International Women’s Day

I have been wanting to write about this subject for some time but I suppose I was getting clear about it
myself first. You see I have had my own businesses for nearing 20 years now, although I hadn’t really
took my business and myself seriously until the last 3 to 4. As a woman, a mother and the sister of two
brothers I learnt from an early age that women are home carers, they are the ones who bring up their
children on a full-time basis. Any work they choose to do has to work around these parameters. I learnt
that men have careers and women have profitable hobbies for a little bit of ‘extra’ cash or pocket money.

me and boys

So, that’s what I did. I had part-time jobs or Direct Selling businesses I ran more as a hobby to get
products that I loved cheaper. I tried to fit everything in around 2 children in my early 20’s and added my
son, to make 3 children at the age of 27. I watched as my husband went to work each day, be given lots of
opportunities to build his career, go to college and have the freedom of doing the work he wanted to do.
There was, and is absolutely nothing wrong with that, that’s what my Dad had done, that was all I knew.
My early learnings were ‘men went out to work to provide for the household’. Except one thing, I had a
passion for business from a very early age. I remember emptying my parents cupboards of the groceries,
popping wee pricing labels on them and pinching my dad’s calculator from his brief case so that I could
pretend I was in a shop. I imagined having my own dance studio and for a short period having my own
lawyers business. I had many, many ideas about businesses I could set up and have often helped family
members with theirs. Ten years ago I left my part-time job in banking when my son was 2 and started my
own therapy business, again around my 3 kids who were 2, 7 and 11. I learnt many therapies and started
promoting myself. When social media boomed I created my own pages and groups. I learnt to teach Reiki
and opened my own Holistic Centre 6 years ago which closed after 1 year as I felt that I wasn’t able to
support my children the way I wanted to.

me and kids

I felt frustrated at the lack of support for Holistic type businesses and especially women and mother’s in
business but I just kept on keeping on. I’m not unlike many women I meet and coach every day, women
who have a dream and vision to start their own business for many reasons. That may be to become
financially free, to share their wisdom in the world or even to help one person change their life. I also hear
of many women who are employed in service based businesses on a low wage, who are juggling bringing
up their children as well as trying to establish their own businesses, feeling guilty that they can’t do
everything and something has to give – that something is usually the time and financial investment they
need to get their business off the ground. I hear of many women going forward to ask for financial start
up support but being turned down because they have a spiritual or holistic type business that banks and
investors don’t understand and don’t see as lucrative and yet, when you refer to the research done by
futurologists these are the kind of businesses that will be present in the future when most other service
based businesses are taken over by technology. So, why am I highlighting these things? Today, the 8th
March is officially International Women’s Day and I want to highlight the truth behind being a woman
in business. The juggle of: business, learning, family, finances, health and well-being on a daily basis. I
remember the struggles during school holiday’s of finding the right place for my kids to go during the
holiday’s, knowing that I wouldn’t earn a thing those month’s as it would all go on their camps and
childcare. Having to ensure they were taken care of when I was working during the day and in the
evening’s because I wanted to get a job in a bank and to get my foot in the door I needed to take an
evening position. I hear from women everyday that can’t get ahead in their business because they need to
be there for their family or work a part-time job to make ends meet, as the cost of living means both
parents need to work. I see women desperate to be more active in their communities but never have
enough time. The guilt when you have to miss your child’s school assembly because you have to be at
work or see that client to get paid. This is the reality of women in business and I feel that things need to
change. There needs to be more support, more realisation also that the 9-5 working week doesn’t work for
the busy mum. The reality is usually 10 – 2pm and then 8-10pm.

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There also needs to be awareness to how women’s cycles work – I know, often a taboo subject but
absolutely vital to know this inner wisdom to ensure we work with our natural cycles instead of against
them. As a women’s business coach I teach women to understand their cycles and how they effect them
on a day to day basis. How you can push, push, push for a week and then a couple of weeks later need to

take radical rest. How we can be a social butterfly one week and not want to ‘people’ at all the next. Many
business systems, teachings and strategies work for men and cause massive amount of burn out for
women who are juggling many things. Most women in business are solopreneurs and often struggle in
silence with the magnitude of what needs to be done! Often there is one thing that has to give and that one
thing is their business. I speak to women daily who have had to drop their businesses to be with their
unwell child, or even to get the house work done as it has been left for weeks. They feel deflated and
often like a failure for not being able to be a superwoman and be that rockstar business women, a
nurturing mother and have that instagram worthy house! I hear of their amazing dreams of businesses that
will transform the world (or someone’s world) but it has to go on hold for now and I often ask myself
why? Where is the support? Where is the encouragement? Where is the understanding for women in this
day and age?

When I ask myself these questions I also open up to find the answers – which there always are. It perhaps
is not in the places I would like to find the solution, the banks, funder’s, the government but inevitably
when you look for solutions, that is what you find.
I come across women who are setting up networking events to help women in start up business. I found a
supportive community to help with mind set and well-being. I found other mother’s who understand the
roller coaster ride which is business!
I decide that I was going to be one of the solutions and share my business wisdom in a free fb group
called Creatrix Business School and I find amazing women such as Pinky Ghadiali who have created
amazing Networking events that promote community, enjoyment, connection and learning. Pinky is the
creator of two Women’s networking events in Scotland – WINE – Women In Business Edinburgh and
WING – Women in Business Glasgow because she saw where women weren’t being supported or
represented and decided to do something about it. Recently she partnered up with Google and held a
training day at the Google Garage in Edinburgh where we learnt about Digital Marketing and how to
move beyond the Imposter Syndrome mindset. I was able to connect with 40 women in that room all in
business, learning together, connecting and supporting one and other. I love this kind of energy and space
for women to grow, to finally be represented and to be understood – that many of us wear many hats on a
day to day, even hour to hour basis and going from an idea to launching, to then establishing a business is
something to be absolutely celebrated!

google garage

So, if you know a woman in business, a budding female entrepreneur, a mum with an idea, a girl with a
dream, please, please encourage them, support them and be a solution to them. We represent 52% of the
world’s population and we have dreams and visions to make this world a better place for generations to
come. We deserve a voice in the business world too for it is changing and we want to help to be the
catalyst of change for the greater good!

women's day

Written by Nikki Turner
Women’s Leadership Mentor and Business Strategy Coach

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