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Where Have I Been?

This blog has been pretty quiet over the last few months.  I thought I’d be able to pick it back up a bit more now Ella is at preschool and I have my non-working mornings to myself, while Sienna naps, before we head to pick up Ella.

But those mornings have been spent working.  I’m doing a big push on my business at the moment.  I’ve always worked towards the ‘work less for more’ approach with my business.  I want to spend time with the girls while they are young, but I also want my business to be a ‘success’ and for me to be a key person of influence in my industry.  And this, of course, does require some time.  I work two full days a week typically.  Some weeks, I work more and Sienna goes for an extra day to nursery, and Ella spends the afternoon after pre-school at nursery too.  But mostly, I work Tuesdays and Thursdays.  And the rest of the week I play at being a mum!

I’ve been running a business now for 7 years.  My first business, Personnel Surveys, is still going, though I don’t commit a huge amount of time to it now.  I really just service the clients we already have and typically run about 3 surveys a year.  My main business, Sam Flynn Social Media, is my passion.  I train businesses in the use of social media for business, and help them to see new ways to attract customers and keep their current customers coming back for more.  My background is in business psychology, so I really try to use my psychology knowledge in helping organisations to use their personality (or brandonality as I like to call it for businesses) in their social media activity.  This business has been going for around 6 years, and as well as training, I also regularly speak at business events throughout the UK.  I like to think that I’m relatively well-known within the UK, and in particular Manchester, for social media training and speaking.

But I’ve worked hard to get to that point.  Within the 6 years of focusing on social media, I’ve had two babies.  I’ve taken time off from the business, mainly because I didn’t want to regret not doing so years down the line, when I have teenagers who barely speak to me!  And I don’t regret a second of that time spent with my babies.  It’s also why I try my best to keep to only two days a week of work.  It’s the flexibility of running your own business that allows for this.  Running a business definitely comes with its stresses.  I spend a good proportion of my time marketing the business.  I have to get customers or there is no business!  It’s difficult.  Plus there’s things like tax and accounts to think about.  After having Sienna, who was a pretty difficult and demanding baby, plus a young toddler to look after, and having very little sleep, I found it really difficult to have business stresses thrown in to the mix.  I made a few business mistakes.  I really let the business slide.  And then, when Sienna started at nursery, it took a good while for the business to pick back up to where it was before.  I almost crumbled and started exploring the option of working for someone else.  But I realised, I would either have to work full time, or really take a huge step back in my career to do part time work.  I wouldn’t be looking at the same level of success or balance as I currently have.  So the business won.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not thinking of new ideas for the business, or things I need to do, or getting stressed over accounts.  It’s par for the course.  There’s lots of rough that comes with the smooth.  But I really want to make it work more for our family.  I want to contribute more to the family.  I want the girls to see what hard work can achieve.  And I want my passion to spread as far as possible in making social media not quite as boring a place!  I think there is so much opportunity for businesses that they don’t explore, and I want to help them see that.

The result is, at the moment, the business is winning.  When I have time to get stuff done, that stuff is the business.  If my laptop is on, I’m on the business.  I just haven’t quite got the mental space and physical time right now to also blog 3 times a week on here.  Plus, I’m writing my first business book.  And that is going to add even more time pressure!

So, this blog may slide a bit, as it already has.  I can’t be a success at everything without crumbling under it all.  And right now, I want my successes to lie with my business and with raising my children.  I will be here every now and again, and some weeks I may write several times.  As I actually find this really therapeutic and I love writing.  I have blog posts for Life of Mum that pop in my head in the middle of the night after settling Sienna (who is still really struggling to sleep at 17 months old).  And I mentally write them out and decide that tomorrow I will put fingers to keyboard.  But it doesn’t happen.

Thanks for being a reader of my blog and for sticking around when I haven’t.  And apologies for the future sporadic nature of this blog.  I really hope you read the posts I manage to get out, when I do get them out!

And in terms of where I’ve physically been, we’re just back from a week away.  We spent a few days in the Isle of Man visiting family and then a few days at a holiday park.  A chance to recoup (though I do actually feel like I need another holiday already!).  Here are a few pics from our trip!

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