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“Create a support network of like-minded parents in business”

I interviewed Erin Thomas Wong about being a parent and a business owner

Erin Thomas Wong is a business mentor, mum to two boys, and founder of Making Mumpreneurs. She left a career in TV production when she became a mum, and started her own jewelry making business. Erin now supports women entrepreneurs who want to balance their business and family lives, via masterclasses, coaching, business surgeries and networking.

Erin Thomas Wong

Tell me about what you do
Making Mumpreneurs is an online community that supports and empowers women running businesses around family life. The inner sanctum of Making Mumpreneurs is The Cocoon Online Members Club, a safe place to learn, evolve and grow as an entrepreneur.

What advice would you give to parents thinking of starting their own business?
Create your support network of like-minded parents in business. Have a plan but don’t beat yourself up if it changes – businesses evolve. And don’t forget to implement self care!

If you had a time machine and could go back to meet yourself when you were first starting out, what present would you give your younger self?
I’d say “believe in yourself” – surround yourself with people doing the same thing and they will lift you up.

Did you end up with more or less time with your kids as a result of setting up your own business? And do you work with them around?
Being my own boss means I dictate my own schedule. I work around the school run so I’m always there after school and we have dinner together every night. Of course you never fully switch off when you’re running an online business, but my official working hours are 9-3 and I’m able to be totally flexible during holidays.

Do you feel that you’re passing on any particular values or skills to your kids by working for yourself?
I love the fact that my kids are learning what it’s like to run your own business, and I think it opens them to a growth mindset – they can be whatever they want to be. They don’t have to fit in to a box.

What are the advantages / disadvantages when turning a ‘passion’ into a business?
It’s very hard to switch off. I absolutely adore chatting to my members; it doesn’t feel like work, but of course that makes it hard to make boundaries and take ‘time off’. This is something I am constantly striving to get better at!

Thinking about how NOT to set up your own business, what are the biggest mistakes a parent business owner could make?
Stretching yourself too thin – be realistic about the time you have and what you can achieve in it. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

What are the most important skills a parent needs when setting up their own business?
Time management and organisation skills, and a lot of resilience. It’s going to take time to mold the work/life balance side of things, but it’s in your power to do it so don’t give up.

What about infrastructure, when you first started out? What space / equipment / help did you need?
My first business was a jewellery franchise so I needed a desk, kiln and all the kit. Now I focus solely on my online community I can work from anywhere on my laptop. I love being a digital nomad.<

What do you love most about your business?
I’ve designed a business doing all the bits I love, and everyday I feel excited about waking up and getting stuck in. The feedback I get from my members who have found resources or conversations invaluable, fills me with the most incredible pride and contentment. It’s addictive!

If you would like to find out more about Erin’s work, take a look at her website.

 

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