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
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.