This week on my Mums in Business series I’m delighted to be featuring my lovely friend Hayley who created Mission: Mindfulness a couple of years ago. I first met Hayley at one of the Lucky Things Meet Ups last year, where we discovered that we both live in south-east London and had our children at the same hospital. Hayley set up Mission: Mindfulness to support parents, tweens and teens, and her career in education has made her realise that mindfulness is definitely required in schools. So if you are interested in mindfulness then please all have a read of Hayley’s story below.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background and Mission: Mindfulness?
Hi there, I’m Hayley – mindfulness practitioner, HuffPost blogger and secondary school teacher. Obviously I am a Mum too or I wouldn’t be participating in this fabulous guest series. My business venture is called Mission: Mindfulness. I set the company up a couple of years ago in order to bring mindfulness to people who need it most – parents, professionals, tweens and teens.
I have combined my 15 years’ experience as a secondary school teacher with my love of mindfulness to run courses that equip young people and adults with mindfulness-based techniques to help them get the most out of 21st century life.
Currently I balance the business with three days a week of teaching History (my first subject!), and taking care of my three young children. This means the sessions I run are either in the evening near where I live in south-east London, or in schools that hire me to run mindfulness programmes for their students. I also run courses in the workplace, and this involves visiting other businesses to coach employees in mindfulness techniques which can help wellbeing, optimise performance and stress management.
I qualified via the Mindfulness in Schools Project and I am also qualified to teach Workplace MT to adults by Mindfulness Exchange a spin-off from the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
What were your drivers and motivations for setting up Mission: Mindfulness?
I am passionate about spreading the word about how mindfulness can help people’s wellbeing. Mindfulness can sometimes be seen as ‘hippy dippy’ – something I am definitely not – and I want to show people, through the blog and my business that mindfulness can help people from all sorts of different backgrounds.
Through my job I see how young people are being put under so much more stress than previous generations – the exam system, social media etc. I have also seen how mindfulness has helped them cope when being taught in a meaningful and engaging way. This spurs me on to continue to teach mindfulness to young people.
I’ve also seen personally how mindfulness can help busy adults juggling so much on a day-to-day basis (including how it’s helped myself) and so this drives me to run my evening courses and courses in the workplace too.
How do you balance the business around family and childcare?
I’m taking building up the business slowly. I’ll run courses one evening a week and only go into one or two different schools in any one week. I’ll then work one or two evenings a week to promote the business. I know that when the twins go to nursery next year I’ll have more time to do more courses and again when they start reception. But there’s no rush.
Since setting up the business what’s been your biggest success to date?
I think it’s the positive feedback I have received from people who have attended my sessions. I always hope my courses and workshops are making a difference but it’s only when I read things like the statement below that I realise I really am having a positive impact on people’s lives.
“Attending Hayley’s mindfulness sessions were the highlight of my week. They allowed me to interact with colleagues on a personal level and enjoy some much needed ‘me time’. I continue to implement mindfulness into my day and if even for only 5 minutes, it makes the world of difference.”
What’s your top tip for Mums who are thinking about setting up their own business?
If all you can do is build up your business ‘little and often’ then do it! That’s enough. As I said above I fit my venture around my family, a part-time job in teaching and a blog so I can’t dedicate lots of time to it.
I just ‘chip away’ at my to-do list and ensure I spend a little bit of most days doing something for the business. This has definitely helped build momentum and means that when I do have more time to invest in this project I will have laid very good foundations.
Thank you so much Hayley for taking part in my series, it was lovely to interview you, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.
If you would like to be part of my Mums in Business then just drop me an email: email@example.com. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in my series: Vista PR, Bare Biology, and Amicable.