Self-Start Mums showcases mothers who have created their own self-employed business. I’m very happy to share my interview with Eva Lewis, Founder of The Multitasking Woman.
This series includes sponsored content.
Eva Lewis Interview for Self-Start Mums
1. Tell me about yourself?
My name is Eva Lewis, I’m 37 and live in Ipswich with my husband, seven year old son and two year old daughter.
We live in a circa 1919 workers cottage which we started to renovate but my daughter came along and we haven’t done anything since. Isn’t it always the way?
We also have seven chickens roaming the yard and my rescue dog Benny keeps me company as I work from home. He’s my employee of the month, every month.
2. Tell us about your self-employed business?
I have been freelancing since 2013 as an SEO copywriter as well as providing social media services and general digital marketing services including SEO, strategies and content marketing.
Early 2019 I came to realise that the Freelancer approach wasn’t going to work for me over the long term because I simply could not handle any more work on my own so I took a number of steps to start scaling. I took on a Virtual Assistant to help me with various tasks, I have a website being created and I’ve started documenting as many processes as I can and creating strategies for my business so there is a good foundation for when my business starts to grow and I outsource more.
I’m taking it slowly because I can, I want to make sure everything is right because I know if I rush it, things will implode. While I set things up, I’m confident in knowing that I can still move along with the freelancing side of things.
3. How did you transition to working for yourself?
Unfortunately, the reason I came to work for myself wasn’t initially something I chose. I had my first child and was promised a flexible job to return after my maternity leave only to be told my position no longer existed and that I didn’t have a job to return to in 2013. Because I had postnatal depression, the last thing I felt like doing was fighting them so I decided to put my skills into used and started my own business as a Virtual Assistant while doing a VA course.
At the same time, I had a hobby blog which grew and connected me with so many amazing people and work opportunities. I also discovered I had a knack and love for writing which lead me into copywriting and content creation e.g. blogs, articles etc. and have since been published in digital and print in local travel and parenting magazines.
4. What was your previous career?
My previous career was completely and utterly the opposite of what I do now.
I was a service coordinator and coordinated a team of service technicians in the water treatment industry. I scheduled a lot of their work, dealt with customers and I was also a quality, health and safety auditor for the Queensland branch. I wondered back then, ‘Is this it? Is this the career I have for the rest of my life?’ It definitely wasn’t because what I do know is what I live and breathe.
5. Describe a typical day in your working life?
My typical day involves getting the kids ready for school and daycare; lunchboxes, getting them dressed and out the door. I drop them at school and daycare and come home to work from about 9am to 2.30pm. I make sure I have a lunch break.
I pick my son up from school, we do some homework and have afternoon tea. I will then wind up my work for the day, check my schedule for the next day. Around 4.30/5pm I’ll look at starting dinner. I don’t usually work at night unless it’s basic work that I don’t have to put much brain power into. I’m definitely more focused and productive early in the morning and so a few days a week I might wake up at 4.30/5pm. I go to bed quite early though.
6. How many hours do you work per week on your business?
To be honest, I haven’t worked enough time ‘on’ my business until recently.
I have just started the Profit Pillars course with Angela Henderson which forces me to spend a couple of hours a week on my business. So far it has been a very enriching experience.
7. Do you supplement your income in any other ways?
I’m lucky that my husband works full-time and if I have quiet periods, things tend to be ok. However, I do get a small amount of income from my blog every now and then for affiliate advertising and sponsored posts although, it’s not very consistent because I don’t really spend much time on my blog.
8. How do you manage your family and working for yourself?
A lot of the time I feel as though I’m not managing. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder in 2017 so that has been a huge bump in the road to juggling everything else.
To manage everything as best I can, my mum has my daughter on Tuesday’s and is available if I desperately need a hand. I have engaged a virtual assistant to help me and I have a cleaner who cleans fortnightly. My husband is quite supportive and understanding if I need to spend a couple of hours to work on the weekend.
9. What challenges did you face in setting up your business?
I would have to say that one of the main challenges that stick out is having the wrong type of client. Early on in my business I didn’t have a buyer persona and just took on anyone who enquired, not considering if they were a good fit or not.
This caused a lot of stress on my part because I didn’t have an understanding of their industry or any experience working with it. It took a lot of time and effort to learn about the industries in order to deliver the best product. I have since learnt what my buyer persona is and try to stick to industries where my knowledge lies, particularly kid focused businesses.
10. What’s the best thing about working for yourself?
I love the flexibility working for myself gives for my family although I’m still pretty strict with my time; I don’t go out shopping or on coffee dates if it’s my work time. I love working for myself because I can make my own rules, I love the sense of achievement I get when my business grows, when I land a new client or deliver something my client is really happy with.
I love getting results for my clients, I actually get really excited about it. I love being able to directly help other businesses, I’m not just another person working in an office for a big company, I am the company and I can put every ounce of me and my knowledge into the work I present.
11. What’s your best advice to another mum who is considering setting up her own business?
Be prepared to give it time, particularly if you’re relying on social media and a website for your business.
Digital marketing is a slow burn and requires consistent effort. Getting new fans, traffic to your website or ranking on page one of Google definitely doesn’t happen over not, not even in one month, but it will happen if you’re consistent, arm yourself with the right tools and surround yourself with a network of like-minded business women.
12. What’s next for you and your business?
I hope that by the end of 2019 Mandala Digital will be chugging away with a great little team behind me.
Are you a self-starter mum? Read more interviews with self-employed mums here.
- Read more Self Start Mums Interviews!
- 10 Home Business Ideas for Mums
- Is Mum Guilt an Inevitable Part of Running your Own Business?
I hope you’ve enjoyed my interview with Eva Lewis of The Multitasking Woman.