“Success For Me Is Health and Happiness.”

This post is part of a series – Number 4

We asked successful businesswomen to share their experiences of starting a business. We looked to interview women of different ages, backgrounds and business sectors, asking them to share the good and the bad. Here’s what they told us:

Marneta Viegas – www.relaxkids.com

Why did you start your business and what age were you?

I started up my first business at the age of 19.  I was just out of university and knew that the best way to get a job was to set up a business.  I started up my second business at the age of 33.  I saw a great need in the area of children’s mental health and wanted to make a difference.

What was the most important piece of advice you were given and why?

Grow your business organically and never get out of your depth.  It has helped me stay sane and stable.

What do you wish you’d known from day one?

Don’t work with friends. Get everything down in writing. Don’t be too trusting. Get a contract for everything.

With hindsight, what would you do differently?

I would make plans, budget for everything and be more organised and not hap hazard.  I would make decisions based on good business sense rather than emotion.  I would also keep a record of every contact and person who had ordered from the website.

What’s the best part of running your own business? 

The freedom.  Now I have people working for me, I have more time to do the things that I love. I can spend my time productively. I love the fact that my office is my summerhouse or seat by the lake.  I love the fact that I can have a day off and catch up in the evening.  I also love the fact that I am reaching thousands of children and parents and am making a huge impact.

Any additional comments?

For me success is not about turnover and profit.  I judge my success on how well I am looking after my health and wellbeing rather than struggling to make more sales.  At the end of the day, if I don’t have health and happiness, a successful business means nothing!

Interviewed by Tracey Jefferies for Networking Women. Tracey runs her own successful marketing and PR consultancy. She also writes on a regular basis for various publications and reviews the newspapers on BBC Radio Oxford. www.traceyjefferies.co.uk

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