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Getting to know…Anna Jonak & Florencia Pyke of Business School For Mums

Business School for Mums is just that – a fantastic course and ongoing resource for any mum looking to transform their work lives after children. Lead by Anna Jonak and Florencia Pyke – this dynamic duo ensure mums access cutting edge information while focusing on your personal growth and focus. A truly impressive offering!

Tell me about yourselves
ANNA: I spent the last 10 years in corporate across a variety of roles including sales, media, radio and events. I had an absolute ball going out and doing lots of entertaining and getting down on business strategy with companies like Proctor & Gamble, Google, HTC. I worked for companies that offered strategy and marketing solutions to clients and we would put on events for their brands. I then became pregnant with baby number 1 and followed my dream to retrain. I had completed a degree in psychology and always wanted to revisit that so while on maternity leave I scoped out a life-coaching course and took on a Diploma. I then ran a personal and life coaching business for 2.5-3 years and in the last year we launched Business School for Mums (BSFM). BSFM was inspired by the need and want I saw in my clients to transform and create a new life for themselves around their family. A lot of women had business ideas (just like us) and either lacked confidence or the business background to facilitate it. I have now just had baby number 3 and am juggling quite a bit as my husband also works away – he’s a fly in fly out worker. But we have a vision and keep focused on what we want to achieve.
FLORI: I hold a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a concentration in entrepreneurship and a MBA in Marketing. I have 2 kids, 18 months apart in age. I had my first child Jorge over 3 years ago and at the time I went on mat leave, I worked for AMP managing their pop up stores throughout their shopping centre network; AMP holds the second largest group of shopping centres after Westfield. I moved my way up the ranks and when I finished my MBA – I knew I wanted to do my own thing. I ensured I really got my business skills down pat and when I finished I started a digital marketing consulting business called Elva Marketing, which has evolved a lot and is still very much active. I run Elva and BSFM concurrently and have a husband who also works a lot. His frequent absence at nights enables me to work at nights, sans guilt! Tony Robbins says you have to start looking and turning your negatives into positives – those are the challenges that give you the fuel to change things. In a nutshell, if my husband was around, we wouldn’t be able to grow the business as quickly.
What is Business School For Mums?
ANNA: BSFM is two-fold, the first is that it helps to set up mums with the business skills they need to be successful by ensuring they have a solid financial plan, business plan, and a profitable business model that will work and grow. The second half is working on the individual – the personal coaching element by helping the mum to feel better in herself, to value herself and her ideas, and to transform her mindset to the best possible place. Most people don’t realise that this is the stuff that transforms them – the business growing and increasing sales often happens because they have transformed their thinking and beliefs around what’s possible.
Who should take the course and do you need to have an established business?
FLORI: Any kind of mum can join us – a mum who has a uni education or not, business skills or not. Everyone will gain skills no matter where they are at. We are constantly teaching up-to-date information and we update the modules every time we deliver them. I am running one on Facebook ads currently and as things change we adapt and ensure our students are receiving the latest information.
We have a mixture of students, those that come to us with an idea and those that are set up but not getting the results they want. In either case we take them through what they need to do to get set up the right way for results.
How can participants get a taster for the course, without fully committing?
ANNA: We are running a free webinar on The 5 Secrets to Growing a Successful Lifestyle Biz as a Mum, which will provide you with some important tips and tools to set up a successful business. We’ll be focusing on business planning, mindset and marketing and will be sharing tangible tools and must do’s to improve where people are at right now. Attendees will receive a worksheet and a big bonus workpack for attending, which will give them some serious gold nuggets. We want to add lots of value and show people we are authentic in what we do, and how we care about our students. If they are inspired to join us thereafter – that’s awesome man, if not, we trust they’ve taken away some great tools to change! We have had some amazing emails off the back of our free webinars where people share what has changed for them; they are beautiful little gifts –it’s such an amazing feeling. Sign up today!
What can students expect from engaging with BSFM’s full course?
ANNA: Transformation! Today I am writing a new webinar and I asked our current students to share some of their recent successes so that I can inspire new mums on their own journey. Their responses were amazing and varied, from giving up part time work to focus on the business, to launching a new label, to actually starting the business they dreamed of. They are really living life and going for big goals and they are full of self-belief – it is incredibly rewarding. We talk about this stuff and I get goosebumps every time I hear of a student grabbing their business and life by the balls.
FLORI: As a result of these transformations that we see amongst our students, they’re reaching goals that they never thought imaginable. We’re hearing of doubled-sales or exceeding their financial targets due to this course. The course has been almost going for a year now and they will only grow more and more. Every week, as the journey goes on, we are hearing more positive testimonials from our members when it comes to their financial targets.
ANNA: We did a research study and a lady called Lucy responded. She was wondering if this course could give her anything above what she could search on Google. This is a question we get when people are nervous about investing for training. Until they join us they simply don’t understand the volume of information we can provide them with! We’ve lived it, we’ve breathed it in our corporate roles and then in own businesses and we cut through the shit to provide our students with the best information.
FLORI: Yes what’s more, we are constantly taking additional courses and are investing in ourselves too. We recently completed a digital mentorship with a team in the USA; this provider works with massive global digital brands like AirBNB, Google and Amazon. If both of us aren’t doing a course, one of us is, and that is to constantly improve what we are teaching. You can only know so much and what we learn we bring back to our students.
ANNA: You need to keep growing. We wanted to grow faster and learn more and hence why we invest in courses. As a result we outsource things like our FB marketing because we simply don’t have the time. You can’t master everything and you master what you want to master.
Do you offer a pricing structure that is accessible for the every day mum?
ANNA: BSFM was created to be affordable. We did our research and our mums are often working part time or the husband is the sole income earner. We wanted the mums to gain the skills and mindset they need to start or run their own business without breaking the bank. We created a payment plan to make it accessible. They then have lifetime access and get updated content and any new modules we create. It’s a frigging steal! For the volume of stuff you get, it really is.
You have a strong business partnership. How did you two connect?
FLORI: Thanks to a friend who I had given some marketing advice to; she had also worked with Anna from a personal coaching standpoint. She’s a wonderful lady and suggested we should meet as she said “you’re both a little bit crazy and a little bit intense”. Not sure if that was a compliment or not! So we added each other on Facebook and commented on each other’s status updates. We were both respectively doing really well in our businesses and had a discussion on Skype as Anna is in Perth and I’m in Sydney. It became immediately evident that what I lacked Anna had and what I had, Anna lacked. We found we had similar thoughts. We kept on chatting and kept on picking each others’ brains and within 1 or 2 weeks of meeting Anna, she shared her ideas about building this course and one thing led to another. One month later we had an outline on what we would cover and signed up 20 people in the first round – even before it had been written. It was insane how quickly it happened and we knew we were onto a good thing. There is a niche and evidently, a strong need in the market that we are filling for mums.
 What are the success factors that make your partnership work?
ANNA: It’s the similarities and the differences. We are both ambitious, driven and intense and we don’t switch off – we are constantly moving and one of us is always on and driving the other or vice versa. We don’t stagnate. If someone has a crappy day we balance out each other. We also are very open and honest with what’s going on in our work and personal lives so we’ve got each other’s backs. There is complete transparency and it is real and authentic.
FLORI: Anna with the emotional intelligence skills she has, knows how to read and manage people exceptionally well. If there is a difficult situation between us, she has the ability to talk it through and diagnose what is happening. It’s very important to have that in a strong business partnership. I don’t have those skills always but Anna is exceptional in those circumstances.
You have 5 very young children between you – how do you juggle your busy home and work lives? Any suggestions for other mums facing the same?
FLORI: My kids are in daycare 3 days a week and then I work a lot at night. I find that I work efficiently and effectively in spurts and if I can steal an hour here and there it works really well. I have my daycare days and if I go out for dinner at night, I often find that I can do an hour before I got to bed. Setting those goals and timeframes for myself is really helpful and writing lists on what I need to achieve helps with not getting overwhelmed. If I focus on what I need to do in one day as opposed to trying to take on too much, I am much more effective. Important to note here though is that I am still learning every day! As we all are in life I suppose!
ANNA: I have a list where I set it out by day so that I know what I am doing. When it gets to the point of managing being crazy busy, my mental shift is to give myself permission to work on my business. It helps meet my needs, provides stimulation, growth and interest. I then spend separate time with the kids. I also work at night when the kids are sleeping or when my husband is away. A lot of women’s guilt comes into it but this is your life too. It’s your dream and you deserve it.
FLORI: Constantly learning, growing and feeling fulfilled reflects not only in yourself and your emotional state, but also in your relationships – with your friends, your peers, and your family.
What exciting things are ahead for you ladies?
We have a big workshop and networking event early November set to transform 2017. So watch this space!
Favourite spots in the Inner West?
ANNA: A number of places for different reasons. Tempe holds a place in my heart because I mentored a girl who lived in the area through a big sister program. Lots of fond memories. And on the flip side Balmain is a favourite for the pubs.
FLORI: I love Glebe; I’ve spent a lot of time there as we have our “Sydney Family” living there. We often take the tram with the kids to Darling Harbour and explore from there… or we’ll go to China Town and eat dim sum!
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