Share your story: Serena Fordham PA, Writer and Champion for Women in Business

Serena Fordham | Savvy Mums Business

Tell us a bit about you…

I’m Serena, PA, VA, Writer and general administration whizz operating in Norfolk and surrounding areas. I also a run a women’s networking group across Norfolk, called Her Business Brew.

How long have you been self-employed, and why did you start?

3 and a half years. I was made redundant while on maternity leave after my daughter was born and as money was tight I needed to get back into work quickly! A contact asked me to help his friend set up an estate agency business (as that was my career background) and the rest, as they say, is history.

Let’s talk mornings – are you an early bird, do you have a set morning routine, and what do you do before you start working each day?

I have a 4-year-old and a baby so mornings between 6am and 9am involve sorting them out and getting my daughter to childcare. After that I tend to work off a weekly planner so have a plan of what tasks I will do each day; however I’m currently enjoying my maternity leave. I tend to be a night owl rather than an early bird when it comes to work so often work late into the evenings!

Where do you work from?

My home office in sunny Norwich, which my husband built at the end of our garage.

What does your typical working day look like?

Before my baby came along it was pretty much nursery/childcare run, followed by a 6 hour work stint consisting of various tasks for different clients (so lots of variety) then nursery/childcare pick up, tea, bath and bed routine, then more work until 10-11pm. We’re starting to get into a routine again, but with lots of sleepless nights thrown in!

Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about being self-employed?

Definitely the flexibility, it’s great to work around my family and being able to make my own decisions and follow my dreams.

And your least favourite thing about being self-employed?

Juggling running a business with a family can be tough but I like to be busy. The guilt of having time off from my business is a big thing for me.

What do you wish you’d known before starting your own business?

There are some complete tw*ts out there and if you come across one then run away fast – trust your instincts, if you get a gut feeling about not working with them, then don’t.

Did you get any start-up support, and where do you get support from now?

None when I started but did the Savvy Mums Business School online course about 2 years in and it really helped me gain perspective for the future of my business!

What tools/apps/products/services make life easier for you as a self-employed mum?

My smartphone, Facebook, Twitter and Dropbox

What do you do for ‘me time’ or to take time out from running a small business?

I enjoy spa days, afternoon teas and family days out. I also love to read and write. I wrote a children’s book called Imaginary Deedee Goes to the Park and I’m working on a new book to inspire other women.

What advice would you give to another mum thinking of becoming self-employed or starting a small business?

Just do it! If you don’t try you will never know. Also never compare yourself to others, you are individual, so be yourself.

Have you overcome any barriers to self-employment?

Being self employed while pregnant was tricky. When you’re employed you can get home and put your feet up, but being your own boss means you can’t really take a break!

Where can people find you online?

My new website Serena Fordham’s PA Services, and if you’re in Norfolk join the Facebook group for the women’s networking group I run.

 


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