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Motherhood, Women in Business, and Building Success: A 2024 Journey with tinytags

December 27, 2023

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I’ve never been someone who had new year’s resolutions for two reasons, firstly; I don’t want to get to the end of the year and then think next year I’ll change x, y and z and I’ll be happier, fitter or healthier. I always wonder why I needed to wait until midnight to make these important life changing decisions! Evaluating the year in the final hours suggests that you should focus on what hasn’t gone well instead of focusing on all the positives. The second is that unless I set myself a goal or know what I want the outcome to be, it’s too easy to lose interest and quit. I would join the gym in January and by February, I’d quit! I’ve come to accept that January is jumper wearing season anyway so who cares?

Anyway, the point is I turned 39 in September this year and it has surprised me how it has created a sudden urgency in me. Reflecting on the past and feeling as though the last year of my 30s somehow marks the end of a chapter. I’ve so many things I’d like to do and accomplish but since becoming a mum I, like most parents have lost my sense of identity. I wouldn’t recognise the pre-parent version of myself. I’ve grown for the better, but still there is lots of growing left to do. My kids have made me realise a lot of things about myself and have moulded me into a better person, I make a lot of mistakes and I don’t think you can be the perfect parent! Mum guilt is always waiting to pounce, “a pack of raisins in her lunch isn’t really enough fruit, what will school think?” Maybe in my 40s I’ll have it all worked out!

So here is my plan, aim, ambition or even resolutions if you like! My goals to focus on whilst trying to become the best version of myself and the wife, friend mother I’d like to be.

  1. Put good out into the world – I volunteer for a charity but life is busy and I haven’t been able to commit much time lately. So I’m going to look at ways to show up more. In October, I did the 100 skips a day challenge for Cancer research I raised £170 and I am super proud of my effort. It prompted a mindset change in me because I had to complete the challenge every day.
  2. Be healthier body and mind – I consume a lot of news. On my phone and talk radio, hours and hours of it. I often switch the radio on for the school run and say “so what are we mad at today?” I don’t have a lot of spare time but I love autobiographies, I have a stack of them that I haven’t started. From now I’m going to limit the doom and gloom and instead listen to things that either 1. make me laugh or 2. teach me something. I’ll also find some audio books and make time to read more. I was told its good for kids to see parents reading for pleasure and I think that must be true.
  3. Build something brilliant. So here is the big challenge of the year. Start a new business. I’ve always been employed, since I was 16 and then 2 years ago we relocated from the South to the North. I had an opportunity to stay home with my son and get to have adventures exploring our new surroundings. I have like most I expect fallen into the trap of feeling as though by becoming “mummy” I have lost my identity a little bit. I love that I have this time with my children and I am very aware that I’m very lucky. They are growing up so fast but I feel like now if the right time for me to invest in myself and create something else that I am proud of. I’d like to make my own money to contribute in our household and I want to be a good role model to my kids, someone who demonstrates resilience, determination and celebrates success. A new business will mean learning new skills, meeting new people and challenging myself. I’m so excited, nervous and scared all at the same time. I want this to succeed. I need this to succeed. So here goes!

Living with myself for 39 years I know some harsh truths about myself like self-doubt and imposer syndrome will always be present and if allowed will stop me in my tracks. Luckily my motherhood journey has provided me with resilience and a great idea!
Introducing tinytags – Small wearable keychains designed for children and families. My tags contain emergency contact information which is accessible by making contact with the tag via a mobile phone. Every parent shares in the same fears and desire to keep their children safe. If families become separated then a small device like mine can help to reunite families quickly minimising stress and worry for everyone involved. Lightweight enough to wear on a zip, waterproof and durable to withstand everyday play activities. Designing the tags and website have all been very fun and exciting but how to make a business out of this idea…

Getting Started

I needed some help getting started. Bolsover Council offer a business start-up grant for up to £500. For start-up and pre-business.
They provided a business model template and cashflow forecast and ask applicants to build a business plan. After a couple of weeks working with a representative of the council, I was awarded my grant and have purchased a laptop so I can work from anywhere.

Next I reached out to Clowne enterprise who have connected me with a brilliant business coach. This will help me to discuss my ideas and also keep me on track with the actions and timescales I set myself.

On December 18th 2023, I had the opportunity to attend a Women in Business event hosted by Roxy Rhodes of Filter Free Business.
The session ignited a spark within me. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet local business women and hear their stories and journeys at different stages of their business. Many of them retraining and moving away from careers they have had for years in order to feel more personal satisfaction. Many had decided to make a hobby into a business choosing to do what they loved best and share it with others. A vast majority of the attendees were finding a balance of motherhood, work and life and building successful businesses in the process. I felt so inspired listening to their journeys.

Its encouraged me to dedicate 2024 to the ambitious goal of building a successful business that aligns with my personal aspirations and contributes to the well-being of my growing family.

What’s next? So I’m excited to say that I stepped out of my comfort zone again recently and met with Bolsover local TV to discuss Tinytags and the benefits of the product. The interview will be on TV in the new year and I will share that with you when it is available.

If you are thinking about starting a business maybe speak with your local council to find out what help is available to you.

Thank you for reading and being part of this journey with me.

Katie x

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