"Take a daily step"

with Louise Webster, founder of Beyond the School Run

Show notes:

Becoming a mother is the ultimate creative act, and yet, when we become mothers our identities as creators, as individuals is often lost. Louise Webster is on a mission to connect mums, not only to themselves, but to the community and inspiration to drive us.

For Louise, parenthood has not just been about raising kids, but about raising herself; uncovering new things and unlocking parts of herself that had been lost. Growth is a part of who we are, becoming a parent doesn’t change that, if anything, it’s an accelerator.

If you’re feeling a little lost, like you haven’t found your mum or business tribe, like you’re not sure what your next move should be, this episode is for you.

Louise shares her experiences of navigating the changing demands of motherhood, timing for her business and how it related to her family, accessing her flow and finding her community and inspiration.

Listen to the end for Louise’s advice on how to find your purpose: take a daily step.

Listen in for:

  • Starting her own agency in her early 30s as
  • Louise recognised that motherhood and the corporate world weren’t compatible
  • Realising that her agency structure wasn’t as flexible as she needed to combine with motherhood and deciding to sell it
  • Returning to work after the birth of her daughter and seeing all the barriers that women face, and wanting to make lasting change for her daughter
  • Parenting is not just about raising kids, it’s about raising ourselves.
  • Children teach us
    We need to grow, it’s part of who we are, motherhood doesn’t change that, it might just change the pace
  • How important it is to access your flow
  • Finding your community and inspiration to keep you going in the tougher times
  • How to find your purpose

Links:

Website
Instagram
LinkedIn

 

About Louise Webster:

Louise Webster, mum of two, author of ‘A new way for mothers’ and Founder of Beyond the school run.

Louise launched Beyond The School Run in March 2012 as a place to help parents utilise their skills & talents in the hours available to them and for businesses to connect with this pool of talent.

The journey has taken Louise to Downing Street & The Cabinet Office and she is passionate about the positive impact supporting parents beyond the school run will have on families, society & the economy.

In 2023, Louise’s journey launched Beyond Global, which incorporates beyond the school run work as well as a Communications consultancy specialising in working with female founders.

Louise Webster’s Links:

Website
Instagram
LinkedIn
LinkedIn (Beyond the School Run)

Transcript:

Intro

Hello. I’m Caroline Marshall, and welcome to Bump to Business Owner the podcast speaking to mums in business. You. I’ll be in conversation with some of the most inspiring women and mothers in enterprise about their journey, how they created their successful businesses alongside raising their children and what that looks like in work and family life.

Caroline (00:05):
Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Bump to Business Owner. I’m your host, Caroline Marshall, and today I am welcoming Louise Webster, Louise is a mum of two, author of A New Way for Mothers and founder of Beyond the School Run. Louise launched Beyond the School Run in March, 2012 as a place to help parents utilise their skills and talents in the hours available to them and for businesses to connect with this pool of talent. The journey has taken Louisa to Downing Street and the cabinet office and she’s passionate about the positive impact supporting parents Beyond the School Run will have on families, society, and the economy. In 2023, Louise’s journey launched Beyond Global, which incorporates Beyond the School Run work as well as communication consultancy specialising in working with female founders. Louise, welcome. I can’t wait to hear more about your story. So tell us what was your career pathway that led you to Beyond the School Run?

Louise (01:23):
So my path in the lead up to Beyond the School Run is I ran a PR agency. I started off in-house at a kids entertainment company in my early days. Then I went on to set up my own consultancy and the reason I set that up was in my early thirties I was starting to think about children and I could see even back then the barriers that women were facing in terms of having a corporate career or raising children. I always knew that I wanted to find some sort of balance of some sort. I dunno whether that was the term, but I wanted to find some way that I would be able to work flexibly and raise children at a time where people weren’t even talking about the word flexibility. So I went on and set up my own consultancy, left in-house, set up my own consultancy with the view to growing a business, but I didn’t quite realise a point at which I was going to scale it so quickly and I loved it.

(02:13):
So I love helping other people build their businesses. I grew out, grew it to a five person agency and then I had my first child and the whole premise for me was I built a business in theory that I could run alongside having children and I’d have the autonomy and flexibility and what I didn’t realise, I’d built quite an old model and it didn’t allow me much flexibility at all. And I had a team and it was quite structured and what I realised about a year and a half into having my first child was it was all there was just all too intense alongside raising a child. So I decided to sell it and I sold it with the view to then having my second child and returning to the workplace. I mean I’d been in the industry for a long time and I thought it would be absolutely no concern with me returning to the workplace. And then I started to see the barriers. So I started to see the real barriers that people face, having two children, the support system, the cost of childcare and returning so many issues. And with that I then started to stream up Beyond the School Run because firstly I was so cross at the status quo and secondly, I’d had a daughter as my second child and I thought, I can’t see all of these issues and not start to do something about it because this will just not go when it will be something she experiences.

Caroline (03:43):
Oh, I love that. I mean, how smart were you in your early thirties to actually, I know it didn’t work out that way, but I just think you are very smart to think, okay, this isn’t work, this isn’t going to work, so I’m going to do this. And I guess was your five people there employees and this would’ve been very much pre covid in the office, so that’s why it really wouldn’t have worked, would it, I guess is how you built it?

Louise (04:06):
No, the model was very, it would be very different now actually. And it is so different now and the way I’m building my business, my priority now is very different. But then it was yes, people in the office you need to be out and about, which you do more now, which I’ve got much more freedom to do. But when you’ve got young kids you just don’t, I couldn’t facilitate the level of work that we needed to do in the way that I could do it before.

Caroline (04:32):
We’ve had this a lot on the podcast actually, and this is a theme is like I saw this was an issue and I couldn’t not try and help change it. And I love that. I think that’s a real motherhood thing, isn’t it?

Louise (04:46):
All of a sudden this shift that I noticed that you have where you become a mother and you are so aware of the world that you are leaving the with, I think not having, I’m not sure you’d have the same level of drive. Parenting is an opportunity not just to raise children, but to raise yourself and unlock parts of you maybe you’ve never discovered before, parts of you that completely lost along the way and something I believe should really happen in the school system that doesn’t. So unlocking our true element and our spark, I read a book called Find Your Element just before I set up Beyond the School Run and it completely was a revelation for me that we have our spark an element in us that it’s like a light and when you’re on that path, you are on your path and you live a very different way because each day feels very different.

(05:37):
You’re very lit up, you live in a sense of alignment and I think people would be less competitive and you’d understand how the world works in a very different way. Really if that was set up in the school system, I think people would come out on a really different path altogether, much happier, much more supportive of each other, especially women together. So beyond the screen, it’s very much a place which I dreamt of having where you have this place that helps you unlock these parts for yourself where you are supported and you are inspired. Ultimately for me it’s about growth, daily growth, which I think what we’re starting to understand now as human beings is that we all need to grow. It’s just a part of who we are and there’s daily steps towards that growth and the school system takes you through that to some degree, but it sort of stops the moment you come hit motherhood and there’s no place to help navigate that.

(06:32):
And that’s what beyond the screen is something that I always dreamt of having when I had the children is I kept looking for this place that would help me. I didn’t know it was growth at the time, but it was what I was feeling and looking for and I felt the conversation towards mothers was very dumbing down at a point where you’ve just done the most creative thing and you are ready to move out into the world and yet there’s nothing to support you in doing it. So that’s everything I was looking for. I just started to pull together and put it all in one place. So a connector basically, which is kind of fundamentally what I do with the PR side is I sort of love connecting opportunities to people and that’s what Beyond Grand’s all about.

Caroline (07:17):
Gosh, you made me a bit emotional there with, I think I’ve just come off a Wim Hof course, so I’m all about growth at the minute, but I’ve been learning about the term, is it called Matrescence? So that has been coming out and that’s basically what you are talking about is this term of growth we go through as mothers and certainly you have and you’ve got your book A New Way for Mothers, which I’ve read. And something that’s fantastic about it is that you see your journey and I’m someone now whose kids are three and five still in the early years but still feel a lot stronger than I did a year ago, a couple of years ago. When did you start feeling ready to take on the world? I think that’s really important to talk about as in it doesn’t happen straight away when you’ve got five months old.

Louise (08:07):
It doesn’t, and that’s the whole point of my book and Beyond the School Run is to allow us the space to really respect that journey we’re on in terms of motherhood. So I think we really need to honour that job as well and that role because it’s really crucial and what I always identified was the windows open up over time, but to be really kind of present in where you are right now because there is no rush, but there is a point and I noticed, and this was the point at which I then reestablish my PR agencies, all of a sudden you do come out of it. And it took me quite by surprise actually it was sort of a couple of years ago.

Caroline (08:50):
How old were your children?

Louise (08:52):
So my son was turning 12, but it was roughly about that time and there was a huge transition and there was a strange experience with that because part of me was like, oh my gosh, but they’ve all of a sudden got bigger and that strange too. So that parenting process had slightly gone but also the freedom had come as well. So it all comes and there’s that part of me that goes, but I would never, every memory I have of taking them every day to the school gates and that stays with me forever. And I was listening to a lady talk on Postcards from Midlife a while ago, her name’s Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, and she talks about this that this privilege world hopefully will have is a hundred year life. And she talked about how we are living quite an old structure. It’s the three tier structure of, and really we are be given four chapters.

(09:52):
She explains this really well, but it reframes how we see the parenting chapter and it is a chapter and when you are in it, that’s okay to but be taking yourself and still growing but really honouring that time. And then when you come after that there’s a time to also then set up businesses and grow even further or re-skill. And then there’s another chapter after that, but we are still living a three. So it really was quite a revelation when I heard her say it because it kind of makes you also really settle into that period as well when you are a parent. And it’s not to say that growth stops because I don’t think that is the case and that hence the whole idea behind Beyond the School Run, the whole idea behind my book. But I think there’s an opportunity to reframe how we do it all and by being present in the parenting journey, you can see what areas you can unlock and develop in yourself that can stand you in good stead for all the rest of the chapters of life.

(10:51):
And so I think it’s a hugely incredible time to reshape things and that’s certainly what I outlined in my book, that I was reworking things for myself and creating this whole new way that took a long time for me to shift those old patterns and create different ways of doing things and not keep going back to the old way. And it was always very tempting. So even all the sort of wellness things I learned for myself, and I still apply them now and I sometimes still go back to my book and go remind yourself Louise, what are you about say the school holidays. And it is so easy to get angry with yourself that things aren’t meaningful but it’s actually all runs alongside each other. It’s so clever that actually when you are in alignment and when you are on your path, it runs alongside the role of parenthood because certainly when I set up beyond the Scru in the early days there was a lot of people, my peers who were scaling businesses are much, much.

(11:53):
And there was a little bit of me that was sort of like, oh, I’m doing this much more organically and maybe I’m a bit behind. And really I just needed to honour that where I was on my journey for me was right for me and this was the stage I was meant to be getting Beyond the School Run and now I’m ready to scale Beyond the School Run much quicker now because that’s where I’m at in terms of the time I have alongside the children. So it’s just really recognising that you have your own path and trying not to compare and contrast.

Caroline (12:26):
Yeah, that’s great advice. Still definitely people listening who feel like they should be more along in their business journey or career journey and it’s about you’ve put foundations in place though for Beyond the School Run for this period you are in now. And something I kind of wanted to touch on because it was just very recent in a group chat, there was a lady bless her with a young one, I think a baby still who just basically told she couldn’t grow a successful business while being a mom in the early years. And I’d love your thoughts on that. Obviously it was just devastating that someone had said that to someone quite vulnerable without knowing nothing about her or the business.

Louise (13:03):
No. And nothing to know about her support system and would anyone say that to a father? Yeah, no, I think again, everyone and I see and I’m working with amazing female founders who are mothers, I’m amongst incredible networks and it all depends on where you are at your journey. So maybe the fact you have an incredible support system around you, in which case you can scale it, everyone’s so unique and it’s about sort of working out where you are at and I think people are growing incredible businesses and big part of Beyond the School Run is to help nurture that because I think at the point in which you’ve given birth, you are your most creative and we touched on earlier, you’ve got this sense of this desire to or hone into what needs to change on the planet, which I think is incredible and which that’s what I think nature does that to you all of a sudden you see these things.

(13:59):
So I want to also really help those people through Beyond the School Run, navigate scaling businesses. So I’m currently looking at our first fundraise at the moment for Beyond the School Run and I’m bringing all the information that’s taken me a couple of years to pull together all to all those people that are looking to do the same and I think we need to see, so women for example, that also need to be able to see other people doing it to connect with other people that are doing it. When you’re in an environment, I work from a great place where there’s other women scaling their businesses and you feel this energy together and you sort of feel like you’re driving each other and I’d love beyond the squadron community to be able to help that as well. So people are going to hear things like that. I think we just have to ignore it or use it as fuel to move forward.

Caroline (14:50):
I would definitely use it as fuel and do something like start a podcast

Louise (14:55):
And to keep listening to yourself. So if you’re growing something and I think the children, your children and how you feel are all a good steer. So if it’s moving in the right direction, the flow is going. Mine was clearly needed to be organic at the time I was learning a lot for myself about myself. It was just that was how my journey needed to be. Someone else might be able to grow something really quickly or it’s enough to grow it at a different pace. I think we all have something different and I think that’s unique and interesting.

Caroline (15:30):
Exactly, and I think that whole work on yourself is such a valuable point. You can really tell even with someone who’s very time poor. I think for me in my early years of motherhood so far that has been the key part is really having to put a mirror to myself and work on things. How has that looked for you? We talked about cold showers before, but as we’re both a fan, where did you even start with that where you were like, okay, there’s something I need to work on here

Louise (16:01):
Without a shadow of doubt? The parenting journey taught me with that. So I started and I wish, I think we talked about this before, all this knowledge wasn’t out there before we had children. I kind of really craved it. I remember I’ve always been someone that’s taken a really holistic approach to health and I remember really in the early days being really excited when health food shops came out foods and it’s always been something I’ve been really interested in, but I don’t think I’d known it enough about my own body pre having children. But the clever thing about having children is again, you are up against it. So I remember when my energy used to dip so low quite quickly in the day when you’re raising children, you can’t just go and have a lie down or you can’t just be sat in the office, just sit quietly on your computer, still got to keep going with your, it is almost like it forces you to really address it because it’s going, you don’t have a choice here, you can’t have a sick day, there are no sick days.

(17:08):
You’re going to have to work out how you are going to be up at five and with sustaining your energy all the way through. So the start of mine was I started looking at nutrition, I write about this in the book and then I just kept going from there and there and it was almost like the parenting journey just shows it up for you in a really clever way because you are forced to, you have no choice. And I learned more from that about my body than anything could ever have taught me. I think, well maybe there are things, but how my body, what my body’s rhythm is, how I function best and what times of the day I function best, what food fuels me in the best way, what environments I’m best in. All those things that really, if we could have learned them sooner…

Caroline (18:07):
Gosh, my twenties would’ve been great.

Louise (18:09):
Oh my god, it would’ve just been incredible. So yes, without a shadow of doubt it was the parenting journey that kickstarted it for me and I don’t think I would’ve looked at it in such an intense way had it not been kind of almost forced upon you. And that’s the clever thing about parenting. I think that’s the whole point of it. It’s there to raise us, the kids there to teach us.

Caroline (18:35):
Oh so true. I always think my eldest is such a mirror of me sometimes that makes me really work hard to work on anything that may get kind of triggered from things that I see in me that I don’t want to go back. And then I see that in my husband with my other child. It’s so interesting what you’ve got to learn about yourself when you’ve got these little mirrors there.

Louise (18:58):
That’s the other part of I guess the journey where we talked earlier on about where you come out of it. I guess that’s part of the coming out of it is where you’ve sort of not learned all the, because there’s always lessons to learn, but I think there’s quite an intense period in the early years because when they’re that little they’re showing up to you really quickly really. I remember thinking when there were so little, I used to sort of do it that I’d keep moving with them if I couldn’t get to the gym, but I knew that I needed to move and actually it taught me a lot about needing to exercise more and how to, all those things when you kind of follow the flow of the children, I talk about a chapter in my book about being present when you’re out with them and that teaches you so much as well. Yeah, there’s just so much it can teach you. It’s incredible. Yeah,

Caroline (19:47):
I think it’s that awareness of it, not trying to fight it is what you’re talking about is that trying to be, I think I always, I put it down to hands down, I had trauma, we almost lost our seconds and then it was just like when you have no choice to work on it, you do and then you start to learn in your book you get even to the point where you talk about what you wear, which I think is actually really important about finding your identity again and embracing that

Louise (20:15):
Everything for me and everything I unravel in the book and I believe Beyond the School Run journey to be is it’s all about the unravelling of you and part of the outside and external of your clothes is part of that. Because I think all too often we can spend a lot of time as women from the early days of programming and everything externally is you can go out and then you’re not feeling quite comfortable in your clothes or there’s a bit of chat in your head about, and this is about really just finding exactly that you are comfort on the inside of you and on the outside. And I talk in there about in the early years of parenting, I still have it now actually is just having a uniform in the week where I just don’t have to think too much about it. I know what it is, just put it on and then go.

(21:01):
And anything that comes beyond there, which I keep thinking one day will come where I can spend a bit more time thinking about it. But for the moment there are certain things you just to make things much simpler for you that you just know what you are all about. But also taking that moment too, I remember there was one day where, and the kids were quite young, I just hadn’t got myself, I hadn’t spent any time in that part of the day thinking about my external appearance. I remember I got to the end of the day and there’s something felt so off and I would, I always remember that, that I promised myself then I would never let a day go by where I didn’t even, it didn’t mean just getting, it just meant really focusing on just doing my hair and putting on some that actually that’s so key and it’s not about anyone else, it was always about how it makes you feel and how you’re all showing up for that day and it’s all about you. It’s all about how and everything you learn and that journey now for me being slightly on the other side of it, it’s so valuable. Nothing else. If you are feeling that point where, oh, I’m not in the right place or I need to be further is you are learning everything you need to learn and you will, you’ll be so grateful for that, for when you reach whatever stage. The body is so clever showing you all this now.

Caroline (22:27):
Yeah, it’s not doing it because it’s not working, not

Louise (22:30):
Doing it to hold you back. It’s actually in the opposite it is doing it to say because it will all pay off and it’s okay that, and I think now about me ready to scale Beyond the School Run now it feels entirely the right time. Whereas if I try and I did tell myself not to, but in the early days where I was like, oh I’m so, I was used to growing things quickly and I was like, no, it’s not growing and the chatter in your head that goes, oh, I’m still in this or things aren’t moving quickly enough now. I’m like, no, because now is the right time, now is the right time. Whereas it wasn’t before. It wasn’t for me personally, it wasn’t for me with the stage the kids are at, so everything is aligned.

Caroline (23:18):
Oh I love that. And you still have achieved great things along the way. You weren’t just sat there waiting for it. I love that. And you talk a little bit about support network and how that’s different. What support network has seen you through. Have you ever had moments where you’ve felt, where is my support network? Who are they? Where are my people? Have you ever felt like that?

Louise (23:37):
Yeah, loads. Especially in the early days and I think that was probably one of the hardest things, constantly trying to navigate the changes in the requirements of having young children. And I kept looking at that. I analysed worked on that a lot to see ways in which it could work because the way I was working back then was very different to how, I mean people working differently now thank goodness. And that was something I was championing with Beyond the School Run and so many other amazing other people were doing as well to create the change. But I kept looking at new ways to do it. So everything I did was, so for example, we had au pairs who were amazing. I would often ask in our local community who’s already nannying who gave us, because I didn’t need to go down the conventional route of a conventional nanny, but I did need the support.

(24:35):
And then I did a lot where I shared child play dates and things. So the parenting network was really important to me. I just kept looking at ways and it kept changing every year it seemed to be slightly different. School holidays was a big one. I always found those. I learned from those so much every year because some I’d get to the end of the summer holidays and I would just be on my knees and then having to rebuild myself back up again and work out what’s the focus for work and rebuild up my wellbeing up again because you just got back into that tunnel vision of just looking after the kids and then you reemerge out again, you’re like, oh yeah, gosh, because so intense. And every year I learned a little bit more about those and how to plan and plan ahead for those and prep for those.

(25:26):
I write a lot about that in my book, how to keep what were the core fundamentals to my routine that were key for me to get me into my flow, that I could access my work quickly in the short windows of times I had in the holiday. So I talk a lot about flow, accessing flow because I believe that’s crucial and again, parenting teaches you to access that because when you have such short windows, especially in the school holidays where you’re going from thinking about the kids to thinking about work, thinking about the kids to access your flow is almost essential to get you into that work rhythm.

(26:09):
So yeah, support networks. And then on the work side, again, I looked at that a lot and what I really understood, people talked a lot about mentors, but I never really discovered that personally for myself. But I did find people on my journey who were instrumental in giving me what I needed at the time. So at the point they were quite a few times where I just thought, I’m just not sure I can carry on with this. I’m not sure this is, and then someone would pop up and would just give me this amazing piece of advice or cheer me on or something amazing would happen, like an invitation to say Downing Street. So there would be things that I saw as that was what I kind of saw in the work at my work as support. A little sign is going keep going, come on, get over that point and then you’re flowing again and then there’ll be another point where you’re like, oh I dunno if I can do this and then something and that’s where I won’t Beyond the School Run. This is everything I craved was a place where I could dip into meeting people on the same journey who knew exactly where you’re at and who could just give you that boost or say give you that connection or answer that question or that little bit of inspiration you needed for that day just to pull your head out of the day-to-day.

Caroline (27:30):
That’s so true. I’ve definitely been feeling that recently and I think in your book I took away about listening to a little inspiring Ted talk or podcast and I was like, oh yeah, why have I not been doing that? We’ve got so much inspiration in our hands and I had had these little boosts along the way so they do come, but when it’s been a while since you’ve had a boost and you have to do it yourself.

Louise (27:52):
You really do and it’s like the Wim Hoff equivalent and it can shift everything. So your thought as soon as you shift that from maybe you just know you are not quite as motivated or your thoughts aren’t that little bit. I remember one day there was one day, it was years ago and I just saw this woman had and I always thought that’s the power of motivation. I think I was at the gym and I couldn’t get my head into work and I just saw this sweatshirt this lady had and it just said believe or something in that instant it was like it reshaped my thoughts and that day then just went flows and I was having the best day with work and it was incredible and I just thought the power of words and motivation, inspiration, that’s why a big part of beyond the Screw on is to provide that as well because I think you really need that at that stage. It’s slightly different again when you am now able to work in town a lot more and as I go in every day I’m like, oh, just seeing posters and things and information and inspiration and other people and I’m like, oh my gosh, it just fills you up. And that’s what we used to having and probably took it for granted before kids. Whereas when you don’t have that day to day, it can have to really seek it.

Caroline (29:16):
When you’re arguing with a toddler and you’ve been woken up every couple of hours, both of those things happen to me today and it is these work calls that lift me up, I’m like, yes, it’s a moment in child rearing.

Louise (29:32):
You really hold onto those moments. The other thing I talk about in my book is ensuring you don’t let the other stuff in. So I was really careful about the content. I learned to get very clear on what content is feeding me and what isn’t. So for example, if the radio was on and it was just a lot of unnecessary information for me at that time, I would just switch it off or I wouldn’t try and force myself to read something that just wasn’t seem aligned to me. And that’s all part of the flow and understanding where you were at and what’s right for you and what’s right for you in that day or in that period and things like that. I

Caroline (30:11):
Think that’s so true in a social media world. I often have times, even just WhatsApp, I sometimes realise groups for me for a few days and I know now I’ll come back

Louise (30:21):
And it’s fine. It’s just honouring your own thoughts and what you are feeding yourself on lots of different levels, but that inspiration is really key. That inspiration is so key and it’s important for us to seek it out I think, and it’ll be there when you know need it, you’ll find it, it’ll pop up somewhere and you’ll be like, that’s what I needed to hear.

Caroline (30:44):
That’s what I needed.

Louise (30:45):
And you’re like, thank goodness.

Caroline (30:48):
And it may be this talk for someone today hopefully.

Louise (30:51):
Yeah, it’s just incredible how when you need it, things pop up.

Caroline (30:57):
You’ve got a very clear purpose, very purpose driven. It’s clearly been that a while and a lot of your achievements have come from this and your drive and your purpose also very complimentary to your previous skills. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice of anyone who’s listening to this and they have no idea what they’re going to do, what’s next for them? They need to do something, they want to do something they don’t know whether now’s the right time or the future of how to find what your purpose is. I think for me with both this and with my business upsource, I have a clear purpose with both of them and that is what keeps me going and drives me during the tough times as well as getting those little nuggets of inspo. What would be your thoughts on someone trying to find that?

Louise (31:40):
Yes, so I think and for me say for example with Beyond the School Run, it doesn’t come overnight. So it is a kind of process and I would say go and start exploring and notice how it feels. So when you are looking for it, just start to become open to what? So just think I’m ready to find what that is and then start taking those steps and it’s a bit like the excitement of when you start your career at the beginning and it’s just the most thrilling thing where you are just going out. And so I’ve met a lot of people that have gone and volunteered and started in that part of that journey and just working out what they’re all about. So are they sort of a connector or what are the things that really light them up? So I would say just start and then look at what you are so drawn to in terms of information or engaging with and just keep checking in is this lighting you up and is this authentic to you?

(32:37):
Not what you think other people think or what people expect of you. It’s what you are genuinely drawn to. And I’ve seen so many women go on this path and it’s so fascinating. So some around find themselves going on a journey of empowering other women or I’ve seen women have then sort of discovered how things that they want to really develop or develop businesses and it’s just a step-by-step process similar to the way that we would’ve done it, but probably more accelerated adults at this point. But the point where your children and you just start looking and just look at that book or read that book or go for that meeting or go and have that conversation or try something out and just go on that little bit of exhibition and quite quickly it will start to unravel. What you’d start to realise also is a lot of it was from very early on as you’re a child it all goes back to, so everything that’s all quite authentic to me is almost all in Beyond the School Run.

(33:37):
Everything that I was always, always really interested in. But what we go is on this path of self-doubt or questioning and when I see these other women on there, but I can see it’s them, I love seeing it like you are so born to do this after have to meet people and I’m like, you are so born to do this. I’m not born to do what you are doing. And that’s what our element is where you are actually in your element. I love that whole idea where we’re all on this planet at a certain time and everyone’s got these elements. You put this jigsaw puzzle together and we’ll all be meant to be working on certain things at certain times to create the right change within the world. None of it’s too late. Everything’s happening at exactly the right time for you to just taking that step today, whether it’s calling someone coming on Beyond the School Run, seeing an opportunity on Beyond the School Run, turning up at that event that they’ve read about Beyond the School Run or taking that flexible job.

(34:33):
Even if I’ve done various jobs in between with Beyond the School Run as well, where it’s just led me to understand a little bit more about myself. So recently I went back into the corporate world for one, it just reiterated something that I needed to know for myself and it gave me such clarity and there was a little bit of dialogue in my head before that was saying maybe I should have carried on in the cupboard and it gave me such clarity that I’m like now. So every single bit gives you a little understanding and just as long as you just keep following the light, whatever it is that gives you energy and that’s the other thing that’s clever. You need energy when you’re parenting and nothing that can drain you. So what I learned with everything on the school, every time I did it gave me this energy back that I’d never even knew existed. So I look for that then you know are on your right path and then you’ll meet the right person who will introduce you to someone or the right book will appear. But to take a daily step, it doesn’t have to be very big.

Caroline (35:39):
Yeah, a little step, ask for someone for a coffee, attend a webinar. There’s loads of webinars as well.

Louise (35:44):
There’s tonnes, but equally if you are at something or it doesn’t feel, so the other thing I learned when the kids were really little is if I was pushing myself hard, too hard to do something, I’d know it’s not right If I was trying to get to this event and I couldn’t get the childcare to work and it was just there were too many barriers.

Caroline (36:01):
Oh, hard relate to this.

Louise (36:04):
Then there could be something else that I would try and go to and it all just flows. I’m obviously meant to be there. So it’s all like, and then you turn and then I would turn up and there’s people I’ve met now that I met then that are longstanding work colleagues of mine now and I just go, oh my gosh, or I can’t believe that I met them back then when I was just desperate to get out of the house and I had my one hour window of time away from doing all the domestic stuff and the kids stuff and there and I now see them, those people that I met have scaled incredible businesses. They’re good friends of mine now. So I’d say be brave, follow your flow and just keep testing out. You have your own path and it’s amazing when you’re on it.

Caroline (36:56):
I love that. So be brave, follow your flow, and keep testing. That’s amazing. Top three tips for someone. Just I love the brave one. I feel like I need that.

Louise (37:09):
And the bravery bit feels good when you do it as well. What that effectively is is that sense of moving out of your comfort zone because when you are working pre-kids, you’re sort of doing that most of the time anyway people are. And whereas that can be, I found that could be stopped a little bit. Very easy not to do that. There’s nothing encouraging you necessary to do it, so you almost have to encourage yourself. So little things for me in the early days were things like accepting that public speaking role thing that I maybe wouldn’t necessarily or sending out newsletters when no one was really writing newsletters and I was like, what am I doing? Writing down all these things that I’m experiencing is anyone but really stepping out of comfort zone or social media is brilliant for that. Is teaching you to do that or doing the vlogs or doing, setting that thing up that maybe you think, should I set up, should I not?

(38:07):
What are people going to think it is? Just if it’s in you do it and that moment you take that step to do it, it will start to open up. So I could question millions of times when I set up Beyond the School Run, in the early days people were just like, what on earth are you doing? What I always used to say, there was one in three that would go, oh, this is amazing. And then other people would be like, I’ve no idea what you’re doing or what you’re talking. So there’ll be other people who probably experience that, who have some vision of what they want to build in 10 years, but are probably thinking why am I thinking this? It’s just to take the step.

Caroline (38:45):
Stick with the vision, take the step,

Louise (38:47):
Stick with the vision.

Caroline (38:49):
Oh Louise, thank you so much. It’s been an absolute pleasure to chat. Where can people find you if they want to find out more?

Louise (38:58):
They can find us at beyondtheschoolrun.com. They can register our newsletter at beyondtheschoolrun.com/register with us and there they get information coming directly to them and come find us on Instagram @beyondtheschoolrun and our podcast on Spotify. And we are growing a lot at the moment, so we’re going to be having a lot more opportunities, a lot more ways in which people can come on and get really tailored information via Beyond the School Run. So whether they’re looking for flexible jobs or wellbeing information or events or opportunities or connect with the community, whatever it might be. Or they might be looking to move into a completely different career. We’re going to have a whole tech section all we can bring in a section all about learning about money.

Caroline (39:43):
I wish we touched on money now. So passionate about that. We’ll do another one when you come online and we can talk about it. Let’s talk money.

Louise (39:58):
Let’s talk money because we need more women empowering themselves and their girls. So yes, that’s how you can find us. It’s growing, it’s growing quickly. Hopefully everyone can find what they need and their steps on there.

Caroline (40:11):
Wonderful. Thank you again and I’m so excited for people to find their thing through Beyond the School Run and I know I’m really excited now that you are ready to see where it goes as well.

Outro

Thank you so much for listening to Bump to Business Owner. I hope you enjoyed the conversation. Please do rate, review, follow or subscribe wherever you’re listening. It really helps us to connect with more mums and business owners. You can DM me at Bump to Business Owner on Instagram and I’ll be back next week.

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