How to turn a setback into an opportunity and find your life’s work
Rebekah personifies what Mums & Co is all about - harmonising ambition, livelihood and wellbeing.
You know that feeling when you get your hands on a book that you just can't put down? The sort of book where, no matter what else is going on, you're just firing through the pages. Rebekah Campbell's book, 138 Dates, has given a number of the Mums & Co team this feeling. It follows the story of Rebekah, an ambitious entrepreneur's quest for a partner and a family before she reached the age of 40. Not only is it a searingly honest and vulnerable account of what it's like to date in the current age but it also documents Rebekah's extraordinary success as an entrepreneurial woman.
Rebekah is an author, a business owner, wife, and mother. You may have ordered a coffee from her company, Hey You, and completed training by another, Zambesi, which offers business training by high growth companies and leaders. Rebekah personifies what Mums & Co is all about - harmonising ambition, livelihood and wellbeing.
Rebekah, tell us a bit about yourself...
“I started as an entrepreneur when I started a business as a band manager. After leaving university, I found a few bands called Evermore, Matt Corby and a bunch of others. Then I hit 30 and thought ‘I can't go to gigs for the rest of my life, I should get into this tech thing.’ So I started an app which was originally around recommending cafes and restaurants that became Hey You, which is the coffee app. Then I decided to write a book. I always wrote a blog and then that blog became a column. So I started working on a business book with a publisher around the column. At the time I had a young baby and a fairly new partner. I was just so incredibly happy with being a mum and a partner and that ended up being the story that I wanted to share. I wasn't feeling massively inspired by the business book because I thought there's a lot of business books out there already. I thought if I could tell the story of finding love and everything that I learned through that process, that would be more helpful to people and potentially a more fun story to read as well. So, I started writing that book. At the moment I am not an entrepreneur, I'm an author, promoting that book and thinking about what I'm going to do next.”
Is there anything you’ve had to stop in order to achieve your goals?
I'm very bad at stopping. My natural state is to be doing a bunch of different things not particularly well. I felt pretty lucky, COVID has been an awful thing for the world and for lots of people, but my experience of it was different. I had to shut down my business, which was face-to-face training and consulting and I was at home. I had wanted to write and been trying to do it in the background getting up at 4:30 in the morning, getting an hour in here or there. It gave me the opportunity when the first lockdown was called and I was at home. I did a deal with my partner, where I got to work for five hours in the morning between seven and 12. He would then work from 12 for the rest of the day. I had these five hours where I was able to write my book and that enabled me to stop. For me it was the COVID lockdown that enabled it all to happen.”
Do you find that in slowing down when you sit down to write that your focus is better?
“Yes, I do. I feel just generally my mental health is better. At the time when you slow down and you're playing lego and doing those kinds of things, I found it quite frustrating. Then at the end of the day, I'd look back on my day and they would be the moments of joy that I'd remember and go ‘I'm so glad that I did that’.”
What have you found to be the best transferable skills from that startup entrepreneurial mindset to motherhood?
“It's probably two things. One is when you're running your own business or you are the leader of the business. There's a sense of being a backstop for everything, you are ultimately responsible for everything. I think that creates an ability to juggle and know the potential risks and the things that are coming up that you're going to have to think about. I feel like that same skill I'm using all the time with the kids. Particularly now I've got one who's just started school and one who's in preschool, all those things like who's picking them up when and what are we having for dinner? All that stuff is really the same kind of skills. Whereas my husband, Rod is very organised, but he's not the backstop, I'm the backstop. I think that I will ultimately be the person that's responsible, that is a role that I naturally take on.
Things that I knew I was not good at in business have been made very obvious by having children. I thought maybe I was a people pleaser and not great at negotiation, but now I have children, I can totally see that I am a people pleaser. I hate saying no to them, they can always talk me around. Therefore they're really naughty because they know that mum's going to give in. I have definitely thought that is related to the business skills that I probably was lacking that have been made very much obvious for my children.”
So why is 138 such a significant number? How do friendships change after having kids? And how can you turn a setback into an opportunity? Listen to the episode now to find out!
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