Tag Archives: Business

Are you a Babe?

22 May

Of course you are!  But what I want to know is do you have a burning desire or a little flicker of hope to run your own business? I did, and Bizness Babes was the course that has helped me start the little spark of fire under my dreams.  Now I’m paying it forward just a little.  Here is a post written by the Brisbane facilitator of Bizness Babes, Samantha Jockel.  Bizness Babes have asked all their graduate bloggers to post this in their blog, and I’m so happy to be able to spread the news.

Business … do I really have what it takes?

Ever found yourself asking this question? For most people this is where it begins and also where it ends.  What sets an entrepreneur apart from the rest is not that they have ideas but they actually DO something about them.  That is it.  One tiny thing can take you from stay-at-home-mum to business entrepreneur, leading a ‘choose your own adventure’ life you only ever dreamed of.

My name is Samantha Jockel and for the last five years I have been a stay at home mum and business entrepreneur. It has been the most exciting, scary, fulfilling, frustrating and ultimately awesome time of my life.

I started contemplating the idea of business seven years ago when I was thinking about having children.  I knew I didn’t want to go back to work and leave my kids but I also knew I would need more stimulation than looking after a baby.  I have always been an ideas person with my fingers in many pies but just hadn’t made my own pies yet.

I decided I had to come up with an idea which could work with a baby in tow.  My background was social work and community development and my superpower was making things happen.  From a random thought in my head one day and a few encouraging conversations came my first business called Biddy Bags.  

Biddy Bags merges the skills and abilities of crafting nanas with the design ideas of young fashionistas to create stylish, nana-made ethical products.  Refer to www.biddybags.com.au for more info.

From setting up and managing Biddy Bags I learnt that I LOVE business and have spent the past three years experimenting with lots of the different potential I see in the market.

I currently run a large facebook page, sell products and services at markets, co-founded two social enterprises and run a consultancy business.

What I have learnt about running a business is that it is not about having a great idea as much as it is about a willingness and love of learning. 

As Richard Branson said: “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming”.

I truly believe you can do whatever you want if you can be bothered the secret of business success is that it’s not necessarily about talent or a great idea but a desire to learn and grow and an ability to work hard. 

What excites me the most is not what I have done but what I am yet to do.  As a stay at home mum you are in the perfect position to experiment with small business and see if you have the ability to learn, create and work hard in business. You too can choose YOUR own adventure, live YOUR dreams and be in control of YOUR own life.

Three years ago I was lucky to be offered a job working with a social enterprise called Bizness Babes.  Bizness Babes supports and empowers stay at home mums attempting to give business a go.  We run free training programs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and have had over 400 women come through our program since 2006.

Some graduate Bizness Babes businesses include Sunny Mummy, Peppermint Magazine, Home Life Simplified, Seven Cherubs, Gregarious Peach, Greensacks, Maternal Instincts, Kiss it Better Bags, Seven Canaries, and the Karma Soap Company 

The great thing is that YOU could add your name to that list.   We are currently taking applications for our next round of courses.  In order to be eligible you need to meet a couple of criteria outlined in the application form.  Our Small Business Development Course is free to women who are unemployed, underemployed or marginalised in some way (see the FAQ on our website).

You can find out more about Bizness Babes and apply for our courses online at www.biznessbabes.com.au

Like our facebook page www.facebook.com/biznessbabes for regular updates, networking and inspiration.

And remember you are always in the position to CHOOSE your own adventure!!!!

And thank you Bizness Babes for not only making my business planning easy, but also making today’s blog post so easy!

Sam

To do or not to do?

11 Jul

There’s not been much on TV tonight, but I’ve been transfixed.  I’ve dished up and eaten ice cream.  I’ve read a magazine.  I’ve been the queen of procrastination.  So when Mr Perfect put his foot down and told me to get up off my bum and get on the computer – it is Monday and therefore blog day, he told me to blog about something I know about and am very very good at.  So here’s a bit of a story about procrastination and avoidance.

It’s always simple to do the easy things, the fun things and the quick and painless.  Harder are the things that take a bit more time, need decisions, or are just plain boring or unenjoyable.  I’m a firm believer that life is meant to be easy.  It’s meant to be fun and we’re all supposed to be happy.  Yes, I know that to be really happy we need to feel pain, grief and sadness, that we need to experience the full spectrum of emotion to understand and really feel, but lets face it it’s much more fun when we’re happy and those around us are too.

As for the easy and enjoyable tasks, I wish that life was like that.  I would love to sleep in every day, but the Daredevil has a bit to say about that.  I would love to spend my day at the beach in the sun relaxing, building sand castles and reading books, but we have to go through winter to see spring, and I think the beach might get a bit boring after a couple of months of the same thing.  I would love to cook and have someone else clean up (hmmmm Mr Perfect might say I already have that!).  If I could have room service every day, and a regular large income deposited to my bank account every week without having to work for it I would be a very happy girl, but would I really appreciate it?

We need to work at least a little and earn the good stuff.  It’s fine to get some things handed to us on a platter, but to really appreciate things and be proud of our achievements there needs to be a little bit of blood sweat and tears mixed in.  Having said that, I know we need to work to achieve, I know that things are much easier when they’re not left to the last minute and I understand that you need to deal with the yuck to get to the yum, why do I always try to put things off?

I’ve had some great excuses reasons for not doing the “fun” things like washing up, cleaning, preparing tax documents or getting on the phone to any government department.  They are always valid and believable, but most importantly they are creative and quite often take a bit of effort.  But really I’ve just been doing something that I just find much more enjoyable.  For me, the creative part is important.  I am most happy when I feel that I’m creating something, when my artistic juices are flowing, which is probably why I really don’t enjoy the government department phone calls!

I am the queen of lists.  I have a list for what I need to achieve in the day, what needs to be done around the house, what I need to do to finish my Drawn Outdoors business plan, basically a list for everything.  I get great satisfaction from crossing off completed tasks.  There is nothing more pleasing than seeing a completed list at the end of the day, if you have managed to complete all on the list.  This is where I hit a snag.  I should write my list and then work out what are the most important tasks for the day, what needs to be done and then get those things done first.  I don’t.  I pick and choose.  I do the fun stuff first, a bit like having desert before your main course.  You never want to go back for bangers and mash when you’ve had the chocolate mud cake.

I grew up with a father who’s favourite saying was “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” so you would think I would have learnt, but alas, no.

How can I change this habit of false achievement?  I get to the end of the day and I’ve achieved a lot.  I’ve checked Facebook, prepared my blog post, made some brownies and played with the munchkins (yes, all very important I know) but we still don’t have milk, I’m not sure what we’re having for dinner and the laundry is still sitting in the machine (woops!).

I need to adopt the same discipline I have in my landscape design process to my every day.  I have a list for a design process .  It is methodical, and if I have a set timeframe I know how much time I can spend on the fun conceptual stuff and how much time I need to commit to the not so fun detailing and documentation.  I know I need to finish things in a certain order and at the end of the day I have achieved something creative, unique and generally pretty good fun, despite the yuck bits.

So heres to a bit of prioritisation and discipline so I can really enjoy my place in the sun building sandcastles and catching waves. And heres to Mr Perfect for being… well…. right again!!

Sam

What a bunch of Babes

6 Jul

Yesterday I graduated.  It wasn’t from University or even TAFE.  I don’t feel like I’ve had to slog and work hard to earn this certificate, though, mind you I have probably worked harder for this certificate in a short amount of time than any other I have earnt.  Yesterday I became a fully fledged Bizness Babe.  I have a certificate to prove it!

My Bizness Babes Certificate

I know I have blogged about Bizness Babes.  I have told everyone I can about how wonderful the program was for me.  I’ve recommended it to so many people.  I feel a bit like Katy Perry on the Proactiv ad.  I know the secret – here it is, give it a go!

Bizness Babes is a business development program developed and delivered specifically for mums.  In their own words

We began in 2006 with a vision to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of mothers. Women who don’t have access to mainstream business education. Women who dream to succeed.

In March this year a group of 15 very lucky Mums, who I know I’m very lucky to now call friends, started our very steep learning curve and personal leap of faith.  We dived into the deep end of small business development and with the help of Chrissy, Vickie and Emma, plus a cast of very talented and inspirational guest appearances we’re all slowly surfacing to take our first big deep business breaths.

While I said I don’t feel like have worked hard to receive this certificate, I know that I have.  It has’t felt like work it has been fun, and I mean FUN!  I have finally found a niche for myself and a direction to head.  I have built so much self esteem and confidence it is ridiculous.  I have always thought that I could achieve anything I tried, but now I know it.  The best part is I’m not afraid to overcome the failures I’m sure I’m going to hit while I’m trying to get there.

So, to my fellow Bizness Babes, here’s to us, our families, our businesses and to our certain success!  To the rest of you, please check out the Bizness Babes website, support some BB businesses, support the program, and if you have a little seed of a business idea put in an application – it might just change your life!

In the meantime please check out these baby businesses, these are my fellow Bizness Babes graduates and their businesses that have benefited from the Bizness Babes training.

Karma Soap Company – Gorgeous handmade goats milk soap – yummy for your skin and so very good for sensitive souls!

Best Dressed Pets – Deb is single handedly “bringing back doggy style” – fine fashions for the style conscious pooches out there, specialising in the larger canine!

Toldyah – This is one seriously big idea – follow her on Facebook or her blog as the story unravels.

Nu Catering – Fantastically delicious catering services brought to you by Nunik.

Honeybee Homewares – Oh my – so divine – this shop is just heaven. French homewares that will transport you to the French countryside.

Watch this space for the rest of the business stories to unfold, or doors to open…

My gorgeous door of opportunity! photo from http://jeanofalltrades.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/santa-fe-art-walk/

And the best part of my day – Mr Perfect was so proud of me he came home with the most beautiful bunch of flowers – aw shucks!

Mr Perfect's perfect flowers!

So, now I’m off to find somewhere to hang my brand new certificate!

Sam

Happy New Financial Year!

1 Jul

Pop the champagne, let off the fireworks, roll out the seafood…

Wait, no that happens in 6 months time.  The new financial year is normally marked with fear and trepidation.  It’s time to roll out the tax files, receipts and organise trips to the accountant.

I always make new financial year resolutions.  Generally they revolve around saving more and spending less.  This year I’m really excited.  I set 1 July as the day to actively start Drawn Outdoors as a business rather than a growing business idea, so…

Drawn Outdoors is officially open for business!

So here I am, landscape architect for hire.  Bringing design to your backdoor and ready to create your dream garden.  This is really only a shift in thinking, but for me it’s a really big shift.  I’m now self employed!  Please have a look at the new tab on my blog.  This tab will have to do until I get the website up and running, but it’s a significant tab for me and for Drawn Outdoors.  Architect Barbie I’m not, but I think I might adopt her as a mascot.

So yes, I think I might pop that champagne, and the Drama Queen’s been bugging me to light some sparklers, but I think the seafood can wait until the real new year.

Sam

Carving out a space for me.

20 Jun

When we moved I was lucky to carve out a space for myself.  I will need an office space to run Drawn Outdoors and I have just been longing for somewhere to call my creative home.  Somewhere that I can start making, drawing or creating and not have to pack up before meal times, somewhere that I can set up a mood board or a visioning board and see it every time I walk past, somewhere that I can actually have a desk and workspace.  How luxurious after our 2 bedroom apartment.

We haven’t been the most organised movers.  We got the big stuff done really quickly, and the little stuff has taken a bit longer.  Unfortunately it is my space that has suffered, it has become, what we affectionately call “The Messy Room”.  It’s where everything that has yet to find a home calls home.  The contents change constantly, and the Daredevil loves exploring and destroying whatever he can get his hands on, but I need to pull my finger out and create a space for Drawn Outdoors to grow from.

My office, affectionately known as the messy room

It has the potential to be a really nice space to work in.  The view out the window is green and I can see what’s going on in the world around me, but the fact remains that I need to get in and do some serious organising.  My drawing board is hibernating at my sister’s place, waiting to be given a new home, I just need to make that home.

So I have been searching for ideas.  I know that I will need wall space for design ideas, inspiration and mood boards, book shelves for my enormous book collection, and storage for paper, plans, pens and supplies.  That’s on top of the basics like a desk and drawing board.  It’s a big ask on a minimal budget, but I’m sure I will get there.  In the meantime I can dream big…

This would be perfect for storage - from http://www.thehaystackneedleonline.com

I'm in love with this colour and the prints on the walls - http://interiordecoratinghome.wordpress.com/

I would like to think that I'm this kind of person - so clean and so organised. Image from http://besthousegallery.com

But really it's more likely to be like this... photo from http://mootee.typepad.com/innovation_playground

But here is the perfect office for Drawn Outdoors…

Well, a girl can dream can't she! photo from http://www.homedecoratingideaspictures.com

Wish me luck!

Sam

%d bloggers like this: