Isn’t it funny how sometimes others see you more clearly than you see yourself?
I was still calling myself a SAHM. I still considered myself a teacher on extended maternity leave, and I thought I was comfortable with the box I put myself in. But the truth was that I had already stepped out of it. I was stretching my wings in a new way, and I wasn’t half bad at it. It’s just that I was the last to know.
I went to the Connect2Mums 2009 Seminar to test the waters. I was gaining momentum as a blogger and considering ways to take my writing further, but I wasn’t even sure if I could belong in the online business space. As a teacher-turned-full-time-mother I was a little intimidated at first. The other women at the seminar seemed to know infinitely more than I did about business! Soon I came to see though that the collective strength of the group came from the individual strengths of each woman there. All mothers, all from different backgrounds, all with something to offer. I listened and learned as a range of women spoke on their areas of strength. I asked lots of questions and took lots of notes. Later that day I ran a workshop on blogging, and had the opportunity to share one of my areas of strength. Other women asked me lots of questions and took lots of notes! Finally I started to recognise that I had something to offer too.
My view of myself shifted a little that day, but the AusMumpreneur Awards dinner that night changed my view completely! I wasn’t entirely sure what a mumpreneur was, and I certainly didn’t consider myself one. Yet sure enough, there was my name on the trophy. Catherine Oehlman. Top AusMumpreneur Award Winner 2009. I am not a woman who is often lost for words!
Since the seminar and the awards last year things have changed in my world. Winning the top award raised my profile considerably in the online parenting space, resulting in stronger readership and increased attention from the media and PR companies. My following in social media spaces continues to grow as well. I have received mentoring through the C2U business network and it has been a privilege to be an ambassador for the C2M community, speak at events and write a column online. I have to admit it’s been kind of a buzz to be on the front cover of a mini-mag too!
Thanks to Connect2Mums I now see myself in a completely new light. My background in education and my choice to stay home full time with my kids contribute to who I am but do not solely define what I am. I have a whole range of skills and strengths that are helping me to carve out this new career path. I am a wife and mother, an educator, a writer, a blogger, a social media advocate, a speaker, a reviewer and more. I am learning all the time about what it means to be in business online and I’m crazy-busy, but happy.
I think I can finally say it: I am a mumpreneur.