Our latest in the series of profiles on Professional Parents around the world is Emma Lees from Familylife4u. Based on the beautiful Redcliffe Peninsula (North Brisbane, Australia), Emma has recently turned 40 and is mum to Archie 5 and Katie 3.
Emma and I met through the great “Get Up To Speed Program“, helping to teach business owners in Queensland, Australia to better use digital marketing to grow their business.
How long have you been in business & how did you start?
I started my Facebook page about 5 months ago and launched my blog/website a couple of weeks back! I am here now as I have been meaning to start my own business for some time but wanting to really get cracking once both my children are at school/kindy 2014. However, I have found myself wanting to do something extra over the last year and I started the Get Up to Speed Course about the middle of last year which spurred me into action! It’s mainly me but my husband provides some great content as he is a complete bargain hunter and is also quite teccie.
What was life like “before children”?
Before children I worked 24/7 in politics as a Regional Director for The Labour Party in the UK prior to that I worked in the voluntary sector in a variety of roles.
How does this compare to life “after children”?
Mmmm, good question. In some ways my job in politics was a very good grounding for looking after children! The stress, levels of constant responsibility and organization required have helped a lot but life now is very different, but also much better in that I feel more connected to the real world.
How many hours a week do you work?
Very variable on the children and our home situation but very approximately 15 hours a week. A lot of this is teaching myself stuff!
Tips for work life balance?
- Think about what is most important to you in life and prioritise your time accordingly. Only you know what balance is right for you and your family.
- Write down 3 things each day that you want to achieve and focus on these.
One or two of your own favourite products/services?
It is pretty much my website and my website alone – all high-quality content!!
Most unexpected thing about becoming a parent?
That you will sacrifice anything and everything for them, including something like changing the world which was always something held very deeply. I thought I very much be a career mum and the kids slot around me, that is certainly not our reality (but I am very lucky to be in this position)
Something unexpected about starting a business?
You never know what is going to happen and it can go from demoralizing to amazing in about 5 minutes.
Greatest wishes for your children…and your business?
Apart from world peace, the end of poverty and happiness for all?! I hope my children make the most of opportunities available to them and positively contribute to this world, but above all are content. I hope my business develops and grows and hopefully makes some money one day. I am keen to see where it takes me.
A recent proud moment?
Launching my website and getting some positive/useful feedback from other bloggers and those that don’t ‘have’ to be kind to me.
A recent challenge?
Trying to fit it in, of course! With 2 small children, no family around and my son finishing kindy in December it has been a struggle. But I have prioritised reasonably effectively and launched my site and have a plan for the year ahead which will be easier when he starts school (I hope!)
Advice for others starting out in business?
Go for it, there is so much helpful and free advice out there including courses, forums, Facebook groups etc. Reach out and you will be amazed what happens.
A basic plan with time limits helps as well as working ‘on’ as well as ‘in’ your business is a great tip too to ensure you don’t get bogged in the day to day stuff.
What kind of work does your partner do?
IT Project Manager for an International Consumer Goods Company, Procter and Gamble.
If your partner/family supportive of your business?
A few of your favourite other PP businesses?
Describe your office:
Our very messy dining table or on the sofa.
Describe a typical day:
Usually check FB, blog and emails first thing then I am usually with the kids til ‘quiet time’ after lunch when do the same checks and possibly a post and then concentrate properly after they have gone to bed several nights a week for a few hours, 1 hour at least. If they are both at kindy then I work most of the day.
What do you love about being in business?
Being able to be with my kids and also developing myself, which can get easily lost while being a parent.
What do you think is a myth?
That people doing it find it easy or have some secret ‘answer’ to doing it all.
Do you use childcare, or do kids go to school?
My eldest went to community kindy on a 5 day fortnight until December and my youngest goes to childcare 1 day a week.
Special offers for PP readers:
Free advice and tips on my website!! I will be launching a FB competition soon so make sure you go and ‘like’ the page so you don’t miss out!