As a primary school teacher for 15 years, Jo Otto had seen first-hand how kids often struggled with their times-tables.
The mum-of-two just needed to come up with a fun way to make them want to sit down and learn!
The answer was a nifty app called Maths Rockx, which sings the times-tables to well known songs.
Along the way, Jo, below, learned a valuable lesson or two herself, many of which she shares below as part of our Aussie mumpreneur series.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever got?
I was told early on in my journey that when you are running your own business there are many things that need doing that you don’t really want to do or that make you uncomfortable. I was told to “Put on my Director’s Hat”. When I put this on I could charge in to any task. So when things cropped up that I really didn’t want to do, I would ‘don my metaphorical hat’ and get on with it. Quite quickly, my new hat was always firmly planted on top of my head.
What’s the biggest secret to having a successful business from home?
You can not do it all! Do your best and just keep swinging!! My awesome husband has to help me now with house hold duties. I’m on the laptop while he’s cleaning the kitchen – it’s kinda cool 🙂 You really need that help for your project from those closest to you. Engage their support up front and let them know you’ll be expecting more from them. Then it’s all about time management, which is easier said than done. Play with the children for 15 minutes – a good 15 minutes of undivided attention. Set them a new task and jump back into it. I’m still learning – I’m hanging on by my fingernails.
What’s the best money habit every successful woman should adopt?
Don’t buy anything yet! LOL
Seriously, I think the single biggest money habit would be to completely understand how your business financials work. You can’t afford to say, “Oh, I’m not good with numbers, I’ll leave that to the accountant”. You need to invest the time to get better. With a bit of practice, Excel is relatively easy and from there you can do sums on just about anything you like.
If you don’t understand your numbers, you cause yourself two main problems:
1, you can’t make informed decisions for your business and poor decisions often lead to much bigger problems later on and 2, you don’t know how much money you’ve got to reinvest in your business. Understanding cash flow in excel is critical; Make sure you move any GST you’ve collected or royalties you owe out of your trading bank into a separate bank.
What’s the secret to keeping your career and home life in balance?
Allocate your time well. Your family is number 1, it has to be. I was given some advice that when you are with your family, it has to be quality time – not checking emails. Stay off your phone (if you are able).
When you work – you work! I’m trying to get up an hour and a half earlier to have that time to just work. Then, it’s the brekky, school routine and you’re an hour and a half ahead. Then I can spend quality play time with my pre-schooler and really enjoy it.
What would you say to others thinking about becoming a Mumpreneur?
If you believe in your product/idea and KNOW it has to be done – Just Go for It!
You will need to spend lots of time talking with a trusted advisor (husband/mum/girlfriend etc) on your ideas, make sure they are generally positive but not afraid to tell you when they disagree. Often you will solve problems before they arise this way, as the consideration of topic weeds out the issues early on.
If my experience is anything to go by, you’ll likely get a lot of “NO’s” along the way. They hurt when you’re invested but you need to move past that. With each “NO” you’ll get better at dealing with them. Keep asking until you get a “YES” but remember the same question to the same person will generally yield the same answer. Be creative, change the question or the person in a bid to keep moving forward.
For me the question was always the same, I just had to keep changing the respondent!!
Follow your dreams, work hard, love your family and don’t be too tough on yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff, the house work will get done – sometimes to be the best mum and business woman you can be you need to, As Elsa says “Let it go, let it go….” It’s tough, but it is absolutely worth it!