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 Niki Pitharide (MiC nickname ‘NikiPT ’), Director of Babysitter on Call, which provides a database of quality suppport services to parents in Cyprus.
Hi Niki. How and when did you come up with the idea for your business and what inspired you to become self employed?
When I gave birth to my daughter January 2012, I was in need of a well trained and capable babysitter to help me look after her, since I had no family member living close by and my job was very demanding. Soon to my great disappointment I’ve realized there was no such company in Cyprus.
So in April 2012 I gave birth to my second daughter?, Baby Sitter On Call, by combining my studies (BA in Pre Primary Education, MBA in management and LOA life coaching), my love for children and my dedication in providing quality support services for all parents.
I’d say that my need to provide the best possible carer to my daughter has been the greatest inspiration for me, along with my husband’s support and trust that I am capable to go beyond my limitations, overcome all possible obstacles and do my best to offer this kind of ease and certainty to all parents located in Cyprus who come to us for finding a babysitter.
What business achievement are you most proud of?
I am really proud for the fact that even though my babysitters go through a variety of procedures in order to qualify and join our team, in Baby Sitter On Call database you won’t find even one babysitter that I don’t consider capable and trustworthy enough to take care of my own daughter and I believe that is my strictest criterion in selecting my associates!
A lot of new start-up businesses run out of steam when the going gets tough. Was there ever a time when you doubted yourself?
Even though I consider myself as a fighter 🙂 certainly many times I’ve doubted my strength and my capabilities to deal with business issues, especially with the financial ones :-)!!! But as the saying goes when the going gets tough, the tough gets going… and as Les Brown says, the game is not over until I win so I keep calm and try my best to remain focused on my goals.
Being your own boss means there are no mentors to learn from. Who do you go to for business advice?
My granddad has been a successful entrepreneur and my grandma even though she never finished school she has always been his right hand, his PA, his business coach, his trusted consultant, financial planner, PR guru and apart from those an amazing mother of four, a wonderful wife and of course his housemaid…
I’ve learned a lot from her about business relationships, partnerships, deals, profits, losses, balancing life, motherhood, and marriage and of course as MIC say being the CEO of the family. I consider her as my utmost blessing in life and I keep the lessons she taught me always close to my heart and on the wall opposite my office… And the best lesson she ever gave me was to always wake up early, follow my instincts, do to others as I’d have them do to me and keep my conscience clean…
What have you learned about yourself since becoming self employed?
The most important thing I’ve found out about me is that when I say “that’s enough” or “I’m tired”, or I’ve had it” those are the times that I come up with the best ideas and solutions…and at those times I always manage somehow to push it a bit further, work a bit longer and accomplish a bit higher than expected!
Also I’ve learned that God gave me two ears and one mouth and He had His reasons for that!!!
Do you feel you have achieved a good work/life balance?
Hm… If we are going to be honest at this interview 🙂 then I’d say I’ve achieved it only 60% but I am working on it 🙂
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring ‘Mumpreneur’ starting out today, what would it be?
It’s ok to be afraid as long as you anyway go ahead and do what you want to do & The best business consultant you shall ever hire is your inner voice, so trust it!
What are your future plans for your business?
My future plans include providing Baby Sitter On Call audience and clients with an “Ask the specialist on call” free service. We are currently working on it and I am happy to report that a great team of psychologists, paediatrics, educators, parenting coaches and other specialists is soon to be ready to answer all your questions about children, motherhood and fatherhood. We are always open to you suggestions and proposals and if anyone is interested in contributing feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much for your time. Best wishes for continued success and happiness, both in your professional and private life.
Thank you so much Carine for this opportunity:-)