How long have you been doing the Hustle and Juggle?
Feels like my whole life, but for me almost 5 years
What is the Juggle to your Hustle?
Kid, hubby, me and running our business which is in fact 2 businesses and a sideline business plus constant development in terms of learning.
Tell me more about your business?
Ready Steady Go Kids is a multi-sports and exercise programme for children aged 2 to 7 years. We bought the Master Franchise for the UK and Ireland back in 2012, and launched the brand in the UK in 2013.
In the UK, we are on a mission to inspire the next generation to lead active lifestyles, not out of fear or guilt but out of a true love of being active. There are so many benefits to being active and we try and instil this through our classes.
I feel very strongly about providing children with several ways to learn, and Ready Steady Go Kids is one way our kids can learn through sports, and it is super fun!
What is your Hustle and Juggle story?
The Good – I am getting to be there for my daughter, the whole reason for wanting to own our own business, and to be able to run our business from home. She recently started school, and I am truly grateful to be in our 5th year (Ready Steady Go Kids has been running for 4 years now) running our business that allows me to walk her to school every morning, most afternoons collect her at 3pm, and even volunteer at the school and get to see her interactions in the classroom. Time is short and does not stop for anyone, this is precious and I am soaking it up!
The bad…or rather ‘The facts’ – the mom guilt and dad guilt. Our business has become our life, we have become our business. We live, eat, sleep, dream Ready Steady Go Kids…it is our life, and no that is not bad, but unlike a job (at least most jobs) it is all encompassing, and by default it has become our daughter’s life too. Now I repeat, this is not bad, but we do not have a traditional family life, and that works for us. We love what we do, I love what I do and so I am almost always working, there is no off-switch, which can be exhausting for us. It can also be hard for a little one when she really just wants Mummy & Daddy time, and she gets a lot of it, but it is almost always shared in some way with our business. That is the Justle!
The Ugly – having to say no to good friends due to plans and commitments to the business. Being a ‘work at home mum’ it is easy to feel that because you are at home you can help friends out or meet up. The ugly truth of it is, you can’t and you shouldn’t. You need to be very very strict with yourself so that you do work on your business to grow it. Of course be flexible as that is the point, and I do struggle with this sometimes, but I find it is easier to manage the demands of life when I plan, focus and am disciplined with myself and my time, but that will mean that we only sometimes see some of our friends once a year. (Gosh that sounds awful, but I really do love our business and what we do, but between our only little family, our greater family and the business, sometimes there just isn’t enough weekends in a year to fit all the friends in, hopefully they know that it is not because we do not care, but because we are trying to build the business, once franchising takes off, and there are many more franchisees, we will most likely end up with a more traditional family and work life!) Or as those that know me might say….maybe not as I’m sure I’ll find a way to keep things hectic.
The Justle – I vividly remember launching the business and knowing how important Saturday classes were, we focused on growing those quickly. It was not practical at the time to get relatives to help out with my daughter so she used to come along to classes, sit in her push chair in the corner of the venue with snacks and a toy or two at 14 months old, whilst Daddy and I coached 2 classes. Perhaps not ideal, but it worked for us and before classes and after classes we had a mini helper. Over time we grew, we hired coaches, added classes, added venues and for a while she went to the grandparents every Saturday morning (which posed its own logistical juggle). After a while she asked to join our classes and a new juggle began, with Daddy taking her along to his Kingston classes, where she sits for 45 minutes colouring or with an activity and a snack, and then joins in with ‘her class’, and still today (18 months on) she still goes to classes with Daddy, after her gymnastics class which is early…..and so the juggle continues. I am very glad I can do this with my hubby, and so together we juggle between business and family, and all that throws at us.
Can it be difficult, yes, everyone has days where it feels too much, but in those moments I contemplate my alternative, and know I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What’s your message to anyone reading this to inspire them to keep going and remain visible?
Not everyone get to do a job they absolutely love, so many of us have friends that are miserable in their jobs. So ask yourself one question: Do you love what you do? Do you love your business idea?
If the answer is unequivocally YES, then know that doing what you love, building a business you are passionate about is not really work (it can be hard work, but it is not work). Be real, be honest and take it one step at a time. Celebrate the wins, learn from the losses and remember we are lucky to be able to do what we love and be able to build a business from it!
If like Kathy 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.
If you need a daily reminder then visit the Justle™ shop for mugs of inspiration and join my “Buy A Mug, I’ll Give You A Plug” campaign!
Image in interview courtesy of Little Pip Photography!