Hi, my name is Amy and I am the founder of the beauty salon brand; Mooeys. I started up my own business in 2013, two years before my eldest was born and since then have gone on to expand into Mooeys Franchise and Mooeys Masters, and added a second daughter to the Lewis tribe. I wanted to share with you my views on treading that work-mum-boss-life balance, which I know so many of us are trying to juggle. Even more so this year!
The first question I always get asked “How do you do it? How to you manage running a business with kids?”
My answer is simply; “I don’t.”!
It just isn’t possible to be a great business woman; and a great mum; and a great wife; keep on top of the housework (and mounds of bloody washing); and be a great friend/auntie/daughter/granddaughter/sister; or a great anything else.
So, I make one thing a priority at a time.
I am an avid planner and have a list or a plan for everything. I am not kidding; these are my current lists:
- Food menu for the week (This is so I don’t have to worry about what I am going to cook)
- List of general ‘To-dos’ for the businesses
- List of stuff to do for the family
- List of future goals for the businesses for the next year
- Weekly planner of what needs to be done when, for the businesses
- Shopping list along with a weekly online shopping order that I add to every few days
It’s crazy, but it’s the only way I can keep on top of everything. Being a mum and taking care of a house is a full-time job. How schools think you can hold down a full-time job and do everything they require, read every email they send out AND make sure the kids are in on time; have done their homework; read their books; are wearing clean clothes daily and fill out every form required is beyond me.
Sharing the load
Doing all of this and running businesses is an enormous task, and I feel like I am always failing at one thing. It is perfectly normal to drop the ball on something and unfortunately, it’s normally relationships (friends, family and husband) or the homework! This Work-Mum-Boss-Life balance is hard.
However, I have learned over the years that this is perfectly normal and ok, and I just can’t be great at everything or be everywhere. Great friends will understand, my family totally get it and are incredible, and I am very privileged to have an awesome husband who totally shares the load so I don’t have to do everything on my own.
Be Present and Focused – ‘Nobody Died’
To really find my Work-Mum-Boss-Life balance, I prioritise. And when I say I prioritise, I mean that whatever I am doing at that moment in time; I do whole-heartedly. So, if I am in ‘work’ mode, that’s what I am doing and I will not deviate until I move into my next mode as such. When I am with the kids, I am in full on ‘mum’ mode. When they go to bed, I either go into ‘wife’ mode, or back to ‘boss’ mode. I try really hard not to mix them together unless it’s absolutely necessary.
If I am with the people I love, I try not to work. This is hard if there is an emergency going on, but we have a saying in our house (or a song in Willow’s case) and it’s ‘nobody died’ and providing that is actually the case, it’s nothing that can’t wait. If I am having lunch with my girls, that’s what I am doing – work can wait for a few hours. If I am having dinner with my family, I won’t look at my phone. Just existing is therapy sometimes, and I try and enjoy the small moments life surprises you with.
I don’t want to miss a thing, I want to maximise this life we have and I want to achieve so much.
Ahhh – that’s why I’m doing this!
I want to be an example to my gorgeous girls and show anyone that they can achieve absolutely anything they want if they are determined enough and willing to work hard. I choose to work at 10pm at night because I am doing something I love – it’s not really work then is it? But late nights in work-mode mean I get more mum-time and wife-time with my family so it’s a win-win for me.
That’s not to say it’s not exhausting; it’s all so frickin’ exhausting, but I love it! I love the buzz I get from creating a new brand or a new concept, and seeing it come to life. When we get great reviews from clients it totally spurs me on to do more and drive the business. When I get positive feedback from the training or the products I have created, I want to do more and create more. I just love it. It’s like my addiction.
I am however, about 5 episodes behind on TOWIE and Mummy Diaries which is gutting, as I bloody love trash TV more than I really should – it’s my total guilty pleasure. It is my escape – although it does make me want to work harder so I can buy myself a Chanel handbag one day! And I do order the food shop at the same time as absorbing Real Housewives of whatever, so I do get through one of my lists ha ha.
Work-Mum-Boss-Life Balance; but what about me?
I listen to podcasts when I am walking the dog as this is my ‘me time’ but I am also getting a job done and learning at the same time – win-win! I’m not going to lie, I wish I could lounge around more, I want to see my loved ones more and I wish I could actually do that 7am spin class every day (I manage a few when I am home and in a routine, but it’s the first thing that I fail at when things get hectic).
I also wish I could actually utilise my salons a bit more. I mean, when the owner of a chain of salons is walking around with a full on 70’s bush and the most depressing hobbit toes with 3 month old chipped gel nails, there is a problem right!
But I hate taking the appointments that the clients could have. I hate taking away business opportunities and I can do it myself. But I am definitely not a walking advert for my business. Remember – can’t be great at everything. Although a great friend once said to me when I was in full on mum mode “You don’t need to let yourself go Aim’s” and that has stuck with me. In fact, it was the best kick up the arse ever. I will always show up with my slap on and hair done no matter what. I can hide my hairy bush and hobbit toes, but I need to look the part, and luckily have the most gorgeous team of awesomeness who all show up and represent the brand in the best possible way, so I don’t have to on a daily basis. Remember – Can’t do it all, so manage what you can, when you can. That’s key to winning at the Work-Mum-Boss-Life balance.
We all need a recharge
Each year I plan a ‘creative month’ where I do all things fun and inventive. This is when I come up with some of my best ideas. But when I am in this mode, I am also mum as there is no pressure in this month to ‘achieve’ as such. It’s essential to have some down time, catch up with everyone and maybe even get up to date with some of my trash TV to power through my other eleven boss-lady months.
I have figured out that I can be good at many things, but only one thing at once. I can multi task like a total boss and have 3 or 4 things/projects going on at once…but I enjoy focusing on one big project at a time. Working through it, perfecting it and making it brilliant. Each project of mine, such as the Mooeys product range, franchise and Mooeys Masters training has taken about 6 months to a year each. Nothing is an overnight success, and if you want something done right, spend the time on it that it needs and deserves. When I am being a great business woman, luckily my husband is being a great parent and everyone feels the love and is fully taken care of which is really all that matters surely!
So my advice to those of you also tip-toeing the Work-Mum-Boss-Life balance; it’s hard. It’s really bloody hard, but with great support, organisation, (caffeine!), and teamwork, it’s absolutely possible to achieve your dreams and be present to help your children dream up some of their own!
Thanks for reading!
Loads of Love
Amy aka Head Wench