Women Inspiring Women – Smash Your Ceiling
Last year, as I was writing my book to help and inspire women to achieve whatever they set their mind to, that being a staying at home mum of CEO of global corporations, I came across many successful female entrepreneurs / CEOs, visible examples of leadership in action. I published a few of those interviews as a series: #TheWomanAlchemist #SmashThatCeiling #womeninspiringwomen to give an insight into successful female leaders/role model and their mindset.
This year I have decided to publish the remaining interviews via my blog ( of course I’d prefer if you buy the book and read them all in there together with coaching on how to get what you want) but empowering women is something I am really passionate about and this is my gift to you.
Sally Bunkham is one of the inspirational women I interviewed, a woman who turned her post-natal depression and a bleak time into a thriving business – Mum’s Back – a social enterprise completely, utterly and unashamedly all about Mums. Growing a tiny human is a journey and Mums deserve a little treat:
Mum’s Back hamper is full with the fine things in life…a nice glass of wine, a party, lots of cheese, a cheeky cracker smothered in delicious pate, delights dearly missed during those magical and often restrictive months of pregnancy.
And Mum’s Back is a proud supporter of The PANDAS Foundation, a charity that supports perinatal mental health. £1 from every hamper sold will go to PANDAS to support their important work.
Sally Bunkham has been recently featured in the Sun newspaper, Entertainment Daily, and was a guest of the Victoria Derbyshire program.
This interview is an extract from the book “STOP IT! It is all in your head” available on Amazon now.
INTERVIEW WITH SALLY BUNKHAM
1. When you were a child what was your dream job and why?
When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a vet or working with animals. I had pretty much every pet you could imagine at various points in my childhood ranging from stick insects and African snails right through to dogs and ponies (after much whining and pleading to my poor parents).
2. Can you tell me the time that you started to consider yourself successful?
Oh, that’s tricky. My opinion of myself varies daily! I remember shortly after I met my husband he persuaded me to seek a pay rise in the job I had at the time. Indeed I had been paid the same amount for a few years, and I was thinking it was time for a promotion. So I called a meeting with my boss and said that unfortunately, I would need to move on unless I started earning a little more. She got my job re-graded and I gained a significant pay rise. I was around 26 at the time, and I thought, “Oh hang on, maybe I am worth quite a bit!”
More recently, it felt great when I was asked to be a partner by NOTHS. Mum’s Back had only been live a matter of weeks. It felt like a real accreditation of my hard work and effort that an established and high-quality site such as NOTHS was keen to have me. It also enforced my belief that my concept was strong.
THE PANDAS FOUNDATION
3. I’m sure like every business/business person you have faced adversity: how do you motivate yourself and force through the worst times?
The social side/aim of my business really drives me. I don’t think I’d have as much fire in my belly to succeed if it wasn’t for that. As well as selling hampers, we raise money for PANDAS Foundation and I raise awareness of perinatal mental health conditions by writing articles, blogs, and more recently TV and radio appearances. I myself suffered from PND and my experience has given me a real passion for helping others that may be going through similar.
It’s this side that I think of when the going gets tough, and it helps me dust myself off and get back on the horse!
I am also a member of a couple of online women in business support groups. Helen Packham’s “The Courageous Leader’s Club” and the Talented Ladies Club’s “TLC Business Club”. I find the support in those groups invaluable. If I’m having a bad day I can post in there and the other women will pick me up and make me realise I’m not alone.
4. What are the best things about your job?
I love the mix of business and social aim. It gives me a great mix of priorities. I also love the flexibility it brings me. Of course I work incredibly hard, but it’s up to me when I put the hours in. Having two toddlers this is really important to me. I also love the unpredictability of it all. One day I’m packing up hampers to be sent out, the next I’m appearing on live TV (at a few hours’ notice!). I find it exciting.
SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES
5. As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues”: what are your daily/weekly habits?
I always try to have a section of the day where I turn off social media notifications, which can be really distracting. Also I try to check in with my FB groups to network with other ladies in business, where I’ve found some fantastic support. I also try to have each afternoon with my kids without looking at my mobile phone, which can be hard! It’s really important to get outside every day. I find my brain goes a bit mushy if I stay in all day. Fresh air helps.
6. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Sadly I think that women are more likely to have confidence issues than men. We find it harder to big ourselves up and can have a tendency to downplay our achievements. Perhaps we just have more modesty than men! But that can often work to our detriment. We need to realise our own worth more.
WOMEN INSPIRING WOMEN
7. What women inspire you and why?
In my personal life, I have many friends that inspire me. Many are single mums and I have no idea how they do it.
Celebrity wise I adore Kathy Burke. She’s hilarious and had a pretty tough upbringing. She is true to her roots and you can tell she genuinely cares about people.
Business-wise I adore my mentor, Helen Packham. She suffered from a loss of confidence when she became a mum, which I can totally relate to, but was able to regain it. Now she helps other women do the same. She has a way of nailing how I’m feeling before I even have! She has always encouraged me to be authentic and to hone my core message, which brilliantly mixes my business and beliefs. Since working with her I am realising my own worth and she’s given me the confidence to make me want to make a dent in the universe.
8. What advice would you give to your 16year old self?
It would probably be to eat better and exercise more. I wish I’d known back then how therapeutic exercise could be. I also wish I’d known not to crave the attention of boys that didn’t deserve it.
9. Your instant mindfulness fix…
A jog listening to some kind of electronic music. I’m a big fan of Orbital and the Chemical Brothers. If I’m having a bad day I get jogging and stick Orbital’s “Rez” on. It usually sorts me out.
10. And finally something frivolous: the best thing about being a woman…
Well, I’m not sure it’s exclusive to being a woman, but I do love a good night out with my girlfriends, preferably involving a lot of wine.
Top Takeaways from Sally Bunkham
- Realise your own worth – don’t downplay your achievements!
- Be authentic and hone your core message.
- Get outside – you’ll be surprised how much some fresh air can help!
- Take time for yourself and your family – turn off social media J
- Find your tribe/ support group.