Last Friday I received 2 parcels from Amazon. One was my copy of the new book by Not On the High Street (NOTHS) Founders Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish that I had preordered from Amazon… “Build a business from your kitchen table” and the second? A personal signed limited edition copy of the same, sent from the ladies themselves (both a lovely touch and brilliant marketing tool).
So on Sunday, I sat down with my morning coffee (kids jumping all around me) and managed to read it cover to cover.
The book is not a preachy business bible – and there are plenty of books that moot the highs / lows of the trend of building a business from home. Why I found this a good read was for 2 reasons. Firstly it came from a very personal perspective – part autobiography, part lessons learnt, sprinkled with some secrets to success – the chapter on work life balance made me cry … the story touching home. There was also a chapter entitled “Its Ok to Fuck Up”, “phew” I sighed to myself, deciding to get out my yellow highlighter.
Which brings me on to the second reason – I felt that in part it was my story. We have been partners of NOTHS since 2008 and have grown phenomenally with their support over the years, even being a finalist in their inaugral MAKE AWARDS for Entrepreneur of the Year. But it is more the story of mum juggling life, work and ambitions to conquer the business world – the human side – that I identified with the most. It made me feel that I am not alone, and that the highs, lows and life lessons are not just mine. Working from your kitchen table / shed / basement can be a lonely affair.
I left a corporate career in 2004 after 12 years of a regular (very nice thank you) pay cheques every month. I started a family – and with 2 babes in arms started my business… no maternity leave for me, I was at the post office posting samples when my waters broke! Yes I was crazy, but I was bloody minded in my determination to make it work. Then when my husband lost his job, it meant this little business also had to support our whole family… and worse we had to learn to work together – not something we planned!
We learn lessons almost every day – and if I had read this book back in 2005, I may have saved ourselves of some of the more painful ones! But at the same time it has made me realise that we should stop and pat ourselves on the back.. we have come a long way in very tough times, and like the NOTHS girls we are nowhere near finished!
Well done Holly and Sophie – I cannot recommend your book enough to budding Mumtrepreneurs… right best get on, I have some juggling to do!