Formerly a Planning and Environment Lawyer, Marlies learnt about the profound effects of food on the human body after the birth of her son Troy, who suffered from reflux caused by a dairy intolerance. Through this diagnosis, Marlies discovered she also had a dairy intolerance, which was the cause of her adult acne and digestion problems. After adopting a Paleo Lifestyle and finding remarkable health improvements, Marlies – along with her husband – established their first Paleo Café. Following the success of the café (of which there are now 11 with views to international expansion), Marlies released the Paleo Café Lifestyle & Cookbook, which is published by The Messenger Group.
Are you trying to raise a family while also grow you business? Take inspiration from the achievements Marlies Hobbs, the working mum behind the internationally expanding Paleo Café franchise, who also recently received the national Emerging Ausmumpreneur Award.
You have your family. They are the loves of your life, adorable, cheeky, exhausting, the centre of your universe and completely dependent on you. And this may include your partner! You love to cook them a nice meal, keep a clean and tidy home, be there to read them a bedtime story and to spend quality time together.
Then you have your business.
It is your passion, your calling in life and you feel deeply committed to delivering excellence for your customers, who you cherish. No one quite loves your business the way you do. So you overcompensate for that. You work even harder, you think even faster, you stay even later.
Now combine these two scenarios. What do you get?
A wholesome life? Chaos? Exhilaration? Exhaustion? Success? Failure? All of the above?
To be honest, I don’t quite know the answer. In fact, I don’t think there is an answer.
What you get out of life, whether that be family, business or a combination of both, is whatever you decide. If you decide that it is chaos, exhausting and ultimate failure, then that is exactly what will become true for you. If, instead, you see it as a wholesome life, exhilarating and a successful existence without regret, then that will become true for you.
As I write this, my three-year-old is at daycare and my three-month-old is at my feet in his bouncer. Raising a family while growing a business takes a lot of inner strength. A burning desire to realise your dreams. This is because in order to be successful, you need to be passionate, persistent and patient in regards to both your family and your business.
In the past three years, I went from being a DINK (double income no kids) lawyer to becoming a first-time parent, endured a traumatic struggle for my son Troy’s health, turned that experience in to a positive and created the Paleo Café concept, franchised the business, opening a further 11 cafes in under 12 months, authored the bestselling Paleo Café Lifestyle & Cookbook, received several awards, including the national Emerging Ausmumpreneur Award, and welcomed our second son Zac.
While I feel very grateful for what my family and business team have achieved, it certainly has not been without many sacrifices. Life has, at times, felt very isolated, sometimes with very little time to socialise or maintain meaningful personal relationships. My husband is also my business partner and co-founder of Paleo Café, so we tend to live and breathe the business. My husband is also the father of our beautiful sons and they are the centre of our universe. Of course, like many busy couples this leaves little time and energy for “us”.
Raising a family while working is probably the most rewarding, yet challenging time of anyone’s life. And if that work is your own business, it just adds to the challenges. What makes it all worthwhile however, is knowing that we are leading by example, proving to our children that anything is possible when you believe in your dreams and are prepared to work hard to achieve them. We both believe that we are working hard now to ensure a brighter future for our family.
There is a game plan but it is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself and be patient because your hard work will pay off if you stay focused on your dreams, rather than your challenges.
To everyone else who is chasing the same dream we remind you to “look after each other, stay focused on where you are going and celebrate when you get there!”
Article written by Marlies Hobbs for WNiF.