The most common questions I am asked are about business.
- How long have you worked for yourself?
- How do you manage your childcare?
- How did you start your business?
- Do you make enough money? and
- Is it safe?
I share my chaotic day's through Instagram stories and I know a lot of readers of this site are interested in business, whether that's a side gig alongside mothering or work to earn some extra pennies, monetising a hobby or a full-blown crazy huge business idea you need to get off the ground. I love them all.
You see pre-child, I worked in finance and investing. I became a certified business coach and specialised in the sales, marketing and the social side of business with the aim of making them more profitable. I LOVED IT.
I knew I wasn't gonna keep up that crazy schedule once I became a mum, so James & I launched our catering company and I then went on to launch this (This Welsh Mother ) and a Podcast (The Huddle with Aby Moore).
As This Welsh Mother grows (we are now over a year and a half years old - where the heck has the time gone) I'm keen to expand what we do and put something back into the system in the process so we are finally launching Business School!!!!
This has been something I've been planning since long before This Welsh Mother was even a thing so I'm super excited to let you in on what I have coming up.
So if business is for you or you want more info please read on and I hope to answer all your questions.
So why launch a business school?
Well, for one thing, I'm super passionate about entrepreneurship but also secondly my world changed when I became a parent. I think differently, I operate differently, my schedule is different, everything is different. It can be really hard to just slot back into your old working life for a million and one personal reasons. You may want to spend more time with your child, you might have decided that you don't feel passionate about your old career. You may be unable to return to work due to the cost of childcare or having little/no family support OR you might not have any available work that you can do! All of these are reasons why people turn to business, even more so in today's economy.
I also think Wales is unique. We aren't all based in Cardiff or even in a major town. Large parts of this country are rural and rural poverty is a huge thing no one is talking about. I know what it's like to live in a village where a bus is a rare occurrence. I know what it's like to live twenty minutes away from the nearest train station, I know what it's like to not be able to afford to learn to drive let alone run a car. Jobs in rural communities are rare at times. Wales has areas where work is seasonal. Not everyone that lives in the countryside is straight out of a country life magazine. I see what self-employment has allowed me to do and not in an 'I'm bathing in cash' kind of way. We are sold that lie enough. I see the juggle and sometimes the struggle but also I see that self-employment allows me, for the most part, to work on my terms and I'm on a mission to give that to you.
Isn't there help already available?
Yep. there are all kinds of help available if you search for it. I certainly have over the years. I've watched Youtube videos. Paid for expensive online courses, contacted Business Wales. Spoke to the bank. Joined a Mastermind, Joined membership groups and attended conferences.
Here's what I know
Some people charge you a lot for business help. A LOT. Don't do that. If you really need help and you have a budget, by all means, pay for help and advise but never think that by engaging in high priced courses or online business schools will make your business a success. They won't. This won't. You have to do the work.
Oh and always be dubious of people whose only business is telling you how to start and grow your business. #justsaying
I found some agencies didn't understand digital business as much as I did - and so that was a frustrating learning curve. While I value experience and traditional business, it is a mistake to discount the digital, e-commerce business space and so I struggled with the startup information provided by some big agencies.
Then, there's the mum thing. Starting, running, growing a business is hard. Really faffing hard. Add in a family, the fact that it's unacceptable for your house to look like a sty and also that these people need to be fed and it's chaos. Parents have time constraints. We have budget constraints, we have the added panic that we REALLY have to provide for these humans. No one addressed that in any training or coaching I received.
So why do it?
Somehow, when I had a child it became far more important to me than ever to really step into who I am and achieve all these crazy things to show my child I could. So that's why.
but then there's the added juggle of parenthood and let me tell you, a juggling parent has a shed load of transferable skills that will be useful to start and grow a business. I think parents make great business people. So that's why.
and then there is Wales. We live here, we love it right? but there are problems. There are struggles with jobs, struggles with accessibility and earning your own income through your own business or freelancing career can remedy some of that. You just need the right information, you just need some support right? so that's why.
and then personally. I believe that anyone can build a business. I believe the confidence you gain from building your own business can really transform your own life and that of your family and those around you and I believe that you shouldn't have to look at one of these courses and think "That's great but there's no way I can afford that" because that's just not me. I've been there and I don't want to put any energy into that space.
So what is it?
Business School (I know, I really need to think of a jazzier name) is a 12-week online course that I am launching this September 2018.
Each week you will get access to a lesson that you can work through at your own pace, in your own time, around all those other things you have to do.
The lessons have been really thought out and will benefit you whether you are coming into this with just an idea or you are already operating and looking to grow that business.
For inspiration and in the spirit of community you will also be introduced to a mentor of the week, each week.
These mentors come from a variety of different industries and stages in business but they have all been exactly where you are so I am hopeful that seeing them, hearing their story and connecting with them will drive your ideas and business forward.
As well as all this you will get access to a private Facebook group where the training will take place. There will be weekly 'office hours' when I will be present to answer questions - Oh and you have permission to blow up my private messenger with any problems, questions or crazed moments you are having. (please don't expect me to answer straight away if it's like 3 am ok).
If you are in Wales or you fancy travelling, you can also come along to a regional meet up. In September and November, there will be regional meetups in
- Newport (TBC)
These meet ups will allow you to meet with me and hopefully some of our mentors and also network with other people in your area so you can keep the team work going and help each other out after the course has finished.
I have placed a suggested donation of £20 per month for the course, however, I'm not wanting to leave anyone out so there is an option to pay what you can afford, any amount at all helps us keep this going. Just message me and I can sort it out for you. And, if you are reading this and you honestly don't have a penny to spare right now - no shame - still message me and I'll find a way of getting you sponsorship - where there is a will, there is a way! email@example.com
When does it start?
We start on September the 5th 2018 with our first weekly lesson.
Is it only for mums?
No, I built this brand with mums in mind, that's my business but this is about helping people start businesses so anyone is welcome.
Do I have to live in Wales?
Again, no. Wales is my thing but you are welcome here wherever you are from as long as you understand the meetups at the moment are based in Wales but you are more than welcome to travel to them or just use the online elements of the course.
I have questions, can you help?
Sure, just email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I sign up?
How do the payments work?
You sign up via our shop and make a payment of £20.00, you will then receive an email before the course starts adding you to our system and asking you to complete an agreement to authorize two further payments for £20 (one in October and one in November). You can also use the pay-what-you-can-afford option and select your own payment structure and this will be set up in the same way by myself - you just need to contact me directly to set up your payment structure.
What happens once the course finishes?
Well, after the initial 12 weeks of the course is up you have the option to stay with us if you want. The details aren't all finalised if I'm honest but the hope is that a portion of the group will want to stay with us, learn a new business topic each month, do some online masterminding and also connect with amazing business mentors to grow relationships and grow our businesses. Then next year when business school rolls round again, you get to go through the whole thing as a refresh, refocus and chance to meet new people.
So, that's all the questions I've had so far. If you have any others please do let me know. I have such strong belief in the business school format, the amazing mentors and also the facilities we are partnering with. Collaboration is such a key part of business so I'd love it if you joined in or shared this with anyone you think could benefit.