Hustle and Juggle With Julia Duncan
How long have you been doing the Hustle and Juggle?
What is the Juggle to your Hustle?
I currently have 2 jobs, a 3 year old and a Beagle.
Tell me more about your business?
Photography for Little People by Julia provides fine art for maternity, newborn and siblings as well as dogs. PLP is the UK leader in impressions too with the youngest being only 6 hours new. My business is a franchise and I own the licence for Suffolk and Norfolk.
My other business is a consultancy firm employing both me and my husband. We both work as Project Manager, my husband full-time, currently in Ipswich and me, 2 days a week as a consulting PM for Aviva.
What is your Hustle and Juggle story?
It all started when my daughter was born! I took voluntary reduncancy from an IT Senior Leadership role reporting to the CIO at Telefonica (O2). It was always my plan to do something different after my maternity leave but at the time, I had no idea what!
Fast forward 2 years and after 12 months of planning and talking, I bought the franchise for PLP. I had taken a role at Aviva 5 days a week and found the juggling of a 3 hour commute and childcare utterly draining and was constantly ill. I’ve been fortunate that as I’ve looked to reduce the amount of juggling I need to do, I’ve reduced to 4 days, then 3 and now 2 at Aviva.
I launched my business in September 2015 with the intention of leaving Aviva in the November but they asked me to stay. Combining my training, my launch, my marketing with my family needs took it’s toll in March when I was really ill from doing too much.
Again I had intended to leave Aviva last month but was begged to stay reducing to 2d a week. I’ve had a long hard look at myself and the fact that I’m great at putting Project Management skills to good use at Aviva but wasn’t applying them to my business!
I now have a structured routine. Time allocated in my diary for each key activity such as planning my week, our family finances, time out to have fun and relax, my weekly marketing plan, time for training and mentoring etc.
We live on a thin line of being organised (if you ignore the small stuff like my enormous ironing pile) and have crumbled if childcare has fallen through or one of us is ill. However, I’m hoping my new approach will mean that I can quickly re-organise my day or week.
Of course of lot of this comes down to attitude…I’ve had to change my mindset. Things like taking a deep breathe and stopping for a moment to ask myself what really matters and what’s the worst that can happen. That change in mindset has helped me be more relaxed and rather proud of my ability to hustle and juggle!
What’s your message to anyone reading this to inspire them to keep going and remain visible?
Be clear on your goals and break them into smaller actions. Be realistic about what you can achieve in a day or a week or a spare hour. Keep re-visiting them and resetting them if you’re not getting results. Never underestimate the power of timeout. If there’s loads in your head, write it all down, pick 3 priority items and decide when you can fit them in then park it and go and do something fun. Network, network, network – I cannot believe how much I have learnt, for free, through the amazing people I’ve met since launching my business.
If like Julia you are Hustling & Juggling and would like to share your story with others please find out how you can do so here. I would love to hear from you.
Lastly if you are ever feeling like giving up please remember Julia’s advice – Never underestimate the power of timeout. If there’s loads in your head, write it all down, pick 3 priority items and decide when you can fit them in then park it and go and do something fun.!