What an amazing real mama profile I have for you today! So many of us are juggling the back to work grind, many on maternity leave starting our own business or with feelings of doing something new, for ourselves on our own terms.
Ruby Lee is a fantastic example of starting a business whilst on maternity leave and cultivating it until it becomes hugely successful. Hear more on Ruby below!
Can you give us an overview of your working mom journey to now?
I am a working mum. I have two boys. My eldest son is 10 years old and my youngest son is two and a half. I started my business when my youngest was five months old and I started it as a side hustle. So effectively, I was on maternity leave when I decided to first come out with a recruiting blog.
In terms of my entire journey, it was definitely very up and down because we have had our youngest with us full time. He’s not in care, he’s not in childcare, so it has been a very kind of interesting balancing act between myself and my husband. Now my husband is also, I guess, a bit of my secret weapon because he is a full time carer. He helps me with the business as well as basically helping out with our kids. He quit his 19 year corporate career to dive into helping me build my dream, and also he has really been there every single step of the way. So it’s been such an incredible journey having the entire family along.
What is the one tip or trick you can give to a working mum that has worked for you?
To start looking around and being open to asking for help. Whether it’s in the form of your husband. I know that’s very extreme for some wanting to actually go all in with you and help you start your business, or actually becoming a primary carer. Or actually looking at other ways that you can get help with your kids.
You can’t be everything to everyone and sometimes it comes with sacrifice. So whether it’s to put your kids into daycare, or ask your mum or mother-in-law to help out a little bit more, or look at other options. Then definitely do that because you need clear head space and time to actually be creative and have some clarity around your messaging and your business offering.
What advice would you give to new mums just starting their juggling journey?
I think for me it’s having a really, as much as you can, set morning routine. So I definitely have a morning routine that I stick to every single day, and coming back to that word sacrifice. We are already sacrificed with sleep, but when my youngest was very young, he got to the point where he was sleeping up until 7:00 a.m. which meant that I could wake up at 6:00 a.m. and have a lot of clarity to do my morning walk or meditation, or I might go to the gym, or I might journal, or I might spend time planning out my day and having a quiet coffee before all the chaos happen.
So whilst your day is definitely full of spinning 19 different plates, having that one hour in the morning for me was absolutely just a beautiful time where I could get really clear on what I wanted to achieve.
For me one of my favourite productivity tips is having a onesie. A onesie is that one thing that you can complete in your business, no matter what happens by the end of the day that you would be so proud of. And it can be something as small as writing a blog right through to actually, reaching out for business development or collaboration opportunities. So have a onesie every single day because that onesie ends up to seven big actions by the end of the week.
Your work relates to side hustles. What are the key things working mums should consider when working and wanting to start a side hustle?
Just start. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have all of your ducks lined up in a row. Because if you really think about it, who can get ducks to line up in a row anyway? Ducks move and it’s really impossible.
So don’t wait for that perfect website or the perfect colour palette or the perfect logo. All you need to do to start is actually start creating a personal brand. And that can be in the form of a podcast or even using your Instagram or social media accounts in a more kind of business related way.
Also start thinking about a bit of a loose business plan, so who are going to be your ideal customers? What do you want to do that’s going to help you feel completely soul aligned every single day? So often when we are working mums, we forget about what makes us feel really connected to our purpose and our soul.
So by doing a little bit of that morning journaling and meditation, it will help you really be clear on the type of business that you want to build, so that you’re not just taking a scatter gun approach to starting a side hustle.
Also, go with your passion. Go with what skill sets you already have and go with what makes you just completely light up from the inside out. For me, I was really great with careers and HR, and that was also my expertise and skill set, and because I had my own side hustle for three and a half years, I knew that by merging all three of those, I would have a really successful business because it also really gave me goosebumps every time I talked about it.
In 2015 she was nearly fired for starting a side-hustle. Today she coaches & mentors hundreds of individuals. She helps early-stage entrepreneurs balance their day jobs whilst building a side line business from idea to income.
She also works with employers to help them retain and engage side-hustlers as they cultivate an entrepreneurial culture within their work environments.
To connect with Ruby