In the four years since starting Spabreaks.com , I have donned two hats: one as an entrepreneur, and the other as a mum. As my little boy (who is not so little any more) was born four months before Spabreaks.com launched, the two aspects of my life have very much run in parallel, but one moniker that I can't quite get used to, in 'mumpreneur'.
This seems to have been the buzzword of the last few years, and if I am perfectly honest I am not entirely sure what to make of it. I am frequently asked how I create a work/life balance, and I think that this is where part of the problem arises, because it implies that there is a division between the two.
Naturally, there is a divide in practical terms - I make a conscious effort to be home when my children get home from school, I am away over night as little as possible, and they are always at the forefront of my decisions. However, like many mums who have started their own businesses, being a mum has given me a drive like never before, to achieve things for them.
Not only that, but I have learned a lot from the family experiences of my friends, as well as my own family life. My children have given me a renewed empathy with other people's day-to-day trials, and how I can help to provide a break or enhance their leisure time as a result, simply by thinking, what would make my life easier. They are the reason that there is a 'Prenatal Spa Breaks' section on the site, and why we are proud to have a working relationship with the Luxury Family Hotels collection.
That said it isn't just my children who have been the starting point for many of the initiatives that I am most proud of at Spabreaks.com, and this is the second problem with the 'mumpreneur' title - it simply doesn't sum up all the influences that go into the company.
Spa for All, which is an umbrella term under which we currently have Accessible Spas, highlighting accessible facilities, and Recovery Retreats for anyone with or recently recovering from cancer, have all been inspired by customers and the questions they ask when they contact us (I see every email - more than 2500 a week - that comes through our system and I am always looking for patterns or recurring requests to try to better the spa experience). Solo spa breaks have also been inspired by friends who want time away from the daily grind without having to pay single supplements.
Importantly however, the biggest inspiration of all with the work we do at Spabreaks.com, is my team. I think it is extremely important to surround yourself with people who have the energy and enthusiasm to drive a company forward, and frankly, who you like being around. My team are the people who inspire me as friends and also on a professional level - because they are all brilliant at their jobs and none of it would happen without them. I honestly believe that it isn't about one person, it is about the team.
So I guess the ultimate thing for me, is that the term 'mumpreneur' simply doesn't describe the whole catalogue of things that have made me who I am, that make Spabreaks.com what it is today, and what I know it can grow into in the coming years. Perhaps I can come up with a new name ... 'Teampreneur'? ... Ok, so this isn't my strong point, I will keep working at it ... but you get the picture!