I jumped at the chance to start up my own business as I wanted to achieve more of a work/life balance. The opportunity came when a new client approached me to manage their Marketing and PR for an international tour, so I didn’t hesitate to start my own business right then and there! I registered a business name and, eight years later I haven’t looked back.
What was the most difficult part of getting started?
Well, because I was fortunate enough to commence my business with a client already, it was quite easy. The most difficult thing I had to do was the business side of it – register the business name, register for GST, and so on. My advice for people starting their own business – get a good accountant!
Who inspires you?
Ambitious and determined women inspire me. I often see women work long hours then start the role of busy mum as soon as they get home and I wonder how they do it. I’m just grateful I can work from home so I can look after my kids while I work which, to be quite honest, is sometimes more challenging then working and being at home at two different locations. Also, my children inspire me to be a better person.
How do you balance work and motherhood?
Well, firstly by working from home. I have never wanted anything else but to be there for my kids when they are young so, despite the fact my life never stops right now with doing both at the same time, I love being present for my son. Also, working part-time hours help me achieve that balance. During any given week-day, I am able to get work done, and spend time with my son. I have a daughter on the way, so I plan to take a year off as that balance will be harder to achieve with two kids and work!
Do you have any tips and advice for mothers working from home?
If you have children, my advice would be to work part-time, as you don’t want to miss their infant/toddler years by being stuck in front of the computer. It’s such a precious, precious time. Be realistic about your roles and what you want to achieve. I also understand some mums needs to work more to keep family finances afloat, so enlist some support with Nanna or a network of other mums to help you out!
Do you have any tips and advice for mothers wanting to start their own business?
First of all, make sure you have the full support of your partner, and be realistic with the hours you both want to work and are able to work. Don’t take too much on at the beginning, or you may find yourself struggling with the loads of your dual roles. Then, if you find you can handle more work, gradually build up the load. Balance is possible, just be strategic about it.
About Anna Abignano
Anna has just entered her 20th year of Public Relations.
Being a natural communicator, Anna knew she wanted to enter the busy and exciting world of media and communications. So, in 1994, Anna pestered the TEN Network for a job in the Publicity Department, until one came up, and she got it.
From there, she moved into the new and exciting world of Pay Television, and the next few years saw Anna gather experience in PR industries covering the health and well-being, food & beverage, and charity and non-for-profit sectors, as well as returning to the TEN Network for another year-long stint.
Anna’s PR career was truly intact and she was building up a wealth of experience in her young career.
Ever the seeker of new and exciting things, change beckoned and Anna searched a fresh, new challenge, so she decided to shift to Melbourne shortly before her 25th birthday. Here, Anna took up a Senior Publicist position at the Nine Network’s Melbourne headquarters, a role she relished for almost four years.
Anna knew her life of challenge and exploration was not yet over and, coupled with needing a break from the busy world of PR, she decided to finally pursue a goal she had held for quite a few years: to move to the “Mother-land” of her parents – Italy – to live and work for a year. Anna had always wanted to improve her grasp of her parents’ native tongue and knew that immersing herself in the culture was the only way how!
Babysitting rich, Italian families was a world away from writing press releases and pitching stories to journalists, but she took it on with full force for almost ten months. She didn’t last the entire year as, in late 2004, she received a call from a contact who was to become her first, official client. So, she registered the business name “All About PR”, her freelance business was officially born, and she has never looked back.
Eight-and-a-half years later, Anna has managed and implemented the PR campaigns for clients in the Arts and Entertainment Industries (Stage, Television, Film), the food & beverage industries, and charity and non-for-profit sectors.
Over the years, Anna has built a strong industry reputation for delivering results. She is regularly approached for work but, these days, being a busy mum of a 15-month-old boy with a little girl on the way (due August 2013) she has had to turn work down so she can dive head first into her new role, that of a loving and devoted mum.
Following six to twelve months of maternity leave with her daughter, Anna will take up freelance PR duties part-time once again.