Homeschooling the children whilst being an entrepreneur, sounds hard but it can be done and it can work well.
Home Ed Mum and Entrepreneur
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
The dictionary defines the role as, a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. It doesn’t say whether the business has been successful! I often think the word sounds quite important, as if you have made it but in reality that is not true, you have built a new business but the success of it depends. For me, it’s the bit about someone who has taken a risk with an idea they have had to start a new business.
How did I become an entrepreneur?
I guess you could say I’m one of those people who always has an idea for something. I am always coming up with different ways of doing things, so, I think my skills of being creative, problem-solving and thinking out of the box of course have helped me to become an entrepreneur. This kind of work is not for everyone and being a homeschool mum has benefits and conflicts in terms of becoming an entrepreneur, but you can do it and I’m going to share with you how you can.
So where to start?
My business came from things I am most passionate about, education, learning, and children. As an ex-primary headteacher, I was known for doing things differently, questioning and trying new methods of delivering education and generally pushing boundaries! So, when I left the profession (which is a different story, but if you are curious you can find out why in this blog) I was intrigued to find out how home education was going to work for my children with all its different methods and personalised approaches. It didn’t take me long to come up with a product to solve the problem of electronically capturing and storing a portfolio approach to the homeschool journey.
In my case, it started with my passion, led by my curiosity to solve a problem, and then some enquiring that took me through a process of research and exploration into what fellow home educators thought and did.
I had very little of my own money, but don’t let that put you off. I got in touch with different business support schemes, grants and loans to pay for the first phase of creating my product, luckily I was able to use my friends and the local community to develop the app further before marketing the product to the world. Just to confirm, I had no previous skills in technology, app development or marketing. I found people to help me, took courses and learnt along the way because I was passionate and interested.
How to find the time?
That bit was not easy at first. I was in such a rigid timetable in my last job that I had to learn to let go of expectations and be more flexible which is generally part of homeschooling anyway. This took me a year and was a gradual process but it allowed me to do what I needed to do – run a house, be present with my children (who were six and eight years old at the time) and manage meetings while the children did their thing.
I managed to carve out times in-between the other stuff and plug in earphones and catch up with people that I needed to talk to. I would do my work around the children, luckily with the world that we are now in and the flexibility of working from home and working with children at home, this has never been easier. The bulk of creative work I did when my husband was around so I generally worked early mornings, evenings and weekends.
I’ve also learnt to make goals smart and create daily tasks that are small and achievable. I’ve always felt like a role model to my children and I want them to see that what drives progress is passion and curiosity. I want them to see this combined with the firsthand ability to self-care, putting ourselves and our feelings first.
It’s not all harmonious either! Some weeks it’s tough and I don’t get it right in terms of the balance, but that’s okay to recognise, acknowledge and be kind to yourself about. I don’t always get it right in terms of product marketing or sales either, but that’s okay I’m learning. We’re always learning. It’s great for the children to see how I manage that and how I communicate with people.
I’ve also had to acknowledge that first and foremost I left the education system as a headteacher to be with my children – they come first – so getting my product finished to market and selling it has taken twice as long as it would’ve done if I’d been full-time… but again that’s okay, it’s all a process and experience, and as long as you’re passionate and enjoying what you do that’s all that matters and that’s what will come through. So don’t let home education put you off being a homeschool mum and entrepreneur, it can work and there are ways you can make it work.