In celebration of International Women's Day, we interviewed 4 amazing women who inspire us with their success stories.
In this post, we sat down with Elizabeth Wu, one of the co-founders of Trehaus to find out about her career, her family and how she finds the perfect balance between the two.
Co-founder of Trehaus, Entrepreneur, Mom to the Kao Kids, Education Enthusiast, Wordsmith
Describe your typical day.
EW: If it is a school-going day, 5.50am I'm up, because my 2 older kids are going to primary school, so I prepare them to send them to the school bus. And then my youngest gets ready to go to kindergarten and I bus him to take the bus to the kindergarten and then I come to Trehaus, this is my business and I run the operations of Trehaus. And I usually am busy for meetings for operational matters, all the way to evening time and then by evening I go home, I look after the well-being of my family and take care of like my kids' homework, their spelling, their quizzes, etcetera.
What are the top 3 challenges as a mumpreneur?
EW: As a mum, the challenge would be to be very mindful of the needs of each child because every child is different. Every child has their own quirks, their own personalities and their own needs. Their own need for time with you and that's one of the most challenging, especially if you have more than one child, you have to find time for 3 kids, like for me.
As a preneur, as an entrepreneur, you got to deal with a lot of unpredictabilities. You have to handle stress and challenges as they come along. You gotta roll with it. You've got to just, you just got to do it, certain things that needs to be done needs to be done, regardless. You don't take leave, you don't switch off, you just you just work through and that's the challenge as an entrepreneur. So there is the mum side and there's the entrepreneur side.
How do you find time for yourself, to re-energise and unwind?
EW: It's very challenging to find time for self, sometimes self becomes the last thing you think about. And how I find time for myself when I really need time for myself, I think over time as an entrepreneur you know you need to take time out, you need to re-charge. As a mum you also kind of know that okay, you're at a breaking point you need to recharge. That's when you rely on your village. You rely on the support network you have, be it your husband, my husband for example. Be it my family, extended family, be it friends, just to say "hey could you just let me take an hour off, I really need to go for a facial". Let me take an hour off , I really need to do yoga. I just need that time alone and just shouting out for help and that's what works for me. That works for me, just asking fr help. Saying "hey I need that time" and that's how I get that time.
How can family and friends of a Mumpreneur show their support?
EW: I think it's very important if you want to show a mum or mumpreneur support, you need to check in on her well-being. Sometimes I think a mum on the exterior or a mumpreneur on the exterior, sometimes they look strong, always smiling, they always have a kind word for their kids, they always look like that they have it all. But it is important to check in with them, "Hey how are you feeling?" or just sometimes give a hug or a phone call. And that means so much to me when a friend just checks in with me or even you know a co-worker or colleague, or my husband just coming in to say "Is everything okay today?" You never know that kind of checking in lets a mum who's stressed out gives her space to sometimes rant, unload, or even just to feel better you know just knowing that someone cares.
Have you faced gender discrimination as a Mumpreneur?
EW: No, I've never faced discrimination as a mumpreneur. I feel generally our society is quite supportive and is actually quite in awe, in admiration of a mother who dares to take the plunge, who dares to do something she's passionate about on her own. And in fact we get a lot of, I get a lot of respect, a lot of admiration, a lot of kind words and encouragement.
If you can't do it all, but everything feels important, how do you prioritise?
EW: What I do, I take some "head space", I take a walk to get some "head space" and then I rely on this quadrant, I think it's the "Seven Habits of Effective People". There is the urgent, urgent and important, the urgent but not important, the important but not urgent and then the not urgent and not important. And I would take time to think what's urgent and important right now and that has been my style and habit of prioritising, be it something that needs to be done and needs me to do it now. If it falls into that quadrant, I'll give it priority. I think that's a very useful tool.
We hope that this article is helpful. Do you have any tips you would like to add? Let us know in the comments and please share this post with a friend/colleague if you enjoyed it!
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