It’s funny how expressions like ‘keep mum’ and ‘mum’s the word’ mean keeping silent – like the mother in question was a dutiful 1950s housewife who knew her place … in the bedroom and kitchen mainly.
But Christine Gouchault, the Danish author of ‘Business Mum: Three steps to success in running your own business and being a mum’, could stay quiet no longer about her belief that mothers can both thrive at work and home.
As well as writing a book on the subject, which has been published in both English and Danish, the mother of four and business owner offers counselling, workshops and lectures to would-be ‘mumtrepreneurs’ about how they too can have both a family and a business.
Needn’t be exclusive
Published by LID Publishing, the guide book shows how the two needn’t be exclusive, providing its readers with a practical, three-step plan to starting their own business whilst overcoming any problems they might face.
Find out more by joining Gouchault’s network at Mors Business – a great place to network with more than 400 other like-minded individuals.
CPH POST recently caught up with Gouchault to find out more.
What is your book’s main message?
The main message of ‘Business Mum’ is that you don’t have to choose between a career and a family. You can run your own business and be a good mum without burning out.
You refer to three practical steps in your book. Do these apply only towards young mothers? Why are these so important?
The three steps actually apply to anyone who wants to start and grow their own business without sacrificing their family. The steps are important because they help you build your business around the life you want to have, show you the quickest way to get customers so you can live off it, and illustrate how to work efficiently to have enough time for your loved ones.
When did you first think of the business mum concept? What was your original inspiration for the book?
I have had a business mum community in Denmark since 2014 and have helped a lot of entrepreneurs over the years. Based on that and on my own experience as a mother of four with a company in Paris and then in Denmark, I wanted to inspire and help other women who dream of having their own business whilst finding time to be with their family. I wanted to show them how to avoid the biggest mistakes and give them tools that they can apply easily. Also I wanted to show them there are many way to do it, which is why I have also interviewed 10 successful women with very different backgrounds to give the readers lots of role models to be inspired by.
What are the potential obstacles that many face?
You have to face your own fear and insecurities and still keep going. The psychological aspect is much harder than most people anticipate. Very little will go the way that you imagine, and it takes longer and more work to get customers than you think. Plus you will get a lot of rejections and hear the concerns of all the people with a ‘normal’ job who worry and don’t understand you choice. This is why it’s so important to surround yourself with like-minded people so you can advise and support each other.
How easy was it getting your book published?
Often it can take months and you need an agent, but I used my network in both Denmark and in the UK to find an editor, so it went pretty fast both times, as I got a ‘yes’ the first time I contacted the editors. In the UK the whole procedure has been smooth, whereas it has been a bumpy ride with my Danish editor. In general it has taken me a couple of months to write the book in each language. Then it takes a few months for the editor to edit, lay out and print the book.
What advise would you give to anyone interested in starting a family whilst running a business? Besides following the three steps!
Figure out your priorities and spend your time on what really matters to you. Find out who you want to help (who your customers are) and focus on making a difference to them with what you offer. Too many people focus on their product and forget to see if there is a market for it, thus wasting a lot of precious time and money. Build meaningful relationships. No-one succeeds on their own. The more valuable relations you have, the more help you can get to achieve your dreams. And remember to give just as much as you take.
Do you plan to write other books about the same subject?
For the moment I am focusing on ‘Business Mum’, but I’d like to write more books at a later date.