What is your name?
What is your business name?
Lifestyle Careers Australia and Work At Home Mums
What industry is your business in?
Employment Services/Online Recruitment
Where are you based?
Home-based – just relocated home to Newcastle over Christmas after six years in the Lower Blue Mountains
How long have been in business?
Work At Home Mums July 2007 and Lifestyle Careers in July 2009
Is it a full-time or part-time business?
Part time business
Did you start your business before or after becoming a mum/step-mum?
After I became a mum
Why did you start your business?
When I became a mother at 40, my whole attitude to life changed for me after a traumatic birth experience, a long recovery, feeding and sleeping problems, and 12 months of enduring post natal depression. During this time I embarked on a journey to find a job that I could do from home so at least this way I was contributing to the household. Finding a legitimate work from home job was no small feat. My sheer frustrations and experiences led me to establish an informational website to help others searching for a home-based job and in July 2007 I launched the Work At Home Mums site as a hobby.
As the WAHM site grew and word began to spread, I realised the need for flexible work arrangements and home-based employment was not just limited to mothers, but a much bigger group. Every day I would receive emails and phone call from mothers, fathers and carers, people with disabilities and mature age workers and those who lived in remote communities, all asking me advice on where to find a genuine work at home job or a job with flexibility.
I could see a niche and a gap in the market where all types of people wanted to work from home or flexibly and I wanted to be that connection for them.
I did not want to target just mums, but other professionals seeking a work/life balance, so Lifestyle Careers was launched in July 2009 during the Global Financial Crisis.
What has been your biggest triumph in business?
I was a finalist in the Thomson Reuters REA Industry Recruitment Awards for the “Best Job Award” in October 2009 for Lifestyle Careers. This was an amazing feeling to be nominated and to be a finalist was a huge thrill. I did not win, but it was an absolute honour to be in the finals.
I was also a finalist in the 2010 Business Achiever Awards for two categories. Again I did not win, but it was an honour to be selected in a vigorous voting and selection process.
What was your biggest mistake in business?
The biggest mistake would be website development. I really wish I had the budget to hire a web developer that was based in Australia first up. As I was on extremely limited funding I chose to go offshore and hired a developer based in the USA. World clock issues, short work weeks and me being their first Australian client proved extremely difficult, stressful and an absolute disaster.
I was about to throw the towel in and treat it as a very expensive lesson learned but I then found an Australian web developer whom I trusted and relaunched in just under two weeks in March 2010.
What is the one piece of advice you wish you’d been given about running a business with children when you started out?
The DVD player is not a babysitter
Name your top three business successes
Two as noted above and purchasing the domain name of a seller in December 2009 www.wahm.com.au – that is GOLD
What are you passionate about?
I get a thrill and a huge sense of achievement when a job seeker emails me to say “thank you” they found a job through my site or an employer phones me to say they had a fabulous response to their advertisement and they had filled the role. I am passionate about playing the role of Career Cupid and providing the connection between employer and flexible job seeker. It is certainly a challenge, but I absolutely LOVE IT.
What’s the one thing you can never resist?
Coffee and chocolate
Who inspires you?
Princess Mary who married a prince and lived happily ever after and also Kylie Little the Founder of Essential Baby who sold out to Fairfax for $1 million so the story goes.
What is the song that gets you fired up?
Any ABBA song
What is your favourite quote?
“Dream, Believe, Act & Achieve”
Website: www.lifestylecareers.com.au and
Twitter: @lifestylecareer and @AussieWAHM
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LifestyleCareers and http://www.facebook.com/LifestyleCareers#!/WorkAtHomeMums
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=1950084&trk=anet_ug_grppro and http://au.linkedin.com/in/leahgibbs