I’m Ellie Fowler, the proud Director of The Travel Business. As a travel agency owner and a mother of two girls, my journey as a female entrepreneur has significantly shaped both my personal and professional life. Navigating societal expectations and embracing the unique challenges and opportunities that come with being a woman, every aspect of my identity has played a crucial role in my development.

Credit: Ellie Fowler

As a female business owner, my journey has been filled with exciting opportunities and challenges. One significant hurdle I faced as a woman in the travel industry was breaking through gender stereotypes and gaining recognition as a credible business owner, especially with two children. At the beginning of my journey, I found it challenging to be taken seriously at networking events. Comments from others, mainly men, like “Oh, you’re expecting a baby? You won’t be working next year then?” were disheartening and led me to eventually stop attending these sorts of events. This scepticism even led me to doubt my own capabilities as a working mother.

Thankfully, a turning point came when I discovered women’s networking events. This was a game-changer. The support and camaraderie among women in these spaces were incredibly powerful. I realised the importance of women supporting women and it completely transformed my experience as a business owner. The connections made in these environments not only provided valuable insights and advice but also boosted my confidence and reaffirmed my capabilities as a working mother. The shift from scepticism to empowerment within these women-focused spaces has been instrumental in overcoming the challenges I initially faced in the travel industry.

Balancing the roles of a mother and a business owner has transformed my career, prompting me to constantly evaluate the delicate equilibrium between family time and business expansion. Initially returning from maternity leave on a part-time basis, I soon realised that a few days a week weren’t sufficient to propel my business forward. Faced with a difficult decision, I opted to place my daughter in nursery almost full time, a choice laden with the inevitable “mum guilt.” However, the success of my business has not only alleviated some of that guilt but has also afforded me the means to provide enriching experiences for my children.

Credit: Serhii

Creating balance is crucial to me as a mum. Setting clear boundaries, including non-traditional office hours, has allowed me to manage the demands of both family and business life. Delegating tasks – a challenging lesson for this self-professed control freak – has proven instrumental in business growth, thanks to a capable and supportive team.

Prioritising tasks and recognising when to pause for the day are essential components of my work-life balance strategy. Embracing short breaks, even a 5-minute walk away from the office, provides valuable mental respite. I’ve also incorporated self-care into my routine, elevating my health and fitness to a status equal to my roles as a mother and manager. Recognising that achieving a perfect balance is an ongoing challenge, I’m aware of the importance of regularly reassessing and adjusting my strategies to align my professional and personal life with my overall well-being.

Find out more about The Travel Business here.

Author WCS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *