Many of us in the Pilates field are mums, and the balance of business and family can be tricky. A few years ago I was honored to be nominated for the AusMumpreneur awards which celebrate the contribution Australian women make in business toward the economy, all while juggling young children.
I had to put a speech together for the award ceremony and present to a room of over 500 amazing business women who were also mums. My gosh I was extremely nervous, excited and mind blown by the experience. Whilst writing my speech I really had to stop and think about how I actually managed to keep the business going successfully for 16 years and the strategies involved. Fast forward to today, and I have successfully been in business for 22 years.
I wanted to share the speech I presented to the incredible women in the room; as I know so many of us find combining family and business is hard, daunting, scary, wonderful, rewarding and so much more.
Before InSync I was a dancer with the Australian Ballet Company. In 1997 a nasty achilles tendon injury ended my ballet career.
In 2002 after a variety of different business ventures and study, I became the co-director of InSync Physiotherapy & Pilates in Camberwell, a multidisciplinary exercise rehab practice with 20+ staff. In 2012 I became the sole owner/director. I am proud to say that with two children, as a single mum and 16 years later InSync continues to go from strength to strength.
How did I do it and how do I still do it?
I was ambitious, my goals were modest and I believed I could, so I did. From the start I had clarity that I was in it for the long term and this was going to be for the good of my family and most importantly myself.
Everyone has a different measure of success. My measure of success is owning a sustainable business that gives me choices in life and ultimately the opportunity to be a ‘hands on’ mum to my children Tom (12) and Amy (10).
I think we all know there is no magic bullet when it comes to business and juggling motherhood but I genuinely enjoy what I do, I have confidence in my brand and I love being a mum more than anything!
The business has been through many changes and so have I. I didn’t always know what was next but there is a fine line between driving growth and allowing some aspects to grow organically. Growth is important but stabilising and mastering critical functions is pivotal.
As for challenges along the way, I have found most of them are self-imposed.
Three that easily spring to mind:
- Maintaining my focus and belief in myself and the business over a long period of time.
- To maintain, and where ever possible, exceed my employees and client’s expectations and;
- As a mother, to be mentally, emotionally and physically strong for the kids.
On reflection, there have been many lessons over the last 16 years that have shaped my beliefs and helped enormously with the growth of the business: a few are-
- Acknowledge that ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ and engage the right people to help support the business. It’s a wise investment that delivers quality work and affords me time.
- My list of ‘Things to improve’ will always be ongoing and forever evolving. Self-directed learning is essential as no one offers you a beautifully mapped out professional development plan.
- Change is constant
That’s guaranteed! Embrace it and it will work for you
- Position your business to run well without you
Allowing yourself to easily step out of the business is essential for everyone, most importantly for yourself.
But trust me, there are plenty of days where all I think about is ‘sleep and coffee and look blankly at a list of tasks that don’t get achieved. I’ve learnt over the years this is perfectly OK and there is always tomorrow.
Although InSync is successful, my greatest achievement is my children and the relationship I have with them. We play, talk, love, laugh and have fun together. They are growing up quickly and I love being there for them.
As for InSync – I have worked through many phases and I’m excited about the ones to come. I really believe it is important to celebrate the small wins as they are significant steps leading to bigger goals and fulfilling your dreams.
Here we are in 2022 and there have been many lessons learned from the last two years about mothering, business and life. It has certainly been interesting from a business perspective and as a mum!
Here’s to all the Mumpreneurs out there and their journey in navigating motherhood and business. At times it is hard to juggle but stick at it is well worth it.
Director InSync Physiotherapy & Pilates, PAA Committee Member, PAA Professional Principal Trainer Member