We have many working mothers in our MiC community, whether as employees in companies or self-employed and running their own business.
All have one thing in common: trying to achieve a harmonious work/life balance under sometimes very stressful circumstances.
Being your own boss however, has the added pressure of financial responsibility – when there’s no monthly income guarantee the daily challenges seem greater. On the other hand it is endlessly rewarding to be fulfilling your dreams and ambitions, and these mumpreneurs often are an inspiration to others.
Our interview blog puts the spotlight on these entrepreneurial women among us: who are they, what do they do and how do they do it.
Today it is my pleasure to introduce Chryso Panayi (MiC nickname ‘chryso’), Managing Director of ‘Pingu’s English’, an innovative English course franchise business.
Hi Chryso. How and when did you come up with the idea for your business and what inspired you to become self employed?
The whole idea came up early 2010 and since I have always been a very passionate teacher and loved working with children of young ages, I took the decision to bring the Pingu’s English program to Cyprus. The fact that I’m self employed, gives me the power and flexibility to follow my own timetable, and now being a mum of two makes me recognise how important it is to be your own boss!
What business achievement are you most proud of?
From the moment our company decided to expand its network of Pingu’s English centres, mid-2013, we have achieved to open 3 more centres in Nicosia something which makes me feel proud and optimistic for the future of Pingu’s English in Cyprus.
A lot of new start-up businesses run out of steam when the going gets tough. Was there ever a time when you doubted the success of your business?
The nature of Pingu’s English program is such, that does not allow me to doubt of its success. Therefore, the establishment of our flagship centre in Limassol and the on-going expansion have put me in a very positive “thinking state”, without any concerns involved.
Being your own boss means there are no mentors to learn from. Who do you go to for business advice?
Being the Master Franchisee of Pingu’s English in Cyprus, we have been provided with continuous guidance and assistance by Linguaphone Group, our Franchisor in the U.K. in every aspect (operations, management, marketing etc).
What have you learned about yourself since becoming self employed?
I was surprised to see that, although initially not being a mum I had the time to control the business effectively, after I had given birth to my twins I was still able to be productive despite all the difficulties related!
Do you feel you have achieved a good work/life balance?
As I mentioned above, the unique type of this business and specifically the organised structure of Pingu’s English combined with the on-going support from London, have enabled me to maintain a good balance between my work and my family.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring ‘Mumpreneur’ starting out today, what would it be?
There is nothing to be afraid of! Just believe in yourself and go for it! Being self employed and having a family at the same time, is the perfect combination for those ambitious mums out there…
What are your future plans for your business?
I would definitely love to see that all young children in Cyprus will be able to have the chance to meet Pingu and his friends inside our centres, and eventually love the English language and learn it in the most entertaining way through Pingu’s English!!
Thank you very much for your time. Best wishes for continued success and happiness, both in your professional and private life.