How To Be a Million Pound Mum by Hazel Cushion by Hazel Cushion - Read Online
How To Be a Million Pound Mum
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So you want to be a great mum and, ideally, a rich one too? Welcome to Million Pound Mum. This range of books offers constructive advice on how to start a business, still be a great mum and have fun while doing it. This book is packed with practical information, top tips and the experiences of mums who have successfully started their own online business. Whether you want to turn your passion into a money-making blog, create your own dream online shop or become a modern day matchmaker with a dating site - this book will offer all the facts and tips you need to get started. Some of have reached the Million Pound Mum goal and others are well on the way. Written in a clear, easy style, this book has all the tools you need to become a Million Pound Mum, online.
Published: Accent Press on
ISBN: 9781681468020
List price: $4.99
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How To Be a Million Pound Mum - Hazel Cushion

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INTRODUCTION

So you want to be a great mum and, ideally, a rich one too? Welcome to Million Pound Mum. This range of books offers constructive advice on how to start a business, still be a great mum and have some fun while doing it.

This is the start of the wildest ride of your life. This is when you stop thinking and start doing, when you stop wishing for a better life and start making one happen.

I’m not going to pretend that starting your own business is easy – it’s not. Nor is it something for everyone, but if you have been thinking about it for a while, if you have that dream and it just won’t go away, then it probably is for you.

Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.

Mary Kay Ash, Founder, Mary Kay Cosmetics

Perhaps you have an idea for a business but you don’t know how to make it happen. Or you don’t have an idea, you just know you could do better for yourself than slogging your way through working for someone else every day.

Whether you have an idea or not, it doesn’t matter, because you’ve already decided it’s time to be your own boss. And that’s the biggest decision. No more commuting, no more working for difficult bosses, no more feeling guilty every time you need to take a day off because your child is ill. You know the future you want, now all you need to do is take your first step on that road.

Maybe you’re worried that it’s a scary thing to do, or that it’s beyond you. But let me reassure you: if I can do it, you can do it.

My story

I never knew I could run a business and my early years certainly didn’t show much promise. As a teenager I was so profoundly depressed that I attempted suicide, then spent the next 6 months in hospital. I went from being the girl doing 12 ‘O’ levels, to leaving school with just two, and a Maths result that was so bad it was ungraded. As you can imagine, my confidence was very low. But things looked up a little when I got a place on a silversmithing course at art college. It wasn’t the obvious choice for me, but beating flats sheet of silver into shape proved to be great therapy! So there’s a silver lining to every cloud, quite literally in this case.

That course led me to working in Hatton Garden, the jewellery quarter in London, and after a couple of years I landed a job selling Garrard jewellery on the QE2. What an opportunity! I travelled around the world, not once but twice, and gradually worked my way up to being Shop Manager. I realise now that I was full of ideas even then. I won both first and second prize in the company’s suggestions competition, and was awarded the grand total of £1,000 – a lot of money back in the 80s!

The nomadic lifestyle of working on board ship set a pattern for the next few years of my life, as I continued to be the proverbial rolling stone. I met my husband and we bounced around the world together, living in Florida, France, Bali and Dubai. We were mostly following his job as he also worked in Duty Free. There were times when I couldn’t work and I found that really frustrating. Like all entrepreneurs, I have to be busy and I have to be achieving something. So I found charity work to throw myself into, and even helped set up a charity in Dubai, Gulf for Good.

It may sound glamorous, living in different countries, and there were good times, but there were also some really hard ones. While we were living in Bali we tried to start a family. I had always wanted children, but like so many other women, struggled with infertility for several years. So in 1996 we turned to IVF and miraculously, after only one attempt, it worked. And boy did it work...

Triplets! Felicity, Richard and Julia. An instant family, three beautiful bundles that all arrived at once. But then I have never been a person who does things by halves.

We were lucky, living in Bali we had lots of help with the triplets and the climate was amazing. We had two wonderful years bringing up the children, then, just before their second birthday, the Tiger economies collapsed and my husband was made redundant. It was devastating. We went from having an easy, beautiful life to having nothing. We got on a plane without even having any keys in our pockets as we didn’t own a house or a car. We had no jobs, no income, no prospects and three almost-two-year olds. We had to move in with my mother-in-law for a few months.

Thankfully, my husband soon got another job setting up a beer and wine warehouse in Calais. So it was time to pack our suitcases yet again, and we moved to France. It sounds wonderful, I know, but the weather was cold and bleak and the children were often ill. It was such a shock after living in Bali. Then I came down with glandular fever, and the exhaustion from that made me realise I needed help. My mother decided to come and stay. But she wasn’t used to driving in France and drove on the wrong side of the road. She was killed in the lane right outside our house – it was just before the triplets’ third birthdays.

As you can imagine, the circumstances of her death made the pain of losing her almost unbearable. We decided to leave France and my husband got a job in Dubai. I was glad to leave France but remember very clearly deciding that this tragedy mustn’t affect my children’s lives. I’m not religious, but if my mum was ever looking down on me, I’d want to think that she would be proud of how I’ve coped.

My mum had always encouraged me to write and she’d left me some money. So I used a little of it to sign up for a correspondence writing course. I got quite a few articles and stories published and it gave me a real thrill to see my work in print.

But life in Dubai also came to an abrupt end. When the Twin Towers came down in 2001, we decided that it was time for the children and me to leave the Middle East, with my husband staying on to work. So I got the suitcases out again, bundled the children onto a plane, and we came back to the UK.

We ended up in West Wales because a friend of my mum’s lived there and I knew she would be a great surrogate grandma. It was quite isolated, though, so I joined a writers’ group. The group’s leader encouraged me to do an MA in Creative Writing at a nearby college, and as I’d already turned forty this seemed an incredible opportunity. They accepted my published work instead of a BA and I started the one-year course. It was the most fun I’ve ever had with my clothes on! I learnt so much and it was incredibly liberating to let my creative side flow again. As part of the course we learnt how to publish a book and I was hooked. I realised being a writer was far too lonely an occupation for me, and so the big bright world of publishing beckoned.

So you see, without any business qualifications, a very small start-up fund, three small children and no support around me, I managed to start a business. I know now that if you believe in yourself and work hard, you can achieve more than you ever dreamed was possible.

If I can do it, YOU can do it. The only question you have to ask yourself is: do I WANT to do it?

If the answer to this is yes, then keep reading. If you decide to take control of your destiny and start a business, then I will hold your hand.

Mums have the skills to be entrepreneurs. They already run a corporation: it’s called a household. Organising everything from homework to housekeeping, shopping to shuttling the kids around, you spend your days running from pillar to post. You have to run your life with military precision, especially if you also have a job. There aren’t many CEOs who could compete with the average mum!

What is an entrepreneur? An entrepreneur is …

a creative multi-tasker who is determined and hard-working.

Does this sound familiar? Does it sound like you? Well, you can take those skills and apply them to making money for yourself and your family.

There are so many things I wish I’d known when I started my company, so I have put them all in this book together with the advice and experience of other business-mums. This gives you a real edge, a real advantage, but you probably have lots of questions like these:

What qualifications do I need to start a business?

Obviously if you want to set yourself up as a vet or an accountant then you will need the appropriate qualifications, but for most businesses the only qualification you need is a degree in Life Management; that is, the common sense, multi-tasking, master-of-all-things type skills that mothers generally have. Good computer and communications skills are pretty essential but otherwise you don’t need qualifications for most businesses.

Having said that, you must be prepared to learn new skills so that your business can grow. One of my favourite mottos is make every day a school day. It might not be formal learning but you will need to develop your marketing, design and communication skills.

Don’t let the lack of formal qualifications hold you back, it’s YOU that matters: your ideas, your drive, your ambition. You have your own unique lifetime’s experience to draw on, hard times that have made you resilient, and good times that have given you the inspiration and ideas for your business.

Am I too old to start a business?

I doubt it! I was 42 when I launched Accent Press, and I know women who have successfully started businesses in their sixties. I do think that everything you learn in life gets poured into the business in the end so sometimes it’s better to have had more to add to the mix. Whatever age you are, you can start a business – remember age is just a number.

Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.

Billie Burke, Actress

Can I really run my own business and still be a great mum?

Absolutely! Imagine your life without your usual commute to work, the frustration and pressure of your job, the constant struggle to find enough hours in the day. It feels better already doesn’t it? Now imagine that each day, everything you did benefitted your own company. Imagine the satisfaction and pleasure you’d get from that. Imagine your child being ill, or you getting snowed in, and still being able to achieve everything you need to. It’s much easier to be a great mum when you are feeling happy and fulfilled, and the flexibility of running your own business means you could get more time to spend with your children.

"How do you balance growing the business with raising a family? You just do. I had a business, a lot of orders, and a baby howling for supper. You balance it. You give your baby supper first and then get your orders in. I have worked on more holidays... but what are you going to do?

Lillian Vernon, Catalogue Merchant and Online Retailer

Where do I start?

At the beginning of course! This book is full of really practical advice and tips on starting and developing a successful, profitable business.

So if you have decided that running your own business and your life is really for you, read on...

CHAPTER ONE

START HERE!

Well, you’re still reading, so I imagine you want to get started. But what’s your business going to be? Perhaps you have an idea already and want to know how to implement it, or perhaps you have no clue about what kind of business you want to run, you just know you want to run one.

Be honest with yourself

One of the most important things to do is to take a good hard look at yourself. It’s not just about the idea you’ve had. A business can only succeed if the person behind it believes in it. All entrepreneurs are different and do things differently. Assess your strengths and weaknesses.

Know your values

Some people find the idea of making money hand over fist a little tacky, whereas for others it’s the stuff of dreams. Some will gladly exploit others, and for some integrity is the most important quality in a person. Whatever your values, stick to them in your business. You have to like yourself whether you are rich or poor.

Understand what you want

Take time to think about your attitude to money. You have to pay the bills and have enough to bring up your children the way you want, but just having more money may not make you happy. This book is called Million Pound Mum, but that’s a mindset. Only set out to make a million, if a million is what you want. You might want a business that buys you more time with your children, rather than lots of money. Perhaps you just want more control. Work out where you want to go in life, your business should be the vehicle that gets you there.

Know your strengths

Are you organised? Do you have the organisational skills to get it off the ground? Do you have the right temperament? You will need to be strong-willed even when things are not going well, and you need determination.

Can you handle working alone, and will you enjoy it? If you are used to an office environment, you might miss it. Are you going to suffer from cabin fever or will being at home be a good environment for you?

What’s your attitude to risk? There will be some risk involved, and if you are risk-averse you might want to think about how much risk you are willing to handle. You may want a small lifestyle business with little risk, or you may want to build a multinational.

Get your family onside

Many mums worry that they won’t be able to balance life and work and that their family will suffer. If your family are with you then you’re halfway there.

I always involved my kids so they never felt that I was shutting them out. It meant I was around for them, so if they were ill I was at