Juggling Motherhood and Running a Business
motherhood

Juggling motherhood and a career is something that I have recently spent a lot of time considering. While I am excited about becoming a mother, I am also worried about my career. I have very strong career goals, but also don't want to miss out on my child's growth and development. Entrepreneurship may just be one way that women (and men) can do both.

Things to consider...

There are many benefits to running a business. Running a business or freelancing allows great flexibility in terms of work hours and location. This means that you could work after your child has gone to bed or while they nap and from the comfort of your own home. However, on the other hand, it also requires that you can multitask and devote enough time and effort to both.

In order to successfully run a business and juggle motherhood, it is important to have a good support system. Whether it's your partner, family, or friends, a good support system is essential as running a business and motherhood are both time-consuming. You may simply need someone to clean the house during a busy week or care for your child while you attend an important meeting or meet a deadline. It would be impossible to juggle so many important roles without responsibilities occasionally conflicting.

While running a business undoubtedly has many advantages, there are also some disadvantages. Entrepreneurship comes with a certain degree of risk. You may not be able to predict your monthly income or may suffer financial setbacks. My father was an entrepreneur and growing up our family went through many financial highs and lows. I don't believe that children need to be expensive, but some financial security is required to meet their basic needs. Therefore, it may be best to have savings before starting a business or a partner that can help provide some financial security.

From a personal perspective...

From a more personal perspective, freelancing allows me to continue to pursue my career goals despite being heavily pregnant. However, one of my biggest problems is motivation. It can be challenging to be motivated to complete assignments after not having slept well or when there are a million chores requiring my attention. I have two tricks that I find particularly useful when I'm struggling with motivation:

  • Setting deadlines

I find it very useful to set deadlines (even for open-ended assignments) as this prevents me from waiting until the last moment. I also find it helpful to break longer assignments into multiple deadlines so that I don't end up overwhelmed. These deadlines help me to stay focused and accomplish my goals, while also juggling my other responsibilities.

  • Leaving the house

I sometimes find working from home particularly challenging due to the number of distractions (chores, husband, etc.). Thankfully, this can easily be addressed by leaving the house and working in a coffee shop or library. Leaving the house also breaks up rather solitary days.

Success through Collaboration: Women Unite
March 14, 2017
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collaboration

It was International Women’s Day last week and Iceland announced that the country has joined Switzerland in making firms prove equal pay for Women.

This is progress in the right direction, However the sad news is that the UK's gender pay gap still stands at 17.5 per cent….it’s not a surprise that the amount of female freelancers is rising each year.

In a recent study of nearly 2,000 freelancers conducted by the independent research firm Edelman Berland, A clear majority of full-time freelancers–53%–are women.

So why are more women drawn to freelancing? And, more importantly, what lessons can we learn from their choices?

I think most women would agree that the traditional work structure just isn’t working well for them. A common complaint is:
• Starting families and struggling with taking time away from the office in their 30’s
• Hitting the glass ceiling in terms of pay and promotions in their 40’s.
• Ignored altogether in their 50s/60s

With the 40-plus-hour work weeks, the nursery fees and the gender pay gap more and more woman are choosing to take the leap and work freelance.
The benefits of being a Freelancer are:

• Flexible Hours
• Control over Jobs
• Work when you want
• You’re the boss!
• You keep the profits

The disadvantages of Freelancing are:

• Loneliness and isolation
• Un-Reliable Work
• Difficult to switch between work and personal time
• Constantly chasing work and clients
• Not getting paid

A major complaint from Freelancers is the feeling of isolation and loneliness, particularly for those who work exclusively from home.
With International Women’s Day, it’s a great time to reflect on the benefits of collaborating with other women.

By working and collaborating with other like-minded Women, freelancers can benefit not only from the social interaction but also create strategic partnerships with other businesses by working together on business projects and exchanging services rather than money for work.

It may be daunting if this type of exchange service is new to you and it’s always wise to ensure the following steps are considered before embarking on new projects.

  • Pick the right partner.
    Whether it’s a short or long-term project, you want to make sure you’re working with the right person. Ask questions, check referrals and follow your gut.
  • Define the purpose.
  • Not every collaborative project ends with a big cheque in the end. Define the purpose; state the goal of your collaborative project.
  • Write everything down.
  • Goals, expectations, responsibilities, project length, contact information, you must write it all down especially for long collaborative projects. When things are left unspoken and undocumented, it leaves the door open for potential problems down the road.

Opus Matrix Is the Perfect Social Network for Female Professionals to seek exciting resources, new opportunities and collaborate with other inspiring females.

Designed by women, particularly for women at every stage of their Freelance journey, The benefits of joining Optus Matrix are absolutely fantastic.

You can sign up to Optus Matrix now with FREE membership on all plans for a limited time only
https://opusmatrix.com/sign-up/

The Opus Matrix Team

Dear Mumpreneurs, Time to Roll Up Your Sleeves!
September 20, 2016
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mumpreneurs

Summer is over and “sadly”, as probably most of you would say. There is absolutely no reason to get depressed though, because the approaching fall and winter seasons should be lived with excitement, especially if you are an ambitious and active mumpreneurs (a fun word meaning a full time mum who is also an entrepreneur).

Having your kids back to school is a great occasion to finally start focusing on your entrepreneurial plans again. You will now have much more time available to work on all the projects you have put aside during the summer, when you were taking care of your children all day long.

After taking your kids to class every morning, you will now have several hours a day and for five days a week to focus all your energies on your business projects. This is why it can be a bit overwhelming to start working full time at the end of each summer when the academic year begins and why it is so crucially important to create detailed schedules about all the work that you need to get done on a weekly basis.

By making a rational plan about what you want to achieve and by giving yourself precise dates by when you want all your business tasks to be completed, you will enable yourself to find mental strength, motivation, optimism and successfully commence a new profitable work season.

Creating detailed schedules, of everything that you need to get done, on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis, is essential to an effective business organisation and is a key rule that every brilliant and accomplished entrepreneur follows in order to be always ahead of competition.

Think about all the time you finally have for yourself now that your kids have started going to school again! All these hours from Monday to Friday can be usefully employed in order to obtain outstanding business results.

You could interpret the beginning of the academic year as also a new and refreshing start for your business, a sort of business year, which commences from today and that can be full of glorious moments, thanks to your strong good will and entrepreneurial determination.

Have you wanted in these last few weeks or months to get in touch with some potential clients, investors, sponsors, or to update certain aspects of your business, in order to increase sales as a result? Then now it’s the time to work on everything you have wanted to change and accomplish! Get a coffee first thing early in the morning after having left your children at school and grab your laptop or a pen and a notebook and start designing your success!

Remember, if you can think about having an increasingly successful business, then you can definitely achieve it, because you have all the necessary mental power to get exactly what you want! Nothing can stop a progressive, creative and forceful mind!

Have a wonderfully lucrative business year and good luck!

The OM Team

Giving you more business exposure
business exposure
At Opus Matrix, we are continuously thinking of ways to get our members noticed and we aim to give you as much business exposure as possible through our networks. We are passionate about helping you achieve your goals and enable you and your business to prosper.

This month we are especially focusing on women in business, as March is the month of Mother’s Day on the 6th and International Women’s Day on the 8th. Therefore we will give shout outs to mumpreneurs who are using the OM site to network and on the 8th March, to celebrate Women’s Day, we will offer Business Plus membership for free (for 1 year, usually £89.99) to anyone who signs up via this link: http://bit.ly/1SeUvtE

Our regular blogs will also now include mentions of our members throughout, as a way of cross-referencing skilled people on OM. This will be great to draw extra web traffic your way but it is only available to those who have a completed profile, i.e. with profile photo, skills added and business services clearly stated.

Competition

There’s only one month to go now before we announce our new winner. Winners are chosen every quarter based on their contributions to the site in terms of blog posts and being an active networker, with a complete profile. This time you can win £40, click here for more details.

Good luck!

The OM Team

Competition for our budding entrepreneurs
competition
Every quarter Opus Matrix has a competition and likes to give a prize to the member who does the best at bettering their business, i.e. we try to reward best business practice.

In short we've made a list of the top things most business people need to grow their business and awarded points with a prize at the end of each quarter. Previous prizes include Amazon vouchers, an iPad Mini and spa days.

Our last winner was Jane Quinn of Miworld.

Our next competition runs until 31st March 2016 and the lucky winner will receive a £40 Amazon voucher. View the Hall of Fame.

All you need to do is to regularly login at Opus Matrix and post any blogs, events, offers or projects you would like to share. The more you post and connect with others, the more chance of winning, as we reward members with points. You will also increase your chances of being seen by your target audience too.

Please note: At the end of each competition the points awarded will go back to zero - this will give our new members a fair chance of winning the next time and should ensure we don't have the same winner twice in a row.

Majority of women want gender-specific business support

Source: Herald Scotland

Here is some encouragement for you and one of our 'raison d'être'.

Around 80% of women think gender-specific support is needed to encourage more females to start up their own businesses in Scotland, a conference has heard.
But one-fifth believe there is sufficient backing from existing networks and business groups to help women get new enterprises up and running.

The question of whether tailored support is required to cultivate more female entrepreneurs north of the Border was posed at the Women's Business & Enterprise Conference in Glasgow yesterday.

It sparked a range of views from the 200 delegates in attendance, who heard from a panel of leading female business figures including Nora Senior woman of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

More info: http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/13104009.Majority_of_women_want_gender_specific_business_support/

The a2z of useful websites for Startups – Part 9
November 20, 2013
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website for startup

Anyone contemplating the self-employment route or developing ideas for a starting a business will need to consider how they will go about delivering every aspect. An important thing to do is measure the amount of time required for the workload and decide whether your business should be run as a sole trader, partnership or limited company. There are other options too and these sites help you with those important elements of your business plan.

Coddan – This website is great for UK residents who want to form a limited company and take out a package with a bank for a corporate account. There are clear pricing options for you to consider and you don’t have to search through pages of information to find them. Although, there are lots of other pages which provide guides to starting a business, non-profit companies, dissolution and restoration, among others. Also, there is help available for setting up and registering a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).

Canada One – This is great resource for Canadian business news, articles and information. Make meaningful contacts with people through networking events, discover the benefits of franchising and read over 900+ business articles. You also have the option of searching the site for other businesses nearby and you can ask the experts for advice. Make the most of the business directory and actively be involved with the site by writing press releases and business plans.

Fab Women in Business – For all motivated entrepreneurs out there, this website promises to make you even more fabulous. You might not feel fabulous working all those long hours being self-employed but here you can find out about UK, US and India events. These are great for putting your business under the spotlight and working out how to make it more efficient. There are also sponsorship and exhibition opportunities through this site.

Look out soon for part 10……..

The OM Team

The a2z of useful websites for Startups – Part 8
November 19, 2013
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website for startup

As a new business or even someone who is looking for work or thinking of self-employment, useful websites are worth noting and so the list continues. During the planning stages of your projects, it’s a great idea to read and soak up as much information as you can. Subscribe to interesting blogs and participate in website forums. Spend time asking questions in online communities to solve a few issues you have.

The Next Women – This online business magazine is a great source of information with good content for entrepreneurs. Their mission is to build the female business brand and advise, inspire and connect a community of entrepreneurial women on their business needs. Whether your business will be specifically local or on a global scale, they provide a solid platform to help you on your self-employment journey. A great magazine to also read on the go with your smartphone or tablet.

West Lothian – Business Gateway is a superb source for new businesses and in West Lothian there is encouraging help and advice to assist you. They hope to bring lifeblood into the area and are passionate about local business. Their list of services includes business planning, financing, workshops and seminars. It’s encouraging to see that over 80% of new businesses assisted by them are still going strong after two years. Read interesting case studies from others to find out their experience and how they overcame early stage problems.

Women Business Owners – This is both a print and online resource that provides relevant, timely information, which focuses on affordable learning opportunities to women entrepreneurs. Websites like this are great for asking your hard questions and you can start new discussions with other like-minded fempreneurs or even discover something new in their online learning portal.

Missouri Women’s Council – If you are local to Missouri then the women’s council is a good place to find key information about things like writing a business plan or finding technical resources. Starting in business can be tough and daunting but they will work collaboratively with you to achieve your goals and make your dream a reality. They also provide a reference guide to starting in Missouri, with links to other useful websites.

Womans Work – This is a fantastic free resource, which provides startups, the self-employed, those wishing to get back into employment or facing redundancy with information about training, opportunities and events. It’s a good website for promoting your own services and job vacancies. Women’s businesses can be so diverse so it’s good to see the variety and be involved in a showcase of female entrepreneurs.

Look out soon for part 9……..

The OM Team

The a2z of useful websites for Startups – Part 7
November 18, 2013
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website for startup

It’s possible to start a business wherever and whenever you like. However, it is still useful to know what help is available on your doorstep. Otherwise, you may find yourself working overtime on something, which could be made much simpler, cost effective and less time consuming with help from a local business or organisation. These websites provide help on getting the best for you in your local area or overseas.

Startup overseas –This is the definitive resource for starting or expanding a business abroad. Many business people emigrate and therefore want to relocate and grow their business in their new country. This website helps with important information regarding emigration and company formation. It’s also a good place to learn about foreign opportunities and laws. Think of it as a personal assistant to guide you through the procedure of starting up, expanding, moving and overseas living.

Start my biz – Canterbury – This website is all about businesses helping other businesses. When you start in business, you may find there are lots to learn but you don’t have time to plough through it with online searching. However, with this site, all the key information and useful details are in one place. It’s been put together by a partnership of organisations in the Canterbury area, with an overall aim to make the city and district a great place to live and work.

Houston Chronicle – For businesses based in the Houston area, this is a great site for catching up on local news from sports to business or lifestyle. The daily e-Newspaper is accessible from any electronic device and so can easily be read while you are commuting to work on a train or bus or perhaps during your lunch break or curled up on sofa in the evening. As a business, you can also look to advertise through them and get your business featured and seen by a large audience.

Scottish Women in Business – Every business person should understand that to succeed, it’s important to communicate, connect and collaborate with others to grow. For many female entrepreneurs, there is a desire to connect with other women in business to share stories and experiences. This site is ideal to join and there are numerous benefits for an annual fee, including being registered in their extensive directory and participating in events to get your business noticed.

Small Business Administration - The U.S. Small Business Administration delivers loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counselling and other assistance to small businesses. It aims to preserve free competition enterprise and strengthen the overall economy. This is particularly relevant right now with the US aiming to grow out of economic slump and putting the power with small businesses is a good strategic plan that will help economic recovery and encourage cashflow.

Look out soon for part 8……..

The OM Team