivatingMumUK , and with it the link to get on Networked Blogs yourself. This isn’t an affiliate link, it’s just that since Facebook mixed things up again, I’m not sure where else you can get hold of the app. But do please stop by and have a look at my blog on your way through – I promise I’ll follow you back…