In the K-A Momtrepreneur’s Corner, we introduce a K-A Mom Facebook Group member running her own small business in Japan. A special discount for KA blog readers is included at the end of the post.
This month, Jo Ebisujima aka jo-jo-ebi, originally from the UK and now living in Saitaima with her husband and son, tells us about My Organized Chaos.
Tell us about your business
I am a No-nonsense Organizer and Kid-Wrangling Expert Extraordinaire. I help busy parents organize their homes so that they have more time for the fun stuff. I also coach 1:1 with people who feel “stuck” and want to create momentum and achieve the goals they have been dreaming about.
What have you found to be the biggest challenge as a small business owner? how did you overcome it?
When I first started out I found it really hard to talk to friends and family because I was doing everything online and it was so alien to most of them. Still now, I get people look at me as if I have a welly on my head when I says that I run online courses and coach from home but my clients might be on the other side of the world.
Joining Marie Forleo’s b-school was a game-changer for me, in so many ways. I suddenly found myself surrounded by 2000 women who “got” what I was doing and were able to talk about the problems and help me when I got stuck. Through b-school I found an accountability partner, who rocks. We chat every weekend even though our businesses are completely different, it is so helpful to have someone to be accountable to. I am also on a mastermind group based in Japan and we get together to meet up in person once a month.
Finding a group of people who are equally as driven and understand your business structure is extremely valuable.
What do you enjoy the most about being a small business owner?
Having a flexible schedule is probably number one. I started my first business, the etsy store, when DS was a toddler, he always comes first so I made sure we had plenty of 1:1 time and family time on the weekend. This meant working all kinds of strange hours but when DH doesn’t get back until late, I was free in the evenings.
I also love being accountable to no one but myself and my clients. If I screw up it is my fault and I can deal with that and screw ups are usually good learning experiences.
Finally, I can wear whatever I like! I worked for GEOS when I first came to Japan and their insane dress code used to drive me crazy!
What advice do you have for fellow momtreprenuers?
Get your priorities straight and set yourself achievable goals. Running your own business is amazing but, personally, I don’t think it should be done at the expense of your family. 0-6 years flies by so spend as much quality time with the kids as you can. Once they get into school it becomes easier to find time to focus on your work. Working around a toddler schedule is harder but doable. The better organized you are, the more you will get done and when you are with your family be with them 100%.