In light of August being Women’s Month, I thought it would be the perfect time to promote some hard working mums. You could find the service provider you were looking for or be inspired to take that leap you’ve been dreaming of.
Q&A WITH PHILLIPPA
1. Tell me a little about yourself without including details of your family and work (it’s tough I know)
I’m often the most positive woman in the room (you’ll usually hear me laughing) and believe my purpose in life is to spread joy into the world! I’m that person who makes friends with the people in the lift going to the 3rd floor! I grew up in Margate, KZN, and have been in JHB for 13 years. I’m happiest when I’m outside, usually with a glass of wine watching the sunset, or creating something beautiful (painting, gardening, sewing, crochet…)
2. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
After a long fertility journey, I was blessed with my miracle baby girl, Aurelia. She’s two and a bit, and she brings sunshine to my life every day.
3. What is your side hustle? And when did you start?
One of my life’s dreams has been to publish children’s books. I’m realising that dream now, and my first book in the My Feeling Friends series is being released on 1 September. I’ve combined my love for children with my counselling background, and my stories speak about big emotions and introduce emotional development and coping skills for children. Sammy the Starfish is the first in the series, which speaks about sadness and how a child could manage this emotion. The books are accompanied by a bean bag toy of the character and a flash card to reinforce the skills learned. My books are lovely stand-alone stories, but have the added benefit of being able to help children in their emotional development.
4. What did you do before starting your own business AND what made you leave?
I was in the corporate world for 10 years in marketing, events and administration management. I’d studied Psychology part-time, and eventually reached the point where I was able to leave full time work and pursue my career in counselling. I had a wonderful opportunity to work with a Clinical Psychologist at her practice, and was with her for 5 years before I branched out independently.
5. How do you allocate your time between work and family?
I believe we’re always trying to find that elusive ‘balance’ between the different priorities in our lives, but we rarely feel that we’re getting it right. I’ve had to learn over time to become firm in establishing my boundaries; there was a time when I would respond to those 10pm messages from clients, but now I’m very strict with my time at home. As far as possible, I try and stick to regular working hours and might work a bit at night when Aurelia is asleep (if I manage to stay awake that long!) I believe it’s important to set expectations upfront, especially to explain to clients when and how you will be available and contactable, to avoid any frustrations later on.
6. What have been the hardships of running your own business?
I think financial aspects will always be the toughest; worrying about paying bills and supporting your family. But one of my personal struggles has been building the confidence to believe in my skills and experience and feel comfortable to charge appropriately for my time. In a counselling profession (and so many others) we tend to give endlessly and feel guilty for charging a fee. I’ve had to work on my aversion to money (because money does not motivate me in the slightest) and become more comfortable in sending invoices, following up on payments, and quoting clients on my services.
7. What have been the highlights?
There have been many positives along the way. An important aspect for me has been the flexibility of working hours to accommodate the things life throws at you, as well as the ability to attend a Mother’s Day event, have a Friday afternoon picnic in the garden, or stay at home with a sick baby. Also, I’m always delighted when a client calls me after being referred by a friend; I pride myself on customer service and a positive, professional reputation. But ultimately, being in the position to be able to publish children’s books has to be the highlight of my career so far.
8. What advice do you have for other women who are on the cusp of taking the leap into entrepreneurship?
Do one thing every day that paves the way for the future you want. Design your logo. Create your business card. Get quotes on website development. My worst fear is living with regrets that I didn’t take a chance or try something, so if you have a calling in your life or your heart is telling you to do something: Go for it. I say, do something that feels huge and scary (contact that major company/celebrity that you want to collaborate with… all they can do is say no!) and then do a few smaller things that can be encouraging wins to motivate you to keep going!
9. How can we get in touch with you?
Phillippa Morassi Registered Counsellor
Phillippa Morassi (personal)
Phillippa Morassi (personal)
Books will be on sale through Amazon, via my website, and by contacting me directly.