Wow where do I start. I suffer from a condition called ME/Chronic Fatigue which is very intermittent and used to cause me to take weeks off work and participation in day to day life with my family such as school runs and making dinner are very difficult.
I am a mum to 5 children who range between the ages of 15 and 4. Aside from running a house hold of 6 (not including the dog, cat, rabbit, hamster, snake & fish!)
The idea for Hardman McNeal came many years ago. I have always been in training, sales and management roles since being a tiny person and have owned my own successful businesses since being 19 years old. These range in sectors from a courier firm, Landscaping business & a retail jewellery business.
Back in 2016 we set up a none for profit ladies networking group in the Fylde area which now is not ladies only and has over 150 engaged members! We help with confidence, training and social get together’s on a monthly basis. We concentrate more on the support element with training and networking being a part of what we do. Concentrating more on building deeper, lasting relationships with those you can collaborate with and also share the good days and the bad.
During this time of running the group I had to make the decision to close my own business as the group was becoming a full time job. We had to devise a cost effective way for our ladies to gain the skills and confidence that they needed and also continue to feed our children and therefore, Hardman McNeal was born.
How do I cope?
I remember when I started working from home and I was working in my kitchen. (This is where the magic happened in our old house) remember I had a 1 year old at the time and I had a lot of clients either on the phone or emailing me every second of the day. I was trying to keep Harper entertained so I got some pans and spoons out for her to bash while I got on with some work. I got so engrossed into my work that when I came up for air, Harper had emptied the whole of our cupboards. Everything, the sugar, the flour, pots pans the lot! One covered child and a completely messy kitchen. It took me over 2 hours to clean everything down and get it back to normal.
Working from home isn’t always as easy as everyone thinks, it’s usually twice as hard as it’s meant to be. We work long hours because we don’t want to work 8 hours a day for someone else. I am constantly running around in circles after the children and animals and I thank my lucky stars that we invested into a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) early on to manage all of our members and clients. Without this we would be lost.
I used to sit here night after night past midnight working on new ideas, creating new workbooks or designing our websites, I can’t remember how many times I have cried with the work load that we have but I would rather do what we do than work for someone else ever again. You gain so much more satisfaction from working for yourself. It’s hard work juggling a huge family never mind a family and a business. How I manage I cannot explain. I carry on as am determined to make a success and show my children that it doesn’t matter what your background is, doesn’t matter where you came from, with hard work and determination you can be anywhere that you want to be.
If you are passionate about what you do, you will find a way. You won’t make excuses, you will make reasons to carry on. Don’t make your family an excuse for not running your business, make them your reason for doing it.