It’s the word that draws strong reactions. You either love it or hate it. But regardless of your viewpoint, for many, it is the word that defines us.
The word? Mumpreneur
Going by the definition above, I am a mumpreneur. I started b.box, with Monique Filer when we had young children – in fact my bub was only 3 weeks old. We had the playmat on the floor in our home office and worked around our young families. As our business grew, so did our bub count, with 5 girls between us. But here’s a fun fact, so did our revenue. Today we have 14 employees and sales over $10 million.
For me personally, it is not the word itself I have an issue with. It’s the connotation and judgement it seems to bring with it. Somehow a mumpreneur is not regarded on the same playing field as a business woman or business person for that matter; somehow there is a perception that we are lesser than.
I am here to say, we are so much more.
Before starting b.box, I worked in strategic communications, helping leading professional services firms globally to win competitive tenders. Monique is a chartered accountant, who spent over 15 years setting up risk management best practice and systems for some of the world’s top energy trading companies.
Basically, what I’m getting at, is our credentials are rock solid. Our commercial acumen proven. Our intelligence and creativity defining. And all before we had kids. But what surprises me, even as I write this, somehow as women in business, I feel the need to justify my worth. Am I really qualified to do what I do?
‘Sippy Cup – Watermelon’ from b.box
When we started our company back in 2007, we made the decision to move away from our corporate lives to put all our smarts to work for ourselves. Our business instincts, strategic vision and financial acumen were not born with our children. Although, I will say that having children and taking maternity leave gave us the space to try something new. From day one we had big plans for b.box. And we’ve never looked back.
According to businesstown.com, to run a successful company, you need:
- To have a clear strategic and financial plan
- Develop a support network
- Brainstorm alternatives to tough situations
- Shrug off your setbacks
- Always stand for integrity
- Remind yourself that every day is a new opportunity
- Keep yourself in top physical condition
- Always be open to learning new ideas
- Celebrate your achievements
- Realise you, not others, ultimately control your success
I cannot think of a more qualified person to deliver on each of these points than a mother or dare I say CEO. Multi-tasking, in a league of its own!
When I get home at the end of the day, my second job begins. I know all working mothers reading this can relate. And yes, I have an amazingly supportive and hands on husband, who I appreciate beyond measure and an incredible support network. But let’s be honest, as mothers, we’re the ones who tend to organise the kids’ activities, prepare dinner, make school lunches, arrange playdates, act as psychologist and medical professional. I always relay the story that when my husband travels for work, he packs his bag, kisses us all goodbye and closes the door. When I travel, there are schedules mapped out, food pre-prepared, arrangements pre-planned and Facetime calls asking, “mum where is my dance bag?”. I often think about how much more I need to fit in my day as a working mother. And I don’t think these challenges are any greater if you happen to run your own business or work fulltime for someone else.
And yes, it’s my choice. One I wouldn’t change. Being a business woman who’s a mum is something to be celebrated and encouraged. But the media and “tall poppy” syndrome often doesn’t make this any easier. The fact there is even a term mumpreneur says volumes. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen an article about “dadpreneurs”.
All in all, I don’t mind being called the M word, if it’s used to refer to a successful, intelligent, creative woman, forging her own path, her way; making a positive impact on the business landscape, society at large and her family. Then I say proudly and loudly, I am a mumpreneur!
About our Ausmumpreneur Expert :
b.box for kids is a multi-award winning Australian company started by two Melbourne mums, Dannielle Michaels & Monique Filer. The company now has a team of 12 and its range of baby products are sold in over 750 stores nationally and in over 20 countries. The thing that makes b.box unique is the thought they give to design, functionality and aesthetic. With the benefit of their founders being mums themselves, they design products they want to use and that fill a gap in the market. And the market likes what they do – redefining toddler feeding with cool, innovative and practical products, that kids love to use and that make parenting easier and a bit funkier!
Pop online to see their range at www.bbox.com.au and connect with b.box on Instagram and Facebook @bboxforkids