Welcome to nikkij narrative. It is my intention with this blog to share my thoughts on content marketing, online branding insights, tips on writing for business, some working mum home-truths, and of course business stories.
I guess the best place to start would be with my own story; what motivated me to take the plunge and start my own business.
Like many small business owners, particularly mums, my motivation was simple and started with the elusive search for ‘balance’. Running off to a job, all-be-it a part time one, meant time away from my kids, moments of inflexibility, guilt, questions of worth, mixed focus and the list goes on. All these things amounted to two questions that resonated in my mind: “Is this the right path for me?” and “What can I do to change it?”
The answer came in a surprise text message from a friend. It simply read: “Would you be interested in doing some work for a client of mine?”
I had two choices. Reply saying “thanks, but no thanks” and stick with status quo, or say “sure, send me the details” and explore a new path.
I chose the latter and am pleased to say that the path has brought me to a place where I can work with individuals and business owners to build their online branding through content marketing, while enjoying a sense of balance when it comes to my passions. But is this realistic?
Can You Find Balance in Being Your Own Boss?
A recent survey conducted by Officeworks Small Business Pulse found that the main motivator for small business owners to start their own venture is the power to make their own decisions and gain control over their work / life balance. This is not surprising, but we all know that the dream of running a small business can be vastly different to the reality. According to the survey, almost 40% found time management to be one of their big challenges, up there with retaining customers and cash flow issues.
Now I am not so naïve as to think things will be different for me. I know I will need to find ways to manage my time, establish systems and obviously work hard if I want to succeed. But I am optimistic that I will be able to find a sense of flexibility in being my own boss.
Is Aiming for Work / Life Flexibility More Realistic?
The concept of work / life flexibility, as opposed to work / life balance was brought to my attention at a Lake Macquarie Women in Business Network event some time ago. Fellow marketer, business owner and mum, Belinda Bow, spoke at the event about the freedom of working for yourself and about “life being more like the ocean with its ebbs and flows, ups and downs.” The message of her presentation was to essentially stop looking for balance, and choose a path that works for you. Striving for flexibility over balance is a lot less daunting.
She is right. By choosing to have my own business, I will be able to have the flexibility in each day to spend time with my family and grow my business. Any given day could include a business meeting, school performance, emails, and of course helping businesses grow through content marketing. This is exactly what I am after.
Do I think I will find ‘balance’ in being my own boss? Probably not. But I do intend on walking the path that works for me, my family, and clients. I intend on enjoying not having to ask for permission to attend a school function, or a doctor’s appointment. I am looking forward to helping businesses of all shapes and sizes realise their own story, and doing it in a way that only I can.
What motivated you to start your own business? Have you struggled with finding ‘balance’ or ‘flexibility’ in what you do? Drop me an email or comment below to share your story.