If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t Change You

I’ve been on an extended break from Little Red Writing Solutions to focus on my family commitments over the Christmas and New Year period. It has been wonderful to just be with my children and my husband and to be able to just relax and have fun without any major planning.

In the back of my mind however, I have been going over and over what heading back to “work work” will mean for me. I write during the night when my children are asleep and I have a part-time day job which keeps me more than occupied.

But soon, my contract will end and I’ll need to find more “work work”. You may or may not know that I am a Registered Nurse and was working in Surgical Nursing until I went on Maternity Leave to have my daughter in December of 2012. Alongside writing. Then in April of last year, my Mother passed away unexpectedly and my whole career vision started to shift. I couldn’t go back to Nursing out of fear of breaking down in front of patients. I couldn’t face introducing myself to a patient with the same name as my Mother. I was frightened to leave my children to go and care for other families when I needed to be around them so badly. So it was with this sudden change of heart that I decided to let myself look into other options, without feeling “guilty” for leaving Nursing.

I made the decision to take on a temporary contract at a hospital I was very familiar with, just so I could work, heal and have the time I desperately wanted with my young children. The job has been wonderful. I’ve really enjoyed it and still have a few months left.

In the meantime, as I continue to write for Little Red part-time, I’ve happily and proudly come to a conclusion. With my extensive public health care experience and my profound passion in the areas of grief and bereavement, depressive illness, anxiety and panic disorders and mental illness, I can happily announce I’ve been accepted into a Masters in Psychology program.

I needed to take greater responsibility for my long-term happiness and for the future of my family and believe that this path in life is for me. So with this career change, so changes the rest of my life! I haven’t left Nursing behind yet and I’m not sure if I ever will, but for now, I’m putting all my (spare) energy into this new program, combined with Little Red.

Little Red will continue on as normal (refer to my Facebook page for opening hours and the product/ service listing), I just needed to share my good news.

Cannot wait for these new challenges to test every inch of me!

Lauren @LittleRed

A {little} Reminder

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Who?

Lauren Jeffery is the director and writer, Australian Small Business Owners are her market

What?

Little Red Writing Solutions is a Copy Writing Service

Stay tuned for an updated Service Brochure!

How?

Small Business Owner {A} contacts Lauren

via email: lauren@littleredwritingsolutions.com.au;

via phone: 0432 394 391;

via Faceboook: http://www.facebook.com/LRWSolutions;

via Twitter: http://twitter.com/LRWSolutions with a brief outline of their content {and context} requirements, Lauren provides an obligation-free quote with appropriate contractual details and the partnership grows from there

When?

Little Red Writing Solutions is open for busy-ness Thursday-Friday 0800hrs- 1700hrs and Saturday-Sunday 1000hrs-1600hrs {please contact Lauren via email with enquiries outside of these hours}

Where?

Based in Melbourne, Little Red aims to assist small business owners Australia-wide with a variety of business writing and social media content needs

 

Follow me on:

Twitter {LRWSolutions}

Google+ {Lauren Jeffery}

Facebook {LRWSolutions}

LinkedIn {Lauren Jeffery}

 

Lauren @ Little Red 

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Little Red’s Guest Book- with Tracey McIlwain (from Nature Direct)

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(Image courtesy of Tracey McIlwain- Nature Direct)
Hey Tracey, can you tell my readers about your small business adventure- how you came to be a part of Nature Direct, what Nature Direct is, what kind of service and products you provide and your target clients?

 
 At Nature Direct we create happier, healthier home and work environments by offering a unique range of non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning solutions and disinfectants created by nature. Our products are effective, powerful, affordable, safe, sustainable and non-hazardous. They are available exclusively via our Show’n’Go presentations and delivered straight to your door. At Nature Direct, we believe that the journey towards a healthier and safer future for ourselves and our world begins with a single step. Nature Direct is your first step in the right direction. Nature Direct is for everyone that has a toilet!
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(Image courtesy of Tracey McIlwain- Nature Direct)

 I stumbled across Nature Direct 12 months ago – like many mums – I was raising a family and concerned about our health – I was looking for an alternative to “bleach”. Nature Direct became my solution and more …..I was tired of working in a stressful job, travelling 1 hour each way, with no opportunity to return to work part time after maternity leave and thought this could be the answer. Being a Nature Direct Distributor has provided me with the opportunity to work flexible hours and stay at home with my daughter; as well as the opportunity to spread the message of health and wellness.

 

Is this your first venture into small business? Do you have any other small business dreams? 

Yes Nature Direct is my first venture into a small business and I would love the opportunity to spread the message with all Australians

Why Nature Direct? 

I’m a passionate business mum wanting to change people’s lives – Nature Direct allows me the opportunity to serve my community and my customers.

Describe how you achieved a business goal you set for yourself and how did you celebrate achieving it?

In my business, personal and business goals go hand in hand. This last month I set myself a target of rebuilding my business and achieved it by stepping outside my comfort zone and reconnecting with previous customers and acquaintances which resulted in booking more Show n Go’s and hence, more sales.  I celebrated with a bit of a dance around the lounge room and a nice family dinner out.

Name your three favourite internet sites 

MindBodyGreen, Care2 and Environmental Working Group

How do you wind down after a hard day at work? 

Been known to indulge in a of glass wine (or two)

Where would your ideal dinner date be in Melbourne and what would you order?

At my local Japanese Restaurant and I would order California rolls and be sipping on French Champagne with my awesome husband!

What are your immediate and future goals for your small business? 

This year my goal is to double my business income and also sponsor customers into the business to share the success and rewards!

Wearing sunglasses indoors- strange or stylish? 

Hungover!

Your best tips for mums out there who are aiming at combining motherhood with running a small business?

Take each day as it comes and just keep putting one foot in front of the other – baby steps each day can amount to huge achievements!

Which of all of your cooking recipes would you want your children to teach their children? 

Yorkshire pudding – passed down from my great grand mother who was English!

What was your last dream about?

A Holiday

Describe your business in three words

Natural, informative, Effective

You’ve slept through your alarm and consequently have missed an important meeting with a propective client- what do you do to retain their interest in your business?

Be apologetic and completely honest – always think this is the best policy and most importantly – be myself!

Which quote do you live your life by? 

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Which small business have you come to love in the last few months?

Healthy Angels – foster a positive start

Which is your favourite Nature Direct product and why? 

EnviroMist – What other product on the market can you buy in the market place that is Natural, can sanitises and deodorise in one?  Just love the fact that I can use it as my hand sanitiser, toilet spray, fridge wipe, clean the kiddies toys and chopping boards as well as a mould inhibitor in the shower – and with no need to wipe!

Which part of running a small business is your favourite?

Meeting new people and making great friends, doing something that does not feel like work!

Do you have any current promotions for your clients or prospective clients that my readers must know about? 

At Nature Direct we value our customers and have fantastic host offers: Lifetime Membership, Pack Upgrades, percentage off sales and more.  For the month of August we have an extra special offer on our fantastic mop system (see facebook page for video).

Any parting words for my readers? 

For the SAHMs just keep plugging away and do something to contribute to your business each day (even if that means taking time to look after you).

 
Thanks so much Tracey for your pearls of small business and natural product wisdom! I really appreciate your time and hope you all took something important away from Tracey’s responses.
Here are Tracey’s details, should you want to get in touch with her to discuss the Nature Direct range
Tracey McIlwain   FYI: note it is Mcilwain (the i is a capital)
Nature Direct Distributor
M. 0403 312 905
Stay tuned next week for Little Red’s Guest Book!
LEJ

Organizational Skills- Optional. Stamina- A Must.

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So this morning Master Nearly-5 had his first “I don’t want to go to kinder”, “I can’t put on my velcro shoes today“, “I don’t want that breakfast”, “I’m about to explode” meltdown. Set off by Miss 6 Months giggling at him crying, Master Nearly-5 was hysterical. “Tell her to stop laughing at me, it’s not funny!!!!’ he screamed as he tried to get ready. I must admit after an hour of tears, repeated outfit changes thanks to giving birth to a reflux-laden baby, spilling the milk and literally crying over it, and falling over in the driveway in full view of the neighbours, I had had just about enough!

Pushing my patience, testing how far the boundaries stretch. Using the waterworks as a tool of his sneaky trade. Master Nearly-5 is going through a phase which requires me to be super on-the-ball and strategic about my choice of words and actions.

After sorting through the drama that was the first waking hours this morning, the Master was settled with his kinder friends and playing happily. So where was this boy as I stood crying over milk this morning? Ah, that’s right. I’m Evil Mum apparently, the Mum that yells, that punishes and makes rules instead of strawberry cupcakes. And the Kinder Teachers aren’t like Evil Mum, so best behaviour is part of the show.

It took all my energy, just to get out the door this morning. After what has seemed like weeks of grappling with this child I love so much, I let out a sigh of relief. It took all my patience and skills just to get him out of our house today. I did it!

For those who don’t know, Master Nearly-5 is completely healthy, physically and mentally. No underlying concerns. But WOW, he hasn’t been the easiest child to nurture of late.

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As all the mums (and moms) would know, when you fall pregnant and give birth, a lot of your parenting dreams can fall by the wayside. Not everything turns out as you planned. And there’s little you can do but just accept what you can and use the supports around you.

Your friendships turn into play dates. Relaxation, it turns out, is the point at which the matchsticks you’ve used to prop your eyelids open pop out and you fall into a deep sleep. Sleep now includes time fighting for an inch of doona, fighting for mere minutes of uniterrupted slumber with three in the bed, which becomes four in the bed on weekends. The tiny child, who needs you the most wakes you up for a feed and with that, you realize it’s not long before the sun will be up and all you’ve got will be needed again. And yes, you really do need to do it all again. For many more years yet.

People ask “what’s happened, are you okay?” when my house isn’t a complete mess. People comment “Oh it must be great to have a sleeping baby at home”- Miss 6 Months DOES NOT DO DAY SLEEPS. So no, it’s not so great. My husband wonders why I’m up until all hours doing things that could be done in the daylight. The brain of a mother never swtiches off, is what I constantly need to remind him.

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And it’s at this point that I find myself this morning. For someone that’s usually so organized in all facets of life, seeing the milk on the floor, watching Master Nearly-5 fight to within an inch of his childhood to not have to go to dreaded kinder (who’d want to go somewhere where you can eat when you want, spend time with your friends, have a nap if needed, read a good book or two and get really messy with paint and or bubbles?) and having Miss 6 Months teething and in pain, yet still managing to laughing at us both really woke me up.

You can be the most organized Mum in the universe- one who labels jars of spices, has a clothes sorting system for lights and darks and never EVER washes them together. The Mum with children who are enrolled in 18 different activities on a weekly basis and activities and times never get muddled up. The Mum who has a completely finished to-do list each day and everyone is still happy and smiling. One who never misses an appointment or arrives late thanks to great diary keeping. That Mum who can visit four friends for play dates in one day and still manage to cook a roast dinner before bathing the kids. But if your Missus and Masters want to tantrum and fight, to demand a “day off” from kinder, or to just plain test you, it’ll take all you’ve got to get back on track.

It makes you take a step back and realise just how tricky parenting can be, when you truly believe that work work achieves more than house work, when feeding yourself needs to be accomplished in a matter of two minutes, give or take a few moments of heart burn. When adult versus child negotiation skills are the first on your CV. When just going grocery shopping requires you to turn into an octopus combined with event planner and child-wrangler all in one. And I really need to get a new internal memory card- I missed five things off my shopping list last night and didn’t even take Master Nearly-5 and Miss 6 Months with me. I went shopping alone, for me-time, yet they were all I could think of.

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So before I return to work work this drizzly morning in Melbourne, here’s a friendly reminder from one busy Mum to the next: I typed this entire post whilst wrestling with Miss 6 Months, making phone calls to electricity companies and trying to eat my own breakfast, so just go with the flow. And go easy on yourself. Event though the tantrums are difficult to cope with in the midst of one, it’s all part of learning to be part of a family. If washing doesn’t get done, it’s ok. And definitely don’t cry over spilled milk. You’ll look like a “silly goose”, according to Master Nearly-5.

LEJ