Soozi Baggs: Maternity Leavers

Today’s blog guest is Creator Soozi Baggs, a Creator after whom we have named one of the special techniques we employ in our Cashflow Games, and so she leaves a very special legacy round here. Here’s Soozi, in her own words:

SooziMy name is Soozi Baggs and I’m the Head of Inspiration at Maternity Leavers. With a business with a name like that, you might also deduce I’m a mum too – to twin boys who are growing scarily by the day, and start school in a year! I started Maternity Leavers in 2012 just after I quit my job to go freelance, and when my boys were about 18 months old. It started as a blog which I did on and off alongside my ‘real business’ which was as an IT Consultant and Trainer. At the beginning of 2014 I decided I didn’t want to do any more consulting work and started building Maternity Leavers into a ‘proper’ business.

My mission with Maternity Leavers is to support and inspire women to build a life and career that suits their new priorities after having children. Since becoming a mum I’ve met and chatted with so many other mums at parent toddler groups, soft play areas, twins group, library storytimes etc; and without fail the subject that always crops up sooner or later is what they’re going to do about work when maternity leave ends. Often these conversations have a wistful edge to them – most start talking about going back to their old job but then say that what they really want is to change career or start their own business.

I experienced almost all these things. I went back to work full time then I negotiated flexible working to work from home 2 days a week. Following that I quit to go totally freelance, and alongside I worked a couple of contracts part time. I even did a stint as a full time mum for a few months after leaving my husband last year. These experiences give me a unique position from which to support women making tough decisions about their future career.

I love working for myself because of the freedom. And not being told what to do by people I don’t respect enough to listen to. That makes me sound a bit rebellious but it’s true – one of my biggest problems when I had a job was a lack of respect for my ‘superiors’. I had the odd decent manager (and if you’ve ever been my manager and are reading this – that was you) but with most of them I couldn’t get over the feeling that I could do their job better than them. In hindsight, this confidence was probably misplaced, and I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt by saying I was wrong. But regardless of that, what it taught me about myself is that I’m completely (and yet totally proudly) unemployable. I could never go back to a life where someone else tells me what to do or where I have to ask for time off.

I’ve definitely grown as a person since becoming a business owner. I’m a Creator in the Wealth Dynamics square which means I see the big picture stuff easily but am not so well suited to doing all the detail. I start things with excitement and gusto but struggle to finish them. As an entrepreneur in the early stages, when hiring help isn’t financially viable yet, this can be a real challenge. I get all excited about a new product I want to create, but once I’ve mapped it out and decided how I want it to look, the idea of finishing it off, tweaking it to perfection, and then following through on a launch plan fills me with dread. If anyone wants to see my collection of half finished notebooks, half planned products, and half written blog posts, just ask!

But I can’t hide behind this as an excuse. As a business owner I’m very in touch with my strengths and weaknesses, but there are days when you have to just do what you’re able to do and get stuff done whether you’re ‘good at it’ or not. I love working in flow – making the very best of my strengths – but the reality is that sometimes you have to do that other stuff too. Eventually I’ll outsource all the things I hate doing, but until then I’ll just keep pushing through.

The thing I’m most looking forward to is making my podcast a success – with sponsors falling over themselves to buy a spot on it, and thousands of listeners enjoying it. I launched it in June after a flurry of activity during May (yes, including many detail orientated tasks that I absolutely hated – but luckily the momentum and excitement carried me through). I love interviewing and chatting to the women who are guests on the show, and I basically love having my voice out there. Most importantly I hope it brings inspiration to those who listen to it, so they can see there are options beyond just unthinkingly going back to their old job – and resenting it.

Follow Soozi on Twitter: @Soozi_B

And Like her project on Facebook: Facebook.com/MaternityLeavers

Soozi is a recent graduate from the Club 100 which leaves room for you. And if you get in before 1st September, you snaffle your seat at the very special price of just £100 pcm for as long as you remain a member, so now’s the time to join before prices rise to £150. Does Soozi’s seat have your name on it? Find out more about how to join Club 100 here.

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