Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Starting a business

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your continued support, I see you've been checking the blog and interacting with me on social media, but you haven't been rewarded with a blog post in ages, so here it is with my apologies for the delay. I'm going to talk about launching my new baby The Wellness Clinic, as this has been consuming every waking moment for the last while. Maybe some of you have start-up businesses or are thinking of starting up, so I hope you get some inspiration here. Or if you are just wanting to know where the hell I was read on...

I have had a huge month, a great month. I launched my nutrition service The Wellness Clinic and have been working with some private clients both in person in my holistic centre, and via Skype. These clients came through word-of-mouth which is going to be my main source of referrals I think. People want a recommendation, and to know the person they are going to see is trustworthy especially when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

While seeing the clients I was setting up all my systems of paperwork, record-keeping, contracts etc so there was so much administration as well as client hours. It was brilliant to finally get working with clients and I realised this is my dream job, I love the detective work as I analyse someone's habits, and I love helping them tweak them to make healthier choices. A week or two into my clinic I began seeing clients in a holistic centre in Dublin City.

The room I have is perfect for my needs and is a good central location. I like that it is also handy for me to drive or get the bus to, minimising my commute as the baby still wants mama as much as possible.
I finished and launched my website online here if you want to take a look. I finished and launched my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for The Wellness Clinic too. On Instagram I've a hashtag on the go every weekend where I share wellness tips on Instagram, it's #wellweekend if you want to follow and upload your own well weekend pics. On my Facebook page here I have daily self-care tips for busy mamas, so please "Like" that and you will get them. They're all things I learned myself the hard way and want to pass on. My Twitter handle is _thewellnessclinic

I also created my first group workshop Urbanmama and launched the event online, tickets are available on my website on the relevant page, and sponsors are already sending lovely things for the goody bags. This will be on Sunday October 23rd and is a day-long event for women to learn self-care tools. There will be yoga, nutrition and wellness presentation, mindfulness, food demonstrations and tastings, a delicious healthy lunch. Ladies will leave with goody bags containing self-care items and a printed wellness pack with all the notes and recipes from the day's talks and classes. This will be a monthly event and I can't wait to get it started!

Last week I exhibited at a local health fair, which was a great networking experience. I spent the week beforehand finishing up my printed materials, banner, signs, business cards and recipe/wellness cards, and baking up a storm to hand out tasters. My theme was "Skip the Sugar" and nearly everyone I spoke to said how sugar is a major downfall in their diets, so I'm glad I was on track with that one.

The back of my head at front right. Can you tell I'd been wearing a hat?!

I attended my first networking talk with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) last night, which I subsequently joined and will attend their talks and events. The speaker was really motivational and just sharing ideas with the other ladies there gave me some valuable insights. There was tea and coffee, artisan sandwiches and a glass of wine afterwards which made the event really welcoming. I hope to get to know the ladies there and make some great contacts in all areas of business, you never know what you'll learn from people.

I have been booked for some talks in my local community as a result of the health fair so I am working on my presentations for them. I will be giving a talk in City Hall at the Over 55s showcase in a couple of weeks, so I'm theming a talk for nutrition for that age group, with recipes and wellness cards too, which need researching, design and printing.

I'm sponsoring some recipe cards to go in goody bags for an upcoming conference in the maternity sector which will be a good way to get my name out there, so they are being designed and printed soon. I am possibly doing a food demo at a baby fair in the next month, so I'm planning for that and will be showcasing easy baby led weaning foods and healthy snacks for mamas and children to make and enjoy together.

Wow, when I see it all written down, it's huge! I'm sure in a few months I'll be ticking along at a slower pace, but for now it's the season of new beginnings and I'm trying to take all opportunities that come my way.

My husband had the last month off work so I made sure to be as productive as possible in that window. I had a lot of the above work in motion, but I really concentrated on it when he was around. We did still enjoy family time, and had some fantastic fun-filled days out to places of Irish heritage, i.e. Kildare heritage festival, the Hill of Tara, Abbeyleix Vintage Toy Exhibition, a day on the Dart from Greystones to Malahide... The baby girl is walking but still in the sling and I'm loving the cuddles :)

I had my hair cut into a short bob and woah, was it short. I've never had the wind whistle round the back of my neck like that. It's regrowing and I'm nearly happy with the length again, but I needed a good chop as the self-cut layers just had to go. I'm painting my nails constantly now and feel they are a little reminder to take care of myself. I went on a bit of a shopping spree and now have a new capsule wardrobe for work which I will try to photograph for another blog post.

It is hard going back to work after 5 years at home. Things have changed. Social media is a great way to market yourself, but it's all new to me. The last time I had a boss and colleagues was 9 years ago as I was self-employed after that. I do miss the camaraderie of having colleagues, so this time around even though I am self-employed again I am making sure to have a network around me.

The Women in Business network (LEO) will give me at least monthly check-ins with other businesswomen in Dublin. I am beginning a series of "Start your own business" talks this week which are run by Dublin City Council once a week. Although I have a clear idea of my business model I am still lacking skills in marketing, finances etc so I am looking forward to these.

While I was in training I reached out to a businesswoman I really admire in the U.S. called Sheree Clark. Her company Fork in the Road is very inspirational to me and I am now glad to say I count her as a friend and mentor. I think this is key for me so I stay motivated. It can be a lonely road working for yourself and Sheree has been very generous with her support. I am also in a closed Facebook group of Irish nutritional professionals and I find that invaluable for ideas, support and advice too.

It's not all work around here though. I am trying to keep a balance of social and spiritual time for myself. I am trying to keep up with my friendships in real life too, seeing friends with my children for playdates, or meetings of my women's circle which are either on the Full or New moon each month. These are quite spiritual gatherings and I love the bonds we are forming. We have begun to introduce creative meetings of this Red Tent, the last meeting was in my holistic centre and we painted and drew, inspired by Lucy Pearse's book The Rainbow Way.

I am watching the Great British Bake Off for light entertainment each Wednesday with my family, I bake some healthy-ish treats and we cuddle up and watch it all together. I get together with my neighbours and watch Poldark on Sundays too, which involves cake again, it's all about the cake!

Home educating began in earnest in mid-August with new workbooks, new online programmes (Khan Academy) and Daddy got the kids off to a great start. Now my dh is back in work I am taking the mornings to bring the kids out in the fresh air, autumn walks, museums, creative centres etc, and the afternoons will be at home so I can do my admin work while they read, draw or play. I would rather get my work done in the morning and be free for the rest of the day, but the kid's friends are in school, so it makes more sense to get out with kids during that time, so they can be home for playing in the neighbourhood from 3pm onwards.

Evenings are when I see clients / take Skype appointments and go to my talks. I do find my head is buzzing still at 10pm, so I stay up late watching Friends reruns and having a cuppa with my dh and usually hit the hay around midnight/1am. I sleep in with the baby until dh leaves for work about 9am, so I am getting enough sleep, but I know I need to get to bed earlier in general.

That's how I'm juggling it all at the moment. It is a juggle though, and I'm conscious that I can't do everything. So apart from preparing healthy meals and laundry, I'm not doing any other housework. Dh does the kitchen every day and cleans the whole house about once a week, but I'm dreaming of a cleaner in the long run.

Tonight's dinner was really tasty and took all of 15 mins prep time not including cooking. At 4pm I spent maybe 10 mins chopping veg and threw it into the slow cooker with some butter and salt to roast. I used a small pumpkin, aubergine, onion, garlic (left whole), broccoli and mushrooms -the last of the organic veg before I go shopping tomorrow. Roasted them on high until about 6pm when I boiled a bag of brown rice pasta (more nutrition and less stodge than wheat), stirred through some Sacla tomato pesto, grated cheese in the processor and that was it. Delicious and enough left over for tomorrow's lunch.

Ok I'm  breaking all my own rules here about being on a screen in bed so I will take my leave. Lovely to be back blogging and I hope to meet some of you in person at the Wear a Hug Fair.

Nee x


  1. HUGE congrats Niamh! Truly inspirational. Following on instagram and FB and love the posts. I would love to get to the Urban mama day...maybe when I get some funds that are not for school, activities or the general household! I loved your vlog posts so you should definitely do some Instastory posts. Onwards!

  2. Wow, that is fantastic work Niamh! very best of luck to The Wellness Clinic, take care, Nora.

  3. Wohoo go you ! Fair play to you Niamh you are off to an amazing start with your business - very inspiring X

  4. Congratulations on the new venture! Best of luck with it - the graphics on the pull-up at the fair look great. Hope it all goes really well and that you enjoy it all. What a huge amount of work for the first month!


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