I am Shayla. I am mum. A single mum. I am daughter and a sister. I am a horse rider. I am a business owner. I am a creator. I am a designer. I am a teacher. I am a lot more things as well. Somehow, though, I manage to be all of them and still get time to sit down and dunk buttered krispe biscuits into a milo most evenings. I am actually dunking biscuits as I type this. Brave move? Silly move more like. I will inform you at the end of my post as to whether I spilt it all over my key board! Firstly though, I want to share about how having a baby changed my life and resulted in me creating two at home businesses that have meant I can stay home and not return to the 9- 5, ok, I was a teacher so 9-3 work day.
The birth of my child and the loss of my life.
From a life of horse riding, coffees dates, working in a job where I had around 150 face to face interactions daily, to, being alone at home, too tired to leave the house, too tired to even answer phone calls and feeling a sense of grief for the life I had lost. I could have been the poster child, or poster mum, of post-natal depression. Birth was hard, being alone all day with a baby was harder. I felt so sad. I had lost so much and I did not feel this amazing mum feeling that everyone had told me about. It was a really hard time and I was lucky to have an amazing mum and family who helped me through it. It did not last forever. Having a baby created a new life for me, a new stage, a new sense of purpose but it took me a while to get to this point. Once I had gone through the stages of grief for my old life, I was ready to move forward, and man, did I move forward!
Suddenly I was a mum with too many business ideas, excitement and passion for all of them. I was driven to not only be the best mum I can be but also to find out who I am now – yes, I’m a mum, but I’m more than that!! Being a stay at home mum gave me the opportunity to do something new, I wasn’t tied to the 9-5 (ok, 9-3 teacher life) anymore so I started to think about what I was good at, what I enjoyed and then an idea blossomed!
The start of “Ivy-Wolfe Creations” – a business with handmade creations for mums, bubs and special occasions. It felt good to be creating and holding finished products in my hands. I got into a good routine with baby and used his sleep time to do my work. Then another idea. It was through the development of Ivy-Wolfe Creations that I found a new passion for wanting to help other people start up their own businesses. Being a teacher in my pre baby life I guess it was inevitable that I would want to do something that helped or taught people new skills. While developing Ivy-Wolfe Creations I realised that I love creating websites, designing logos that bring out the essence of a business and I am good at it! I guess the web design course from my past life (young, dumb and fun times) had a reason after all! I learned a lot about what areas to focus on when starting up a new business, where to put your energy and money. This resulted in me re-looking at my business venture and, I did something I would advise most people not to do when starting up a new business. I set up ͞”A Way With Words Web Design”. I now have 2 small at home business that I run! This actually goes against the key advice I would give to any one starting up a new business – which is – one idea!!! Choose one idea!! It is so easy to get super excited and start adding a bit of this and a bit of that to your business, however, in reality this doesn’t help your business grow, it will mean you are spread too thin and instead of giving 100% to a very clear and specific new business idea you are giving 30% here and 30% there and the remaining 40% your actually just too tired to do anything! I am in a very different situation to many with a lot of support and a dream baby who sleeps all the time!!
If I am honest with myself, I am struggling to get enough sleep. My brain flies at 100mph because I love what I do and I do not want to stop. I constantly go back to my business plan to ground myself and stop myself going off on tangents. I have started both of these business with no money invested so it was a slow – ish – start. That was a choice I made not wanting to take financial risk. I don’t feel a lot of stress with my business set up probably for that reason. If it all turn’s pear shaped I have not invested a large amount of money, just a large amount of time, but you know what, I’ve had a lot of fun in the process. If you are going to start a new venture, make it one you love. Do something you enjoy and then, as cliché as it sounds, you really won’t feel like you are ͞”working”.
Where to now?
My goals, which I set out on my Vision Board, are not fully focused around my businesses for the time being. I have recently bought a new horse. Horse riding is my happy place and I truly believe to be successful running your own business, you need to be in a really good head space. I have a goal to say “no” more often. I am so busy with my two businesses that I find myself wanting my baby to sleep longer so I can do more work. That is some mixed priorities for me. I am learning how to manage my time with each of my businesses and take the time with my little one. I remind myself that the businesses will always be there and that my little one will be a big one before I know it if I’m not careful!
Thank you for taking the time to read my story! I hope that you managed to find something useful or inspiring for yourself to use however you may need to. If you would like to get in contact with me and find out more about what I do please follow the handles below.
Shayla. Mum. Daughter. Sister. Creator. Designer. Teacher. And more.
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