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A Chat With Cherie Clonan of The Digital Picnic

By Uldouz Van Eenoo | | Mums In Business

Cherie Clonan from Digital Picnic

Here at The Mothers Den we love - and we mean the seriously bow down to kind of love - other mums who have started their business with a leap of faith.

Because only a fool would think that starting a business was easy. But to take it on with kids? Surely you've got to have a very high threshold for pain.

We've been following the ladies from The Digital Picnic since the very beginning - and not just because they're two of the most savvy digital marketers around. We love EVERYTHING these two mums stand for. They have integrity, they've made it their mission to help every business owner they can get their hands on, but most importantly, they've never been afraid to admit that running a business with kids isn't all sunshine and tea parties.

Read on as we chat with co-founder Cherie Clonan on the good times and the crazy times of running a business as a mum of two young kids.

[HEADS UP: Bovaries may just become your new favourite word...]

The Mothers Den: Tell us about your biggest facepalm moment either in motherhood/business/both.

Cherie: Ha! Great question! Motherhood? Probably just any time we’re trying to understand “toddler logic” in general. Y’know, like when they scream for sandwiches to be cut into triangles, so you do triangles, and they wanted squares. Or when they’re arguing with their siblings over who got more water in their sippy cups. Just... all of the eye roll’y / face palm’y “toddler logic” moments that countless other women are eye rolling and face palming over themselves on a daily basis ;)

Business? To be honest, it’s whenever folk try to barter down our prices. We’re digital marketers... not robots. Our prices are set to what they are, because we’re intelligent / have incredibly strategic minds / have achieved incredible results for our clients and if people want that level of creativity to help their own business’ achieve success? Well, they’re going to have to pay for it.

The whole bartering down thing? It’s a real turn-off. We’re humans... not whitegoods at The Good Guys.

The Mothers Den: Tell us about a moment when you wondered if you had it in you to achieve what you were after.

Cherie: Many moments. In fact, we’ve decided that any grossly uncomfortable moment is usually right before we’re about to take a next important leap. You’re feeling uncomfortable because leaps take balls / ovaries [#bovaries], however if you don’t leap? You’ll never know.

It’s always right smack bang before those uncomfortable leaps that we’ll say to each other, “oh my God, what are we doing ?!”. Yeesh! ;)

The Mothers Den: Tell us about one of your most proud moments and what it took to get there.

Cherie: Taking on staff and, more importantly, appointing the right people.

When you’re a small business, the right people make the biggest difference; our mix of TDP humans are an intelligent / creative / passionate / loyal [oh my God, the loyalty is so important to a small business owner] / ambitious bunch, and we trust them implicitly.

What it took to get us to a place where we could afford staff? In all honesty, it was 2 solid years of 50-60 hour working weeks, and whilst we never want to go back to that place, we appreciate that without that, we couldn’t have afforded to take on staff.

The Mothers Den:
What do you think one of the biggest misconceptions about you is and what's the reality?

Cherie: Oh, this is easy. Ha!

Because we’re social media marketers, we [hopefully!] do a pretty good job with our social media marketing. Because of this? We have this hunch that people think our business is a lot bigger than it really is.

The reality is that we’ve done all of the typical things business owners do; worked the first two years mostly unpaid, increased our pay, decreased it again to take on staff, clutch our pearls whenever it’s BAS time and have countless moments where we think, “is this even worth it?!”.

But it is. Because we’re growing something here. And you have to be patient, and not rush these things, and then one day? We can look forward to basking in things like; an office cleaner [ha!] / being able to offer our part-time staff full-time gigs [if they’re up for it, ha!] / not clutching our pearls at BAS time ;)

The Mothers Den: Lastly, we’d love it if you could share one piece of advice to help make the mum life/boss life struggle a little less real.

Cherie: Don’t let your business become all-encompassing. Switch off. Turn off notifications after hours. Switch your phone to airplane mode when you’re around family. Put your phone in a basket in the centre of a table when you’re out for dinner / drinks with friends. Thank your spouse [if you’re partnered] for their support, because they play a huge role in your business’ success. Take a long bath. Regularly. Breathe in, breathe out. Eat good food and exercise. No business is any good with a burnt out business owner. x


~end~

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