How to turn your passion into profit after kids

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By Vari Longmuir

Posted on February 21, 2013

  • 9

dream bigLet me make an assumption… back in the 80′s I bet you coveted the Kylie Minogue perm.

I know I did.

All that frizz and hairspray. Yes please!

But I’m guessing (and hoping!) that you outgrew this and have opted for a more subtle, polished look these days.

The same is true for many mums going back into the corporate workplace after kids. The career that you were once passionate about and gave so much of your time and energy to just doesn’t do it for you anymore.

My transition from being a graphic designer for an international event company to work-from-home entrepreneur came sooner than expected. When my first son was just 5 months old, I found out that my entire team had been made redundant.

Yes, it was scary but it felt so liberating and gave me the kick start I so desperately needed.

The truth is, going back to my corporate job would have been a nightmare. The commute, long hours, no flexibility. But more importantly, it just didn’t bring me joy anymore. My heart wasn’t in it.

You might have a passion project of hobby that you dream of turing into a business. Being able to work around the family schedule and actually doing something you love.

But then that little voice comes creeping in (most likely when you’re feeding at 3am)…

Vari, loving running her own design studio.

Vari, loving running her own design studio.

“We really need me to go back to work and earn some $.”

“Would people even be interested in what I’ve got to offer?”

“Where do I start?!?! I’ve got no clue about running a business…”

“What if I invest all our savings in starting up and it’s a complete flop? Then we’ll have no money AND I’ll have no job!”

The truth is that it doesn’t have to be a HUGE jump. It doesn’t have to be scary. You can start with small baby steps. The only think you must do is start.

The easiest and most cost effective way of doing this is by starting a blog.

For example, if you dream of becoming an interior designer, there are a ton of things you can start blogging about…

  • your favourite looks
  • take photos of your home
  • snap photos on your phone when your wandering through homeware shops
  • interview friends who have homes you adore

With a free blog and some affordable branding, you can start building the foundations of your business. Some of the most successful businesses are the ones that grow organically. It’s about finding the sweet spot between taking your time to find your groove and your direction and taking consistent inspired action.

The number one obstacle that most of my clients face is overwhelm. Where to start and what to do. Don’t let this get the better of you. Turn it around and use it to pull you forward.

You don’t have to do it ALL today. But you can start today by doing something.

Together with the ability to function on three hours sleep and discovering the endless possibilities of the simple scarf (change mat, face wipe, sunshade for the pram), motherhood often comes with a big serving of guilt. Guilt about taking time for ourselves.

By starting your blog and taking a step towards your ‘big scary dream career and life’, you get to have time for you. You get to be creative and plant the seeds. You get a little glimmer of what might be… And the Universe rewards the action-takers!

Ask yourself, “What can I do today to get me started with my dream business?”

To turn your passion into profit or to figure out the business and life you want and how to get it, go here to check out the legendary B-School program.

 

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Vari Longmuir.

Vari is the owner of Buttercup Ink, an online branding + graphic design studio for small businesses + entrepreneurs. She believes that ‘every great business deserves great design’. When she’s not in the studio at her home in Melbourne, she can be found playing at the beach or enjoying smoothies with her two boys.

Website: http://www.buttercupink.com

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  • http://peerenting101.blogspot.com.au/ Sam Stone

    Great inspirational post!

    • http://www.buttercupink.com Vari @Buttercup Ink

      Thanks, Sam!

      Vari x

    • http://www.copingwithjane.com Jane Copeland

      I loved it too!

  • http://www.cosycubbies.com Jane Saunders

    Once upon a time in the Land Down Under, two Mothers, who were crazy to begin with, conceived the idea of “Downunder Cosy Cubbies” during a long, long lunch.

    Jenny and Jane originally met at the neighbourhood Council’s “Mothers group”. They were two uniquely different women with distinctly different backgrounds however; their beautiful, perfect, intelligent, angelic children were almost exactly the same age. Jenny, a “textile magician”, with a certificate in fabric design and construction, was petite with beautiful, fine features and dark brown hair and Jane, a teacher and computer whiz by training, was medium in stature with a shock of strawberry blonde hair and an impish sparkle in her green eyes.

    When the original “Mothers group” finished, the two continued to meet for lunch and children’s play time. Their husbands secretly thought that it was just another excuse to eat and drink and laugh on a Friday afternoon. Little did they know there were great ideas brewing between the two women. Time passed, others came and went, children were born, joys and sorrows were shared but still the two continued to be friends.

    One Christmas Jane purchased a cubbyhouse for her daughters. Upon viewing the bare interior of the playhouse, it was obvious that it needed a big dose of “cosy”. As the two friends were leisurely lunching, sipping Chardonnay and listening to the cacophony of children, they chatted about ways to “cosy” the cubbyhouse. Suddenly and quite obviously the idea of Cosy Cubbies was born. In the back of their minds they wished that childbirth were as painless as the birth of an idea.

    Now at this point in the story you might be asking yourself, “What is a cubby?” No, in our case it is not a small, young bear. You see, in Australia a child’s playhouse is called a Cubby House. What you have to understand is that Aussies love taking plain, ordinary terms and redefining them so that they ring with cuteness and explode with description.

    So now you understand, Cubby house is definitely much cuter than playhouse isn’t it?

    And so, the end of this story is the beginning of another. From the new beginning point onwards, the two contributed their individual talents to create a handcrafted collection of comfy, cosy, children’s playhouse soft furnishings. And by the way, they are still friends and they are still laughing. Still!

    • http://www.copingwithjane.com Jane Copeland

      Hi Jane, that’s a great story! I’d love to check out your website. Can you post the link?

  • http://www.enochandplonk.com Nicola

    It’s something I always loved the idea of doing, working for myself. It wasn’t till I became a stay at home mum I realised that this was the ideal time to try. I’d trained and worked as an art and design teacher for 10 years so doing something creative was an obvious choice.
    I’m into my second year of running my own very small business now. It’s developing and expanding slowly and I’m loving every minute of it. I too began on a blog and facebook and while I’m not going to be rich anytime soon the satisfaction I’m getting from doing what I truly enjoy is amazing.

    • http://www.copingwithjane.com Jane Copeland

      That sounds wonderful Nicola! The exact same thing happened to me too. I’m amazed at how many women change careers or start their business after having babies. I guess it makes sense. I really believed for so long that having a high paying job would make me happy. Now I know that the key to happiness is doing something you’re passionate about. I wish you the greatest success with your business x

  • http://www.short4dorothy.wordpress.com Dot

    Thankyou for this post, I suspect I’ll be going back to my day job when little one is a bit older (currently 6 months) but in the meantime I did find I needed an outlet and so started a blog a few weeks ago…very small so far and obviously only friends/family reading but it feels good to be proactive instead of sitting around thinking I wish I had somewhere to write all this down!

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