Mums Who Wine – Creating a Business with an Impact – Episode 94

mums-who-wine

I am so happy to have Lauren Oliver of Mums Who Wine in this inspirational episode. Lauren has created this business and community as an avenue for moms to fill their cup and invest in their own self-care. She created a bigger impact by supporting the Perinatal Anxiety Depression of Australia. We talk about so many things including how she saw a gap which pushed her to create her business, the challenges in scaling her business, advice she wants to give out to someone starting out, and the impact she’s making in the world. Some of the stories she shares today will tug your hearts and bring tears to your eyes.

Important Links Mentioned in the Show:

Mums Who Wine Website

Mums Who Wine Instagram

Mums Who Wine Facebook

JOIN ANGE’S 3 DAY TRAINING – How to Increase Sales and Get More Clients/Customers by Creating Your Very Own Challenge/Training

Profit Pillars

Business Masterclass – The Ultimate 4-Step Framework for Creating a Sustainable and Profitable Business

Women in Business Retreat 2020

Angela Henderson Active Business Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Website

Angela Henderson Facebook Business Page

Angela Henderson Consulting Instagram

Prefer to read Mums Who Wine – Creating a Business with an Impact? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Episode 94.

Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. My name is Angela Henderson and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both, by having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life and in business.

Well, hey there and welcome back to another awesome episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. I am your host Ange, from Angela Henderson Consulting where I am a Business Consultant and Coach who has helped hundreds of awesome women business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent five-figure months and then on to six-figure years without burning out in the process.

Let’s just say going into motherhood with my first child, Finlee, I never thought I would be as lonely as I was. I never thought in a million years that I would lose myself, that I would also lose friends, that my relationship with my partner would take a back seat. And that for so long, life was simply about survival. After all, running not one business, but two businesses, and also working full-time as a Mental Health Clinician, and let’s just say my life was pretty much batshit crazy.

So as I was scrolling on Instagram one day, I came across the words Mums Who Wine. And I was like, “Oh, hell. Did I just read that right?” Mums Who Wine. I was stopped in my tracks. I mean, when you have the words mom and wine in the same sentence, I had to know more. 

Enter Lauren Oliver. Lauren, you see, has created Mums Who Wine as an avenue for moms to fill their cup and invest in their own self-care, and man, oh man, has she absolutely nailed it. I mean, it’s not only a business, but more importantly, she has created a community for moms and she’s done this by creating a bigger impact by putting all proceeds, or 5% of that, I should say, to be exact are donated to PANDA.

And PANDA, for those that don’t know is the Perinatal Anxiety Depression of Australia, which supports women and men and families all across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and the first year of parenthood. 5% of all proceeds, she does this with PANDA while still running a successful business and supporting moms. I mean, seriously, this lady is an absolute legend.

Lauren is doing amazing things both in business and with PANDA, and this is an episode that has pulled on my heartstrings. An episode where, yes, there are actually tears because what she’s doing with the other mothers and what she’s doing in the business world is truly, truly inspirational.

Today, we’re going to talk about how she saw a gap at the market and created her business in services that she has now today, what her biggest challenge has been with scaling her business, not only here in Australia but overseas. We’re also going to dive deep about what advice she would give to someone starting out and wanting to create not only a community but making an impact in creating that business. And I also want to dive deep a little bit more about the impact she’s making because some of the stories she tells today will bring tears to your eyes.

Now, before we hop straight into this awesome episode, I’d like to remind you that if you enjoy this episode, I would love for you to share your key takeaway, a fun fact, or anything you would love to share about the podcast over on your Instagram stories, and then tagging me @angelahendersonconsulting. Not only would you make my day, but you would put a smile on my dial.

Also, this episode is sponsored by my 12-month group coaching program, Profit Pillars, which helps women in business create consistent 5000K months. My 12-month group coaching program is for specifically women business owners who are ready to take action to grow a sustainable and profitable business. They no longer want to play small, they want to step up and play big.

The program includes the complete Profit Pillar training system, complete with videos, PDFs, guides and more; monthly live coaching strategy sessions, monthly hot seat calls, monthly mastermind classes with guest experts, 24/7 access to our private Facebook community, world-class member support, special bonuses and secret surprises, and so much more.

To learn about my amazing 12-month group coaching program, you can head to angelahenderson.com.au and click on, ‘I Want Help Creating 5000K + Months.’ Now, let’s get into this amazing episode.

Welcome to the show, Lauren.

LAUREN:

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

ANGELA:

Goodness. It is an honour to have you here, because, let’s be honest, as a mom, the loneliness is real. There’s nothing else you can really say. The juggle is real. And that, so often, we put ourselves in the back burner when we become a mom for multiple reasons; our kids don’t sleep, we don’t know what we’re doing, and again, the juggle is real.

So when I came across Mums Who Wine, I reached out to you to come on the podcast because I just loved everything you’re doing from building the community, for what you stand for, and yeah, I think the audience needs to hear where your journey started, where it is now, because not only as a mom; there’s so much richness in your story. And yes, I am so thrilled to have you here today.

LAUREN:

Oh, thank you. It’s an honour to be on and to be able to share my story, and hopefully, it can impact those that are listening. 

ANGELA:

Yeah. And I definitely think this is a belief people with bigger impact than what I think they think. So before we get started though, I always like to ask a fun question to the guest that’s coming on because I think it’s important that the audience gets to know you for a little bit about who you are versus just like, “Hey, let’s go straight into the podcast episode.” 

So my fun question is obviously, you’re the owner of Mums Who Wine, so there only seems to be one simple question that I can ask, and that is what is your favourite type of wine?

LAUREN:

Oh, since what day it is? Well, I’m actually 12 weeks pregnant at the moment so I haven’t had wine for quite a while, but look, if it’s a nice, warm day, can’t go past a glass of Rosé. But I do love bubbles.

ANGELA:

You do love a good champagne. 

LAUREN:

I love a good champagne, which funnily enough, this might be a bit controversial, but I only started drinking wine a few years ago. I am a massive beer-girl. I used to like go to parties with a six-pack of stag beers under my arms. So I definitely become a bit more cultured and Mums Who Wine has helped that. But yeah, probably can’t go past a nice glass of bubbles. 

ANGELA:

Yup. Fantastic. And that side note, I was watching this amazing documentary, obviously, France has some of the best wines or champagne and bubbles around the world. But because of the climate and everything that’s happening, same thing, there’s going to be certain types of crops here in Australia that will change also because of our weather patterns that are changing.

And so, actually, they’re starting to grow a different wine, in say, England and stuff because their summers are coming sooner, and the way the winters are going. And so, they’re testing because they believe if the weather continues to do is that France potentially could lose the vineyards that they have, and that England will be the main country producing because of the way that patterns are changing, which I thought was super interesting.

LAUREN:

Oh, wow.

ANGELA:

So National Geographic I was watching one day. And so yes, so total side note. But it is wine, so I thought I’d probably have that little tidbit. But it makes sense though that same thing that again, Cairn for example, who does a lot of the mangos first and the bananas, but they’re saying is that different parts of Australia would then be known for different types of crops. So yeah, side little note as we gather.

So now, Mums Who Wine. I’d love to know kind of where did you start in like not even business; corporate job? Has the business been something you’ve been doing for a while? Like, tell us a little bit more about Lauren, and where you’ve come from, and where you are now?

LAUREN:

Yeah, sure. So I was actually a corporate lawyer. So I practised for ten years as a Workcover lawyer. I was specialized in psychiatric injury Workcover claims, and I was doing that for ten years. And then, Mums Who Wine came about when I relocated with my husband and small son; Thomas was 15 months; relocated to a new area to be closer to the city because I went back to work full-time.

So I left my friends, my family, my social network because we had to make that decision for our family so that I could cut down travel time. And what I realized is when I was working full-time, I couldn’t go to playgroups, I couldn’t go to moms’ groups, and I didn’t have any friends because I had moved to a new area.

So I put a call out on a local moms and bubs Facebook group, and said, “Hi ladies. I don’t know anyone. Would anyone like to have a glass of wine?” And thankfully, people wrote back, and I organized a dinner at a local wine bar. And eight moms came along, and I thought,” Great. I’ve made some friends. Job done.”

And then, I had people contacting me saying, “Are you going to do another one? I’d love to come.” So that just sort of evolved. Then I started a Facebook group called Inner West Mums Who Wine because I live in Inner West, Melbourne. And that group, within, I think in 18 months grew to over 2,000 people.

ANGELA:

Wow. 

LAUREN:

The events were selling out in 45 minutes. It was crazy. And I was doing this all while still working, obviously. And a couple of friends sat me down, and said, “You need to start a business; like there’s something in this.” And I said, “Well, no. Like, I’m a lawyer. What do you mean? I want to be partner. I’m on that corporate trail.” 

And I’d never thought of making it a business because I didn’t start it out that way and I never wanted to really make money from this genuine need that I started because of me. But yeah, anyway, I sat down, and I thought about it. And long story short, I started; I launched it, the same week that I went back after having my second baby. He was only six months old. Why not?

ANGELA:

Yeah. Go all in. 

LAUREN:

Yeah, exactly. And I launched the business, and that just started two years ago, and after six months, I quit my job as a lawyer, and I do this full-time now.

ANGELA:

Gosh. Well, how amazing is that? That people always think of the corporate life is just so bells and whistles. So I guess my question is since leaving, because, I too, have left my corporate role as a mental health clinician of 15 years. And listen, for me, it was personally like refreshing. I love that I can just kind of; I can get to my kid’s school whenever I need to, I get to make my own schedule.

The one thing I do miss though is I miss the lunchtime laughter. Like, I miss connecting with friends, and you’re just, for that one hour, you know it’s your lunch break, and like, we would laugh; like we would belly laugh with tears, right? And so, there is an essence of we were talking about Mums Who Wine and moms being the essence of loneliness, but I do think there’s an essence of loneliness as a business owner, too. And I think it’s not talked about nearly enough. 

A good friend of mine, Cherie from Digital Picnic was talking about it on her Instagram stories the other day about the loneliness is as your business grows, there is that level of loneliness. Like, you kind of lose some peers, you lose things because you’re in a different phase. But I also think there’s a level of loneliness when you’re starting out.

I think the loneliness happens to each of us, it’s just different because of the different stages. But it is something that I don’t think business owners talk a lot about and they question, or get a little bit paranoid, like, “Is this normal? Should I be feeling this way?” And then, you kind of second guess yourself.

But I just want to say for those of you out there, regardless if you’re a mom or a business owner is that the loneliness is real. And that, as much as we’re going to talk about building tribes and things like that with Mums Who Wine, I would equally be encouraging you to build your tribe within your own business network because, let’s be honest, our husbands and wives, they don’t really; they don’t get it. Our friends, they’re there to hang out and connect with us; they don’t really want us talking about business.

LAUREN:

Yup.

ANGELA:

So that loneliness, it’s a real thing. Would you agree?

LAUREN:

Oh, 100%. And that’s something that like I’ve always, I mean, obviously, I’m very social. Hence, why I run events across the country. But I loved; because people said, “Did you not like corporate?” And I said, “No. I loved my job.” I loved the social aspects, the long Friday lunches, the corporate lunches. And I have definitely experienced that loneliness.

I mean, I work; I’m not even in an office. I work from home on my dining room table. My husband’s at work. The kids are like school in daycare. And yeah, it is real. But that’s why I’ve made sure that I really try to connect with other businesswomen who are going through the same thing to be able to talk and share about you know what this is, you know? 

Only a few weeks ago, I think it was the pregnancy hormones that I was; I’m ready to give this all in because I just can’t handle this anymore. And to actually go to people and they’re like, “We know. We’ve been there. But look at the impact?” And this kind of pepped you up a bit. It’s really integral. So definitely, find your tribe of businesswomen, businessmen for people that get it.

ANGELA:

Yup. And if we go back to the corporate side of things, there’s (how do I say it?), there’s so much more out of the world at corporate, right? Like, I think we think that that’s our only way in living our life, right? So if you’re out there, and you’re still working whatever type of job it is, just know that trust me is sometimes you’ve got to double down on yourself, you’ve got to back yourself.

But I will also say this; if you’re in a financial situation to be able to leave your corporate job, like rock and roll it. But there’s a lot of gurus out there that will say, “Leave your 9 to 5 and you’re going to kill it. You’re going to make money.” And in my experience in seeing women who have done that…

LAUREN:

I probably shouldn’t have laughed about that hard but…

ANGELA:

But the thing is that these gurus that are saying this aren’t doing the full context. Like, they’re where they’re at now and they’ve got funds to be able to do that. But a lot of times, if you’re bootstrapping your business and you’re going to jump straight from corporate and think that you’re just going to be making 20-30K a month and everything is rocking and rolling, unless you’ve got funds in the bank to do that, just be mindful. 

Because I’m not one to push just jump off, leave your 9 to 5 unless you’ve got a bit of funds available; that’s all I’m saying. Because as I’m sure you know, it’s a slug.

LAUREN:

A massive slug. And look, we didn’t; I think, if we had our time again, it was really a huge step of faith and it was more because the impact that it was having, and you have to. It wasn’t because of making money, it was because I just knew that I had to. There was just a bigger need that I needed to fill. And when people go, “Do you miss corporate?” I’m like, “I miss the money.” It’s been really; I’m going to be really honest, it’s been really tough for my family because I was the main breadwinner.

ANGELA:

Yup.

LAUREN:

And we also had an investment property that was tied up with council, so it was sitting empty; so we were paying that, we’re paying rent. So we got ourselves into a significant amount of debt. We sold the investment property. We paid off all of our debts, but it’s definitely been a very challenging two years. But I think that’s also been part of the journey.

ANGELA:

Totally. [Crosstalk 00:14:59]

LAUREN:

I laugh. I’m like, I never answered private numbers because it was credit card companies chasing me. And that’s a thing that people again, that highlight reel of Instagram, people like, “Oh my gosh. Mums Who Wine is like booming and it’s amazing.” I’m like, “Yeah. But I can’t pay my credit card bill, or I can’t,” like, I’m worried.”

And Cherie’s actually amazing and I love her post, and she’s like, she spoke about recently when she took her team out for dinner.

ANGELA:

Dinner. Yes, yeah.

LAUREN:

Hold her breath hoping that it go through. And I’m like, “That’s literally me every day.” 

ANGELA:

Yup.

LAUREN:

So the struggle is real, but I knew that for me, and it was actually my husband that encouraged me to quit, which was great that I had his support when I was the main breadwinner.

ANGELA:

That’s so lovely.

LAUREN

And I just had to do it and I don’t regret it, but it definitely hasn’t been an easy journey.

ANGELA:

It’s tough. Yeah. And kind of; I would get the opposite because I loved my mental health job so much. Like, just again, knowing that you’re helping people or giving them funding, it was really important. So I also got a lot of crap from people going, “Well, aren’t you sustainable enough that you can leave?” And I’m like, “But I actually like doing what I’m doing.”

Like, it’s cool because in the government job that I had is you obviously had your normal four weeks annual leave, two weeks sick leave. But then, I had one registered day off a month, which was great. And then I also had all the public holidays, and then I also had this thing in the government that you could buy, which was called purchase leave. So I could buy extra leaves; so I would buy an extra eight weeks leave.

So the reality was is I wasn’t at work for four months of the year. And the way the purchase leave is you would just say take, I think it was $75 a week; they would take out of your pay and put it into this like kiddy, so when you took those extra weeks’ worth of work off, you were still getting paid. 

And so, for me, it was like, “Hold on a minute,” when people kind of give me crap about it, I’m like, “I actually am able to grow my business, have all this time-off that’s still paid to be with my family and go to Bali or whatever,” but I didn’t have to like put that extra pressure from a financial strain on them at that time, right?

LAUREN:

Yeah.

ANGELA

So yeah. I always say, do what’s in your gut and do what’s best for your family, right? Like, you know what it is, and sometimes you think of too many opinions from so many people that it becomes over-swarmingly in your head, going, “Oh, I don’t know what to do.” So was there a pivotal moment though where you’re like, “Shit is real. I got to jump.”

Like, obviously, you said your husband was quite supportive. You identified a gap in the market, obviously, very early on for yourself. And you’re like; you reached out to that wonderful group, you’ve created the dinner. But was there like a pivotal moment where you’re like, “We’re game on. This is real.” 

Because was it just about making friends or was there an essence of like anxiety or depression or anything that are weird just like, “I’m going to go downhill.” Or I think before when we were talking before we pressed record, I think you used the word shell, is like, you’ve felt like you were a shell of a woman. 

LAUREN:

Yeah.

ANGELA:

Can you talk about that? Like, was there a big moment or was it just like an accumulation of things?

LAUREN

I think in terms of like realizing the impact that it was having, as I said; like I started that not out of a selfish need, but like a genuine need in me that I really just wanted to meet some friends in my local community. But then, when I started it and that was building, I would have moms literally come up at me, (Oh, I’m going to get teary), come up with tears in their eyes and just say, “Thank you for starting this. Like, I made a friend tonight.” 

And that would just hit me like a ton of bricks, and I would now go back to my corporate job, which I wasn’t really; like I was an insurance lawyer. I wasn’t really changing the world. I was making the rich richer, the poor poorer, and it was just really impacting me. And then it got to a point where I went back to work after having my second son, and it was like the rose-coloured glass doesn’t come off and I was just looking around.

And I had always wanted to be a partner. I had always been very, very ambitious and driven. And I just looked around, and I just went, “I don’t want to do this anymore when I know that I can be having a great impact.” And I remember getting home from work, and this was the pivotal moment for me. 

And I’ve worked; don’t even know. Like, I hadn’t seen the kids. I’d left in the morning. I’d got home late at night and I’d got my laptop out and went straight to start working on Mums Who Wine. And Mark said something to me, and I just snapped. And I’m like, “Do you understand how much pressure I am under?” And that’s when he just said to me, “Just quit.” And I’m like, “What? What do you mean just quit?” And I looked at him without a disdain, I’m like, “I can’t quit.” And we went on and he kept just saying, “Just quit.”

And I said, “But I’m the main breadwinner. We want to buy a house.” And he said, “So we keep renting. Just quit.” And then, the biggest thing is then when he said it and I said, “I can’t quit. What would people think?”

ANGELA:

Interesting. Yup.

LAUREN

Yeah. And that’s when I realized that I was so driven by what people were thinking. And when I used to say that I was a lawyer, I’ve got, like people went, “Ohh, really?” And that really fed something in me. But then when I was faced with; I could have, like partnership was definitely on the table for me. I just got a multi-million-dollar client. Everything was ticking along nicely.

But then, there was this whole new thing, like this incredible community that I’d built. And like I shared with you, like, Billy, my youngest son, didn’t sleep for two and a half years and that’s what I was a shell of a woman because I wasn’t sleeping, he wasn’t sleeping. I’m trying to build a business, I was trying to work to be a lawyer. And that’s when I just went, “You know what?” 

And I say this, and I say this very seriously, “At the end of my life, if one person gets up at my funeral and says that their life was made better by something that I did, then that’s job done for me.” And that wasn’t happening with me being a lawyer. So yeah. And I said to Michael, “How do I even quit? Like what do I even say?” And he said, “Just go in there and say that you started this business that is changing the lives of mums and just back yourself.” 

So I did. I went in the next day and I quit. And it’s been the biggest, like it’s honestly been my greatest leap of faith, and I feel like God, the universe, whatever you believe has totally backed me in it. But it’s been a huge journey. But it was that pivotal moment when I realized like I can’t do it all and where is the need.

ANGELA:

Yes.

LAUREN

And like you said, that I hit the market, and I say this regularly, I say, “I recognize that I hit a niche like from a business perspective, but more importantly, I hit a need.”

ANGELA:

Exactly right.

LAUREN

And it’s like, we’ve connected like probably nearly 10,000 moms across Australia. As I said, we’ve raised $30,000 for PANDA. And I have messages daily from moms just like thanking me for starting it all. Like, “When are you coming to this area?” I’ve had people from all around the world saying, “When are you bringing Mums Who Wine here?”

And I was just like, “You know what? I just have to do this because,” and I always say as well, like, “You know? Some of our events, we have 300 moms come. Some, we have a dinner of 10.” It doesn’t matter, but I always say, “If one person leaves and they’ve made a friend, or they’ve felt a bit better about themselves, or they’re bit better mentally, then it’s worth it.” And I think that the money and all of that will flow if you are really following what you believe you’re meant to be doing, and you’re passionate about it, then the rest will flow.

ANGELA:

So let’s just rewind a little bit because not everyone might be familiar with Mums Who Wine and what that looks like, right? So can you tell us a little bit about; it obviously started off just eight women going out to dinner, and then, obviously, then what was the progression? Because it’s like, you helped hundreds of women now on a monthly basis, alright? Daily basis, you’re helping them in multiple different ways. Can you talk us a little bit about; started there, but then what has happened and what does that look like? What has that evolved into now?

LAUREN

Sure. Definitely. So, yes. So I just started, obviously, with the events in my local area, but then, what I’m really passionate about is encouraging moms to invest in their self-care and their mental health. So I’m like, “How can I do that? How can I create this business organization that does that?”

So what Mums Who Wine is, is that we are obviously an organization passionate about encouraging moms to take that time for themselves away from their children; so it’s for them, for their own mental health. So we have an annual membership which is $59 a year, and we partner with hundreds of businesses around Australia, which all equally share our passion for moms to take this time out. 

So as a member, you go in and you flash your keyring and you get a VIP benefit. I don’t like the word discount; actually, you’re a mom, you’re a VIP, you’re having some time for yourself, so you should be treated like one. 

ANGELA:

Yup.

LAUREN:

You might go and get like a free coffee, you might get a discount at the gym to encourage yourself to go and work out; local boutiques, all things like that, all focused on self-care.

We also host events all around Australia; so we’ve launched in eight locations. So obviously, Brisbane is one of them. We’re in four states, and then we host these regular events, which is to encourage moms to get out, have a night for themselves, connect with other moms. And we also do pop-up events, so I travel around Australia to go to new areas, particularly, we’re hitting a lot of rural areas where there is a lot of isolation, there is a lot of mental health issues. 

And we also, we run retreats. But most importantly, we donate 5% of all of our proceeds to PANDA, which is Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia. And as I mentioned, we’ve raised over $30,000 in two years for them, which is amazing. 

ANGELA:

Amazing, like hello? So awesome. So, so many levels of awesome. And I guess, you, you’re making; I guess, for you, is it’s not just; like you said, it’s not just a business, but it’s about how can you make that bigger impact? And for you is how did you know or when did you know that it was time to kind of start? Did you always team up with PANDA from the beginning or was that again a progression in time?

Because my big thing is I was just speaking at an event last night, and I was talking about regardless of how big or small your audience is, your email list is, etc. we all are passionate about something. And we’re very fortunate enough to live in a world of technology, actually, and some benefits of it; there are some that aren’t. 

But in this instance, it’s great because you got a platform to talk. And my biggest thing is about raising awareness of mental health, and as we talked pre-hitting the record button, eight people take their lives every single day in Australia. Eight people, which works out to about, unfortunately, 3,000 plus people in our country are dying every single year because of suicide.

And it’s a massive; it’s an epidemic, really, for many things, especially when our world is getting more and more lonelier with more and more technology. There’s a direct correlation with those two. So how did you decide to use your business as a platform to create change and have that bigger impact in the world? When did that come for you?

LAUREN

Well, when I made the decision to make it into a business, I’ve always been someone that has donated to charities or different things. I always just want to align myself with the greater good and a greater cause, and I knew that when I created it as a business and it was going to be generating money because obviously, a couple of years prior when I was doing the events in my community, I never made any money. It was just a community-based thing.

So I thought, “Okay. Well, what is my mission and what are my values?” And my mission was obviously to connect and to get moms out during a difficult time. You know? Usually when they’ve got young babies, but it’s open to moms of all ages. And I did a bit of research; I personally haven’t suffered from post-natal depression, but quite a lot of my friends have.

And as I said, I know there’s a lot of stigma associated with mental illness that particularly I think when you’ve just had a baby, and everything’s meant to be amazing, and, “Oh my God. You’re so blessed. You’ve got this baby.” Well, yeah. But what if you don’t feel like you’re blessed because you’re not coping? 

So I contacted PANDA. I did a bit of research into a couple of other organizations. But PANDA really resonated with me, and I remember speaking to David Sutherland who I deal with, and we had a really long chat. And the first and foremost, I said, “Look, I’m very aware that there’s alcohol in the title, Mums Who Wine. I know the association with depression and alcohol. But it’s just a name because that’s evolved from the group that I had, but our focus is now connection.”

So we had that conversation really early, and that’s just been amazing. And I’m so thankful that I’ve aligned with them because even though they’re a national organization, they’re really quite small. And I literally just got an email through from David thanking me for the donation for our #selfcaresaves campaign. He calls me after every donation. He checks in. He even says like, “How’s your self-care going? I know you’re working so hard to raise money for us, but how are you going?” 

And yeah, they’re an incredible organisation. And the biggest thing is not a lot of people know about them, and I know that from our social media posts, we try to put up a lot of stuff up about PANDA when we can. And people have actually; people have contacted me and said, “I didn’t even know about this and I didn’t know about PANDA. Because of your post, I’m going to see my doctor.” And I’m like, “Wow.” 

ANGELA:

That’s so powerful.

LAUREN

And that is, like you said, creating that platform, and I feel that if I can be a voice in this society and these communities, and that people trust me, and I take that role very seriously. Like, I don’t look at myself as like an influencer trying to sell products or anything like that because that’s not what this is. It’s about encouraging moms to take time for themselves.

And I honestly think that if you look after yourself, you’re going to be a better version of yourself, a better mom, a better partner, and not only are you going to be impacted, but your family and your community. So it’s only going to have a positive effect.

ANGELA:

100%. And yeah, but the guilt, right? As moms, we’re like, “Damn.”

 LAUREN

That mommy-guilt.

ANGELA:

And you’re like, “Oh, two hours.” But like, if you think about pre-kids, we were quite happy to go do XYZ, like there was never a question, right? But it’s like, when we got that other little person. [Crosstalk 00:30:15]. Exactly right. And then I was like, makeup, hair; most people who’ve listened to this podcast know it’s not on my top priority. Like, whatever you call these legging things and a t-shirt, and I just happened to have my hair down because I was at a speaking event last night. But most of the times, I’m in a hoodie, right?

LAUREN

Yeah.

ANGELA:

But I would still; like, I’ve only been to a hairdresser in probably five months. But again, it’s not the top priority, right? But back in the day, it was no problem. Like you were going every four or five weeks. Like, it didn’t matter. You just; you made that time, right? And there is this shift when we become moms, and I also think we could lose our identity a little bit, and where do we belong, and what does that look like.

So to have a platform and a community for moms to go to through Mums Who Wine is such an amazing opportunity because your confidence starts to increase again, those connections start to increase; everything just collectively starts three C’s, correct? Is that confidence? What did I say? Confidence, connections and collectively; that’s a weird little combination, obviously. But you get the point, right? 

Is that it’s such a beautiful way for them to go, “Hold on.” And that was one of the things I’ve had actually a few business owners who have just had babies come to me and they’re like, and in natural, they’ve said something similar, but you know, “Thank you so much for showing me that I can be a mom, but equally be a good business owner, and that it’s okay.” 

And even when I talk at presentations, I have a picture of Finlee and Chloe up, and I say, “Yeah, these are my beautiful, little souls, but they’re not all of my Y.” And as a mom, I had to learn and give myself permission that they’re just part of my Y. One day, they’re going to leave. And then, what would my Y look like if I dedicated everything to them, right? 

And so, that was for me, alright? Everyone’s Y is very different. But it was, people were like, “Oh, when you said that, it made me think about XYZ, so thank you for that, that you can be a mom and you can also be a good business owner.”

LAUREN:

And I think, and this is the biggest thing, which is what I’m wanting to create is that if moms actually go; and this is why our events are once a month or once every two months; it’s two or three hours. If you actually go and take that time for yourself, you actually come home and you’re a better mom because you filled your cup. And it’s that whole, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” 

But it’s true, as moms, we’re so self-sacrificing; we give, we give, we give. And then, when we do want to take time for ourselves, and I felt it as well because I was working full-time, and then, I’d come home, and I’m like, “I want to go see my girlfriends and have a glass of wine,” because that’s the way that I feel my cup. 

But then, I’d feel guilty because I’m like, “I haven’t been home with the kids,” but I knew that I was going to be better. I would miss them. Like, I think that; and that’s a big thing why I’m wanting to create this, and that whole mommy guilt – even spending money on yourself. 

And this is why, for example, we partner with a lot of day spas, because I’m like, “You know what? Why don’t you go get your massage, and you get a free facial, and then you’re going to feel better, you’re going to be pampered. And then, you’re going to come home, and you’re going to see your kids, and you’re not going to be resentful because you feel like rubbish because you haven’t done anything. You’ve actually taken some time for yourself.”

ANGELA:

Exactly right. 

LAUREN:

It’s kind of a win-win, but it is that mommy guilt. Ugh. It’s a killer.

ANGELA:

It’s the truth. It’s a real thing, people. It’s a real thing. And for those of you that don’t have kids, that’s totally okay. And for those that are out there, you’re probably shaking your head, going, “Yup. This shit is real.” And it’s like, it’s real as it comes. 

But when it comes to obviously, going, leaving corporate, then creating this amazing business, what has been your biggest challenge when it comes to scaling your overall business. Because obviously, you started out in a local location, and now, you’re all over Australia, and I think New Zealand also. So what has been your biggest challenge in scaling it?

LAUREN:

I think the biggest thing is I’m only one person and I’ve never been good at delegation. Even when I was in corporate, I had my own PA and I used to do a lot of stuff myself because I thought that was easier. But just actually, so I have the ambassadors in all of the different areas where I am, and actually, just relinquishing some of the control to give to them.

And that’s why our strategy moving forward for 2020, I’m actually empowering them in a whole new way to build their community because it can’t be so reliant on me because I’m wanting to go out and expand more. But it is just that scaling it and making sure that; a few people are, “Oh my gosh. You’re going so big, so quick.” And I’m like, “But I’m going big because there’s the need there, right? People are begging me to come.”

So it’s not like, “Oh, I’m going to go here because this is going to be financially viable.” But I think it is just finding the right people, which I’m really lucky that I have. And finding; because this isn’t just like a normal business; it’s like, for example, at the events, I stand at the door, I welcome everyone.

I put a post up yesterday, I think, about four moms came on their own to our event on Saturday in Ballarat, and I made sure that I connected all of them; they have then become friends. And just people that are socially aware of making sure that everyone’s connecting and it’s not like a business thing for them.

Yeah, just finding people that share my heart and my vision, I guess. So it’s just, but I think probably it is delegating and relinquishing control, which I am getting better at. And I think it’s best thing now that I’m 12-weeks pregnant with my third baby, I realized that I’m definitely not going to be able to do it all. 

ANGELA:

Yes.

LAUREN:

That’s why just finding the right people that can support you. And actually, also just making some decisions, like a couple of events, I’ve decided to cancel, and I’m like, “You know what? This is not going to happen.” And being okay with that, and it’s not a failure, it’s just part of the process. 

ANGELA:

Yup. And it’s the lessons, right? I always look at things; it’s the lessons we need to do better, right? It’s not a failure or a mistake, it’s whether we need to learn from this. And for me in the year of 2019, it was all about fail fast, but fire fast actually, because I had started delegating, alright? And some of those people weren’t doing what they needed to do. And then, the opposite came, but then I was like, “Great. Well, I’m hired now and I’m just starting to delegate.” But then I was like, “Well, this should be the end of it.”

But then the problem was, is they then weren’t doing anything. So then, I was like, “Well, now I’ve got a different type of problem that I’ve got to work through”, right? And this is one of the things that Cherie and I have briefly spoken about at the retreat was that, you go from employee in your business in like solopreneur, then you start moving to like that kind of CEO realm, right?

But when you move to CEO, you also have to become a leader, and there’s no manual for that shit. And you’re just kind of like, “Ohh.” So, okay. And then some days, like I know I’ve got my team, too, that works amazing, Aaron and Katie, that sometimes I think, “You’ve probably given them enough.” Like, I think they’re probably like, “Good morning.” And we don’t meet every day; like they’re contractors, they do their own thing. But I think like, I probably need to step that up a little bit, right?

Because I’m so used to just being in isolation. But if I think of them, they’re probably like, “Oh, no. It would be great. Maybe we all need to.” So, yeah. So it’s something I’ll be working on in the 2020. But yes, so it’s an interesting type of field is that just when we get one thing, and that’s the thing is they don’t give you a manual for this owning a business scenario.

LAUREN:

I know. And this is the thing, and like people say to me like, “Oh. So were you in marketing? Were you in PR? Were you in events?” And I’m like, “I was a Workcover lawyer.” I am literally throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. And some things that I think are going to go really great, like some events I put out there, I’m like, “This is going to sell really well.”

And that’s another thing, like when you’re marketing to moms; moms buy things at the last minute because they’ve got to work out what husband’s doing, what the babysitter’s doing, and all of that. So even that in itself is stressful because I’m like, “I need numbers, I need this, c’mon.” They’re like, “Yeah, I’m coming. I just haven’t got my ticket yet.” I just thought, “Ohh.”  So it is just like seeing what works, what doesn’t; it’s a big…

ANGELA:

It’s a big test.

LAUREN:

A lot of learnings.

ANGELA:

It is so much learnings, and yeah, you got to throw it out there, but again, until someone gives you their credit card, the transaction is non-existent, right? Like, you can come up with some good things. And I, too, have had to cancel things where I’m like, “You know what? It’s not viable for me to go to Perth because of XYZ.” It’s not like, you all said, 200 of you are like, “Yeah, this is going to be great,” and then, like five of you bought. It’s like again, until that credit card is out, it’s not ever formalized.

LAUREN:

Oh, I’m glad it’s not just me. I’m like, “Come here, come here,” and then I’m like, “Well, did you buy?” And they’re like, “Oh, that was cancelled,” I’m like, “Did you buy a ticket?” No one else bought a ticket. Whereas then, other areas, like, as I said, the rural areas; like Bendigo’s sold out in a week and we had a waitlist of 50 people.

And that’s the biggest thing for me is like, because people are, “Oh, you need to go to this area. That’ll be really good for your business.” And I’m like, “Yeah, but there’s no moms there that are really,” like they’re sort of; like for Sydney, for example. People are like, “You really need to go to Sydney because that’s really good for business.”

And we’ve done a couple of Sydney events, which have been great, but we had 20 moms come. Whereas I do events in Ballarat and I get 300 moms come. So I really want to go where the need is, not where it makes sense on the business.

ANGELA:

And I think again, too, Sydney; it’s a city. There’s probably however many mom events potentially going on, right? Whereas, like you said, in those rural areas, which kind of leads me to my last question for you; well, one of my last questions is what’s your big plans for 2020? I know you’ve talked about rural a few times; is that where you’re going for 2020, even more so than what you’re already doing?

LAUREN:

Yeah, I think that’s my real heart, and also my husband; so my husband’s a country boy. So this really presses on his heart as well, just the isolation and the suicide rates. So the thing, which is why I’m empowering our ambassadors who are in the cities to really focus on those city events so that I can be released to go out a lot more to these rular events.

I know like I’m doing like a Warrnambool event and a few others. And to actually get out to those; yeah, not the city towns because there’s so much available for moms in the city, which is great, and I think that’s amazing. And I’m not wanting to; it’s not like I’m wanting to hit that market, I’m wanting to hit a need. 

So 2020, yeah, focusing more on rural, helping a lot of the farmers. I know that I’ve been contacted by some areas that have been affected by the bushfires, and just said, “Look, I really think that if you came, you could really help the morals of the community.” And that just hits me right in the heart when people are actually reaching out and saying, “I think you can help.”

So, yeah, so that’ll be my focus. And even when the baby comes, Mark and the boys and the baby, will just go road trips and I still want to continue doing the events in the rural areas. Obviously, I’ll scale back a bit, but we’ll just go as a family, and they can actually see what I do. 

Like, my 5-year old calls me the Boss of all the Mommies. He’s adorable. He actually stops people in the street and goes, “Do you know that this is my mom? Mums Who Wine? She’s the Boss of all the Mommies.”

ANGELA:

Legendary.

LAUREN:

Yeah. So it’s just for them to see what we’re doing in the impact as well, which would be amazing. 

ANGELA:

Yup. And I think, again, nice little transition there with the word impact. I’d love for you to share the two stories that you shared with me before we pressed record in regards to, and I don’t get teary often, my friend; not often. But I’d love for you to share the stories and the impact you’ve had with the rural areas with your Melbourne Cup event.

LAUREN:

Oh, yes. So we ran an event called Thank A Farmer, which actually came about (Oh, now, I’m going to get teary), it came about a mom in a rural area contacted me and said, “I know you do a lot of city events, but would you come to rural because we’ve had three suicides in our community, and I think that you could make a difference.”

And that, it just hit me; I’m like, “Yes, I’m coming.” So we went and did an event there, and what I realized is I just want to help these farming communities that are really, really doing it tough and horrible circumstances at the moment.

So in the middle of this year, we ran an event for farming moms and then farming dads, and they were nominated, and we got sponsors, and we brought them to Melbourne for an all-expense-paid weekend. We took them to the foodie, in a corporate suite, and we took them out for dinner in a limo ride around Melbourne.

And then, later this year, we actually brought eight farming couples from all around Australia and brought them to Melbourne, and we took them out to Melbourne Cup in an elevated Marquee on trackside at the Melbourne Cup, which was; we had an incredible sponsor, Ian Urquhart and Condor Corporate Leisure, which was their Marquee. 

And yeah, all-expense-paid experience at the Melbourne Cup that they could share together as a couple. And they had a hotel for two nights so that they could just spend some time together. One of them said that they’ve never been off the farm.

ANGELA:

Wow.

LAUREN:

Yeah, they’ve never been off the farm, they’ve never been on a holiday.

ANGELA:

That is like so crazy.

LAUREN:

Yeah. And I get up, and Mark and I get up and share and just say, “Look, we know that you guys are doing it tough, and we don’t want you to think that you’re forgotten.” And this suicide is the number one killer in men in farmers that doubles because they have so much financial strain. Honestly, they’re driving themselves into trees because they want their family to get their life insurance policy. It’s just absolutely devastating. 

So we really feel that obviously, you can raise money, and you can give them money, but if you can take them out of their environment, and just lavish them, and make them feel valued and honoured and loved, they just said it was life-changing for them. So that’s another thing; we’re really wanting to do more events like that as well. 

ANGELA:

Yup. Absolutely fantastic. So again, for all of you that are out there thinking you can’t make an impact, you can change anyone’s lives; one person. One person is all it takes to make the world a better place, really. So now, where can people learn more about you or connect with you, Lauren?

LAUREN:

Yeah. So we’ve got our website; so www.mumswhowine.com.au. We’re about to do a full relaunch for our website, which is exciting. And then, Instagram is @mumswhowine_au, and Facebook is just Mums Who Wine. 

ANGELA:

Fantastic. And my final question is what do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started out in business?

LAUREN:

People, yeah, I think what you’re saying before, until you see the credit card come out, like people fickle. Like, they are amazing, and then they’ll support you with their words, but sometimes, I think they’re a bit (what’s the word?), non-committal.

ANGELA:

Yes. Yes.

LAUREN:

So I thought that it would be; like it’s obviously grown exponentially, but the membership side of it, like it is incredible value, and I think a lot of the moms are, “Oh, I don’t know if I want to commit yet.” They’re non-committal. 

ANGELA:

Yeah.

LAUREN:

And I think the biggest thing; actually, someone asked me this the other day is that’s it’s okay to kind of stand up and own your successes. I’ve been so worried about being someone of; I always said I want to be someone of statue, not status. And I think a large part of, particularly this year, I’ve kind of pushed, like, “Oh, it’s going so well.” I try and downplay. But it’s, “Blah, blah, blah, blah.” 

And actually, stand up and own it and go, “You know what? Yeah, this is pretty great what I’ve created, and I’m proud of it.” And that doesn’t make me arrogant, that just makes me proud of my achievements. And I think, like you said, it’s very lonely, isolating thing when you’re working basically for yourself. So give yourself a pat on the back, and say, “Good on you. You’re doing a good job,” I think it’s needed.

ANGELA:

Yup. 100%. Again, celebrating any win; small or big, is so important. Just like you said, and again, we just downplay it, “Oh, no, it’s not a big of a deal.” But again, own it. Step into it. Don’t be afraid to play big. So, so awesome.

And before we sign off, I just want to remind you, our listeners out there, that we’ll have all those links, definitely, in our show notes, and that my team and I will be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at angelahenderson.com.au.

And as I mentioned earlier in my intro, if you enjoyed this episode, I would love for you to share it, especially on your Instagram stories and tagging myself @angelahendersonconsulting, or also Lauren, @mumswhowine_au on Instagram. We would love that, and you guys would make our day. And also, if you haven’t already subscribed to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast, please do so. And also, if you could leave a review, I would really, really appreciate that.

Thanks again, Lauren, for being on the show today. And for the rest of you, have a fabulous day no matter where you are in the world, and I look forward to you joining me next week for another amazing episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. Thanks again, Lauren.

LAUREN:

Thank you.

ANGELA:

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Mums Who Wine. www.angelahenderson.com.au

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Angel Henderson Consulting

I'm Ange... proud Canadian, Nutella eating lover and pink is my favorite colour with a splash of glitter. I'm a business consultant/coach who has helped hundreds of business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent 5-figure months and multiple 6-figure years... without burning out in the process.