Freedom has always been a huge motivator for me. When I was 18 I decided I would have a company called Green Jelly Marketing and this would be how I would build my freedom and be rich. The same year, I also decided I would have a baby boy called Archie after I was told at 15 that I would never have a baby.
Fast forward through a more traditional track of A-levels, a degree, a corporate job and an MBA to the day I found out I was pregnant - 10 years after the decision and 2 months after I was told I needed a hysterectomy. My manifestation worked and I was pregnant with my miracle baby, Archie.
6 months into the pregnancy, Archie’s Dad left and I found myself alone, 200 miles from my family and friends and working in a job I was counting days until I could leave to welcome my little bear into my life.
When Archie was born, I worked throughout my maternity and travelled a 400 mile round trip, leaving Archie with my parents 3 days a week and working a pub job to make ends meet. In this moment, I knew it was also time for Green Jelly Marketing to be birthed. I did not have this beautiful boy to spend all my time away from him in a job that did not light me up.
And so Green Jelly became a thing, around working many hours, juggling lots of things and living on very little, because I had a vision. I did all the things that I see so many other Mama’s in business do - I was overwhelmed about where to start and began consuming blueprints and proven 6 figure strategies like they were oxygen itself. When I didn’t get the answers, or the 6 figure business I was promised, I bought the courses and the programmes and coaching.
Now with credit cards piled high with debts, even more overwhelm and even less time, the business was still not moving forward and I was flagging. The inevitable happened and I burnt out - hard and very fast. It was scary to be ok one minute, a little run down, and then not be able to move the next. My hands cramped up and I genuinely believed I had had a stroke. I couldn’t even put a dummy in Archie’s mouth. I was broken and alone. I knew things had to change very fast. Luckily I have a super supportive network around me always and so in the enforced period of rest that followed, I stripped back marketing to the basics I knew it was.
I grew Green Jelly Marketing by doing very little that most would recognise as actual marketing, but the company is still thriving and growing from the work I did back then.
Through my journey, I recognised that marketing and business is nothing like I had learnt in the classroom or experienced in the corporate world, yet everything I saw was still speaking to that. I became really interested in how marketing was actually about showing up as you and sharing what you passionately believe. How it is connected to alignment and even deeper than that, energy.
I began exploring marketing in a women’s world, emotional intelligence and all things energy and spirituality. I brought it into play in my business and created the hugest shifts, mostly in my life and that then turned into business goals being met.
The last year of my business has been focused on sharing this message - my obsession with making marketing easier, basing it in our own desires and energy and using all of the laws of nature to support that. This is Gentle Hustle.
In the last few months, I have also stepped into world schooling Archie - we are currently living in Bali but we have plans in place to visit an additional 6 countries this year alone. This is my version of freedom and the lifestyle I designed.
I am leading by example and have a big message to share for all the women now, whether they know they want to be in business or not. Even bigger than that, I am doing it for the children, the next generation. The more women step into Gentle Hustle, the better they are able to show up and support their children. I am living proof of this and I believe this is the ripple effect that will contribute to raising the vibration of the whole planet for generations to come.
What advice would you give to your 21 year old self?
To embrace the rebel inside me and know that the key to my success will be about breaking the rules and questioning the “norm”. To have faith in my ideas and trust in the process.
Maybe the most important piece of advice is to be aware - no matter how difficult the lesson is, how frustrating or non-sensical, be aware and open to what it means for you.
Can you give us 3 tips for juggling motherhood, life and business?
At the risk of sounding cliche, look after you first. You cannot show up for anyone if you don’t. That means your children as much as your clients!
When we are in business, it is tempting and exciting to be looking ahead. Forward thinking and planning all the time - this is what I will launch, this is what I will make, this is my impact in the world. And it is your passion so enjoy that … step into it even so that you can call it in sooner. But remember to also be present. Your little ones grow up so fast. The things I missed in the beginning have been a reminder to be more present and to make time to enjoy them too.
Trust in yourself - you don’t need to have a blueprint or a guide that actually leads to overwhelm. The more you rely on the things outside of you, the more you feel overwhelmed and burnt out. I learnt the hard way that this meant I was working longer hours and sacrificing time with my bear. The more I trusted I knew how to connect, what the way forward was and had faith that I was always supported, the less I worked and the more money I made.
Tell us something no one ever warned you about being a work at home mama!
How tempting it would be to become a domestic goddess when really I cannot stand housework! You know when you have tasks that need to be outsourced or ditched pretty fast when you find yourself reaching for the bleach instead of working!
What is the best thing about being a WAHM?
I have never compromised on being able to show up when Archie needed me. Never asked permission to see his plays. Never missed a drop off or pick up time unless I choose and never had to feel guilt if Archie was poorly and needed time to heal.
This is bigger now too because I never have to feel that we are living a life we are not in alignment with. We get to choose where we live, what we do and how his education looks.
Can you discuss something you are working on right now to improve your work/life balance?
On the whole, I have pretty good work life balance but it definitely has been dedication to have that in place. Every day I honour the feminine energy by taking care of my body, mind and soul and my masculine energy (in that order too) by being visible, connecting and making sales.
Having said that, I am definitely working on being present more. Whilst I am better than I was, travelling adds a new dynamic where it is easy to look forward to the next adventure instead of basking in the journey where we are.
The best advice anyone ever gave you?
It is very easy to fall into the 6 figure in 23 minutes trap and push so hard to have that happen. The reality is, when we lean back and allow, we speed up. Appreciate where we are now and how we can move forward without the push.
What WAHM has inspired you lately?
Danielle LaPorte - I have kinda a girl crush on her and can relate to her words so much. A lot of my work echoes hers before I fully immersed into her world. Her energy is very soft and gentle. I also appreciate that right now she is in a controversial position and that makes me love her a little bit more because even our idols are allowed to be human!
What are you reading right now?
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson to step more into the teachings from a Course in Miracles and Pussy by Regina Thomashauer to step more into the feminine. I can never only read one book :)
How do you practice regular self care?
Every day I honour my body, mind and soul. Through things like journalling, yoga, swimming, nature, meditation, dancing, visualisations … I don’t have prescriptive approach because my inner rebel would, well, rebel.
I also like to set an intention about how I would like to feel and then have actions for how I can make it a reality. I am working a lot on femininity at the moment so things like body work, reflexology, nourishing my body, personal training, pampering, shopping, sexy underwear and great perfume feature heavily now. For me, knowing what I desire in that moment is the key to self care.
You can find Shari at Gentle Hustle Movement - her Facebook community.
Shari I have enjoyed absorbing your wisdom and flow immensely and I am honoured you stopped by for a Mamaview xx