Why the flexibility of Mums & Co upskilling suits this mumbitious business owning mum
Josephine is one of the co-founders of Cohive, an online platform that connects women who are working from home with other local women in shared home workspaces.
Australian Female Founder Case Study
Mums & Co Member Josephine Borovac is the co-founder of Cohive an innovative co-working platform that helps business owning women to feel supported and make meaningful connections.
How did Cohive come about?
“My sister and I were both working from home, and while fortunate to have that flexibility (this was before COVID) realised that when you’re sitting on your own, everyday, five days a week, it can be lonely & isolating when you don’t have your own network of people around you.”
Josephine and her sister considered themselves lucky as they had each other to lean on. This sisterly support was the inspiration that sparked Cohive “we thought more women need this and that’s why we created a platform to connect women in that way.” Cohive connects business owning women with other local like-minded women, so they can cowork together in a domestic home.
Working from home, just not your own home
Like most businesses over the past year or so, Josie and her sister had to pivot their offering.
They moved from a face to face business model and took things online. “We were meeting up virtually with our members to continue supporting them in their business and home struggles and we offered two types of services - online coworking sessions for an hour of focused work & accountability, as well as a brain dump networking session where you were connected with one other member to brainstorm a particular business problem you might be having.”
The online sessions were hugely successful but with Sydney lockdowns over, Josephine is thrilled to have her business back up and running again face-to-face in the Cohive home coworking spaces.
“If anything, lockdown has proven we all want the flexibility to work from home but not necessarily our own home five days a week, so our beautiful inspiring Cohive homes are the perfect space to escape to for a day of productive work just down the road.”
With kids back in school, the Cohive hosts have been just as eager to open their doors once again too. “Our Cohive hosts are naturally hospitable and super bubbly women so needless to say they missed the community of women who come to their homes each week to work and support one another along their business journeys”.
What do you love about pursuing your mumbition as a business owning mum?
“The number one thing I love about being a mum running a business is hands down the flexibility. Being that role model for my kids. My oldest is a teenage girl and showing my daughter that this is an option and you don’t have to be restricted to a corporate office is something I’m really passionate about.”
Josephine received some advice from a wise friend when she first had children and this has helped shape her mumbition; that you want to maintain your connection with your teenage kids. For Josie “it’s super important for me to be around now while they are teenagers and being able to be around at this stage is vital to me.”
How do you harmonise your ambition, livelihood and wellbeing?
Fitness, eating well and getting enough sleep is how this business owning mum harmonises her ambition, livelihood and wellbeing. “I do pilates and weights training every day. I try to eat healthy because when I don’t it reflects on everything else throughout my day. I’m a sucker for lots of sleep. It’s super important to me. Attending Cohive is another thing that's great for my mental health - having a connection with other women regularly as part of my work is something I do for my wellbeing.”
Tell us about your Confident Pitching For Business Women course experience
Josie recently completed the Mums & Co Confident Pitching For Business Women course, to upskill and learn how to pitch with clarity and conviction.
“One of the fabulous things about the course is that you start off writing your pitch at the very beginning, then we meet up weekly and get to practise our pitch - which you can never practise enough times!”
Josephine discovered that as she presented each week to the supportive cohort of business owning women, including Mums & Co co-founder Carrie and Community Manager Lucy, she received invaluable advice on where to improve and what to change.
The format of the course suited this busy business owner perfectly
Mums & Co created a course to fit with the reality of being a business owning mum. “The way the course was formatted, receiving weekly videos that we got to watch and worksheets that helped us achieve that task, and meeting up a week later for an online chat where you get feedback and ask questions and have a chance to practise your pitch. The format of it was perfect.”
There was no pressure or anxiety in this safe and flexible group
One of the risks of taking on an upskilling course is not being able to complete all the course work in time. But Josie found that with Mums & Co
“it didn’t matter if you hadn’t completed the worksheet because we’re all mums and women on the go, blending homeschooling and everything else happening so it didn’t matter if you weren't completing everything.”
The flexibility of the course structure and supportive nature of the group allowed her to focus on a task the next week if she hadn’t had the chance to complete it before a meet up.
There was a whole avenue of learning to be discovered
During the course Josie discovered there were many interesting topics included as part of learning to pitch. “The vocal lessons were great. One of the sessions was about how you use your voice. That’s so important, learning how to calm yourself down before you do any presentation.”
“The main thing that I’ve learned is to be clear on my pitch. I’m super passionate about Cohive and what it does for women. Learning how to precisely say what Cohive is and all the benefits of it in a very short succinct amount of time is what I’d always had trouble with.” The course helped Josie to visit and identify what her unique selling proposition (USP) was and what women were actually getting from her business. “Sometimes you think you know that, but as your business grows that might actually change. It was really good to revisit and nut out what our unique offering was.”
The key takeaway was
“My key takeaway was that I need to make sure people really understand what Cohive is. The worst thing is to finish saying what you do and then people ask you how it works. You think you’ve explained what’s in your head but people don’t get it. So making sure we’ve explained what it looks like so when people walk away they do get what Cohive does. It’s been super helpful.”
So Josie, give us your pitch!
“Having the flexibility to work from home as a woman, especially as a mum is the icing on the cake. But the downside is that they often feel lonely and isolated. They miss real face to face connections like the office water cooler chat or a colleague to lean on.
What we do at Cohive is provide shared home coworking spaces so women can belong to their own work from home community. Our online calendar and day pass packages make it simple to book and find a local Cohive host home, where you turn up with your laptop, throw your lunch in the fridge and co-work alongside other like minded women who become your tribe.
Our inspiring and motivating home workspaces help women to increase their networking circle while they are working. Genuine friendships form and flourish at our member nights out. Workshops provide opportunities to upskill and our private online chat group supports them when they are outside of their normal work hours.
Our vision is to bring together work from home professional women in every neighbourhood, watching the magic of human connections unfold, when they have their own work from home colleagues who truly understand them.”
Want to learn how to pitch your business like Josie?
The Mums & Co Confident Pitching For Business Women course is now available as a self-paced course for you to complete on your own terms. Visit the Mums & Co Digital Resource Library now! Or if you’re interested in joining a cohort of supportive business owning women like Josie and being guided by Mums & Co co-founder Carrie Kwan you can join the waitlist so you’re the first to know when the next enrolments open.
You can find out more about Josie by connecting on the member directory.