The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
“Kiwifying” the program. I trained with the internationally recognised HypnoBirthing Institute, but I thought it would be more beneficial for couples in NZ to learn in a manner that was more aligned to NZ’s unique maternity system, and our style and culture. Writing the Positive Birth in NZ book has been a great decision in order to make the knowledge more accessible to Kiwi parents. Now that I have online courses available for couples to do anywhere at any time, this has provided the ability to help others in variety of locations. Technology is amazing and in 2020 when I started my online live courses (out of necessity), all of a sudden I had couples attending from as far as Hong Kong and Bali!
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
It has certainly changed over the years. When my kids were preschoolers, this was a great job as most of the work was evening and weekends. As the kids got older working evenings and weekends was not conducive to family life and I’ve had to say ‘no’ a lot as if I always said ‘yes’ I could be away from the family every night and every weekend. These days I make sure there are weekends that I’m not working. And my kids are growing up fast – my eldest has left home now. I can see that in the future I’ll have a lot more ability to do more work as the kids become more independent.
The drive: What challenges have you overcome?
I think my biggest challenges have been lots of tech issues – currently I do everything myself from web design to social media to the accounts. When my website got hacked twice in 2017, I just wanted to throw everything in, because it took my business offline for over a month. It was super frustrating and the amount of time I’ve spent sorting out tech issues along the way has been crazy. It would be super nice if I could just turn up to teach classes, and just be with my clients, but the nature of this business is that it’s not really a possibility. Also, working on your own is challenging, because you have to figure everything out yourself. Or figure out who to ask – which is not always straightforward (or cheap).
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
I love that I’m in charge of my own time. I always make sure I’m free at some stage in the school holidays to be with the kids and do some fun stuff. I love that I can choose what I want to focus or work on next and how I manage my time. I love not having a boss to answer to! The cons are having no ‘office banter’ and chit chat with colleagues on a day-to-day basis. Plus, definitely the lack of regular income and the ups and downs of the business. One month will be super busy full of bookings and the next month could be quite quiet – but I’ve learnt that is the nature of business – it truly comes in waves!
Hopes and dreams: What next?
Who knows! I’ve achieved a lot recently having written my book and navigated my way through the (initially scary) process of creating, recording and producing online courses. I think I would like to grow the library of online courses that are available to pregnant couples and parents as there are a LOT of fantastic resources I’d love to share to help parents have a more enjoyable ride through their journey of life.