At Freelance Mum, we believe in fairies. Not just woodland ones, or the ones who put money under pillows, but the ‘real life’ ones who help bring people together. Which is why we’re on the look out for some more – to help ‘spread our wings’, you might say. Let me explain.
It was in 2014 that Freelance Mum was born. As many of you will know, it was born of my own need, of being a freelance voiceover artist, trying to juggle motherhood around children. I couldn’t find a place that allowed me to connect with fellow mums in business AND bring my children. And if it didn’t exist, then I’d just have to invent it.
So I ‘took a punt’, put the word out and invited as many people as I thought possible to try out the first netwalk. It was in Ashton Court and 15 ‘Freelance Mums’ turned up with their children – it was a hit.
The rest, as they say, is history. I went on to launch two meetings a month and the awesome on line community The Mothership, to help FMs feel connected in between meetings. The strength of the community has always been in both the online and offline offering. Having actual, ‘real life conversations’ at the meetings, as well as deepening them online, in between.
And like every one, the pandemic forced me to look at my own business model and accelerated my thinking. The digital coffee morning was introduced, the meetings were simplified to their original form of the netwalk and The Mothership prospered.
But if I’m honest, I mean really completely honest, my growth has been stunted by my own fear of ‘being too old for my business’. I mean – where did that come from? On one hand Freelance Mum feels like my calling, on the other I have always worried, that one day I might become too old for my own community. Talk about a complete contradiction!
It was a recent coffee with a friend who helped dispel that one. The look of horror – sadness, when I shared I was worried one day I’d become too old for my business, and she quite simply said ‘But Faye, you’ll be an elder of your own community. Who could know more about being a Freelance Mum than you?’.
And she’s right. Myth (or rather, fear) busted. If I can’t become an elder in my own community, then something has gone wrong! And now that that’s busted, it allows me to remember the vision of Freelance Mum again.
Bear with me, while I tell another story (and I will get back to the fairies soon, I promise) it was at a Freelance Mum coffee morning that a fab FM recommended the book The Natural Health Service, as part of the weekly ‘Espresso Shot’. She spoke with such conviction of the book that I had to buy it. And in turn, it’s crystalized my own thinking.
In very, very short, the author writes about the importance of connecting with nature – whatever that might look like for you. Walking, cold water swimming, going to the allotment – but just how much as human beings we need it. It underlines my own thinking, I have always believed that a ‘walk and a talk’ is so much better than just a talk. A case of ‘throw your problems in the air and see which ones fall down again’ – it’s much easier to find a clearer framework for thinking, when you’re walking outside. You suddenly have clarity again.
The netwalks are here to stay. But more importantly than that, we want more of them. I’d love to know there was a Freelance Mum hub, wherever some one needed one. And that with our support, new hubs could emerge and mini netwalks take place all over the country.
Which is where the fairies come in. You see, we want Freelance Mum Fairies, to help head up the walks. To be the FM host in their area. They’d get all the support and help from us at FM HQ, but they would be the FM Fairy, of where they live.
And in the same way that Freelance Mum members enjoy The Mothership in between meetings, they could also join our awesome online community.
Final story for this blog post (I promise) but I like to share my thinking. It was yesterday, I was hosting a Facebook Live with Adele Williams, from Super Funky Penguin. She gave her talk the brilliant title ‘Post Apocalyptic Hope for Freelancers’ and shared her story of how she went from nearly closing her business as a result of lockdown, to having a pivotal moment. As she spoke of the moments leading up to that realization she said ‘because it’s important you use your talents to add some value to the world’.
Freelance Mum might have been born of my own need, of juggling motherhood around business, but it’s through running Freelance Mum that’s made me realize my own talent is helping to connect people. And I believe that we can keep connecting people and keep making a difference, wherever they live.
So if you’re reading this and always wanted to try the Freelance Mum magic, then now is the time. Or perhaps you know of some one who would really benefit from the blanket of support that Freelance Mum offers – share this with them.
We’re on the look out for Freelance Mum Fairies, to host monthly netwalks, in whatever area of the country you live. Yes, there are finer details we need to suss out, but lets start with the baby steps. So if this is talking to you, then get in touch. Because I believe in fairies, who help bring people together. Lets keep sharing the Freelance Mum adventure together.