Loss of weight.
Excommunicating friends and family.
Staying up late night.
Becoming anti social.
These are just some of the things that happen to you when you decide to follow the voices in your head and start your own business venture, as I have done.
You may have noticed (at least, I hope you have) that I have been inconspicuously absent from my blog for months. I could blame it on work, the flu and all the rest, but the truth of the matter is….I’ve just been freaking busy!
I left my paid job in May- two months after returning from maternity leave to go into freelance journalism, because I felt it was time to take the leap of fate.
I won’t lie to you, it was scary and nerve-racking, I mean I’ve got a family I need to support and as we all know, start-ups don’t necessarily rain money in the first few months, the first year if you’re lucky.
I’m ever so lucky to have an amazing husband who doesn’t mind if I pretend to have forgotten to pay the phone bill or the nursery.
Writing is much more than a passion for me, I live for the ability and opportunity to express myself using whatever platform available to me and even though I’m as broke as you can’t even imagine, I’ve never been happier.
I get to spend my day writing and editing news articles for this website, please check it out as I’ve spent the last couple of months working on it so your feedback will be greatly appreciated (thank you!).
I get to meet and interview some of the most amazing people from all over the world and I can’t wait to share some of those interviews with you.
I’ve learnt so much in this short space of time as Journalism is such a fast paced industry and I’m still learning everyday, it’s super exciting.
When I left my job, I did so because I wanted a career that just wasn’t about making money. I wanted to be able to make a difference to my community and I wanted to do so through writing. This journey unwittingly led me into journalism and even I sometimes flinch at being called a journalist as that sort of conjures up images of people wearing safety helmets and speaking really really fast in front of a camera in some war zone.
I’m passionate about equality and diversity and would like to see better representation of black and ethnic minority communities in the media. I’m tired of the constant negative headlines about Nigeria and Africa and the negative effects the media is having on how people in Britain and Europe in general view immigrants.
I consider myself as both Nigerian and British and although both identities sometimes collide, I think the journey involved in combining the best bits of both worlds is what makes being a ‘cosmopolitan’ African so interesting and enriching.
The whole starting from the bottom up thing is all well and good until you think about the human factors involved.
I’ve lost touch with so many people in the race to get my magazine up to scratch that I fear some of my friends and family might actually never speak to me again.
I miss calls, haven’t visited anyone in ages, I’m never home which means I hardly see my kids and yes, sometimes, that makes me feel guilty.
The problem is, in business, people don’t really give a fig if you’re married and have a family. All they care about is whether or not you have the ability to deliver and who can blame them? Business is about making profits after all.
I get called at the drop of a hat to cover an event or do an interview or whatever and there’s only so many times you can say no, because you have to sort out childcare. If you’re not available, someone else gets that opportunity and people move swiftly along after that.
I was discussing the issue with a colleague recently and while we were on the subject, it suddenly dawned on me that most successful women in media are either divorced or single (think Arianna Huffington and the likes) and that got me wondering whether women had to pay the ultimate price to be successful.
Must we choose between our family or our career? Why can’t we be successful at both?
If you work 9-5, it’s challenging but not nearly as challenging as looking after a young family and starting a new business.
A start-up in itself IS a baby and will take all of your attention and power and might if it is to succeed beyond the first few months let alone one year. This means literally being super woman as you try to balance this demanding role with the equally demanding role of being a wife and mother but it is doable, albeit difficult.
I think it’s about setting boundaries and knowing when to just stop.
Sometimes, I want to stay a bit longer at work as I haven’t finished my work for the day, but I know that if I stay beyond a certain time, I won’t make it home in time to see my kids and spend time with them before they go to bed or make dinner in time, so I leave.
The work doesn’t get finished, but I have to draw the line somewhere otherwise I feel like I have no control.
It’s hard, let me tell you, but it’s absolutely rewarding.
I’m keen to hear from other mumpreneurs out there or anyone who juggles work and family and has found some kind of balance, kindly share.