Life as a Mumpreneur can be lonely. The physical isolation from customers and other businesses while simultaneously juggling family and business commitments can take it’s toll. Some days I feel like no-one else understands my world. On the really bad days, typically after an unusually busy period, I question my sanity. Surely it would be easier to return to my job as an environmental engineer?
Being a work-at-home-mum (WAHM) based in regional Australia, I haven’t really had the opportunity to network with other business owners, let alone mums running their own businesses from home. This changed last week when I attended the Bio-Oil AusMumpreneurs Conference and Awards Ceremony in Sydney. It was here where I met other Mumpreneurs who have solid little businesses in all kinds of fields and boy, are they taking on the World!
The AusMumpreneur Awards & Mumpreneurs Conference was organised by connect2mums to recognize the growing number of women who successfully balance motherhood and business in a way that suits their life and family. Sustainababy was shortlisted as a finalist in the Eco-Friendly Category and while we didn’t come home with the trophy, the trip was the best investment I have made for my business this year.
Conference highlights for me included meeting Karen Gunton from buildalittlebiz, an awesome blog helping mums ‘kick ass’ with their home biz idea, listening to the quirky Nick Bowditch share his wisdom on the world of social media, being inspired to de-clutter my life by Helen Butler, the Clutter Rescue queen herself and hearing that I wasn’t the only professional woman out there who decided to drastically change careers after attending a conference or course. For me it was a leadership development course (while 28 weeks pregnant), for Susan Pearce from Mind Gardener, it was after attending a Mind and Soul conference and meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama!
It was great to chat to other Mums who have businesses based in regional areas too. Mildura sisters Lisa and Stacey fromKoolaman Designs are doing great work personalising jewellery from their patch in NW Victoria.
But the golden nugget for me was listening to Julia Bickerstaff from The Business Bakery. Her intelligence and natural quick wit made her presentation on Pricing for Success music to the ears, despite the dry topic. I immediately snapped up her book How to Bake a Business and am devouring it with as much gusto as if it were a Victoria Sponge.
Me (left) with AusMumpreneur of the Year, Anita Lincolne-Lomax from Babes in Arms
I’d like to extend my congratulations to all the award winners, in particular Cath Langman and Michelle Fowler fromCushie Tushies, who won the Eco-Friendly Business category and Anita Lincolne-Lomax from Babes In Arms who collected the highest accolade, AusMumpreneur of the Year. As a stockist of both Cushie Tushies and Babes in Arms products (the ErgoBaby carrier and Babylegs leg warmers), Sustainababy is very proud!
On a personal level, I loved meeting the other eco-friendly finalists – women who share the same drive and passion as I do to make this world a better place. Check out their great little eco businesses: Green Ur Life (Karen Keynes), Itty Bitty Greenie (Donna MacMullin), Lopees (Nicole Golland), Baby Gecko (Jacinta Thompson) and Natural Transition (Julie Cottle).
The trip wasn’t all business though. It’s been over ten years since either my husband or I were in Sydney for leisure so he took the week off work to travel with us. Matthew was therefore looked after while I was at the conference, and we had three days as a family to enjoy the sights of Sydney. Oh, and I slipped out one night to see Mary Poppins, an absolute
Top of our list was the Aquarium but we also made it the Fish Markets, Circular Quay and Hyde Park (when the city bustle got too much for us all). Matthew was lucky enough to have a special “Dad” outing to Taronga Zoo too! So, we got our city fix for the year and we’re back home now, enjoying the quiet country life. It won’t be quiet for long though as my head is brimming with ideas, and as typical for all Mumpreneurs, little available time to execute them!
Playing with sharks at the Aquarium and chilling out in Hyde Park