Monday Mumpreneur with Caroline Wylie
Every Monday we feature a mumpreneur just like you and me who’s ready and willing to open up their lives and their business to us.
They share with us their motivation, their challenges and their proudest moments in business and they also tell us how they take time to nurture themselves.
If you’re looking for inspiration, then our featured business mums show you what’s possible.
This week's feature biz mum shows us how we can do it all backwards and still be a successful mumpreneur and her catchphrase is pure genius!
Your name: Caroline Wylie
Tell me about your children: Cassius, aged two
Where do you live? Glasgow, Lanarkshire.
We live in a rambling but tumbledown Victorian tenement in one of Glasgow's sought after suburbs. As a result, I'm now a dab hand with duct tape and stepladders!
PC or Mac? PC, most definitely.
Tell us about your business:
I run Virtually Sorted, a virtual assistant (VA) business which I started ten years ago when being a VA was practically unheard of in the UK. Virtually Sorted is a one-stop-shop for admin; from running weekly SEO reports to transcribing videos or webinars.
The business encompasses anything which people find themselves doing on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, which can be outsourced. This frees up time to concentrate on growing the business. Through Virtually Sorted, I found that I was repeatedly receiving enquiries from other VAs who wanted to know what equipment I was using and how I marketed the business etc.
These enquiries lead to me set up the Society of Virtual Assistants, which now has more than 1,400 members and is the largest organisation for VAs in the UK. Through this society, I also conduct an in-depth annual survey which VAs and other businesses can use to research the industry. The latest survey (v5) is available to download here.
What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?
I did this one back to front really - I had already set up my businesses before I became a mum. But what was really interesting was the reactions of other mums had when I said I was back to work after five weeks... It was hard at first, but I think for me it would have been harder to be at home for a whole year and then suddenly catapult myself back into work and my child into full time care. Granted, I didn't get to attend that many baby groups, but I did get to take my son on a Teddy Bears Picnic this morning!
What’s been your biggest challenge in business?
My brain! I'm not a naturally ambitious person so I often need pushing to really shoot for the stars. I have realised that limits tend to be very much in my head.
How have you overcome it?
I make a conscious effort to plan out my business goals each month. I take time out of the office, go somewhere nice and scribble furiously in my notepad (I'm retro like that!).
What’s been your proudest business moment?
I won the RBS Best New Glasgow Business when I first started and received some great coverage in the media ... up until that point, I think everyone in my family thought this was a pie in the sky idea. I was genuinely surprised to win and it gave me such a confidence boost to get through the first few years. More recently, my Society of Virtual Assistants blog got shortlisted to the final top 10 digital/tech bloggers in the UK Blog Awards 2014. I was really pleased to be nominated and delighted to be a finalist.
What’s your catchphrase or favourite quote?
Done is better than perfect. (Sometimes we get so tied up in the tiny details that we never get anything done!)
What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?
My lie in on a Sunday morning is non-negotiable - if I don't get it, I get sick! I also do a Monday morning yoga class which I find to be an amazing way to start the week. I highly recommend it, both mentally and physically.
What was the last treat you bought for yourself?
It undoubtedly involved either chocolate or wine. Or both.
Favourite colour: My office is painted a really zingy lime green - I love it!
Favourite flowers: I have a nutty Burmese cat called Lottie - she eats flowers and then throws them up all over the house, so no flowers here! I do have something called an ‘Elephant Foot Tree’ which my mum gave me for my office when I started the business - amazingly it's still alive, so that's probably my favourite plant.
What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneur?
Although the early days can be hard, it's so worth it when you get to spend so much time with your kids whilst they grow. Focus your energy on what will generate the most income with the most pleasure. And of course, outsource to grow your business!
You can find out more about Caroline and her business on her website:
And connect with her on social media:
Fancy sharing your story and becoming part of our wonderful supportive mumpreneur community? Drop me an email over on the contact page – and I’ll be in touch. Or let me know in a comment below.
Really great solid advice at the end of the interview.
I love your ‘catchphrase’ and my work can also be affected by the limitations of the mind… Sometimes!
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