Why one mum started an online business while working full time

In June 2015, mum of two Dorne McLoughlin plans to quit her career and work on her new online business full-time. She explains why she started her business, and how she finds time to work on it now.

I have so many hats – mum, employee, wife, chef, chauffeur, cleaner… and in August 2014 I added a new one: online business owner.

It’s not as if my life isn’t crazy enough. As well as a full-time job, I have all the usual demands of a busy mum – running my two children (Grace, eight and Reuben, six) to swimming club, gymnastics and rugby, and coping with weekly homework battles.

The morning school run is usually the busiest time, and I am often rushing to the school gates with seconds to spare. And don’t even get me started on the thankless task of preparing fresh dinners for my children every evening, and the mountains of ironing that never seem to get any smaller!

I’m sure many mums (and dads) can relate to the hectic daily routine. However, my plan is not to live like this for much longer – but I know that if I want to make a difference in our lives then we all need to survive the start-up phase of building a business, and all the craziness that comes with it.

Why did you choose to start an online business?

I have always wanted my own business and to be able to live life on my terms. I’ve looked into lots of different business models and ideas over the years, including networking marketing businesses, coffee shops and even cupcake companies. However, none of them felt the right fit.

My ideal business was one that allowed me to work from home on my laptop, and to take the school holidays off to spend with my children. And in August 2014 I saw an ad for a digital business franchise system that promised to help you live a digital life and escape the 9-5 rat race.

Intrigued, I investigated further, and today I am building a business that will allow me to work at home from my laptop, anywhere in the world, and to take the school holidays off – my perfect business.

What is your business?

In August 2014 I invested in the Six Figure Mentors and Digital Experts Academy. The founders, Americans Stuart Ross and Jay Kubassek, have both built multi-million dollar businesses using online technology, and with over 10 years’ experience they know what works – and just as importantly, what doesn’t.

Using their expertise, they created a turnkey business system that allows an ‘average’ person (like me) get started in business, no matter what their budget. It’s a franchise system that pays out on affiliate commissions.

Thanks to all the training I have undertaken, and my newly acquired Facebook Power Editor and YouTube marketing knowledge, I have also been offered another exciting opportunity as a social media consultant. (Before starting my business I had no idea the remarketing techniques I use today even existed!)

How do you make time to work on your business?

To keep me sane, and give me precious hours to spend on my business, I treat myself to a cleaner for four hours every other week. This will soon become weekly, gaining me an extra 16 to 20 hours a month that I can invest in my business – an excellent trade of time for money.

It’s also important that my family is supportive. Thankfully they believe in what I’m doing (especially once I’d made my first commission!). Although my husband doesn’t understand the whole concept of what I do, he does understand and appreciate the opportunities available to us as a family with my new online business.

How long do you plan to carry on working?

My job as a business development manager for a soft drinks company is demanding – I’m responsible for a territory value of £1.5 million, and drive a good few hundred miles each week (on the plus side it means my time management skills are pretty hot!). But as much as I love my job, if all goes according to plan I will resign from it in June 2015.

From the beginning this date stuck in my mind and has become something to work towards and benchmark my progress against. I feel nervous about handing in my notice – my wonderful boss has no idea I am building my own business in my free time – but I don’t want to work in field sales for the rest of my career, and I need more flexibility than paid employment offers.

My parents have always helped out with childcare, but they’re not getting any younger and I worry about their health. Plus I enjoy spending time with my children and don’t want to miss so much of their childhood because I am working.

But probably the biggest motivating factor for my decision to finally start my own business was learning in February 2014 that I had skin cancer. Luckily it was non-malignant, but to hear the C word was frightening – and made me re-evaluate the decisions I was making and the direction my life was taking.

How has your business impacted your family?

When I started back in August 2014 I had no idea about all the amazing opportunities that would come into our lives, and what it would do for the whole family.

Grace and Reuben are used to seeing me run around like a whirlwind, and understand that everything I am doing is for them. My new digital skills have also helped Grace, too. She loves making crafts for her dolls house, and she has now started shooting some ‘how to’ video tutorials. I have helped her start her own website and she’s even written her first blog!

My husband is a senior manager for a group of children’s homes. He’s always wanted to do a degree, but we have never been able to afford it. However, this is now a possibility (with a degree we’ll also be in a better position for a move to Australia – something else we’ve talked about).

Already my online business is opening up the possibility of new opportunities to us, and I’m not even working on it full-time yet! I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

You can learn more about Dorne and her business on her website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.