You asked, I answered!

It’s become a hot topic of conversation. How do businesswomen manage to run the show while looking after kids and managing a household? In this blog I answer not only your questions related to this, but also how I managed to run my business while I was overseas lapping up the European summer! 

Did you have help running your business while you were overseas?

Yes definitely! The main part of my business that needed the help of other people back home was packing and dispatching orders. Things couldn’t have run smoothly without my family’s help (thank you all once again if you’re reading this!).

I briefed them with a process and that was all orders went out on specific days. On these days I would get up super early working with the Australian time zone to complete shipping labels. All shipping labels are put in for collection on a specific day, so all orders need to be packed in time otherwise we get charged for missed collections. If my family had any questions I was awake to take the call if they needed me. Everything else I was able to manage from my laptop. I was reunited with my Marketing Manager where we spent time working together on planning and marketing activity for the upcoming year. 

 What was the biggest struggle working from overseas?

I love to oversee everything and be in control, so leaving things in the hands of my family, in particular something as important as packing and dispatching orders, was something I had no choice to do but let go and put trust in those managing everything back home (which went as smoothly as I could have hoped!). 

The 8 hour time difference was a bit of a struggle because the hours where I was awake Australia was sleeping and vice versa. At times I would have to wait until the following day to respond to things. And lastly, my phone decided to do the weirdest thing, and that is show all aussie numbers as some foreign number, which meant I couldn’t return customer calls.

What did you find the most difficult about leaving your business whilst you were away?

Similar to the last question, for me leaving a business I have built in someone else’s hands did give me anxiety. I am not going to lie! And it comes back to control, because I was constantly thinking, were they going to run things the way I do them to ensure orders were sent out correctly, customers were kept happy etc… but thankfully my fam were all over it (they know how particular I am about things!)

The other thing I found difficult is that when you travel you can only take so much, which obviously meant I had to leave my whole office behind and only take the essentials (being my laptop, a pen and some paper!). Not being in my office environment with everything around me at arm’s reach meant I had to make do with the simple things, but thankfully with technology the way it is today so long as I had my computer I had (pretty much) everything I needed to get by! My family was always there should I have needed to refer to something back in the office. 

Did you get to enjoy your holiday? 

Yes I sure did, thanks for asking! It was amazing to be away from the day to day routine, and to see all our family and friends. Italy is home away from home for us.


Do you have a daily routine? 

So whilst I was overseas no, definitely not! Don’t get me wrong I love my business, but there were days where we headed out early, my phone was dying because I’d used all my battery up taking photos, I wasn’t in range to connect my laptop, or I was just enjoying the moment with family and friends. I basically just did what I had to at any time of the day based on what needed to take priority.  Unless of course it was urgent! If something had to get done I would stay up all hours doing so. Which some of you would know because you received emails and messages at strange hours!

My daily routine at home however is more structured. I get up (not too early, I value my sleep!). Prepare my kids for school, hit the gym, then work until it’s time to pick them up at 3pm. After that, I either continue working if needed, or I start preparing dinner and taking care of household chores. Some days I might go to the warehouse if there are urgent orders after the gym, or else I’ll go once I’ve picked up my kids or once they are asleep later at night. Basically having an e-comm business gives me the freedom to work around my kids’ schedules, and in my opinion routine is so important when you have multiple things to juggle in your day that require the business woman hat, the mum hat… and the chef hat when it’s time for dinner!

 What is the hardest part about running a business, being a mum, managing a household etc? 

The challenge of coordinating everything each and every day. Sometimes I get momentum and get a whole heap of work done, then I need to leave for school pick up, or the washing machine bell goes off and the clothes are ready to be hung… and BOOM momentum gone.

Other times I put the kids to bed and work till all hours, only the next day I’m a zombie and can’t concentrate. So it’s about finding that happy medium where I can be a mum, do my work, and hang the clothes out in between… lol 

As I work from home, it took a lot of training to ignore the mess, ignore the clothes and pretend I’m in an office where home life doesn’t exist. Some days that’s what I do. So definitely trying to coordinate a balance between work and life in general is probably the hardest part.

What would be your advice to mum business owners trying to do it all?

Remember you’re not superwoman, so where you can let others help, do so. Find experts in areas where you’re not strong; don’t waste time trying to do everything yourself or you’ll risk failure. Where you can learn and expand your knowledge in specific areas, I recommend doing so. For everything else, delegate and let someone else handle it for you.

Enjoy your life, and your kids. If you’re going to take on running a business then it should work in your favour. I love the fact I can be flexible, for example have lunch with a friend and then work at night. Or after a busy day at the office, I can visit the warehouse at night once the kids are asleep. If my kids have a school event or singing concert I can go. I love having the freedom to organize my day as I please. Which was why I chose a business that allows for flexibility. I worked hard to build my business so that now it accommodates my family’s needs. Which is the most important thing to me. 

My advice to you: starting a business requires dedication and hard work from the outset. If you build a business you believe in and love, it won’t feel like work once you reach my stage! I love what I do and I love how my products make you all happy. It’s been challenging, but my belief in my products has always kept me going without ever giving up. And lastly, don’t compare someone’s 10 year business journey with your start up or business you’ve been running for a short while. Stay in your lane and focus on you! 

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With sweet love,
SAB xx