After having my son in 2016 I decided that I wanted to retrain as a yoga teacher. I started training when he was ten months old and now run yoga classes, events and pop-ups in Bicester and beyond. Being a mum, and running my own business has definitely put my balancing skills to the test! But I am incredibly thankful for having such an amazing opportunity to be creative and get to choose how and when I work. I know I still have loads to learn about running a business, but here are some things I’ve learned along the way so far.
Go for it I don’t think I would have had the confidence to start my own business pre-baby. All I can say to anyone thinking about it is go for it. What have you got to lose? You’re raising a tiny human so you can definitely raise a little business too. If you don’t make any money you can get a ‘proper’ job but as the saying goes, better to regret something you did than something you didn’t.
Business time What did I actually do with my time when I had all the time in the world before having a baby? No idea, but now that time is so precious I find it really important to be more efficient with the time I need for my business. Try not to squeeze all your work into those sacred evening hours after your children are in bed – it’s not great to work right before bed and it impacts sleep too. I now have one morning a week baby free to concentrate on my admin and class planning which has been super helpful for me. Get help or childcare if you need it – just because you aren’t at an office doesn’t mean you aren’t working.
Get on your phone I am well aware I spend too much time on my phone but it has been crucial for me in running my business. When I do need to multitask and work while looking after my son, being able to respond to messages or update my website on my phone is a lifesaver. It is really hard working on a laptop with a toddler but I have found working on a phone much easier, so as much as possible I try and sync all my files and tools I need on both.
You can’t please everyone (you are not an avocado) When you are starting up it’s easy to try and please everyone, but remember you, and your products / services won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – and that’s totally fine. Do your thing and do it well, if you start changing and saying yes to everything you might as well be working for someone else. I had some great advice to look at my values and make sure I stuck to them. I wanted to have more family time, but obviously teaching yoga often requires being out in the evening so how could I balance the two? For me (at the moment) that means only teaching a couple of evenings a week, and keeping the rest free to be with my family.
You can’t drink from an empty cup Your kids are important, your business is important but YOU have to be your most important thing. If you’re not you can’t be an awesome mum / boss / whatever. Take time for you when you need to and ideally on a regular basis – that might mean reading, exercise, going to yoga (but I would say that wouldn’t I?), drinking cocktails or whatever makes you happy. Fill up your cup and then you’ll be in the best position to build an amazing business.
Guess blog by Annie Lee.
Visit Annie’s website or like her Facebook page for details of her classes, private lessons and pop-up events.
Oxford Mumbler is your local parenting community – a website packed with information for pregnancy and for families in and around Oxford. Visit oxford.mumbler.co.uk for everything from what’s on, days out, weekly clubs and classes in Oxford, to support groups and services for pregnancy, babies, parents and more. Join the Mumbler community on our friendly Facebook chat group and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.