Tag Archives: motivating mum

Debbie O’Connor Listed in Top 100 Business Mums list

Late last night I received some fantastic news.  I was nominated in the Mumpreneur Champions section of the Mums Club Business Mum Awards, and it seems that I have made the shortlist of the Top 100 Business Mums in the UK.



To say I am bowled over by this is an understatement.  When I took over this business from Alli Price two years ago, I had never even used twitter, and certainly knew nothing about blogging.  When it came to last year’s awards season, I still felt too much like a newbie and did not feel worthy to enter any awards.  So the fact that only one short year later, I am going to be trotting off to an awards ceremony, at which I might just win a prize, is like all my Christmas and Birthdays come at once!

I just want to say thank you to all those lovely people who nominated and voted for me.  It still feels quite surreal to think that there are a whole group of people who read every word I write and yet I haven’t met them.  So to all of you, however you know me, a big heartfelt thanks.

MumsClub is encouraging us to bind together in our counties and make noise about the county winners. So I’d love to give a shoutout to the other winners from Surrey,

Venita Antonij of SheBizPower

Jo Mackay of Bookings For You

Amanda Sharp of Encouraging Natural Beauty and Networking Mummies

Together we will show the world that Surrey is a great place for Businessmums.

Congratulations to the other winners too and I look forward to meeting you all at the awards!


Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire: Autumn Event Programme Successfully Launched!

Thank you to the great group of mums who joined the first autumn morning networking event for the Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire group in Bishop’s Stortford on the 19 th September. It was great to see everyone so enthusiastic about their business or business idea after the summer school holidays. Continue reading

My Second Motivating Mum Event in East Hertfordshire

After what seems like an amazingly full summer, with the Olympics (and how proud we can feel of what has been achieved so far), holidays, rain (and more rain) and sunshine and, phew, now back to school it hardly seems possible that my second Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire event was only in July!

Having been delighted at the success of the first event in Bishop’s Stortford in June I was raring to go with running the second one in July, a couple of weeks before the end of term, at the Café Rouge in Hertford. With a total of eleven women, and a small baby, it was another very enjoyable and supportive event with lots of opportunity to swap contacts and share ideas in an informal environment (and many thanks to Café Rouge which has proved to be a very suitable and child-friendly venue for us).

Alongside the informal networking opportunities, the talk by Katie Neilson of Little Bees Music Classes, was really practical with lots of hints and tips as to what has worked for her as the business, and her family, has grown. Thank you very much to Katie for being able to speak to us after a busy summer term teaching. Her new music classes, for pre-school children, start up again in September in the Hertford area.

Free goody bags were available again to everyone who came along and the responses on the evaluation forms I circulated has really helped to shape the future event programme for this group.

Thank you to everyone for being able to come along to both the first Hertford event and the first Bishop’s Stortford event. I am now looking forward to seeing more samples of products from mums in business at future events, especially with Christmas ever nearer (yes, I think I can say that as the new term is upon us!)

So, with autumn on the way and hopefully feeling a little recharged after the summer, now could be just the time to start thinking about coming along to a Motivating Mum event. There’s plenty to choose from in East Hertfordshire, with seven events during the autumn term, including networking events with a speaker (a free goody bag is still available to mums at these networking events), brainstorm sessions, a social media workshop and a pre-Christmas networking and selling event to other mums in business.

So, please tell your friends and spread the word. I look forward to meeting more mums and hearing about all the local businesses we are involved in across East Herts. very soon!

With the Support of your Friends, Anything is Possible

We took our new puppy Sirius out for his first walk today. We went out with Sirius’ mum and dad, and his two remaining siblings, who are still with the breeder as their new owners are on holiday.

Sirius wasn’t so sure about the outside world at first.  He sat on the front doorstep and sniffed the air.  He didn’t like his harness and jumped about, fighting against it.  then a car spooked him, and he sat down on the pavement and whined.  But with much encouragement and cajoling we made it to the park, where he was set free with his parents and siblings.

Once he saw his mum and dad rushing around, clearly having lots of fun, Sirius and the other puppies were super keen to join in. Before long the three of them were bombing around  like mad creatures, chasing mum and chasing each other.  You certainly wouldn’t have known that this was the first itme they had seen the open world.

Confidence building


Looking at them, I realised there was a lot to be learned for me and my friends.  I sometimes pause on the edge of something new, reluctant to take the plunge.  I can be easily spooked by the unknown and easily persuaded to sit down and give up when things just seem too scary.

But if I can get good advice and encouragement from someone more experienced than me, who can teach me how things work and tell me that things are going to be OK, and if I can get support from a peer group who are experiencing the same problems and fears as me, then suddenly the whole situation looks a lot brighter.

And that, in essence, is what Motivating Mum  (and Mums the Boss) is all about.

Over the next few months, I will be bringing together two mums networking groups into one giant sized organisation. Keep an eye out on our events board to see where you can get your very own support, advice and encouragement.  If there is nothing near you, why not take the plunge and set a group up – I can show you how.

Whatever you are planning, whatever you are uncertain about, get out into the big wide world and look for some support.

Motivating Mum and Mums the Boss – bringing two great mums networking groups together

I’ve been sitting on this news for over a month already, and I’m so glad that finally I can share it with you all.  I have agreed to take over at the head of Mum’s The Boss, a networking group and blog very similar to Motivating Mum, as Sam and Helen have decided to move on to  other projects.

I’m so looking forward to taking this on, and to sharing the best bits of each group with the readers from both.  Look out for more posts on exactly what this means in the next few weeks, but for now, I’ll just leave you with the official press release on the Mums the Boss blog

Meet the new owner of Mum’s The Boss – Debbie O’Connor

My vision is to take two very successful mums networking organisations, and knit them together into a big amazing family, providing huge support to entrepreneurs, mums in business and anybody who has a dream of working from home.

Please wish me luck as I take on this giant project, and I look forward to seeing you all online, and meeting many more of you in person very soon

Chester Mum Brings Support to Work at Home Mums

Here is a press release announcing the launch of yet another Motivating Mum franchise – this time in Chester and Wrexham.  I hope to be able to invite many more people to Motivating Mum events in the future.  A full list of current franchisees is on our website.  If we are not in your area yet, why not consider setting up a group yourself.

Chester mums launching or running their own businesses no longer have to do it on their own, in between nappy changes and the school run. There are now events designed specifically for mums in business across the UK, and they are coming to Chester and Wrexham. Continue reading

Motivating Mum opens in Milton Keynes

Motivating Mum is coming to Milton Keynes – starting with a Mums Networking Meeting on June 19th 2012.

Motivating Mum Milton Keynes

Starting a business is one thing, but maintaining it and keeping it afloat is another hard thing to get through. That burden is heavier when you are a mum balancing family life and the desire to realise your business aspirations. But, that is not the case when you got yourself a network to depend on when times get though or the competition gets stiff to survive. Continue reading

International Business Networking

Ana de la Quintana, Debbie O'Connor, Andrea Opoku, Alli Price,

I met up with Alli Price, the Original Motivating Mum, and some of the other Motivating Mum franchisees the other day.

Since leaving the UK with her two daughters and her new partner last September, she has started and built up the Motivating Mum brand in Australia, so that it is really a force to be reckoned with.

Alli is an amazingly strong woman – she was over in the UK for one week only to deliver her four year old daughter for a 3 month visit with her dad (see her blog).  I can only imagine the bravery and emotion involved.

But despite the seriousness of her mission she still found time to catch up with loads of people, and spread her own brand of Aussie sunshine wherever she went.

The meeting got me thinking about how incredible the modern world is.  People think that Alli was an old friend of mine, but in fact I did not know her when I answered her ad.  We spoke a few times then met twice, once at my home and once at a Businessmums Networking Lunch.  Then two weeks after our first meeting she left for Australia leaving me in charge of her UK business.

Many people would find that foolhardy – at the very least risky.  And yet, by the power of the internet, email and Skype, Alli and I  have forged an amazing business relationship in the past year, such that I would now count her as a friend. When I met her in the cafe this week, I immediately started talking to her like we had never been separated by half a planet’s distance.

Alli is a supreme networker – her message to us all was just keep picking up the phone and chatting to people.  It’s something I’m very bad at – I prefer to hide behind email, and often don’t find the time to talk to people because I put it too far down my priorities list. But I came away from our meeting enthused and determined to work on my weaknesses.  Alli just has this effect on people.  You can tell that Alli was born to be a life coach (her original profession) – she just has a way of mentoring and lifting the spirits of everyone she meets.

Alli now effortlessly runs an international business – she speaks to all her franchisees in both countries with one message and we are all joined as one global family. It’s an amazing and wonderful concept.

Alli is now looking for other partners to help her in her quest for total world domination.  If you live somewhere where there is a community of English speaking mums, you fancy running a small business, and you would like to bring an Aussie networking phenomenon into your life, then I would thoroughly recommend you get talking to Alli Price.  She can change your life, as she has changed mine.

What I like about Motivating Mum….

This fridge could be yours

I ran a Competition on Motivating Mum in April – the prize was a fridge from Argos.  If you want to know who won the fridge – you’ll have to wait until it comes out in the newsletter next week… join here if you haven’t already

As part of the competition I asked the entrants to tell me what they liked best about Motivating Mum, and so I thought I would share the entries with you.  With any luck they might inspire some of you to look at the sections of Motivating Mum that you might have missed.

As for me, what I like about Motivating Mum, is that it has given me a real sense of purpose, bringing good advice, support and entertainment to all you businessmums out there.  I love hearing that you are enjoying what I do, and I just love helping you all.  Thank you for all your kind comments – please keep spreading the word, leave your comments here and tell your friends….

There will be some more competitions this month, so keep your eyes out on the site.  In the meantime, here are some of the other answers to the question “What I like most about Motivating Mum…..”

  • The site is informative and a one stop shop, perfect for busy parents.
  • Wow, so full of useful information, great for the working mum
  • ’tis a clear and easy to understand website you have there.  I’m thinking of setting up my own business and it’s given me a bit of a shove!
  • A multi-tasking Mum, I feel it’s an honour… to be motivated by Debbie O’Connor!”
  • One of the very best sites around for helping busy mums – written by mums for mums.
  • The advice which ranges from how to deal with my pregnancy to my tax!
  • It’s a one stop shop for everything the business mum wants to know.
  • I like the forum and knowing that there are other mums out there in the same situation as me, going through the same start up issues and that there’s somewhere to go for support.
  • The website is colourful, informative and user friendly, it covers multiple subjects
  • What I like about the site is everything is so easy to find.
  • …it reminds me that it is completely possible – and normal – to run a  successful business AND be a good Mum to my two kids!!!
  • I like the advice you give to mums that want to return to work. It is valuable and insightful information since I feel a bit lost in the world of employment. Thanks.
  • The motivating mum website gives articles, inspiration and a sense of community that encourages me to continue being a self employed mum!
  • On this site there is so much info all in one place, its ideal. I am going to tell everyone on my fb and twitter about it, its so helpful. Thank you
  • It’s a great and easily accessible all round support group for Mums!
  • I definitely need motivating most days and after reading your blog I can do it with a spring in my step!!! (Either that or I carry on reading LOL)
  • It’s very informative and interesting site, always up to date, my favourite is the article and features

Have you Missed Out on Mentoring?

by Alli Price
For those of you who don’t know, March has been Mummy Mentoring Month at Motivating Mum, both in the UK and Australia.  Throughout March, some very successful mums in business have been offering mentoring sessions for charity, and many of them are continuing to be business mentors for Motivating Mum even though the mentoring festival has finished.

You would think the sessions would be flying off the shelves – imagine only £20  to get 30 mins of support and advice from someone who has not only been there done that, but done it well – but they haven’t been. In fact, I would categorise the sales as slow at best.

Following everyone’s initial enthusiastic response at the launch of the festival I was puzzled as to why the sessions weren’t selling like hotcakes until I got a query ‘Which mum is offering a mentoring session that works in the same field as me?’  This was the problem! Mums were looking for a mentor that ran a business in the same Industry. Some were even looking for a mentor that was on the same trajectory. And why wouldn’t they? When you’re new to business you’re not even aware of all the opportunities available to you until someone tells you or you learn it through experience.

So, here’s what I’ve learned about mentoring that I’m passing on to you:

Finding a mentor isn’t simply about finding someone who does what you do, a few years further down the track. It’s about working out what you need and finding the person you feel can best help you with that. For example, your weak point may be marketing. Now in any industry, marketing is the same.  It’s all about identifying your target market and the best way to access them. So why not look for someone you feel has done an amazing job marketing their business?

Or get even more specific – do you need someone that has done an amazing job of marketing on a low budget? Or maybe utilised social media in a fab way? Then look for those people.

Further, it isn’t always best to approach someone in your industry. Many people are giving and generous with their time and energies but if they have an amazing idea then they’re more likely to keep it for themselves. Someone in a different, or better yet, a complementary industry may not only be great for brainstorming but may have perspectives on your industry overlooked by those within it.

The sharing of contacts may also be inhibited. If you’re a green business and get mentoring from someone in a complementary field you may end up working together, cross promoting and sharing contacts that would be mutually beneficial. Mentoring by someone within your area of business may only mean you get the contacts they are willing to share.

Lastly, the mentor you have doesn’t have to be someone that is super successful. They can simply be someone that has done something really well like time management, copywriting, networking etc and you’d like to learn about that skill also. You may even be able to offer a skill swap back and mentor them on something you’re particularly great at.

So, if you’re looking to get some clarity on your target market and develop your unique selling point, why not go to the mum that makes cloth nappies that does it really well? Nervous about networking? Ask the accountant you always see flitting about the room swapping business cards left, right and centre. Want to expand internationally? Set up a coffee date with the mum in business that sends her pushchair accessories all over the world.

Whoever you decide to go with or whoever you work with in the future, remember they don’t just sell a skincare range or coach mums, they offer a whole range of skills and experiences that transcend industry – as do you.

Cheers! Alli x

Alli Price is the founder of  Motivating Mum, a website and events service offering support and advice to Mumpreneurs (or those wanting to be), and now runs our sister site in her native Australia.  She provides networking lunches, brainstorm sessions, phone mentoring, articles and features, an online forum and more.  She also runs the Biz Mums Blogging Carnival. W: www.motivatingmum.com T: @motivatingmum F: Motivating Mum

This blog is one of 45 featured in my ebook  Motivating Business Mums – now available from Brightword publishing.

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