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Vanessa Bell Mumbition the Podcast

Mumbition

The Podcast By Mums & Co

Fuelling Female Founders: Where Wellbeing and Networking Unite with Renata Taylor and Jillian Kilby

Renata Taylor & Jillian Kilby

Founder of Grouch & Co Coffee and Founder of The Exchange

September 21, 2023
Women might be starting more businesses than ever before, and access to networks and community are a significant contributor to a woman’s business success. That’s according to data from the Dell Technologies 2023 WE Cities Index report that measures the leading practices behind the most successful global female founders. At Mums & Co we refer to those practices as wellbeing, the systems and processes you have put in place to protect your individual physical, mental, spiritual health, so you can focus on the parts of the business you love, while continuing to grow. Today’s Mumbition guests are both business owning women who have put community and networking at the heart of their business success. Renata Taylor, founder of Grouch and Co coffee, and a member of DWEN, the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network. She is joined by Jillian Kilby, CEO and founder of The Exchange, a social impact organisation supporting a diverse and geographically isolated, community of founders with coworking desks, private offices, meeting rooms and event space, as well as a vast community network that gives people in regional Australia the best chance at commercial success in their own business.

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. 
Entries for the 2023 DWEN Dream Tech Competition are now open! This is your chance to win up to AUD$40,000 in Dell technology to help your business grow*. Sign up and enter the competition at www.dwen.com today.
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Renata Taylor

Jillian Kilby

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Credits

Produced by - Lucy Kippist

Edited by - Morgan Sebastian-Brown
‍Interviewers - Carrie Kwan and Lucy Kippist
‍Guests - Renata Taylor and Jillian Kilby

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Episode Transcript

(01:26):

At Mums & Co we refer to those practises as wellbeing and the systems and processes that you have put in place to protect your individual physical, mental, spiritual health so that you can focus on the parts of the business you love while continue to grow.

(01:40):

Today's Mumbition guests are both business owning women who have put community and networking at the heart of their business success. Renata Taylor, founder of Grouch & Co Coffee, and a member of DWEN, the Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network. And Jillian Kilby, CEO and Founder of The Exchange, a social impact organisation supporting a diverse and geographically isolated community of founders with coworking desks, private offices, meeting rooms and events spaces, as well as a vast regional community network. Welcome Renata and welcome Jillian to Mumbition, the podcast.

Jillian Kilby (02:15):

Thanks Carrie, and thanks Lucy. It's lovely to be here.

Renata Taylor (02:18):

Yes, very exciting to be here.

Jillian Kilby (02:20):

Nice to meet you too, Renata.

Renata Taylor (02:21):

Yes, lovely to meet you, too.

Carrie Kwan (02:23):

Now we love educating women on how to pitch with confidence, how to share their amazing story in their journey. So I'd like to invite both of you to share your pitch. Perhaps Jillian, we can start with you.

Jillian Kilby (02:35):

Oh, no.

Carrie Kwan (02:36):

Yes.

Jillian Kilby (02:38):

Okay. So we opened the doors of The Exchange in the middle of Australia's worst known drought in history. The Exchange is a coworking space, and the people who flooded the space were women. They were coming off farms and they were saying, "I want to start a business. I want to be a remote employee. I want an opportunity to make money in this drought."

(02:58):

And so the community rallied around supporting women to grow in capability, capacity, and confidence. I really believe that every woman should be within an hour of a coworking space or a community like this, so The Exchange is growing to do more good, and that's our mission.

Carrie Kwan (03:14):

That's incredible, and the fact that these are the people that showed up, women.

Jillian Kilby (03:20):

Yes. We didn't expect it. That's probably the biggest surprise for me. We built this coworking space based on my experience living in California, living in Silicon Valley. And all of a sudden it's women coming in off farms saying, "Actually, I studied this in undergrad and I have this capability. I have this idea." And it just blossomed from there.

Carrie Kwan (03:39):

Incredible. Now you've been a bit humble because I know you've grown since then.

Jillian Kilby (03:43):

We have. We are very fortunate that our business model is around owning the buildings. And they're not just any building, they're beautiful old heritage buildings. One's built in 1884, 1886, 1915. These buildings were empty, abandoned in regional communities. So not only have we saved the asset by owning the asset, it allows us to grow our business and do more of this. I think having a strong financial position behind any social impact organisation is really important.

Carrie Kwan (04:14):

And Lucy, I and you and Sarah, we've all travelled to Dubbo and The Exchange. It is the most beautiful coworking space. Absolutely do drop in there when you can.

Lucy Kippist (04:25):

Very good coffee there too-

Carrie Kwan (04:26):

Great coffee-

Lucy Kippist (04:27):

Which might be timely for the rest of our conversation.

Jillian Kilby (04:29):

It was so nice when they closed the doors. The women said we could be anywhere in the world right now.

Lucy Kippist (04:35):

That's true.

Jillian Kilby (04:36):

I don't know if you remember the visuals from regional New South Wales, the big dust storms rolling into these regional towns. That was our every day, and yet they said we could close the doors and we could be anywhere in the world starting our business right now. That was really, really nice.

Carrie Kwan (04:51):

Okay. Amazing space. Now we did mention coffee.

Renata Taylor (04:53):

Yes, that's me.

Carrie Kwan (04:54):

Renata, tell us a bit about your business.

Renata Taylor (04:57):

Well, I own Grouche & Co Coffee Roasters. We are based in Sunny WA. We specialise in ethically sourced, transparently traded coffee. We are really passionate about supporting women in our industry and we supply wholesale retail and have a cafe.

Carrie Kwan (05:16):

Amazing. We just might be new besties now. So wellbeing is a core value for us here at Mums & Co. We love to support our members to embrace strategies that help them, especially when life and business gets challenging. So Renata, what is the most useful strategy you've found to create a sense of wellness for yourself, and then obviously the business, when things have been tough?

Renata Taylor (05:44):

I don't wait for it to get tough. That's my strategy. I have things that I do every day no matter what. So I think something that's really important for me is to be part of a community so I am really heavily involved in my netball clubs. I play netball twice a week and then my daughter plays on Saturdays so I am super into that. I sit on the P&Fs. I'm really an active member in the community and that grounds me.

(06:09):

So when business gets crazy or it's stressful, something goes wrong. I know at 7:30 I'm going to netball. I'm going to play with a whole bunch of amazing women who will talk me through these ups and downs. Or I have to go to a P&F meeting and think about my children's education or something else. It just really levels and grounds me, and I feel that that actually is wellness for me. I hope that-

Lucy Kippist (06:33):

It sounds like it's bringing you that perspective because sometimes it can be easy to be so tunnel vision in our work.

Renata Taylor (06:40):

Yes, and I think as women, we think we have to do everything perfectly. We're at work a thousand percent, we're at home a thousand percent, but actually being committed to other things outside of family and work helps you be better at both of those things.

Lucy Kippist (06:56):

Thank you for sharing, Renata. And Jillian, how would you answer that question?

Jillian Kilby (06:59):

I think of wellness in two ways. One is my wellness and then the other is my team's wellness. I think as a CEO of an organisation, you really do have to be well to lead to make big decisions. I like the advice not to leave it till it gets tough, because I think sometimes when it gets really tough, we can't find our way out. So for me it's mentors.

(07:23):

I also last year went through the New Access programme. It's a small business catered programme by Beyond Blue. It's just six weeks of coaching on how to make decisions, how to not let things get away from you and God, I found that really helpful. And then with team wellness, I really like the weekly check-ins that start with GEM, gratitude, empathy, and mindfulness. That comes from Hugh van Cuylenburg's book.

(07:55):

The second is asking people, how are you today in a score out of 10? So how are you today can be good. Okay, fine. When you ask for a number, sometimes you get a four from a person who's always a five and it's like, okay, they're okay. But sometimes you get a four from someone who's always an eight and you know okay, we might just spend a bit more time on are you okay?

Renata Taylor (08:15):

Wow, that's fascinating. So what's that acronym called?

Jillian Kilby (08:18):

GEM, gratitude, empathy and mindfulness and Hugh van Cuylenburg's book was called The Resilience Project. It's such a great read. I listened to it on Audible while I was driving out to Narrabri when we were renovating and I cried for the first chapter. It's a really powerful book.

Carrie Kwan (08:34):

Wow. Can I just add too on that rating scale? It's another one of my special analogies between parenting and running a business. I asked my kids that. When you actually say, well how much does it hurt, because they're feeling unwell, and you go, what's the scale?

Dell

Renata Taylor (08:49):

Yes, I do that at home.

Carrie Kwan (08:50):

To me it's a scale of 10. I love how you've asked that in a business capacity for a colleague.

Jillian Kilby (08:55):

Yes. My daughter can only count to two, so I'll get a one or a two, or a duck and a golf ball are her things she carries every day.

Lucy Kippist (09:04):

Gorgeous, gorgeous. Now changing tact a little because a lot of things contribute to the wellness of our business. I wanted to have a look at a bit about the behind the scenes of running a community-based business and the role that technology plays here because that's that extra layer of real-time support for us. We're a technology business as well. I think I've heard recently that every business is going to be a technology business. I'll just let that sink in for a bit because that's a real shift to how people are thinking.

(09:37):

Now, Renata, we know that you are one of the winners of the DWEN Dream Tech competition, which has a very enviable prize. What's happened with your business since and what role has technology played in terms of having that sort of improved access here?

Renata Taylor (09:53):

Well, it's interesting that you should say every business will become a technology business. I think mine is a great example of how that happens. We're hospitality based and e-commerce based. Winning the DW Dream Tech competition has been a game changer for us. It's helped us in several ways. We've gone a hundred percent digital in our cafe space, so that means no more writing on lids, having to remember shorthand. Basically it comes in, it goes into a computer and then it gets displayed on touch monitors supplied by Dell and it's really streamlined the process.

(10:31):

Our customers can also see a monitor that faces into the cafe space so they know how long they're going to wait for their coffee. So it really helps with the whole user experience. It's also helped us in our e-commerce fulfilment area. We now are able to have multiple locations for fulfilment and it's actually helped us double our volume of sales. So we are really excited to have partnered with Dell.

Jillian Kilby (10:59):

As you were talking, it was going through my head, the things we could change in the co-working space if we had that level of technology.

Renata Taylor (11:06):

Oh my gosh. The touch monitors are my best friends. I don't know to say that, but they're really great and I wouldn't open a cafe without them. Now I have them and I know what the technology does for us, I wouldn't do it without.

Jillian Kilby (11:20):

But that's the barrier is that you now know. But the other business is like, well, do I want to invest, say 20 K in monitors and apps and tech? Is it going to double my sales volumes is an unknown? But with you sort of leading the way with this pilot project, saying this is how we've changed our business, it's going to be other business owners looking at you, including me saying, "Well, what would it look like if we had a touchscreen monitor in The Exchange?" So you'll arrive for your day for your meetings, or you are coworking and you are like, okay, where am I? All right, I'm through there, rather than the old-fashioned wayfinding or-

Renata Taylor (11:56):

And I think that's the best thing about the DWEN Dream Tech competition. It allowed us to innovate without risk. They provided the resources and we just had to tell them how we wanted to do it.

Jillian Kilby (12:08):

Amazing.

Renata Taylor (12:09):

It's been a great partnership. We feel really fortunate.

Lucy Kippist (12:13):

I need to know about the little element that tells the customer how long till their coffee's ready. Please explain that.

Renata Taylor (12:19):

Oh my gosh, it's wonderful.

Carrie Kwan (12:21):

 Yeah.

Renata Taylor (12:23):

So we have a point of sale system and it drives everything. It has a bump screen and that means it displays on the barista side. We've got two barista stations, and then we have turned one of the Dell monitors around so that now our bump screen displays a customer face screen. So they see whose order is next, how big the order is. So we always tell people when they come at the till, it's going to be a 10-minute wait, it's going to be a 15-minute wait, et cetera, just so that we've got expectations set.

(12:58):

But now with this Dell monitor screen, they can see that there's a really large order before them and not to stress, or if there's anything extra on their order that may have been missed, they can actually read the order. It's improved our wait times. We've knocked two minutes off per order. And for us, when we do about 600 coffees a day, two minutes per order wait time is huge, and the customer experience improves. So yeah, look, technology is something that everyone needs to invest in and you'll love it.

Jillian Kilby (13:32):

I like it.

Renata Taylor (13:34):

You need to come and play with my touchscreens.

Jillian Kilby (13:35):

I will. I'll bring the whole team to Perth.

Renata Taylor (13:39):

Oh my gosh, just to sit in my café.

Jillian Kilby (13:41):

And we can do a coworking space tour

Renata Taylor (13:43):

Oh my gosh. Well, we have upstairs a really large mezzanine office and we've got two 55 inch boardroom monitors and they're huge. But everyone walks in and says, "Oh my gosh, that is so cool." Yes, and it is really awesome. I think it technology is now part of every business including hospitality, and it makes our life easier, not harder.

Carrie Kwan (14:09):

Oh gosh, so many things are going through my head because when you were talking about-

Renata Taylor (14:12):

Sorry about that.

Carrie Kwan (14:12):

... the user experience as well... Not at all. This is interesting from a... We're creating, well, everyone's using technology anyway and we know that a lot of small businesses, micro businesses are also using technology as their... A major part of their sales is conducted digitally. About 40% of micro business in Australia and half of their sales is via digital channels. So it opens up a really different, well, revenue pathway, but it also opens up a different type of experience when you're doing business with the customer because you mentioned the wayfinding, right? And we know that you actually have to consider different elements when you just have a digital experience versus an in-store experience.

Renata Taylor (15:03):

And I think technology, especially touch monitors, give context and a contact. It's very easy to read a digital sign and ignore it, but if you have to physically touch something, I feel like you're more aware. It brings you into the space and you have to pay attention because you need to concentrate on what you're doing. So I think the touch monitors, it's a really amazing product.

Carrie Kwan (15:30):

We've had a conference and we had hybrid, we had in-person and we had digital. And I must admit, I think it's almost like people kind of left their brains at the door when they were logging in digitally. So we had to actually really think about that user experience because when you're in person, you go to an event space like you do that you have at The Exchange. You have people that are directing them places. They can ask anyone, they can say, "Oh, do you know where the meeting room is?" Or whatever. But digitally you can't do that. They have to wayfind themselves. So it's just fascinating in the space and lots of opportunity there.

(16:12):

So Jillian, I know you do a lot of travelling. You travelled here today to be with us. I'm wondering what are some of the ways that finding the right tech for you has helped you grow, has helped you thrive? What sense of harmony have you been able to create using technology between home and work?

Jillian Kilby (16:29):

Well, when I saw this question, I thought about the role technology plays in us being able to participate in the economy. So back in 2009 when I started my first business, I was consulting as a civil engineer and I didn't have a home internet connection. It took three months to get the satellite set up with Telstra back in 2009. So I needed tech, I needed an internet connection just to participate in the workforce as a remote employee in starting my own business.

(17:02):

Fast-forward today, there are still women, men in regional communities that don't have an internet connection at home. And in the work that we did with the Women's Economic Opportunity Review for the New Wales Government last year, we did a listening tour in regional areas about access to childcare. A lot of the women said, my barrier to work is not childcare. My barrier is the internet connection because at least I can work from home while my child's asleep.

(17:30):

Renata, I can see your eyes popping out of your head.

Renata Taylor (17:33):

Oh my gosh, I can't imagine anyone not having the internet. I think I might die.

Jillian Kilby (17:36):

That's right. So equality and equity is about access and we just in Australia still don't have access for everyone to be able to participate in the workforce. And now fast-forward to today, I have 24/7 access, but that means people can access me. So after 6:00 PM when I'm at home, tech means I can jump on a call, and as a CEO, why am I not on the call? And at the same time, 6:00 PM for me is a really important hour. Nina's getting home from daycare. We're talking about her day. We're eating or we're just debating eating or we're putting her in the bath or we're debating putting her in the bath.

Renata Taylor (18:20):

Negotiating.

Jillian Kilby (18:21):

We're negotiating. Sorry, not debating. Yes, we're negotiating everything. And so for 6:00 PM for me, I don't want tech in my life, and then at 8:00 PM do I want to get back to work, which I can, or do I not? So I sort of thought about that question of tech as both an enabler and an invader. I've noticed you used the word harmony, of our harmony.

(18:46):

Back in 2009 being able to work was harmony for me. And in 2023, being able to ensure I allocate space for myself and my daughter, like Saturday morning, a perfect example, that is our tech free time. We just go and sit at the beach. We have coffee, we bump into people. And then when she has a sleep, then I can jump on and do anything because the world's decided that we can access anything anytime and work on our own terms. So I really love tech, but I also really try to maintain those boundaries around tech as well.

Carrie Kwan (19:27):

I think we're actually one of those generations that's at the precipice of such incredible adoption of technology. So we're a bit like the guinea pigs in some ways, whereas our kids are native. So that user experience that we're trying to figure out for them, they already think it's intuitive to them. It's really interesting. And you're right, we do have to set some parameters around how we use that technology because the people that built the technology probably don't even realise that's what we were going to use the technology for.

Lucy Kippist (19:56):

Renata and Jillian, you're both at the helm of some terrific communities via the great work that you're doing. But what do you see as the benefits, as individuals and business owners, of joining a community of like-minded women who are facing similar challenges to you in business?

Renata Taylor (20:14):

For me it's really important. I think don't reinvent the wheel. If someone has gone before you and succeeded, ask. And isn't that the great part about being a woman or identifying as a woman is that you can ask for help and it's okay? Yeah, so being part of a community for me is huge. Asking advice, seeing others lead by example. I don't think I would be where I am now if I didn't have a supportive, engaging community, business and family community. So I think yeah, it's huge.

Lucy Kippist (20:49):

Fantastic, and how about you, Jillian?

Jillian Kilby (20:50):

Well, I just love that someone in the community has gone before you on the same challenge and they might've had a different outcome or a different experience, but they've got advice that you can be part of hearing and also informing your journey. One of my favourite things about the coworking space in Dubbo in particular is the girls. The team from Buy From the Bush use it. And so if Grace Brennan's in there working and she gets up to make a cup of tea, the whole coworking space will stand up and go and make a cup of tea because-

(21:23):

... suddenly it's like, oh, and we can go and chat in the kitchen. The unspoken rule of the co-working space is don't go and annoy someone who's actually deep in their work at their desk, but in the kitchen it's a free for all. And it's really cool when you go in there at lunchtime and all these people who don't work together get to sit and have lunch together. Because one of the loneliest things about starting a business or being a remote employee is not having community. It's nice if you're in a team of two, when Melbourne Cup rolls around, you can be in a sweep with 30 people.

Renata Taylor (21:56):

Oh, you're providing community.

Jillian Kilby (21:58):

Yeah, or a birthday cake.

Renata Taylor (22:00):

That's beautiful.

Jillian Kilby (22:00):

You know when there's one person in your team and it's their birthday, and Grace Brennan gets to have a cup of tea with 40 other people every time she makes a cup of tea.

Lucy Kippist (22:05):

Oh, I'm going to make a lot of tea now.

Jillian Kilby (22:11):

Yeah, it's wonderful and-

Carrie Kwan (22:12):

That's great.

Jillian Kilby (22:12):

... there's multiple examples of those where someone will get up and someone will say, "That's the ruralbride.com," or something like that. Just really good experiences where people are meeting for the first time, even in a small town in regional Australia.

Lucy Kippist (22:27):

So good, so good. So at Mums & Co we talk about the idea of harmony and I think you mentioned that word just then, Jillian, so thank you. And to us it's a triangle of our ambition, our livelihood, and our wellbeing. So Renata, inviting you to describe the shape of a good life for you.

Renata Taylor (22:45):

I really had a good think about this. Hospitality, e-commerce and everything we do, it kind of pulls you in multiple directions. So I was like, oh gosh, am I an oblong? I'm not a triangle. I think I'm a circle. The reason I think I'm a circle is because I think all of those things need to feed into each other. My ambition is driven by my family and my want for them, and the money helps feed that, so it's like a circle. And when one is out of balance with the other, it's like riding a bike with a wonky wheel. So then you've got to straighten it all up, get back to being this great circle. So yeah, I hope that makes sense.

Jillian Kilby (23:30):

I love that. I was trying to make a star work, but I couldn't make a star work.

Renata Taylor (23:34):

It could have been a star, it could have been a star.

Jillian Kilby (23:38):

I ended up with a triangle and the reason is I worked out my values. When I was studying at Stanford, we did a lot of work on what are your values, and mine have always been experiences, education and excellence. And under those three fits things; so experiences with friends, experiences with family. Excellence at work, excellence in community, and then education has just been something that's been part of my life from day one and has been what I've both fallen back on in tough times, but also helped me accelerate forward.

(24:13):

I think education comes into the formal and informal realm. You can have a continuous mentor in your life or you can have someone you meet once and their quote stays with you for life, or you can actually enrol and do proper study. And there's always times in your life where you're in the formal stage and times where you're surviving on that informal education. So I stuck with the triangle.

Lucy Kippist (24:36):

I like it. We like it. Thank you so much for sharing.

Jillian Kilby (24:40):

It works.

Lucy Kippist (24:40):

Yeah, it works.

Carrie Kwan (24:40):

Whatever shape it is, it doesn't matter. It doesn't even need to be a physical shape. I always think about it as whether being the conductor in a symphony playing, because harmony to me is like you've got... Ambition to me might be the cello group, or livelihood might be the windpipes and wellbeing another.

Jillian Kilby (25:05):

My daughters the percussion.

Carrie Kwan (25:05):

The drummer.

Renata Taylor (25:05):

Sweet.

Carrie Kwan (25:08):

And sometimes one of the instruments will be a little bit louder and they'll take centre stage and that's okay. Another time another one will be, but all the time we just need this harmony. Everyone needs to be working together to create that sort of song.

Renata Taylor (25:23):

I think we are all working on harmony, aren't we? We're all working to keep it in balance and we know sometimes it won't be balanced, but then we are like, what do we do to bring it back to centre? Whether it's a triangle, circle or you're conducting, we all just need to have that balance and that's what helps us thrive, isn't it?

Carrie Kwan (25:41):

In the spirit of women supporting women who are the mumbitious, those that are unapologetically blending motherhood and ambition that you'd like to give a bit of a shout-out to? I know you've already said one, the amazing Grace. Who else?

Renata Taylor (25:57):

Ooh, I have two. My best friend Sarah works for us and she's a single parent and she kicks it out of the ballpark. She hustles really hard like no one I've ever met. And then my second is a dear friend, her name is Gabby. She owns Entire Tech, which is a tech business that instals Dell computers and does all this really cool stuff. But she's got older children and her advice and mentoring to me has been valuable.

(26:30):

I've got a 10-year-old. She's got a 16-year-old, so she's a little bit ahead of me but her advice has been huge. I think that's what we're about, isn't it, women supporting women to be amazing and I feel really supported by her. Did that give you enough time?

Jillian Kilby (26:45):

Yes, it did. There's so many.

Renata Taylor (26:47):

Yes.

Jillian Kilby (26:48):

And those that are crushing it, you almost don't notice that they're crushing it because it's simple for them. They make it look simple. I've had a pretty challenging project in the last two weeks that I've been working on through my consulting business at the Stable Group. There's been three star performers that have come together to work on the project with me and those three star performers, we meet at 8:00 AM onscreen. Everyone's dialling in from around Australia and one of us is always either in the middle of daycare drop off, school drop off or backpacks and getting out the door, but still on the call.

(27:40):

I'm not a believer in juggling. I don't like being on screen and dropping Nina at daycare, but this challenging project has called for that level of commitment. And it's pretty incredible to see how we are both juggling and getting the job done. But the three star performers have been the three young moms who are coming back into the workforce actually.

(28:13):

That's also been an interesting journey to watch because this project in particular has given one of them the first start back post kids. So it's both a challenge but also interesting to watch how everyone's pulling together through, well, it's not an emergency but through that. It's like the adrenaline of getting a good job done. It's bonding people.

Renata Taylor (28:40):

And no one hustles harder than a mum. If you need something done, give it to a busy working mother and they will kick it out of the ballpark.

Carrie Kwan (28:50):

Or they'll actually hopefully say, not right now. I'll help you later.

Renata Taylor (28:54):

Have boundaries, yeah.

Carrie Kwan (28:56):

Yeah, but the ones that do commit, we do have lots of transferable skills between running a business and parenting and blending the two. So an amazing shout-out. Thank you for sharing.

Jillian Kilby (29:08):

I will say though, the juggle is not normal and really, we do need those boundaries, but the two-week hustle has been real and my gratitude for the way they've stepped in.

Carrie Kwan (29:23):

That's kind of what I was saying with the harmony. Sometimes ambition has to take over for just that little bit while something else takes a step back and then you go, well, because I did do that, I gave everything to work. With my children, I actually brace them. I say, "I'm about to do this conference, it's going to take everything from me over the next week. I'm really sorry I can't be here, but dad's going to step in or grandma's going to step in and then we're going to have a week off and it's just going to be all about you and me," or whatever it might be so-

Jillian Kilby (29:59):

Because they understand. They do understand when you let them know this is the process we're going through.

Renata Taylor (30:05):

Definitely. And when they're older, it's even better. They come on board with you; "Hey mum, what's this project you're working on? That sounds really exciting." My kids come to work with me all the time and they're like, "Look at this. This is new," or, "When did you do this? Oh, this is why you were so busy last week," and I think they're actually proud. So whilst we're having to do this juggle, we're also providing this great role model for our children on how to set boundaries, but also how to achieve and be successful modern women.

Carrie Kwan (30:34):

Absolutely the role model, and the last thing I'll say, I do recognise what you're also trying to say there around there's something not sustainable about it in terms of those boundaries have to also sit in place. So because we don't want to be feeling overwhelmed because it is overwhelming combining the-

Jillian Kilby (30:54):

Yes. I was on the call at 8:00 AM this morning while dropping Nina to daycare because this project demanded an emergency response. But the status quo, the default for our way of operating is that daycare drop-off is daycare drop-off. That's the conversation about what are you doing today, what time are we picking you up, what are we doing tonight? What do you think we should have for dinner? Just that conversation on that trip to daycare is tech-free, that it shouldn't be interrupted.

(31:29):

It does always come back to me that since having a child, which I said when I got pregnant and I let my team know, I said, this will be the best thing that's ever happened to my business because it will force me to step out of the weeds and force me to separate time and it has, which is good.

Carrie Kwan (31:55):

Fascinating. So speaking of little people, before we let you go, we have a very important last question from one of our little co.

Remy (32:05):

What do you love most about the community where you live?

Renata Taylor (32:09):

My favourite thing is the mix of people. I think sometimes at work you're all the same type of people or you all have the same interests. But when you step into your community, there are so many different types of people with different interests and it kind of keeps you on your toes and it keeps you open-minded and grounded. That's my favourite part.

Jillian Kilby (32:32):

I'm going to say something really different and it may not make sense given I'm so pro community with The Exchange, I'm so pro community with my consulting group. But when I moved to Newcastle to be with my husband and to bring Nina up, I found the transition to a community where I didn't really know many people. I had two friends from boarding school living close by, but other than that, I didn't really know anyone. I found the freedom of being anonymous really, really charming. The ability to go and pick up Nina in my UGG boots with my hair in a bun and-

Renata Taylor (33:14):

I wish I had that. That would be amazing.

Jillian Kilby (33:14):

Yes, there was something about being anonymous that served me really well at a time in my life when I was really busy with work and building the company, build, build, build. To be able to go down to the beach on a Saturday morning and just have a clear few hours and then to bump into someone you know but not have a scheduled set of appointments, I found that really charming.

(33:36):

I just remember when I lived in Dubbo, I was walking down the street carrying my high heels, wearing my construction boots, mid-renovation, texting on my phone, had my phone right up to my face and someone took a photo and sent it to me.

Renata Taylor (33:51):

You've got to love who sent it.

Jillian Kilby (33:55):

So being anonymous is really nice because now I feel like I have a private life that my husband, my daughter, and I just have a little bubble and maybe that's good when everything else in your life-

Renata Taylor (34:11):

If I could go to Coles without bumping into people, I'd be really excited. I think cafes are a community in themselves, and so yes it's-

Jillian Kilby (34:24):

Everyone would know you.

Renata Taylor (34:25):

Yes.

Lucy Kippist (34:26):

Oh yeah, of course.

Renata Taylor (34:27):

That sounds boastful, but no, we know most of our community and it is really nice.and lucky I'm a social person and get energised by that but I see your point about having privacy. I too have had photos sent to me. No, it's fine. It's kind of like being paparazzied.

Carrie Kwan (34:44):

Thank you so much for joining us here today, Jillian and Renata.

Jillian Kilby (34:48):

Thanks Carrie. Thanks Lucy. And so good to meet you, Renata.

Renata Taylor (34:51):

Great to meet you too and thanks ladies for having me.

Lucy Kippist (34:53):

Thank you for joining us on Mumbition today. If you'd like to find out more about Jillian or Renata, you can find them on our Mums & Co membership directory. We hope today's story has inspired you and we'd love to help support your own business journey. At Mums & Co, we help women in business grow. Our four tiers of membership provides strategic advice, access to deep networks and opportunities to be more visible. Head over to mumsandco.com.au for more details or book a member call today. And if you've enjoyed this podcast, please make sure to and review. It helps other women in business find us so we can support their business journey too.