The transferable skills from motherhood to business owner
Elle offers counselling services for women addressing the trauma of divorce, depression, and anxiety. Through, Single Mama Way, she aims to elevate all Single Mamas to achieve stability, social connection & the lifestyle they desire.
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“Well in 2016 I found myself 40, separated with a two and a half year old daughter and no job, rental history, or savings. I was in a new town with no friends or family nearby and I hit another time low. I was overwhelmed, angry, scared, very lonely and depressed so there were pretty dark days. Having no experience in becoming separated, because what woman does?
I felt like I entered the great unknown and I had no idea how to navigate my life going forward. I found no organised support help and living regionally counsellors and psychologists had up to eight months wait lists that's if their books were open at all. I knew I was not the first or the last woman to go through this and clearly if I was suffering then there must be other mothers going through the same.
So I promised myself at that point in time that if I got out of this with my sanity intact I would do something about it. I had nursing and counselling diplomas under my belt so it was a natural transition to create a Single Mama Way a little bit down the track. I was tested in my resolve last year when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I lost about six months fighting it. I feel I got off lightly as I've ended up having a couple of major surgeries and at this point in time I've been given the clear but it sort of made me realise that the strength that you can find in yourself when push comes to shove and I believe that every woman has the strength in her and again I wished to realise this by sharing my lessons that I've learned on my own skin.”
What have you found to be the most transferable skills in terms of being a mum and running a business?
“I think it goes hand in hand. I think running a business well I've learned in the last year and a half because I've always worked for other people but I'm actually learning that it's like running a household it's more like motherhood than people realise.
You have to be creative, you have to be organised, you have to be disciplined, you gotta speak and treat others compassionately but you know how they treat you. You know there's so many things you have to know when to have fun and when to attend to the less pleasant things like bookkeeping.
You know you run your own accounts in the house that transfers just as well across you have to equip yourself with patients, reach for the YouTube tutorials where you can put your learning hat back on and then in some cases you have to get used to the algorithm rules changing just as you finally get the hang of it so it's very very transferable.”
How do you describe the shape of a good life for you?
“I don't really see myself as ambitious to start with everything I do, I do because I love being of service to others and selfishly I want to show my daughter that she can be anything she wants to be if she puts her mind to it but I acknowledge that all those three are intertwined and connected I don't think you could have a livelihood without feeling wellbeing and I suppose could be translated by the motivation to help and empower you and the satisfaction of being able to do that again fills my happiness and my joy so in my mind I strive for a constant balance between the three.
When my daughter is with her dad I still struggle with the house’s emptiness so this usually disrupts my carefully crafted balance and I tend to throw myself into the work and I forget about the wellbeing.
I do have my little dog Cookie here who comes to my aid. Basically he'll come in and put his paw on my arm over a couple of hours and he'll demand a walk or play and basically that's his way of saying you're taking a break and he does not take no for an answer so it's very passive aggressive. He's my timekeeper and makes sure that wellbeing gets slotted into everything. I think surrounding yourself with people that also care for you, including animals or critics that care for you, assists you in maintaining the ambition, the livelihood and the wellbeing to continue feeding into itself and keeping that balance.”
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