I started my tech company providing CRM software to recruitment agencies when my son was less than a year old. We’d been selling the product for about 18 months when my daughter came along.
Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a Mum and having a fulfilling and accomplished career was an intrinsic urge. I grew up thinking I would have to let one or the other take a back seat as it was drummed into me that as a woman, you simply cannot have it all. I believed for a long time I couldn’t be an incredible Mum AND have the career I so desired. That was wrong – I am proud to say I manage to maintain – and grow - both simultaneously.
Things may have been a little unorthodox at times (dragging my husband and newborn into London for a four hour pitch when she was 2 weeks old and needing a breastfeeding break partway through, springs to mind) but I’ve made it work. I don’t work too many hours, I have a decent social life and while always on the go, I’m nowhere near burnout…. The bottom line is YOU CAN have and do everything you want to so don’t ever let anyone or our society tell you any different.
A few things that have made it possible:
1. Believe in yourself and your business
You need to back yourself and your ideas so that in those moments of doubt and real difficulty (and they will come), you have the will to push on.
2. Surround yourself with the right people
My husband, my family, my business partners and my friends have all been key to my success as both a Mum and businesswoman. Everybody on that list has increased my enjoyment of what I do in some way and that is key. Enjoyment is often the crucial part that gets lost.
Outside of your inner circle, surround yourself with people that complement and balance your skillset. Immerse yourself in your industry and create a business network that gives you full coverage.
3. Combine working hard with working smart
Working hard doesn’t have to be working an insane number of hours – time invested is just part of working hard. Maximise your time. When required, give 100% of yourself to the task at hand and when possible, multi-task (I used to listen to work-related podcasts while feeding my daughter through the night).
Timing is rarely perfect for starting a business or having a baby so I didn’t wait for all the stars to align before doing either – in my opinion, timing just needs to be ‘good enough’.
Sometimes it’s hard. I am also a landlord and there are of course times when one tenant has a leak, another wants to move out at the exact same time there’s an office-based catastrophe while the pre-school is calling me to say my son has been sick and needs to be collected immediately. When choices need to be made, family always comes first and I don’t waste energy on fretting or guilt around my hierarchy of priorities.
I’d like more children so there are hopefully more nappies, though-the-night-wake-ups-on-a-never-ending-loop and the juggling of ‘baby and business’ in my future. As my company continues to grow on a steady upwards trajectory, I couldn’t be more content in the present and excited for the future.
Written by Erika Clifford, Managing Director of Just Recruit, Mum to Lincoln & Savannah
Just Recruit provides CRM / ATS functionality on a modern system, with the option of a fully integrated website. Just Recruit was created for recruiters that want a slick, intuitive, easy-to-use, affordable CRM. Save time, don’t spend it.
LinkedIn company: https://www.linkedin.com/company/just-recruit
LinkedIn personal: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erika-clifford-80617218/