Yesterday I vlogged all about realistic goal setting which hit a raw nerve with so many of you. Giving you permission to tone down your goals led to a collective sigh of relief.
I was over the moon it helped. Remember; encouraging you to lower your goals wasn’t giving you an excuse to slack off. Far from it! It was a way to make you achieve more, just in smaller, realistic chunks.
Today The Telegraph published an article on the success of mumpreneurs. It rankled me and I needed to respond. You can read it here: Mumpreneurs generate £7bn for the UK economy (The Telegraph, 05 Aug 2015)
Why? Not because of the use of the term ‘mumpreneur’ or ‘business mum’ – I don’t mind the terms and see beyond them to the people behind a business. Hell, I have a product called #MarketingForMummies which is squarely aimed at mumpreneurs.
What rankled me first was the use of the image of Posh Spice. VB is amazing, she is one of the most successful business women of her generation and I have no doubt she has a good business head on her shoulders.
But the fact that she IS so successful is what annoyed me. Why couldn’t we use a real business mum? Someone who goes to work with spare nappies and random bits of Lego in her bag and who opens her notebook to find there’s no empty pages because they’re all full of minecraft doodles by her 6yo.
I found Rebecca Burn-Callander’s article to be all about the uber-successful mumpreneurs; the Kelly Hoppens, the Michelle Mones, the big-hitters with the staff and the big offices. They have empires.
I salute these ladies, I do. I admire them greatly. (I even half wish Deborah Meden was my mum!).
But they also slightly terrify me. I’m not one of them. Custard and Bear brings me in a normal kind of profit – equivalent to a good salary. I’m happy with that, I bloody love that! But compared to these ladies my annual turnover is a piss in the ocean. But I still see myself an incredibly successful.
I worry that some mums will be put off establishing their business because they can’t emulate these women. They will endlessly feel their business will never be successful when compared to those belonging to the empire builders. My god, even though we know magazine models are airbrushed to within an inch of their skinny jeans we still can’t stop comparing our bodies to theirs, so how on earth are we meant to stop comparing our financial successes against theirs?
Articles such as this one seem, to me, to assume that a mumpreneur is a middle class mummy who will go on to have a six-figure turnover business (at least) who has oodles of support, both financially and with childcare. Therefore articles such as this run the risk of demotivating, rather than inspiring, potential mumpreneurs.
I think that the contribution of mumpreneurs to the UK economy is probably way more than £7.2bn. This figure is, I suspect, made up of companies (ltd and plc) with staff, offices and publicity available accounts. I further suspect they don’t include the figures from those mums who work alone, around their kids, without childcare, who don’t take benefits, and who simply earn enough for to pay for the mortgage and the holidays but still feel crap because they don’t feel successful enough.
Not successful enough? Who judges that? Who is anyone to tell anyone else that they’re not successful enough? You. That’s who. Only YOU can judge what success means to you. Only you should be setting goals for you.
And let me tell you something; if the majority of you set out to achieve Victoria Beckham or Kelly Hoppen’s millions you will fail. That pressure is just way too much for most of us.
You might hit the dizzy heights of Beckham and Hoppen in time, with baby steps, but setting that as your initial goal is much more likely to end up paralysing you with fear.
If however you normal folk set out to achieve your own realistic goals you will nail them. You will.
So I’d like to give a big resounding cheer for the unsung business mums who are nailing success in their own way. For those mumpreneurs who are, quite simply, awesomely average.