This week on my Parents in Business series I’m delighted to feature Christine Gouchault who helps new businesses and entrepreneurial women achieve their business dream. Christine lives in Copenhagen and it is really fascinating to read about her experience; it almost feels simpler than how we run our businesses in the UK.
Her top tips are spot on and I really admire Christine for how she tries to keep work and family life separate which I know is super tough when you are your own boss. So read on and I hope that you feel as inspired as I do by Christine’s story.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
I’m Christine, I’m 38 years old and married to Florent since forever. We have four kids from 5 to 13 years old and live in Denmark north of Copenhagen by the sea. I’m the CEO of Nordic Data Intelligence and Mors Business. I have created a community for self-employed women in Denmark with more than 400 members. Through counselling, workshops and lectures I help newly started businesses find their place in the market.
I have previously had my own recruitment agency in Paris and have 14 years of experience within human resources, sales and marketing. I hold a Master’s degree in communication and advertisement from INSEEC Paris. In addition to this, I’m a certified master, business and life coach, and volunteers as a mentor to the entrepreneur students at Copenhagen Business School.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
My overall motivation is to have fun, more freedom work on my own terms and make a difference with what I’m doing, which I only find possible as a business owner.
My two current businesses are quite different. Mors Business is a personally owned company and I do a lot of workshops and public speaking to help entrepreneurs. It is based on that experience that I have written “Business Mum”. My motivation was to help and inspire other women to achieve their business dreams and still have time for their family.
Nordic Data Intelligence is an IT consultancy firm that I have with a partner, where our focus is placing IT-consultants on big projects and help other IT-companies with their sales and marketing, – we call it S&M as a Service ;-).
My motivation here is to build something bigger and to have a role where I’m not the “product”, but developing the business and building customer relations.
How do you balance the business around family and childcare?
I hold meetings when the kids are off to school, and prioritise to be with them in the morning and in the afternoon when they come home. Most days I work from 8am to 4pm and after 8pm. In some periods I work more, but then I also have periods where we have taken a month off to travel, so there is a balance. I also have my husbands full support which is important to me and he helps out with all the household chores, so I rarely have to worry about dinner or the laundry.
Since setting up your business what has been your biggest success to date?
It depends on how you define success. I’d say I’m most proud of getting my book published in UK and the US and the speaking gigs I have gotten in relation to that. In Nordic Data Intelligence we just closed a huge contract after only 7 weeks in business, which I’m pretty excited about. Besides that, it is for me an every day success to be able live for my passion, and I feel very grateful for that. Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle that I love and I couldn’t imagine going back to a “normal” job ever again.
What are your top tips for parents who are thinking about setting up their own business?
First find out who you want to help (who are your customers) and what value you provide (what problems do you solve or what results do you create?
Too many people spend too much time on administrative chores and focus on developing a product that they like. They invest too much time and money before they realize that there isn’t a market for it and that the customers are asking for something else. And focus on sales, it takes more work and longer time than most people imagine to get enough customers. Start building relationships with them even if your product is not ready yet, because they need to know, like and trust you before they’ll buy anything from you.
Also remember to ask for help. No one succeeds on their own and you will be faced with a lot of challenges. The more valuable relations you have, the more help you can get to achieve you dreams. Find people: friends, family, old colleagues, other entrepreneurs who can help or advice on your weak areas. And remember to give back.
Thank you so much Christine for letting me feature you and your business on my blog as part of this series. Keep up the amazing work and all the best for the future.
You can find out more by visiting Christine’s website, her LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channel.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Nano Spanish, Hummy Mummies, and MuMar.