When it comes to finding your path…

I’ve just been listening to Desert Island Discs (my guilty pleasure.)  It was an old one with Duncan Bannantyne talking about his life and what has inspired him. Interestingly at 30 he was a man in trouble he had a criminal record. He had no job and he was drinking a bit too much. But he wanted kids and needed to buy a house so he set a course to afford them and began in business.  I’m sure it wasn’t easy but he set off n the path that would get him what he wanted. He was focussed and he was determind. He is now worth £320 million pounds. Okay now that is inspirational!

finding my path

It’s so interesting isn’t it?  What we we pull out the bag for our or because of our children. I never thought I would have a business writing. I thought I would always work vocationally and with people. I had trained a long while to be a social worker and in many ways I did love my job pre-kids. But it just didn’tfit with my new life and how I wanted to parent. Finding your path is quite a journey and can take you in some funny directions but it is vital to know what you want.

I wanted to  take my kids to school, pick them up, do their activities and take care of them in the holidays. Writing fits around that beautifully and I  absolutely love it. Luckily ( and with a lot of support) at the moment this is working. Would I do it if I didn’t need to earn the money ? Yes (but a bit less) How lucky am I to find a job I would do for love. Would I have taken this path if I didn’t love to write?

Perhaps not, but I would try desperately to find something that fit around the kids lives as I really like to be a big part of that. That desire has dictated my path to a large extent. I think when It comes to finding your path you need to be clear about your key motivator.

I’ve seen lots of women carve out lives that fit how they want to care for their kids; juggling this here and there and achieving really creative and fulfilling lives too almost as a by product of this. I worry about financial security in the future from being self employed now but I also feel massively privileged that I have mostly all I want now. Well I say all I want, I still hanker after a glass house on the beach and a personal trainer,  lovely clothes and sunshine holidays …

I am lucky and I have worked hard and today I am smiling and grateful. I need to remember this (when I’m shattered at half term and still typing at 2am) This was my dream and I am blessed to be on the course I chose.

How are you doing? Getting near the £320 million mark? Happy? Seeing enough of your kids? Have you found finding your path easy or full of crossroads and confusing signposts?



A couple of weeks ago I featured Kerry Goodman as my July Business mum of the month. Kerry makes scrap books. An interest that increasing numbers of people seem completely besotted by. Scrapbooking to my mind is a bit like golf…it seems to just take hold of people and they totally fall in love with it!

Kerry makes bespoke scrapbooks for others to complete and sells them via her scrapbook website

Everything Kerry makes, she makes as if it were for herself. She puts as much care and attention into the gifts as if they were the first ones she made. The quality of her handmade items is excellent.


I reviewed an explosion box.

Explosion boxes are simply an eruption of memories just waiting to happen. When closed the boxes are small at 4″x4″x4″ but when open span to an impressive 12″x12″ page. The boxes have three layers in the inside with a total of 29 sides once the box is fully exploded. These are great for photographs, quotes or little written memories. For an extra special surprise there is also room for a little gift inside. Maybe a cupcake or item of jewellery would do the trick. Could you think of a better proposal than all of your memories surrounding your engagement ring? The possibilities are endless. These make brilliant presents either to complete on someones behalf or to send them to fill in for themselves.

Kerry sent me an explosion box to review after I said how fabulous they looked.

I used mine for my best friends 40th birthday gift. I wrote a memory we shared on every single side or flap of paper and as she opened it the years came flooding back. She cried. I cried. It looked beautiful and was filled with love and memories. What a unique gitft for just £13.  Absolutely delightful, unusual and personal.

Imagine if for a wedding gift you bought one of these and the whole family added a thought or a wish for the happy couple, how lovely would that be.

All of Kerry’s keepsakes have instructions on how to put in your own photos and  are included with the appropriate adhesive.  She also sells these amazing journal jars to help record a babys developemt as well as other mini scrap book albums.


What a great way to buy a cool, bespoke gift for a really good priice. I am impressed.



1. What’s  your name?       Kerry Goodman

Scrapbookerry2. How old are your Kids?                  2 and a half

3. Where do you work?  Home/office?       Home

4. What childcare spot do you have?            Baba goes to pre school all day on a Monday and Friday morning, he also goes to his Nannies every Wednesday and sometimes on a Tuesday depending on how busy I am and if it is the school holidays! He goes to his Nannies on Tuesdays in the holidays every week as I don’t have the pre school in the school holidays.

5. What inspired you to start your own business? People always asking for my albums to be made for gifts.

6. When did you start your business?          March this year

7. Any start up fees?           Nothing as I scrapbook myself so I have always brought supplies for that. I can get a few albums out of one pack so the cost is not a huge amount but I do keep on top of what I buying so that I know I am not over spending.

8. Tell me about your business?     Scrapbookerry is a scrapbooking business, I make keepsakes and mini albums for people to buy and then put their own photos in, these can be brought for themselves or can be brought for gifts. Every item is original and there are various forms of mini albums available, with others being added to the collection regularly. The business has lots of other services to be added in the near future as well.

9. What are your aims for your business? To help people who love the idea of scrapbooking, and mini albums, but a don’t have the time to make mini albums, or just want to use them as gifts. We are all so busy  now a days but we still like our pictures and memorabilia to be stored and kept but lots of people don’t the time to do that. I hope that I try to sort out that problem, as all of my albums just need the pictures added making the final process nice and easy.

10. Have you got 3 tips for any mum thinking of starting a business on a budget?

1) Manage your time, trying to start a business is really difficult with young children, there are always things that crop up, illness etc so plan your time effectively so when you have time to work, you work!

2) Have a plan, I don’t have a massive business plan, but I know where I want my business to be in a few years time. I also know the services that I want to be able to offer.

3) Get your other halves, family members, or friends to support you, as you will need help at times with childcare or just a good sounding board. Remember to ask for it as well.

Website: www.scrapbookerry.co.uk

Folksy: http://www.folksy.com/shops/Scrapbookerry

Coriandr: https://www.coriandr.com/shop/scrapbookerry

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/people/Scrapbookerry

Twitter: www.twitter.com/scrapbookerry

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Scrapbookerry

Thank you Kerry and lots of luck!


Thanks to life coach and successful mum in business Grace Marshall for this fab guest post

The face of motherhood is changing. I think there was a time when the labels were either ‘working mum’ or ‘stay at home mum’. Now there are those who work full time, part time, ‘work at home mums’, employed, self-employed, flexi-time, job share, freelance, contractors and entrepreneurs.

And so is the face of business. Traditionally a business owner might be expected to be suited and booted, working from an office or a shop premises, employing staff, seeing clients 9-5 and working behind the scenes 5-9.

Let’s face it, none of us really want to add to the demands of parenthood by remortgaging the house to fund a business venture. Or spending every waking hour away from the family. And being at the beck and call of other people. We get enough of that from our kids thank you.

But today’s technology and social trends are pushing back the boundaries and offering much more choice, and making it increasingly attractive for women to combine motherhood with entrepreneurialism.

Of course it’s not easy. But mums are used to hard work and actually pretty brilliant at being responsive and resourceful.                                                      

Today you can

  • run a business from home without the overheads of a shop or office
  • cherry pick who you work with and serve customers worldwide without having to travel or relocate
  • define your own working hours, whether it’s in the evening when the kids are in bed and your brain becomes entirely your own again, when you’ve been woken up at 5am or simply to fit in between the school run.
  • take time off and still get paid on holidays, sick days, sports days and spontaneous picnic days
  • market your services without a huge advertising budget

On that last note, here are 10 tips for marketing your business on a shoestring budget:

  1. Define your niche and target market – rather than diluting your message and budget by being all things to all people
  2. Write articles and submit them to article directories like EzineArticles.com
  3. Join or create an online forum relevant to your niche/target market and share your knowledge
  4. Promote your company, product, giveaway or special offer on your email signature
  5. Share your knowledge and build your credibility through blogs, interviews, podcasts or videos.
  6. Make it easy for people to share their email address with you to keep in touch and give an added incentive with a free report, set of tips, e-course or e-book.
  7. Interview an expert or be interviewed yourself and share your expertise
  8. Run a competition
  9. Conduct a survey
  10. Talk to people who serve the same people you do with services that complement yours. See how you can help each other, with swapping links, joint promotions and affiliate partnerships for example.

And a bonus tip

  1. You know all those business cards you’ve got lurking somewhere from other small business owners that you’ve met. Ring three of them and ask for more information about what they do so you can more easily refer business to them.  Ask if you can tell them more about your business.

If you’re a mum who wants to create a business that works for you without being swamped in the process, I’d love to see you on my upcoming teleseminar, where I’ll be sharing real life insights and practical tips, including How to take holidays, sick days, snow days and spontaneous picnic days whenever you need and want to. And why having children can accelerate rather than hinder your business. For more details of this free event visit FromBurnoutToBrilliant.com.

Grace Marshall is mum to two young children, and a life and business coach who loves to help other mums create their own definition of motherhood and business. Join her at FromBurnoutToBrilliant.com.