It is a fairly well established fact that the majority of women go into business for reasons other than, or at least in addition to, finance. For me, there was survival finance but the way of obtaining it was dictated by having two small children and wanting to look after them while working at the same time.
In the early years, it brought me a high quality of life, able as I was to be flexible to some extent with my working hours, to fit around children, sunshine, Wimbledon and other pleasures and, while the financial rewards weren’t great, I was truly very happy.
Instead of reaping what benefits financially there were, I kept the money within the business and sunk it into expansion or covering bills in leaner years. Expansion didn’t bring the high financial rewards either, having never totally disposed of the teething problems, but it did bring a constant adrenaline rush and some public recognition.
I am trying very hard to remember this now. Currently in the recession, we are just about keeping our heads above water and are people in gainful employment but profit is a fairly unfamiliar word. What money I earn still mainly goes to pay back the second mortgage I took out to finance the business originally and I have accrued no personal money.
Because I have more staff, but inexperienced management, when I was ill earlier in the year, I had to come back to work way before I was ready. I am currently doing two jobs because, unlike me, my Second-in-Charge and all other members of staff, have to follow doctor’s orders and take extended sabbaticals to help them deal with their stress. And this year, I must have seen one hour of Wimbledon, luckily including the last couple of games of the final.
It is Monday. I am knackered from having worked most of the weekend. I am trying hard to remember reaping the benefits of this job and finding it harder still to imagine a day in the future when I might reap any more.