MWH Spotlight with Rachel chappell of north shore mums
Welcome to the blog Rachel from North Shore Mums! We’re thrilled to have you here sharing your journey on the MWH Spotlight!
Describe yourself in 3 words
Glass half full (because I always try to look for the good in situations!).
How do you juggle being a Mum and having a biz?
Finding the balance between my family and business is something that I am constantly striving to achieve, and I’ve recently realised the importance of setting boundaries and not letting the business take over my life.
As I work from home and my office is in the middle of the house, I’m always passing my computer and the temptation to ‘quickly check’ the emails is very strong. I’m trying to enforce strict time boundaries for myself, so that when my family is home, my focus is on them. So I won’t check emails until after they’ve gone to school or childcare in the mornings, and in the evenings won’t check again until after they’ve gone to bed. Of course, situations occasionally come up and I need to be able to react immediately (the joys of online!), but I’m trying to make sure this is the exception to the rule, not the norm.
I have also recently started deactivating emails on my iPhone when I’m out with my family, so that I can truly be ‘in the moment’ with them, rather than distracted by work.
I also try to get a little bit of time for myself everyday – whether that’s doing a quick workout in the morning, a walk around the neighhourhood or a child-free trip to the supermarket, it’s always re-energising to have some time to yourself. Oh, and the occasional massage is heavenly too!
Tell us about your biz and WHY you do what you do
I run North Shore Mums, a local Sydney parenting website and Facebook community. North Shore Mums started five years ago, when I first moved to the North Shore without knowing any local mums. I desperately wanted advice and recommendations from people I could trust, for things like local doctors, childcare centres and playgroups – as well as ideas about things to do, but there just wasn’t any online services that provided this.
So, on a whim, I created the Facebook group. The quick growth of the online community indicated a real need for this information to be freely available to local mums, so I decided to give it a crack of creating a website. My background was in magazine marketing and with no funds but a passion for the idea and the time to create it, I created the North Shore Mums website.
Fast forward to now, the website has been going for over 4 years and now employs three part-time staff (all local mums) and gets over 73,000 unique visitors every month.
If you could go back in time and offer advice to your former entrepreneur-self what would you say?
Be sure to enlist the services of experts to get the business off to a good start – seek legal advice to protect your assets, enlist the services of an accountant to help you set the company up and any other small business services relevant to your industry. If you believe the business has potential, get it set up correctly from Day 1.
What does success mean to you?
Success means creating a business that helps improve the lives of others without compromising the quality of my life! Nothing makes me happier when I meet a North Shore Mum ‘in the real world’ and they tell me just how much North Shore Mums has helped them through those dark days of motherhood – either through support, connections, friendship or advice.
What has been your hardest lesson learned?
Try as you might, when you run an online Facebook group with thousands of local mums, you can never make every single member happy – you just have to make the decisions based on what is going to be best for the running of the group overall. I’ve learnt to separate myself as an individual from the whole entity of ‘North Shore Mums’ and try to always look at things from the bigger picture.
Finish this sentence – If I wasn’t my own boss right now I’d be…
Trying really hard to come up with a concept or new business idea so that I could be my own boss! I love running my own business, and couldn’t imagine going back to the type of work I did pre-children.
What are you most proud of to date?
My three beautiful daughters. Every day they make me proud. I love watching them grow from tiny little babies into small humans with their own unique personalities and characteristics. Of course, some days they challenge me in ways I’m completely unprepared for, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Fun facts about you:
Facebook or Instagram? Facebook
Favourite TV show? I’m loving Offspring at the moment! Also a sucker for The Bachelor – just can’t help it.
Coffee or tea? I love a cup of English Breakfast Tea… and I consume way more than I probably should every day!
Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling? I don’t really fancy either of them. I’ve always loved Leonardo DiCaprio.
A random fact about yourself….
In my early 20’s, I worked as an Artist Relations Manager for a major record label, and worked with all sorts of amazing artists – like Coldplay, Alex Lloyd, Kasey Chambers to name but a few. It was lots of fun for a couple of years, but I always felt like I didn’t really belong in that world. But it was definitely a cool experience!
Rachel Chappell is happily married to an English gent and mum to three daughters (aged 2, 5 & 7), who were the inspiration the creation of North Shore Mums.
Originally from Adelaide, Rachel moved to Sydney after leaving school and has made the North Shore her home, living in Waverton, Gordon and Wahroonga along the way, which has given her the broad local knowledge needed to run a website that caters to the needs of women across the community (plus the scoop on which parks are closest to coffee, crucial for new mums!).
With a Bachelor of Media and Master of Business in Marketing, and bolstered by her experience working as Marketing Manager on magazines like Grazia, OK! and FHM, Rachel has used her skills, instinct and experience to make North Shore Mums a cyber-village welcoming mums from across the North Shore.
Since launching North Shore Mums in June 2012, the website has grown to become an integral source of information for local mums, with the website now attracting over 100,000 visitors per month.
As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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