Welcome to Part Four of our Wonder Woman Collective, thank you for visiting!
This week we meet Rachel Turner, a Mumspirational Mum of two who lives in Warwickshire.
Rachel made the leap from working for an engineering company to ‘paying herself and others to do the hokey cokey’ (her words haha). Read all about how she made such a huge change in career, how she juggles parenthood and the challenges of running your own business and Rachel’s advice for anyone thinking of making a change in their career.
Hi Rachel! Tell us a little bit about your job or career before you launched your own business
I worked in waste management in Birmingham for a big engineering company called Atkins. Writing reports for planning applications for large waste facilities. After having my children I did 3 days a week, but it still meant getting the 7.12am train to Birmingham and the 5.03pm back, rather a rush and a 2 hour commute each day.
Tell us all about your current business
I run Rhythm Time music classes for babies, toddlers and pre schoolers. These are great fun,
I pay myself and other people to do the hokey cokey!
A dream job after thinking I would have liked to be a childrens TV presenter. I teach 4 mornings a week and then do the admin for the business in the afternoons and evenings. I work some weekends for parties, and events. In 2016 I was networking mummies networker of the year. This year I was a finalist in the networking mummies small business awards.
What made you take the leap to decide to start out on your own?
It was a gradual thing and almost happened by chance. I had stopped working as it was just getting too much, the long hours the constant rushing, my husband working away a lot. I wanted to spend more time with my children while they were little and cute and liked spending time with me.
After being at home for 6 months I started assisting at Rhythm Time, then trained to be one of the teachers. Then the current owner was retiring she asked if I wanted to buy the business.
It was something I had never considered, being a business lady, it seemed too grown up.
I have some very good friends who encouraged me, gave me lots of support and advise and I made the plunge and became a business owner.
I am usually better being told what to do, I don’t feel like a born leader! As it is a franchise there is a lot of support from head office and the lesson plans are provided. if I need marketing material this is pre designed and there is lots of help with marketing and running a business etc. There is also support from the other people leading Rhythm Time classes across the country, I feel like part of a big family.
What do you love most about your job and why?
The interaction with the children in class, seeing them singing, dancing, enjoying themselves. Seeing their progression and confidence increase as they learn how to play in time and sing solo. Listening to 15 pre schoolers sing a song to me un accompanied, watching the pride in their parents faces and the happiness we all have. Seeing the babies smiling and laughing and gurgling along to their favourite tunes and just the sheer enjoyment of the classes. It is truly joyful and great fun.
Through my job I am able to help support and fundraise for local charities and good causes. I put on Rhythm Time sessions at charity events, provide prizes for charity raffles and charity collections in classes at Christmas. it is great to help local charities through my business.
How do you juggle being a Mummy and having your own business?
It is rather busy, the children help me set up the class before the school run, they also help me practice the songs. I then take them to school and then go back to start the classes. In the afternoons I do admin, but am there to do the school run. They are in after school club 1 night a week so I can catch up on paper work.
Do you have any particular rules to make sure you balance things so you get family time too?
This is one thing I need to get better at doing, stopping working! So I can just sit with them and chat after tea instead of working.
I am also leaving my work phone at home when we are on holiday and leaving someone else to answer the emails.
Do you come across any negativity from others because you’re a working Mum? If yes, what?
Not because I am a working mum, as most of the mums I know do work. Perhaps sometimes because I don’t do a normal job, but I think working flexibly is becoming the norm.
Business nowadays are not just about contact via email, potential clients reach you via social media as well as websites, do you feel a pressure to keep up to date with social media and if so do you find this impacts on your time, especially in the evening?
Yes I need to stop checking Facebook after a certain time and even emails. Of course I want people to be able to contact me , but I need to be strict on when I answer, I need time to unwind and switch off and watch Eastenders!
What do you think the hardest thing about having children and being your own boss is?
Time management, as I do feel guilty if I am working when they are at home.
And what’s the best thing about it?
That I am there for them, have tea with them, get to take them on school trips when I can, spend hours at the park after school and just enjoy being with them while they are still little. It is good that they see me working and want to join me when they are older. My 5 year old wants to work at Rhythm Time when she is older or work on the computer at home!
What advice would you give another Mummy who is considering changing their job or career to follow their passion?
I would say to go for it. Life is too short to hate your job and be unhappy at work.
It will be hard work but you are strong and can run a business or change your career.
Do not regret not following your dreams and doing something you love.
My friend sent me a card which read, “she believed she could and so she did” it hangs above my desk. I know she believes in me and I believe in myself.
We would like to thank Rachel for taking part in our Wonder Woman Collective! You can find Rachel’s Rhythm Time classes here.
Rachel is currently taking bookings for baby, toddler and Pre-School music classes in Leamington, Kenilworth & Stratford Upon Avon to start in September.
Make new friendships and have fun whilst helping your child develop!
Our fun activities help brain development, balance, concentration, listening skills and language which in turn help with reading, writing, maths, co-ordination and socialising.
Rhythm Time also helps stimulate your child’s imagination and develops specific musical concepts such as rhythm, pitch and listening. It’s the perfect foundation for school and future music making!
🎶 Join in the fun and start your child’s musical journey by visiting www.rhythmtime.net/rt232 to book a class (Places are limited) or email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to nominate a #mumspirational Mum for us to feature please do get in touch!