“Ah, it’s great you’ve found yourself a nice little job.”
That’s the type of comment I had to deal with all the time when I set up my copywriting business 7 years ago.
Yes, I was mum to two small boys (now mum to two hulking great teenagers) at the time and yes, I wanted to work but it had to be something that allowed me to stay at home and care for my family too.
It makes my blood boil though when men (sorry guys, but the comments were always from men) think that just because I’m a mum who refuses to compromise on the care of my family, I’m not serious about running a business.
In their defence, there are a lot of women out there who run ‘lifestyle’ businesses. They love attending networking events – several a week – because it makes them feel part of a business community (sorry if you feel I’m speaking out of turn ladies, my comments are based purely on what I’ve observed over the years). But that doesn’t mean every mum that works is a stereotypical jam maker.
I recall one instance in particular. While attending one of my husband’s works dos, he was telling one of his colleagues what I did for a living. His response was “oh, does she make any money at it?”
If I wasn’t making money so you think I’d be doing it?
Lifestyle business owner and proud
The issue I have is the derogatory connotations associated with the term ‘lifestyle business.’
It conjures images of jam makers, quilt sewers and coaches, but surely anything can be a ‘lifestyle business’?
In fact, I would argue that anyone who sets up their own business is a ‘lifestyle business’ owner.
The whole point in going it alone is to create something that works for you. A business where you set the hours you want to work to give you the….wait for it…lifestyle you want to live.
Ergo, it’s a ‘lifestyle business.’
Yes, that includes all you chaps who got fed up with the 9 to 5 and stroppy bosses and decided to create a business that meant you actually got to see your family now and then.
I was once told that I shouldn’t call myself a freelance copywriter.
Because freelance made it sound as though I was as cheap as chips, just did for a hobby and that I would not be seen as a serious writer.
I take issue with that.
I own a copywriting business. I am a copywriter. I work for clients around the world and across all industries. That makes me a freelance worker because I’m not committed to a single employer long-term.
Does that make me a lesser writer?
If anything it makes me a far more valuable writer because of the wide range of experience I can bring to a project.
It means I get the best of both worlds; I work with a varied and interesting bunch of people and I get to set my own working hours.
Lifestyle business owner and proud
I’m proud of my ‘lifestyle business.’
For the past 7 years, I have successfully built a thriving business and raised two intelligent, accomplished and loving boys. Because I had the foresight to create a flexible business, I’ve never had to miss out on their sport’s days, assemblies or weekend activities.
People decide to set up their own businesses (and work from home) for all manner of reasons. Mine was because I refused to compromise on the care of my family. As far as I was (and still am) concerned, as their mum I was the best person to raise them, I just wanted to work as well. Therefore I shouldn’t be penalised for managing to juggle family commitments whilst growing a thriving business.
Next time you’re at a networking event or social occasion and you meet someone (probably a mum) that runs their own business, before you stifle a guffaw and switch off, just think about what I’ve said.
Just think what a state our economy would be in without the innovative and entrepreneurial ‘lifestyle business’ owners.