HOW I MAKE IT WORK...

AFTER QUIT­TING HER JOB AND SELL­ING HER HOUSE TO TAKE A GAM­BLE ON START­ING AN ON­LINE BUSI­NESS, THE MUMPRENEUR EX­PLAINS HOW MOTH­ER­HOOD KICK­STARTED A NEW CA­REER

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - as told to Alexandra Carl­ton

Rhian Allen mixes moth­er­hood with busi­ness.

I’d worked in cor­po­rate me­dia for 12 years. Then I got preg­nant. I’d seen how dif­fi­cult work­places could be for mums; I had three mums in my team and I used to give them lots of flex­i­bil­ity, but I had to keep that a se­cret from the com­pany. That was a real con­cern for me.

I had a pas­sion for health and nutri­tion, and I was gain­ing weight in my preg­nancy, so I did my re­search and I found there were no weight-loss pro­grams just for mums. Ev­ery­thing seemed ex­treme and not fam­ily-friendly.

So I quit my job and sold my house. Ev­ery­one thought there was some­thing wrong with me, but I knew what I wanted to do. “Worst case sce­nario,” I thought, “if it doesn’t work after a year, I can just go back to me­dia.” But I wanted to give it my all.

I worked from home for the first five years, which was crazy now I think about it. When my first­born slept, I’d work. I would speed through what I needed to do and then I’d be back at work at night. I was living the same life as the mums on the pro­gram – breast­feed­ing, getting no sleep, want­ing to lose weight. That helped me be­come a bet­ter busi­nessper­son, be­cause I was in the same boat as them.

The Healthy Mummy has now helped mums lose more than 20 mil­lion ki­los, which is in­cred­i­ble. We have 850,000 mem­bers across all our so­cial plat­forms. This year we’ll turn over $10 mil­lion and we’re on track for $15 mil­lion next year. Eighty per cent of our em­ploy­ees are mums and I af­ford them the same flex­i­bil­ity I have. A lot of them will do the school pick-up and then they’re back on­line later, top­ping up any work they need to do. Just be­cause you’re a mum doesn’t mean you’ve lost your brain and can’t work; it just means you have chil­dren and so you have other pri­or­i­ties.

I have such an amaz­ing team. If there’s a prob­lem on a Sun­day, they’ll be on­line fix­ing it be­cause they all feel part of the busi­ness and in­vested in

what we’re do­ing. A lot of cor­po­rate or­gan­i­sa­tions are so strin­gent and strict – they think, “If you can’t work 8.30am to 5.30pm, I’m not in­ter­ested.”

I don’t want to be the mum whose kids say, “She had a great busi­ness but she was never around.” It’s a bit of a jug­gle and you have to do a lot of it in be­tween other things, but I’m eter­nally grate­ful that I’m able to do some­thing I’m re­ally pas­sion­ate about, that’s help­ing peo­ple, and lets me be around for my kids.

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