Born deaf, Vanessa Addison tells us how she set up her business after making it big in banking, against the odds. a tre inspiration, she tells us why she believes that you can achieve anything you set your heart on.
Name: Vanessa Addison?
Children: Max, 19 months
Job title: Managing director
Company: Cash It In For Me ? www.cashitinforme.co.uk
What was the motivating factor for starting your own business?
My motivation stemmed from a desire to obtain a better work-life balance; I wanted to maximise the quality time I have with my son (and husband of course!)
How did you fund it?
Do you think there is enough support out there for women who want to set up a business?
It is a big marketplace, but I suspect there is probably a lack of awareness of the help and support available, especially among women who have just had their first child. If you look at the US, you could argue there is a lot more we could be doing here in terms of general support for those looking to start up their own business.
What have been the highs along the way?
Getting our first system operator on board was unquestionably a high point as it gave us the foundation necessary to successfully expand the business across the UK. Working from home has also allowed me to experience the high of watching my son take his first steps and say his first word!
What is your worst experience along the way?
?Worst experience? is such a negative term! I would prefer to use the word ?challenge?. My greatest challenges in setting up the new business have been the steep learning curve involved with entering into a market which is totally new to me, (and working alongside my husband!)
What do you enjoy most about working for yourself?
The flexibility and the immense pleasure one gets from completing something for yourself, whilst knowing that you are also making a difference to other people?s lives by providing them with the opportunity to run their own business and find the same work/family life balance I have found.
How have you managed to stay on top of your career with the demands of motherhood?
Good time-management, determination and knowing without doubt what I want to achieve. I never take no for an answer!
Any tips for expectant mums, or mothers who feel that you can’t have a successful career and a happy family life at the same time?
Yes, sign up to Cash It In For Me! We have some fantastic role models and it can actually be fun for the children as well.
What support systems have made it possible for you to carry on working while raising your family?
My husband has been an immense support and is a great admirer of mine! Our in and out laws have also been very supportive.
Has having a disability made it more challenging to be a working mum?
You know, we all have our own set of challenges and I would be lying if I said I hadn?t had a few along the way; but in fact these experiences have made me a stronger, more determined individual, besides, I enjoy a good challenge!
People tend to have misconceptions about what people with disabilities can do – you are testament to the fact that these boundaries can be broken. Do you think your successes are unusual?
Not at all ? there are an amazing number of successful individuals out there who have achieved amazing things; I do believe we should be doing more to raise awareness of such individuals to help overcome some of these misconceptions.
Banking is very male dominated and although you climbed the career ladder very quickly, and at a very young age, do you feel that it is difficult to maintain the momentum required once you have a child?
Depends what you want out of life ? you only have one shot and it is worth making the most of it.
If you have a dream and want it enough, follow it! Yes, I know it can be hard, at times, but be strong and positive and have a few laughs along the way ? humour is a great remedy!