Vanessa Bell Mumbition the Podcast


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Episode 70: A safe space to get support

Verity Hare

Founder Tradie Wives

June 6, 2023
Verity Hare knew she was onto something when the community she founded Tradie Wives hit a milestone number of members and has grown into a business in it’s own right, supporting the supporters!

This episode is brought to you by DWEN the Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network

For more than a decade, DWEN has brought women entrepreneurs together from around the world to help them connect, scale their businesses, and ultimately succeed. Join DWEN today for free access to a global network of women entrepreneurs and valuable resources to grow your business.

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Tradie Wives

DWEN Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network


Produced by - Lucy Kippist

Edited by - Morgan Brown
Interviewers - Carrie Kwan and Lucy Kippist
Guest - Verity Hare

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Transcript Episode 70

00:01:59:03 - 00:02:16:04

Carrie or Lucy

Now you know that we believe in the pitch and that confidence is key to describing your business and your life with clarity and conviction. It's an essential skill for business women. So we're so pleased to have you here this morning. Verity, can you please share a little bit about yourself?

00:02:16:05 - 00:02:40:24


And yes, so a very small part of a very complex, complex accidental business is essentially we are an active collaboration platform which was designed to support the wives and partners of tradies in the daily management of their businesses.

00:02:40:24 - 00:02:46:09

Carrie or Lucy

Amazing. So support encapsulates a lot in there. How does that support come to life?

00:02:47:09 - 00:03:22:06


Support comes to us. Basically, it sort of started as business support. So it initially started, as you know, being able to find a great accountant or a web designer or learn how to hire an apprentice in the trade. But through its development and through the changes of the trade industry over time, a lot of there is such  a big mental health sort of issue within the tradie industry that's really come through from the group.

And I think a lot of the time the women kind of bear the brunt of dealing with, you know, everything that's going on in the household, whether it be with the business, their partner, their family. So the group has sort of become also a place, a safe space to get support. And, you know, yes, sort of know that there are other people with similar challenges.

Everyone sort of rallies around and supports each other through that.

00:03:52:21 - 00:04:29:16

Carrie or Lucy

And let's just not underestimate that type of support because we can provide business support and we can provide the sort of training and the upskilling and the connections for that. But that emotional support, I think sometimes is undervalued and that emotional support takes form in, you know, in our world it takes form in things like confidence or the the ability to just be unapologetic about how you work and how you make a living and how you also raise your family at the same time.

So that wellbeing aspect I think is definitely coming to the fore. I think it's probably something that's needed to be addressed for a long time. So it's amazing work that you're doing there. So it's very we have a few pillars that we know that our community really rally around. It's ambition, livelihood and wellbeing. And I'm keen to understand how you see those aspects.

How do you define your ambition and how do they all sort of weave together?

00:05:06:00 - 00:05:31:00


Yeah, I think the key is really finding the balance between the three elements. I think it's setting realistic goals and also understanding that it's, you know, not the business 100% of the time. It's really finding that balance of family life, looking after yourself, because I really feel those things sort of flow into your business and where there's something missing or something not right within you.

I really feel like your business knows that so? I think the key is finding the balance between those three elements, which really helps your business to thrive.

00:05:43:11 - 00:06:16:10


Now, when we think of tradie wivse, we cannot think of anything but community. It's such a thriving community that you've built and it's the cornerstone of your business, really. And to my mind, it centers around your wonderful Facebook group where the posting there, as we were talking about before, is so highly engaging and the topics can vary so you know hugely really in terms of the most personal things in the world to very, you know, practical solutions based kind of questions.

Can you share a pivotal moment where the visibility or the growth of the group really took off? Because I know that a Facebook group is something that a lot of our community try and nurture as part of their marketing strategy. What's something that you could share that really strikes you is like that's when things started to grow.

00:06:36:01 - 00:06:57:14


Do you know, it's funny, I still remember the exact moment and I've started the group and when I started it I was like, You know what, probably 20 people are going to join this. This is a ridiculous idea and I really didn't believe that anyone would join it. And then I remember sort of it slowly growing and growing, and I got to 137 members.

I still remember it, 137 members. And I was talking to my dad, actually, and I showed him and I was like, Dad, look at this group. I started. Like, I was very lucky because from the day dot, it was so engaged. Even with 137 members, people were sort of chatting and sharing stories and support and I couldn't believe it.

I was showing my dad it was 137. He was like, Huh, “I think you might be on to something here. Like, it sounds like it's something that is actually quite needed”. And from there it kind of grew and probably the second most pivotal moment was COVID, when COVID sort of came in, you know, the construction industry, as well as everything else, went to a big lockdown.

One of the last things to be lockdown. And everyone was very stressed and unsure needing support. So I feel like it kind of grew in that COVID period because people had so many questions and they were a bit afraid. And so it's sort of yeah, the support really grew from there.


00:07:57:17 - 00:08:37:12


That's so interesting actually, because I didn't even think of that. But obviously COVID would have really impacted your community in that way. Speaking of risk, that's something else I wanted to talk to you about. I read a meme on your Facebook group the other day about someone was comparing the risk process of the average office worker who turns up to work and just is like, “Well, fingers crossed, I'm going to leave work on time” is like that, you know, not to discredit office workers like them, but like, you know, being that leaving work on time is their biggest, you know, uncertainty in their day. Whereas someone who like the average tradie who, you know, their partner is obviously part of your group and supporting them, they've got that really pronounced physical risk of, you know, how do I get through this day and not be injured or how do I get through this day and actually have enough energy to sustain myself through the day?

I'm just wondering how those kind of dilemmas have informed the process of risk for your business?

00:09:05:24 - 00:09:31:10


Yeah, so it is a major issue that is absolutely correct. In fact, less than the middle of last year, my husband Craig had an accident with a beam on site and ended up getting eight staples in his stomach. So it's a very real issue. But I feel like it is just really having those policies and procedures in place.

It is making sure that all your workplace health and safety documents are up to date. The sort of toolbox talks on sites so everybody knows, you know, the procedures and keeping up to date with training. And that's really important with training wise, we sort of have a directory connected to that. And I work with a lot of great businesses who provide that workplace health and safety support too.

00:10:02:23 - 00:10:22:22


And most of your members are women who've perhaps left their jobs to support the business they partner in their family like here. Is there a piece of advice that you would give for anyone who's looking to maintain boundaries and potentially for the sake of your personal relationship?

00:10:23:04 - 00:11:01:04


Yeah, it's really hard, actually. It's really hard having those boundaries when you're working together in business, particularly if it's something that you're quite passionate about, it's sort of hard to stop talking about it and, and have, you know, those boundaries in place. But I think for us personally, what's worked is respecting each other's roles sort of trusting the other one to tget their, you know, specific role done, which is like playing to their strengths and things that they enjoy and kind of not encroaching on each other's, you know, roles in the business.

And also sitting, if you can, this is really difficult but setting work hours so having that sort of okay, we'll work from this time to this time and then after that we sort of don't discuss the business and we will just talk about it within those hours, which is very, very difficult. But even like, you know, just going out for dinner once a week and saying, okay, well, we're going to go out, we're not going to speak about the business at all.

We're just going to, you know, have time for us. But it is very it's very difficult.

00:11:33:19 - 00:12:02:19


As your business adapts and changes, how does technology allow you to grow and so, Verity, as your business has adapted and changed, how does technology allow you to grow.

00:12:27:04 - 00:12:59:24


When it works? It's a great support and it is really automation is such a fantastic tool in business to be able to automate things, you know, particularly around for us it's automating emails and you know, when people join our membership is being able to automate the onboarding process. It just gives you the space to be able to focus on other things and know that yes, things are taken care of through the automation tool.

So it's really important as you grow to be able to have those tools available to you to continue to grow the business.

00:13:08:11 - 00:13:14:07


100% in agreement with that having things running for you or you are you don't have to be there. We're all set.

00:13:14:18 - 00:13:15:23


Yes, absolutely.

00:13:16:17 - 00:13:30:00


And what about in terms of the benefits of joining a community of like minded women who might be experiencing similar business challenges to you? What do you see the benefits of that being?

00:13:31:13 - 00:13:52:22


It's just knowing that other people are going through similar challenges to you. Sometimes I think that business can feel quite isolating and I really feel sometimes you feel like all the challenges you're facing, you're just going through alone and think surrounding yourself with like minded people helps you to understand that, you know, people are always in the same boat.

They face the same challenges, they've been through the same things, and people are very willing to support you. So if you find a community where you have an issue, you go in and sort of you know, you talk about it. People will 100% come and support you and rally around you, and it'll just help you to not feel alone.

And it will help you work through your challenges. And it is just so crucial to business.

00:14:18:01 - 00:14:37:18


And I do want to speak on the timing of things. And I was just thinking back to my son plays soccer at the moment and I know that he's done his job after the game. But I want to talk about it. I want to debrief. I want to, you know, talk about his strategy. What do you do?

Well, and what he could have done better. And, you know, I want to talk, talk, talk, but there's a better time because he's got his job. He probably just wants to eat something. So I was just thinking, you know, the timing of when you have those conversations, have the conversation, but have them at the right time when everyone's open to receiving that messaging and more involved.

00:15:04:20 - 00:15:28:21


100% I think it's like, you know, particularly for us when my husband gets home from work and he's had a big day on a machine or a big day moving tonnes of concrete or whatever it is, he just can't, he just needs time to kind of debrief and sit and just not speak and then sort of think through the day and be able to be able to go through it all.

00:15:28:21 - 00:16:02:18


So looking at some ideas there, so back to two things. One is I meant to jump in and say amazing at that 100 customers point that is meant to be celebrated because you got a validation point with 100. So it's a really, really important milestone that I love to celebrate. And when we were talking about the aspects of ambition, livelihood and wellbeing, I'm often wondering what's the shape of a good life for you?

How would you describe that?

00:16:07:00 - 00:16:30:14


Yeah, like I said before, I think it's having that equal balance. And I think that a lot of the time, to me particularly the wellbeing aspect of that can suffer. You put a lot of focus into the other things and that wellbeing aspect is kind of the first one to just go by the wayside but is actually probably the most important part of that.

That shape is to focus heavily on, you know, just physical health, mental health, because as I said before, I really feel like when that suffering, it flows back through the business. And if you're not feeling 100% within yourself, you're just not going to want to be in the business. You're not going to want to do things you have to do.

You're not going to feel inspired. So I really feel like it's getting that balance right. But a bit of extra focus on your wellbeing and physical and mental health can really, really have a positive effect on the whole.

00:17:09:14 - 00:17:25:12


So true and definitely something that we see a lot of in our own community, which is, you know, why we try and we say that all those elements are as important as each other. But you're right, if you don't have your mental health or your physical health, then you don't have a business.

Verity It's been delightful to speak with you and look like you. We are in the business of supporting women. And I'm just wondering who are the women who are running businesses in a vicious way that is women with children and running a business at the same time? Who you'd like to say hello to today?

00:17:48:19 - 00:18:11:20


Has to be my V.A. She's awesome. Her name's Maddie and she runs a business called AVA. She's got two children, and she's just. Yeah, she's just killing it. And I just watch her and I'm just so inspired by the way that she manages to juggle it all. So yeah, it would definitely, definitely be her.

00:18:13:00 - 00:18:35:21


Verity, thank you so much for joining us on my ambition today. And if you'd like to find out more about Verity and Tradie Wives, you can find her on our Mums & Co membership directory via LinkedIn or Facebook. And we hope today's story has inspired you. We would love to help support your own business journey in 2023. At Mums & Co, we help women in business grow.

Our three tiers of membership provide strategic advice, access to deep networks and opportunities to be more visible. Head over to mumsandco.com today for more details or a 1 to 1 chat with me today. 

What's your favorite tip on how to work with a tradie?

00:19:06:01 - 00:19:28:14


I think that it is communication. Communication is key when working with the tradie, being honest and open from the start, sort of setting the ground rules. And I think tradies really appreciate it when clients can really be open and honest and not sort of not say anything until the end of the job and say, oh, actually, I wasn't happy with X, Y and Z.

And I really think from the beginning, being open and honest and being able to communicate with your tradies is the key to having a positive experience.