Name: Gemma Stow
Business: Gemma Stow – Fiercemums
Location: York, United Kingdom
Industry: Personal Services
Reason for starting? My business started as an anonymous blog that I was doing just for me. At that time I was running a limited company, working long hours whilst raising a young family. Although, I loved the work we were doing with young people, changes in me meant that I needed to do something more. I have experiences of post-natal depression and learnt that my ambitious work ethic meant I am a better mum when I’m doing work I love. My blog ‘Fiercemums’ was ultimately to raise awareness about the issues that working mums experience and to help them realize that they don’t have to feel under pressure to be someone they are not. We are more than just mums and we do not have to feel guilty about it. This was the start of my mission when I realized that I was not alone and there are so many women out there who are more than just a mum, but guilt and lack of confidence holds them back from doing the work they love. I now have an amazing network of fiercemums who are doing it all.
How do you define success? I measure my success by how much fun I am having and also the impact I have on other’s lives. The last year I have grown a fantastic and supportive group of ambitious mums, where I aim to inspire and empower them on a daily basis and I have coached many women both in group programmes and private 1-1 sessions. Their feedback and their success lights me up. This is why I do what I do. Seeing their transformation is incredible and being able to support them to unlock all of their powerhouse potential that they have been hiding away is phenomenal to me. To see them take control back over their own lives and have more time to enjoy the things that matter most, just as I have done, is what success looks like to me.
Biggest success: Looking back my biggest success was making the very tough decision to close down my previous company and venture into the unknown. I had to take into account my amazing staff, the students, the business and the financial implications. It was with a heavy heart, however I knew immediately that it was the right decision for me when the weight on my shoulders was lifted. We often base our decisions about our own lives on the impact it will have on others. Our families, friends, employees, colleagues, stakeholders etc. When we become mums our own needs and wants often go to the bottom of the priority pile. It is very empowering to be able to live a life on my own terms and I want this for everyone. To be able to choose what is right for you and not take a back seat on your own life. Because of this decision, my success grows everyday as does the impact and reach I have on the lives of the ambitious mums that I inspire. I have found my true calling.
Related: Read about another mompreneur here.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? The biggest challenge I have faced in my current business has been self belief. I know that having the right mindset is absolutely key to running a successful business, yet there are always self doubts that can creep in. Wondering whether I am good enough and if I have what it takes, and I know that most of my clients feel exactly the same. Everyone can suffer from imposter syndrome at times and mine links back to my experiences of post-natal depression and the feelings of failure. But it is my sheer determination and my self awareness work that has kept me going. I work on my mindset everyday and this is crucial to keeping that belief and confidence to carry on and continue to inspire others to do the same. One of my strengths is that I never quit. Ever.
Who is your most important role model? I have so many amazing role models but the most inspiring has to be my own mum. My mum achieved her dreams whilst raising me and my sisters and also holding down a full time job. She studied through the night for six years to get her qualifications to become a teacher, something she was adored for by many. Her love for other’s differences, touching people’s lives, and by making an impact has been my inspiration. We share so many values and she has been my rock for support on my entrepreneurial journey and rollercoaster ride of motherhood. She has taught me so many valuable things about the woman I want to be and how to be a great mother, even in difficult times and she is my true inspiration. She is fierce and courageous whilst being caring and warm. She encourages me every day, and now my own children, to be whoever we want to be and that there is nothing that we cannot achieve.
Edited by The Story Exchange