Getting to know me
How did the idea for your business come about?
I've always known that I wanted to start up my own business, but in the past, I never quite knew what I was passionate about doing, that was until I came across the idea of a Business Concierge Services aka General Virtual Assistant. I wanted to set up a business that ultimately was going to support busy entrepreneurs, who were experiencing a daily battle to balance their home and their work life due to their ever-increasing workload, by giving them the gift of time. I achieve this by taking over the tasks that leave them feeling overwhelmed and I also help them to get more organised, therefore, increasing productivity.
I used to be someone who was always longing for that 25th hour, with never enough time to get through my endless to-do list that left me feeling overwhelmed each day. I understand the importance of having more time to able to do more of the things that you love and being able to spend more quality time with your loved ones rather than feeling like you’re drowning in a sea of work. I also understand the importance of being able to delegate tasks that would prevent you from doing/feeling the above.
With my 15+ years of teaching as well as being a mother of 3, I actually had a lot of transferable skills that were ideal in order to make the necessary transition into setting up my own business concierge service. For me, becoming a business concierge meant that I could utilise my organisational skills, my interpersonal skills as well as continue my passion for helping others.
How has being a mumpreneur affected your family life?
Contrary to what many might believe, being an entrepreneur is a real challenge. However, my reason for setting up my business was ultimately because I wanted a better life for my family. I wanted to have more quality time with my children, but starting up a business meant that I had to work harder than I had ever worked. But the difference now is that I am a lot more content because I am doing something that I am very passionate about, I also know why I am doing it. I work hard but everything is now on my own terms and as a result, my family are able to benefit from my change of career.
What motivates you?
My family have always been my "WHY". They are the reason why I do what I do. Being a parent, I know how important it is to be able to spend not just time but quality time with my children.
Who or what has been your greatest inspiration?
There are so many people around me that I have been inspired by. For me, these people are known and celebrated for all different things. Some are famous for their skills and talents, while others are distinguished by their courage or profound impact on society. But one person in particular whose words will always resonate with me on a daily basis are the words of Muhammad Ali who said: "Don't count the days, make the days count."
What is your favourite aspect of being a mumpreneur?
I love the fact that every day I get up I get up to go to work. Luckily for me, I do not have to travel far to start my working day, and that's the beauty of being a mother in business. I work very hard to maintain a quality service that I can offer my clients but I am still able to be around my family a lot more. I love that I have created something that I can call my own. Something that operates on my own terms.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a mumpreneur?
I have definitely had to be more realistic about how I utilise my time. I could either devote long hours to work on my business or scale back my ambitions slightly so that I have time to raise my children. Whilst it's natural for an entrepreneur to want to be ambitious, I know that working a 40 hour week is something that would not be possible for me right now. I have had to deal with the reality that someone who is able to work these type of hours is more likely to move their business forward faster than somebody who only has say twelve hours a week to devote to their business. Nevertheless, I have big plans for Diane Boothe Business Concierge Service and know that one day they will come into fruition.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
There have been many failures along my journey of being an entrepreneur. But many that I am so grateful for because through them I have learnt so much. As they say, you have to fail in order to succeed. Now when I first started my business I believed that you had to be everywhere i.e on all social media platforms. Ultimately the end result of me trying to be visible on all platforms was that I was left feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. That, in turn, meant that I was unproductive. Simply because I was tired. I soon learnt to do only what is reasonable and sensible for me to do being a solopreneur who wears many hats on a daily basis. I learnt to perfect my skills on one platform before moving onto the next. Slow and steady really does win the race.
Another lesson that I learnt is to ask for help when needed. After all, this is what I always encourage my potential clients to do. When I failed to ask for help I was basically coasting along without any real direction. This was time wasted. By asking for help, I realised that it isn't a weakness, it is a strength. No one can run a business on their own and if you are told otherwise be wary. No woman is an island
What three pieces of advice would you give to mothers who want to start a business?
1) Just do it - there is never is a perfect time to start - you don't have to start off big. In fact, I urge you not to. By simply mind mapping your ideas and carrying out basic research, that is all you need at first to get you started.
2) Do what you are passionate about - running a business just for the sake of it will more likely mean that your business will not be a success. Take the time to explore what excites you, that way working on and in your business is less of a chore.
3) Surround yourself with like-minded people - those that are ambitious, determined, show great resilience, patience and organisation just to name a few qualities/skills. This is bound to have a positive effect on your mindset around your business.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful mumpreneur?
I would say that the skills that need to be mastered are:
1) Resilience - running a business is no easy feat. As much as there will be highs, there will also be lows.
2) Authenticity - be true to yourself. People don't buy your products they buy your story.
3) Self-reflection - it's always great to reflect on your achievements even if they are small, but also to know when things just aren't working for you and therefore its time to pivot.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
Goal setting is of great importance, so the goal that I have set myself is to be able to work fewer hours and still have a great quality of life.
I see Diane Boothe Business Concierge Service as being a world-wide enterprise. As Michelle Obama once said, “The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”