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Need a new start for the new year? Maybe we can help....

January is normally the time of year when we take stock of where we are and traditionally make resolutions for things we want to change going forwards. Yesterday was apparently Blue Monday - the scientifically recogised most depressing day of the year. Do you feel like making a change - perhaps from mum to mumpreneur or from employee to employer? Perhaps you want to start a whole new career or move from working full time to part time or vice versa? All of us at some point ponder these questions. We've done some digging around to find out where to start with taking those first important steps. We hope you find it helpful....

Recently we've been fortunate in meeting some inspirational people who've started their own businesses, become entrepreneurs or had radical career changes after their children came along and it's got us thinking about how to go about these things and make the changes you want to make to fulfil your potential. Change is hard at the best of times, and as we all know we are not in the best of times right now economically speaking, but taking the leap can still be well worth it if you do your homework first.

The woman who got me started thinking about all of this is the fantastic Shaa Wasmund, who we were lucky enough to see speaking at the Handpicked Media conference in November. Shaa is the founder of Smarta - a business advice and networking service for those setting up in business. She is also the author of the aptly named Stop Talking and Start Doing - A Kick In The Pants in Six Parts - a rare business book in that it is actually an enjoyable read, as well as being thought provoking.  If you ever get a chance to see Shaa speak, I highly recommend it as she is extremely motivating and interesting. What I took away most of all from her talk (apart from the desire to get out and do something!) was the need to believe in yourself and your product to such an extent that you think others would be mad not to buy into you/it too. An excellent message for women who are often guilty of underselling themselves.

Want to start you own business or become a mumpreneur?

If you are thinking of setting up your own business, then Smarta is a fantastic resource as it gives you a range of very practical tools for a small fee (£20 for Smarta Business Builder) alternatively we were well advised by Janine Collins, who co-founded the highly successful Go Figurative that the British Library has a very accessible Business and IP Centre which can offer you help with business planning, networking, research and protecting your ideas. They have a range of very affordable workshops and run advice clinics where you can get one to one advice as you set up your business. 

If all this sounds a bit too much like the deep end to you and you are keen to explore your options more before committing to developing one idea, you could look at the excellent Become a Mumpreneur website. Whatever you think about the term mumpreneur (we know some people hate it), mums setting out in business do have specific needs and joining the mumpreneur 'community' can be a good way of building a network of other mums who have similar aspirations and issues to you. We recommend the Mumpeneur In A Month training course, which is a free 30 day e course that comes direct to your inbox. The course is thought provoking and gives some very helpful advice for those who aren't sure about what avenue to pursue but know they want to make a change and make some money.

Want to change job or return to work after a career break?

Perhaps it's a new job you're looking for but you're not sure how to find one that will fit around your family commitments. If so, we recommend taking a look at Women Like Us - a recruitment agency that specialises in finding part time jobs for women with skills and experience. They also run workshops and training clinics to help you update your CV, brush up on your IT skills and more. 

Working Mums also specialises in pairing up mums and employees and we are fortunate that on 27th March they bring their free Working Mums Live conference to North London. We'll be going along to see what's on offer.

Not sure what you want but know you want a change?

Yes, there's lots of us about! I spent Blue Monday very appropriately and went to see a Career Coach - the excellent Sarah from Career Tree. I found it a really useful opportunity to think through where I am going and how to build on what I've already done.

North London Mums will be running an event soon to help mums think through career options - for those already in work, those wanting to return to work and those wanting to change career. Watch this space for more information and do let us know if you have any other good tips. 

Perhaps you've started up on your own recently, bought a great franchise or seen a really good career coach. Do share that information with other mums, we'd like to hear from you and help each other out.

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