Dear Working Mother,
How would you like to create a plan to escape the corporate world and create the life you want on your own terms?
Sounds like a fantasy? Well, Catriona Ellis not only believes that it’s possible for you and every other Mom to have the lifestyle you want on your terms, she’s committed to helping as many Mom’s as possible achieve this dream.
Through her business Undercover Escapes, Catriona helps corporate Moms plot their way to a family friendly career from home, ensuring you decide when and where you work, you have tonnes of quality family time EVERY day and you NEVER miss your kids’ milestones again.
In today’s profile piece, Catriona tells us how and why she started her business and how you can plot your own escape…
The Working Mother
Q. What’s your name and where are you from?
A. Caitriona Ellis from Portarlington, Co. Laois
Q. What age are you?
A. As young as I feel, 27 😉
Q. Are you married/single/in a relationship?
A. Happily married 🙂
Q. How many children do you have and how old are they?
A. 3 munchkins – a 6 year old boy, a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old boy.
Q. What kind of business do you have?
A. Undercover Escape is my business where I support PAYE Mums find their individual solution to allow them to be home with their kids whilst also having a family-friendly career.
Q. When did you start your business and what prompted you to start it?
A. In 2008 I had my first child and was all set to return to my corporate job in banking. The crèche was booked, deposit was paid. Six months into my maternity leave I did a personal development course and came to the realisation that I really (x10000) did not want to go back to work and leave my baby in someone else’s care. So I set about finding a way that I could be home with my little man whilst also having a fulfilling family-friendly career.
After many trials and lots of dead ends, I established Undercover Escape. I love what I do. I get how these Mums feel because I was there once. I get such pleasure from seeing them work it all out and ultimately resign from their jobs and get themselves home to their kids and experience life as they want it on their terms, not their employers.
Q. Were you in employment before you started your business and if so, how did you decide when and how to make the transition?
A. Yes, I remained employed until 2011 on various forms of unpaid leave until I was sure that I was ready to make the jump. It was a nerve wracking decision but I was sure in my heart that it was the right decision. Between 2009 and 2011, I spent a lot of time putting all the pieces in place that my husband and I felt we needed to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Giving up my nice salary was hard and initially we did make sacrifices on holidays and others niceties. However, I wouldn’t change a single thing. I think the most important thing for me is being there for the kids. Within a relatively short term, we brought back all the extras, it’s nice to have those too.
Q. What is the best thing about being your own boss?
A. The flexibility is fab. No alarm clock ever, well only if we have an airport trip. Being able to put my family first and be there for them when they are small is great.
Q. What is the most challenging thing?
A. Sleep deprivation. I don’t function very well on low sleep levels.
Q. Did you get much support from family/friends when you were starting out?
A. My husband has been a great support in getting my business started. Without his support I would never have gotten it off the ground.
Q. Is there anything you would have done differently?
A. Yes, I would lower my expectations knowing now that with small kids, there are a lot of unpredictable times which leaves you good for surviving and not much else.
Q. How do you juggle running a business with having a family?
A. I am a planning nut and so I’m very hot on setting my goals for the year/quarter/month/week/day so that I am only focused on the essentials. The majority of my work is done after bedtime, so that I am here for my kids during the day. Unless absolutely necessary I do not mix work and kids, been there done that and it just doesn’t work for either side.
Q. Do you have any advice for other mother’s considering starting their own business?
A. Find a line of business that you are passionate about and you will never work a day in your life. I live that daily and I can attest to it making the world of difference. Trust your instinct, it is never wrong.
If you know you want out NOW and would like a personalised guide from Catriona, then apply for one of her exclusive places on her Escapee Programs. Read more here to find out how you can get your application form for one of these places today. However, please note, there are only 7 places available on these programs each month, as Caitriona only works 4 hours per week. One day, perhaps that could be you…