Taking the Leap into Business as a Single Mum
Abi Howell is a passionate, single mother of a teenage boy, as well as the director of thriving recruitment company, Truly Tailored Recruitment
I first met Abi at a Mastermind Boardroom meeting with the Women's Business Club. At that time she was doing really well as a director of a recruitment company. She was driven, focussed and very professional. I could tell straight away that she was the boss of a few people! As I got to know her more through these monthly meetings, I learned that she had a son, and as I got to know her even more, I started to see a whole new side to Abi. Abi, the mother.
At first, my impression of Abi was that she was a fierce business woman (in a good way!) But when I got to know Abi the mother, there was something even fiercer there. She is passionate about her boy, and would do completely anything for him. I just love to hear her talking about him and their journeys and adventures together. I have been inspired by what an incredible mother she is, and just how much she would give to provide and create a life for her son.
Abi has since left her original role in the recruitment company, and started up a new company together with a trusted friend and colleague. And I love watching the business grow from strength to strength under her leadership.
So here is a tiny glimpse into the life of Abi Howell, Director of her own recruitment company and a passionate mother to her teenage son!
What was your reason for starting up your own business?
There isn’t a singular reason but more multiple reasons that brought me to the point to know that it was the right thing for me to do. One of my main reasons is my son; I am a single mum and wanted to make sure that I was being the very best role model to him that I could be. I wanted to make sure that I was providing for him in all of the ways he needed, financially and more importantly with time that he needs for his mum to be there, which is not always easy when you are employed and need to work strict contracted hours. I do feel that there are not enough companies out there that will offer working mums the opportunity to use their amazing skill sets that they have developed over many years if they feel they need to have part time or flexible working hours.
How do you juggle being a mum while running a business?
This is not always easy and sometimes I wonder myself how?! It takes a huge amount of organisation and managing and lots of preparation! Work know my home commitments but when I am in work I am totally committed to work and I try my very best not to let it interfere. It is the same with my home life I try my very best not to let my work interrupt. However, both sides of my world are amazing and I understand that sometimes it is not as simple as that and unfortunately to enable me to be a success at both of my “jobs” sometimes they do encroach on the others time and there really isn’t anything I can do about it.
What does a typical day look like in your family?
Up at 6:30am and the chaos ensues! Sorting out a 13 year old boy and a puppy and myself with the aim of getting out of the door by 7:30am as my son catches his bus to school. I then head on to work to open up the office and have a good 45 minutes alone to prepare my day before the rest of the team start at 8:30am. I then work in and on my business until about 4:20pm when my son arrives at the office for his lift home. It is this time every day that my 2 worlds do collide momentarily and the team at work make a huge effort with my son and he always asks about what is happening in the business! Then we head home for homework, dog walking, cooking & eating dinner, washing, drying and ironing of laundry, sorting out the house and keeping on top of chores, down time for an hour together usually cwtched up on the sofa watching some TV! Then bed ready to begin again tomorrow!
What advice would you give to any mum wanting to start their own business?
Be organised and make sure you have “work” time and “home” time as it is too easy to “work” all of the time. Being organised for me is the key to this and when you are in work make sure you work and then at home enjoy your home time.
What advice do you seek being a mum in business already?
I suppose mine is now less advise it is more about kindred voices as sometimes it does all become too much and can be overwhelming and it is good to be reminded you are not the only one trying to make 2 successful “jobs” run concurrently. It is great to hear from others that they have the same issues as you and although there sometimes (very often!) there is no fix to this it is not the end of the world! The business won’t close overnight if you need a home day and vice versa!
How has the Women's Business Club been there for you in your business journey?
I have plenty of kindred voices I can hear and seek advise from if I need it. The biggest thing for me though is as a working mum I very rarely take a break so the Connect lunch is the one guaranteed time in a month I take a break, connect with other working mums and actually eat a great lunch!!
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