We took a bit of a leap ourselves this week. Thanks to our gorgeous community of kin, we were lucky enough to be interviewed by Australia’s leading morning show Sunrise! I want to give you a little bit of an insight as so how it came about, and what else I wish I could have said about leaps, and ‘mumpreneurs’. Here it is.
(Can’t see the video? Watch it on Sunrise here.)
The making of a TV segment
Last week I had the fortunate opportunity to be interviewed for Australia’s leading morning TV show, Sunrise. Let me tell you how it came about…
Bourne out of the incredible stories I would hear from my coaching clients, last April I started publishing The Leap Stories – stories of people who had taken courageous leaps in their working lives.
Each week, in addition to posting here on the blog, I also publish them on LinkedIn.
Through LinkedIn I was contacted by Sonia Lear, an ex ABC International Affairs reporter who was now back in Melbourne with three children under two running the Happy Camper food truck. She suggested that her leap story would fit with the series. ‘Hells yes’ I said! I published Sonia’s story in August 2015.
I’m a member of Creative Women’s Circle, and I have also written about it’s President, Tess McCabe and her leap. A few weeks ago, they contacted me about collaborating on an event to bring The Leap Stories to life through an in-real-life event and panel discussion (happening this Thursday 26 May 2016 – last tickets remaining). Sonia will be one of the panel members, and posted the event details on her Facebook page. Her longtime friend, reporter Michelle Tapper from Sunrise saw the post, and approached Sonia last Monday about doing a story on leaping women. Sonia then contacted me, and fellow leaper Emma Fulu to join her. We filmed on Thursday, it aired the following Monday. I’m blogging about it the day after.
This is what the path to the interview looked like:
Blog > LinkedIn > Blog > Community Organisation > Live Event > Facebook > TV > Facebook > Blog
Telling stories works. Content marketing works. Social media works. Reaching out works. Building connections works. Being interested in people’s lives works. Meeting up in real life works. Being consistent works. Standing for what you believe works. Staying with the work, works.
While it was a massive buzz to get a gig on national TV, my 10 seconds and two lines (flexility and starting a side gig first) didn’t even being to get close to all the things I wanted to say about taking a leap. However the irony is, in being forced to be brief I had to identify the essentials to taking a leap. Michelle was very patient with me while dealing with my verbosity, and actually managed to get me to express a few ideas much more concisely than I could have got to myself! As Michelle captured these in the story they are:
- Make a plan
- Get your finances organised
- Find support
- Take action
And in essence that’s true. Once you’ve crossed the line to choose courage and take a leap, it really is just about the mechanics of bringing it to life.
But for many, the ‘choose courage’ bit to take the leap is paralysing. So, I took the opportunity to write all the things I wish I could have said, and made a little ebook instead (see below to grab your copy!). In essence, taking a leap is actually about getting to the core of who you are and what you believe, being conscious about how you want to live your life, and making choices true to you and no one else.
Also, leaping doesn’t have to just be about quitting your day job to start your own business – leaps come in many shapes and sizes… in fact, I believe a leap is anything that feels uncomfortable and gets you in front of a new audience or in a new situation, that feels scary and exciting at the same time. It’s not really a leap unless you’re feeling fearful, but you do it anyway!
Just before we were due to start recording, the lovely reporter Michelle said that her producer was keen to re-position the segment from leaping towards ‘mumpreneurs’ and asked me if that’s what I call my clients. I said no. I have many clients who don’t have kids or aren’t women who have quit their jobs to leap into their own gig. And I don’t refer to myself as a mumpreneur either. My husband who co-parents our children and also his own business, definitely has never been labelled a ‘dadpreneur’.
I’m totally down with all the women who identify with, and champion the term – power to you! It’s just never really gelled with me. I’ve never wanted my working life, my career opportunities, my world view or my ambition to be defined by being a mother – even though all those things have undoubtedly been altered by the experience of motherhood. Mothering is just one of the many roles I have that impacts who I am and what I bring to my work – I’m also a wife, daughter, sister, neighbour, friend and undoubtedly to some, mortal enemy! I also remember craving flexibility, autonomy and authenticity in my work well before I had children.
As Walt Whitman said ‘I am large. I contain multitudes.’
I am a woman in business crafting a life like any other. I am a human being trying to change the world in my own small way, just like any other entrepreneur. Yes, my load to carry may be different to you, but it is no more or less important than yours. Yes, there are many social, structural and economic factors working against women, but calling out entrepreneurial efforts just because you’re a mother, just doesn’t seem to help the cause, rather it seems to load it with another agenda.
Labels help the media quickly communicate a stereotype in a short-attention, hyper-competitive landscape. I get that. I also get that we need to be mindful about the shorthand they stand for, and the subtext they communicate. What does ‘mumpreneur’ communicate that’s different from any other type of ‘entrepreneur’? Is that difference a good or a bad thing or neutral? Does it work for or against women? To be honest, I’m not completely sure, and there’s in an interesting discussion and comments about that here.
On one hand I understand that there are loads of women who would identify as mumpreneurs, so they can connect with other women in similar circumstances and garner support. On the other hand, I wonder if it’s a label that defines them and what they seem themselves as being capable of in the world. Ah! Such a sticky subject that I just don’t see men and fathers having to deal with!
I’m exceptionally grateful to have been featured on Sunrise, and showcase the work of some incredible women who are making their mark on the world. It’s made me think more deeply about a few things I care about. Like the importance of controlling your own message on your own channel, like talking about gender stereotypes and labels, like fostering meaningful connections, like being genuinely interested in people and their stories, like taking courageous leaps, no matter your parental status, gender, age, race or sexual orientation!
I’d really love to know your ‘mumpreneur’ thoughts in the comments below. Let’s talk it out kin! xx
If you’ve got a leaping itch to scratch (and it doesn’t mean necessarily quitting your day job), check out this nifty primer to get you edging closer to taking action. It’s packed with all the things I wish I could have said in the TV interview (but that would have taken longer than 10 seconds!).
It’s yours for free. Enter your deets below and let us leap into your inbox now. xx