Posted on December 12, 2011
I feel very fortunate that I have not had first-hand experience of a divorce (apart from my parents when I was a teenager). However, I have joined in helping some of the parents of my children’s friends when they were going through divorce (the simple and the messy) and have also had the opportunity to talk to a good few divorced people in the course of my work with Motivating Mum.
Many couples seem to be arranged with one partner as the chief income earner, and the other as the chief homemaker or raiser of children. In this article, I will occasionally use the term ‘mum’ (and ‘she’) to define the homemaker role, because it so often is ‘mum’ who has the children, however, this article and my site Motivating Mum, is equally relevant to mums or dads, anyone, in fact who is looking for ways to make an income from home.
The tragedy of divorce in many cases, is that the person who is left looking after the children, finds herself with the same amount of caring and expenditure, but significantly reduced income. Work options can be limited, because of the need to be there for the children. Added to that there may be confidence and self-esteem issues following a messy break up.
It doesn’t surprise me then that , having got over the original shock of the break up, many of my friends that have divorced, and many divorced mums I have met with Motivating Mum, go on to set up a small business for themselves. This can have several benefits:
• A business of your own can allow flexible working, to fit around your own childcare commitments.
• It can provide additional income, to see you through troubled times
• It is a project which is just for you, which does not require any contact or co-operation with your ex-partner, and can provide a feeling of ‘new beginning’
• You can learn new skills and rediscover long-forgotten ones, which is fabulous for rebuilding confidence
• It forces you to get out and meet new people, thus getting you out of yourself and taking your mind off relationship problems.
Nowadays there are lots of ways in which mums can dip their toe into the water of business ownership, to find out whether or not this option is one that suits them. One of the easiest ways to do this is by taking on a franchise or distributorship business. These businesses typically have very low start up costs and an established business model. You sign up, often in the team of a named mentor and sponsor, and off you go, following an established pattern. I wrote more about running a distributorship on my website (http://www.motivatingmum.co.uk/articles-a-features/264-running-a-distributorship-business).
Of course if you have a small amount of savings or a lump sum settlement following your divorce, you could embark on a more radical way of re-inventing yourself and starting a business. I have recently been inspired by several strong women, who have overcome various levels of adversity and set out to retrain themselves, leading to new and exciting careers: one is running a cake-making business from home, one has retrained and is practising as a reflexologist, another has invented and patented a new child’s toy, yet another has started a money making blog.
Whatever you decide to do with the next stages of your life following divorce, there are loads of places where you can get advice and support nowadays. In the first place, make sure you brush up on your computer knowledge, because the online world is teeming with useful information which you can access from your home, whether you are wanting to learn some skills, connect with other people in the same situation as you, or even start dating again.
If you are looking to work from home or start up a business then you can join lots of online forums, attend networking events (with toddlers if needs be) and get access to relevant training, all at the click of a mouse. All you need is a spark of an idea, a small amount of motivation and support, and your new life can begin.
Debbie O’Connor runs Motivating Mum, a website which provides support and advice to mums (and dads) in business and anyone wanting to start to make money from home. Motivating Mum provides (amongst other things):
• Business mentoring
• Networking events
• Training workshops
• Blogs, articles and newsletters
• Business forum
For more information about all things business related please contact Debbie (firstname.lastname@example.org)