5 years ago if you had told me I would be a mother of two, and starting my own business with someone I had yet to meet, I would have looked at you like you had two heads. From the age of 18 I was a corporate girl, working my way through university for big conglomerate companies. I honestly thought I had my life figured out. In 2014, almost a year after having my first child, I met my future business partner at a local mommy group. Dazed and confused from lack of sleep and maybe too much coffee, we bonded over how hard the struggle was to find the perfect balance.
Between demanding careers, growing families, and everyday life we found ourselves wanting more. Something for ourselves. So we said adios to the corporate world, took a leap of faith and put our blood, sweat and tears into what we believed was a great idea.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.
I still struggle to find balance. My workdays sometimes bleed into night and often I find myself hoping my baby doesn’t wake too soon from her nap so I can get that extra hour of work in.
Some days, I ask myself if I made the right decision. Am I doing the right thing for my family? Will my daughters look up to me one day, and say WOW that’s my mom!! The answer is yes, yes they will. Their mom took a chance, their mom believed in herself and made her vision happen.
I’ve learnt a lot on my “mompreneur” adventure, and I know there’s a lot more in store for me, but if I can offer a few bits of advice here they are;
- Understand that there is NO such thing as the perfect balance (sorry but it’s the truth!). Some days you will be Mom of the Year – have the laundry done, be up to date on all your emails, and have a chicken roasting in the oven while you play with your kids. Other days you will be a hot mess who can’t seem to get her act together. What I’ve learned is that balance is about making it work – most of the time, and allowing yourself to falter. Let your perfect self go, but let’s be honest did she ever exist?
- Secondly, network network network!!! I cannot emphasize enough how important this is for your personal growth and business development. If this is not your area of comfort get in front of a mirror and rehearse your elevator pitch until you are sick of looking at yourself and can recite it in your sleep.
- Nothing represents your business like yourself, so be confident, get out there and make sure the world knows what you are doing. The first thing we did was join the Aurora Chamber of Commerce and at the first networking breakfast my partner and I attended, we made a handful of strong leads, and gained a new client the very next day.
- Insert yourself into conversations, be present, and be known in your community!! What I learned very quickly is that Aurora is a town full people who want local businesses to thrive and grow. Just another reason why I love it here.
- Finally, if you’re like me and are in this as a partnership, choose to be in with someone who shares your vision, who inspires you to work harder everyday, someone who can cry with you over a bottle of wine, and can give you a serious reality check when needed.
- Becoming my own boss has been far from easy, but it has been one of the most rewarding and exciting things I have ever done. For me, the adventure has just begun and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.
Anne-Marie Gabrini is a mom and co-founder of a K+A Personal Concierge. She lives in Aurora, Ontario with her husband Alex and two daughters Mia and Eloise