Mumpreneur Journey with Ana Lynn Amelio

I’m a proud mom of four, hopeless romantic, and a firm believe that dreams do come true if you’re willing to take action.

Your Business Name: Ley Design

I was born to teach and inspire

I am passionate about branding, marketing, and productivity

I strive for happiness and being the best version of myself

I will never give up coffee and chocolate

My superpower is getting things done

I believe that dreams do come true

Tell us about your family and where you’re from?
I like to say I’m Croatian born but American at heart. I have a blended family, my husband being an American and we both have sons from previous marriage. Together we have a daughter and another son and our lives are split between USA and Europe.

What is your business?
I help other female entrepreneurs get the most out of their business and brand by offering coaching packages which help them define their brand, narrow down their marketing plan and establish effective systems to manage their business.

What inspired you to start your business?
I always dreamed of having my own business, but was raised to believe you can’t start your business without a significant financial backing and that I was supposed to go to college and get a job. For years, I followed that plan until I became a mom. That changed everything for me as I wanted to be there for my children and not miss a single moment of their lives. The dream I once had, came back to life and started nagging at me. Pair that with the resistance I encountered after trying to go back to the workforce after being a stay at home mom for a few years and a nudge by my husband and my business idea quickly became a reality.

How did you start your business?
As I mentioned earlier, after my daughter was born, I became a stay at home mom. When I felt ready to return to the workforce, I found it hard to get an actual job. At this point, we were living in Croatia and all my job hunting was met with two most objections: the gap in my resume was too long and I had two kids at home which meant I was a liability for a lot of sick leave. After about a year of searching I decided enough was enough and I took a big leap into entrepreneurship. I already had an inner circle of people who knew I was designing websites so my husband gently suggested I should just open up my own business. The rest is, as they say, history.

What has been the biggest challenge in running your business?
Given that my office is in my home, my biggest challenge has been finding the balance between being a business owner and a mom at the same time.

How did you overcome this challenge?
Once I realized that I am in complete control and that I can take advantage of nap times and school hours, things began to change. I reworked my schedule and reserved the morning times while my kids are at school for all work that needed one-on-one communication with the client. Anything else that needed to be done happened after they went to bed.

What has been the most valuable resource or tool that helped you advance your business?
Definitely Asana and establishing business systems. I’ll admit to winging everything during my first year in business until I spent an entire morning trying to find one crucial email from my client and having a panic attack because I had gazillion other things on my list for the day. It was then that I realized that I need to establish some kind of system and stick to it. I transitioned from a to-do list app to Asana and used it to outline everything that needed to be done for my business, from marketing to client onboarding.

What are your tips for increasing productivity?
My number one tip: forget multitasking. Focus on one task at a time and work on completing it before moving onto the next one. Second tip: use an app like RescueTime or Freedom to see where you spend most of your time and to block distractions. You’d be amazed at how much more you can get done when you’re not obsessing over all the notifications. Third tip: if all else fails, change your routine. Sometimes getting out of the rut can do wonders for your productivity.

What is your favourite social media platform and why?
My favorite is Instagram. I am a very visual person and I love using an image to tell a story or offer a quick tip. My best strategy for Instagram: use hashtags, they increase the visibility of your content. Another tip is to use relevant hashtags that show up beneath the search bar to find new people to follow and engage with. Finally, it’s not about the size of your audience, it’s about getting engagement. Don’t stress over the number of your followers but focus on creating relationships with others.

Did you have any fears that were holding you back at any stage of your business journey?
My biggest fears was failing. I didn’t have a huge savings account to fall back on and I was petrified that of having to shut down my business within the first year. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, although the first year was filled with challenges.

What do you love about being a mumpreneur?
I love the fact that I don’t have to worry about missing an important moment in my children’s lives and that if something happens I don’t have to worry about someone breathing down my neck or giving me a cross-eye because I have to leave at a moment’s notice.

What business book would you recommend to read?
A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink and Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth.

How do you push through the difficult times and maintain motivation?
I keep my biggest why at the forefront of my mind at all times. I love owning my business and being able to do what I love but above all I love the fact that I get to be there for my family. They motivate me and most importantly, they believe in me. That keeps me going.

How do you care for your wellbeing?
I maintain a very strict policy of not working on the weekends. It’s a time for me to relax and unwind. I unplug every weekend which means my phone and my laptop are turned off. I also exercise three times a week and write a gratitude journal every night.

If you had an opportunity to start over, with your current knowledge, what would you do differently?
I’d put systems in place right from the get-go and focus on building my email list right from the start.

What is your top tip for any Mumpreneur wanting to start a business?
Don’t worry about getting it perfect, get started. There is no better time than now and if you keep on “perfecting” it, it will never be perfect. Even imperfect action will get you one step closer to your dream.

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