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 MELISSA
1. Tell me a little about yourself without including details of your family and work (it’s tough I know)
I’ve worked in the media industry for nine years; I have a national degree in journalism. I’m a blogger who enjoys Twitter chats and Instagram stories. My blog posts are mostly about personal finance. I grew up in Cape Town, but live in Johannesburg. I’m a helicopter mom but I allow my toddler to eat from the floor. To chill, I enjoy a romantic comedy on YouTube.
2. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
A two-year-old daughter who lives with us and a 24-year-old step daughter who works and lives in Cape Town.
3. What is your side hustle? And when did you start?
I started my freelance writing business in June 2018, by accident actually. I applied for a Social Media Manager position, I didn’t get that job but was offered a freelance writer position instead.
Eventually I pitched to people and got more freelance work. Because I was visible on social media, two more people offered me once off freelance projects, which includes writing services and social media assistance work. It’s end of July and I’m currently working for four clients, whoop whoop!
4. What did you do before starting your own business AND what made you leave?
I was retrenched from my Content Writer job in March 2018. I’ve been job hunting since then. I’ve always wanted to earn more money (than my former salary) but I was so comfortable in the job I was in AND I was scared of doing something new – change scares me a little. Retrenchment forced me to get out of my comfort zone I guess.
5. How do you allocate your time between work and family?
This is hard because my business is new. My toddler used to be home 24/7 but at the last week of July, she started going to crèche, which helps a lot. I used to try to do administration during the day with her around but then she’d often want attention. She’d, for example, come and take my pen and notebook that I’m busy with and start scribbling or take my hand to get up from the chair and do ring-a-ring a-Rosie. I did my work at night after she went to bed.
Now that she’s at crèche I can schedule my day for me. My husband is a musician and composer (he writes music for TV and film), who works from home too. We often take turns on who will work and who will take care of our toddler. Most supper times we are together. On weekends, especially Sundays, we spend the whole day together.
6. What have been the hardships of running your own business?
Under-charging for my services. Changing my mindset from being an employee to a business owner. Doing administration – I sometimes forget things like putting in the date of payment in a contract. Working at night, I try to sleep for a few hours first and then wake up to work. It’s a battle to get out of that warm bed.
7. What have been the highlights?
Earning more money than I did (I compare this to the salary I had). Having the freedom to my weekdays, working when I want to. Not having to sit in traffic daily, because I work from home. Continuously learning a lot about new things.
8. What advice do you have for other women who are on the cusp of taking the leap into entrepreneurship?
It’s okay to be fearful of the unknown. Just take it one day at a time. Secondly, find mentors and/or a community of like minded business people to inspire you and teach you things. Be open to learn daily.
9. How can we get in touch with you?
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