People often ask me how I started my own side business while working my day job and running a household with four teenagers. Truth be told, it kind of just happened! I guess when you want something badly enough you’ll make a way.
Rewind 3 Years…
I’d been working in my day job as a surgical representative, a position for which I’d received extensive training, for 3 years. I can honestly say I love my day job. The medical industry is ever-changing and I’m constantly being challenged on a daily basis.
It wasn’t until I was booked off work for hand surgery that I started taking notice of the online world of bloggers and decided to start my own blog.
It wasn’t until I was booked off work for hand surgery that I started taking notice of the online world of bloggers and decided to start my own blog. I ended up on the mailing list of PR companies, and started receiving press drops filled with products they wanted me to promote. Now this may sound pretty awesome, and for a lot of bloggers this is their ideal, but I didn’t want to promote other companies’ products. I wanted my own products.
I garnered my love for fashion when I saw a gap in the market for designer, quality maternity wear, and designed a basic maternity tee pattern for production. My first season in business saw just four colours of maternity tees showcased in my online store.
Up until this point, I had done all the online work myself. It took me ages, but I taught myself how to install WordPress into my website, install WooCommerce (an e-commerce plugin), set up my payment gateway, run my own social media marketing, and eventually open my own Pty Ltd. #bootstrappingstruggles
Just before I hit one year of trading, one of the big online fashion retailers in South Africa approached me to supply maternity wear to them. I had to quickly learn about production, financials and forecasting, and making sure I had the right people in the right places to keep up with demands. Did I make mistakes? Oh yes! Do I regret anything? Hell no! This is the thing about us entrepreneurs, we make mistakes. No one is perfect, and as Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, says: “If you’re not making any mistakes, you’re not trying anything new”
It wasn’t all roses… Being in business for yourself is hard
Soon I started seeing preggy moms out and about, wearing my designs, and it gave me such a sense of pride and accomplishment. However, it wasn’t all roses… Being in business for yourself is hard, especially when you’re just starting out, and even more so if you are working a day job and managing a busy family. You’ll lose friends, people will criticise you, people will say you copied them and others will copy you! If you want to survive out there, it’s important to keep your head in the game, be ethical, be kind to yourself, and remember your WHY… WHY are you doing this? WHY do you love what you do? WHY do you go to bed late and wake up early to work on your business? Then, quite frankly, the rest really doesn’t matter.
If you enjoyed hearing about how I started my own side business, and if you’re still wondering if there’s more to life than your day job, I encourage you to get in touch with me. Let’s chat about your dream life over a virtual cup of coffee 🙂
Hello! I'm Paula
I started 2 businesses while working full time with 4 teenagers at home.
If I can do it, you can too, and I'd love to work with you to bring the business you've been dreaming about to life.