Before you read this…it gets a bit heavy and has swear words!
By now, if you haven’t worked it out, we do a print issue of Ballarat Family Guide every 3 months. Magazine style, with some great articles, expert interviews on parent & kids things, what’s on, announcements, tackle current issues, all the things you’d expect. It’s not rocket science, but it’s hard work. And to be completely honest, there were times during this past quarter, working on the latest issue, that I didn’t think we were going to get there. I didn’t think that I (myself) was going to get there!
The past 3 months have been hard, really fucking hard! Emotionally, physically and financially! Some nights I was planning my new resume in my head and wondering if I could get my old job back at the department store I worked at during Uni. While other nights I was up until 2am just trying to get content finished in time for printing! And while we are on the topic, let’s talk about printing. I am no graphic designer, and we don’t have one on our team, so thankfully we were able to enlist the guidance of a local designer to get us started, but getting something “print ready” is wayyyyy harder than getting something “internet ready”. And it costs an absolute fortune to print good quality shit! No-one wants to take home a black and white newsletter they paid $8 bucks for. So quality is a must. You just can’t cut corners.
In the week leading up to the release of the Winter Issue, I was an absolute mess. I was angry, frustrated, scared, nervous and, like lots of us do, I took it out on my husband! But for the last 4 years through Blossom Connect and Ballarat Family Guide, he has stuck by my drive and determination, and has worked his absolute arse off to help us make ends meet in our household, while I have spent every waking minute of my days (when the toddler is not stuck to my legs) working to make the guide grow into an invaluable resource for local families! And while we may not be “there” just yet, wherever “there” is. We aren’t bloody far away!
But while I had my head up my clacker, taking it out on the world and wallowing in self-destructive & self-sabbotaging behaviour, someone I admire very much, did something totally innocent and unknowingly pulled me out of it and made me see reason.
My dear friend and fellow small business mum, Aimee, nominated me for the AusMumpreneur Awards. Now initially, when I saw the email I was a bit dubious and thought it must have been some spam or big mailout to everyone, but then she told me that she had actually nominated me and apologised! She was a bit embarrassed because through the awards process you have to pay money to apply for the finalists round, and if you make it to the final 10 you have to spend $600 bucks on a gala / conference ticket. WOW! That is a ship-load of money to pay for some reward and recognition. So I kind of thought, well, what have I got to lose? If I go through the application process, I might get some cool exposure or meet some awesome people along the way, and if I actually made it into the final round the $600 bucks could be well worth the money!
But what Aimee did not realise at the time, was that just the very act of nominating me was enough to say, “hey, you are pretty cool, someone out there likes what you do”. And then sitting down (at 2am again) to complete the questions on the entry form forced me to review the whole past 12 months of Ballarat Family Guide, and everything we have achieved, and all the bloody hard work we put into keeping local families informed, inspired and EMPOWERED! Knowledge is Power friends! If you know about shit, you can do something about it! True story!
So maybe it cost me $75 bucks to do some gratitude exercises and review my year. But I used to spend more than that on a night out to spend a weekend with a rotten hangover. Sooooo. $75 on a spew bucket or $75 on an award application? It’s a pretty good spend if you ask me!
Anyway, my point is, we got here. Myself, Kathryn and Ange (you haven’t met her yet, she’s new and awesome!) made it to the end of the quarter and we got this little baby out there into the world! And it is my absolute honour and pleasure to bring to you – Ballarat Family Guide Winter 2018!
As always, you are able to read it online for FREE! (You would not believe how many people ask me if I am crazy for giving it away for free online. But you know what…I don’t care! The information is these guides is so fucking important for some families, that I WANT you to have it! You never know what people are going through right now, or what information they are just struggling to find out, so there could be times when having this available online is the make or break for them, and I need to know that the people who need it most can get it!). End Rant…you can get it online HERE.
AND, now for the very first time EVER, you can purchase copies of our beautifully printed Winter Guide in stores!
- Hattie and the Wolf (Skipton St)
- Funbugs (Doveton St Nth)
- The Ballarat Shop (Sturt St)
- The Healthy Hub Cafe (Bridge Mall)
- Williams Newsagency (Sturt St)
- Nextra Wendouree (Stockland)
- Ballarat Pregnancy & Infant Massage
- and there are more to come this week…
The full list of stockists, addresses, links to their websites etc is HERE and will be updated as we go!
So, after all that, I want to say thank YOU! From the bottom of my heart, you don’t know what it means to have you in my community and on this journey with us. Not just supporting my business, but supporting our entire city! Ballarat Family Guide supports local families by keeping them up to date with information, and supports local businesses with opportunities to connect with you guys. And then sometimes those families and those businesses are one and the same. Mums and Dads, just like you and me, trying to make a go of it and do what they are passionate about.
So my dear friend. Even if we have not yet met in person, I am honoured to have you here with me. And now that I have reached the peak of this quarterly mountain, it is already time to scale back down and go start another one! Let’s just hope this one is not quite so much a roller-coaster, and a bit more of a light rail.
Let’s lighten up already!
Stay warm Wintery friends.