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Woman business owner suffers multi-possibility syndrome

12 May 2021

Tanya Ruby

I think I have ‘multi-possibility syndrome’ but I embrace it.

What do you do? It is one of the first questions you are asked when you meet someone. For most women the answer is simple. I am (insert job title + mother)

However, for me the answer is not as clearly defined. I wear multiple hats, running three businesses which are all totally unrelated to each other. And I am childfree, something that I am very vocal about and built a business around.

So how do I respond to the question “What do you do?”. I can choose to answer with my biggest role “I am a digital marketing specialist”. Or I can say “I am a dog sitter and pet concierge” or I can say “I am a childfree author and content creator."

Which one do I choose?

But why do I only have to choose one? Who says we cannot do multiple things in business and in life? I feel like society wants to define me with one label constantly.

You just have to take one look at my LinkedIn profile to see that tells the story of someone who likes to keep busy, does many things and loves doing it. I am always saying to myself “what’s next?”.

My story is not a remarkable one. I am just an average woman striving for success and living life.  Like many I have worked in lots of different roles & industries. I started in retail, moved to hospitality, then into the world of marketing. This led to a career in sales, a number of promotions and more money. Then after being made redundant from a start up, I decided it was time to be my own boss. It wasn’t the first time though as early on in my career I started a promotions business then an online shoe store in 2006. I have always had that creative and entrepreneurial drive.

But this time it was going to be a full time, jump in feet first, make me or break me business. Over 6 years later and I have ridden the rollercoaster and am still going but in the last three years I decided I needed more.

Always vocal about my choice to be childfree, I decided I would write a book about it. Nine months later (ironic I know), I had my own baby in the form of a book which was a #1 Amazon Best Seller. A Childfree Happily Ever After has had lots of media coverage on all the major media outlets, continues to get fantastic feedback and has allowed me to meet influential women in the childfree world. Although I am very proud of my achievement, writing a book doesn’t make you rich so this was very much a passion project for me. Having ticked that box, of course my next thought was “OK what next?”

After having conversations with many women in the world of law and other high-pressure roles, I decided I needed to create a program for women who were undecided about having children or knew they didn’t want them and their family still pressured them to have them. So the Childfree Choices Program was born. (this is the first of its kind in the world).

Then towards the end of 2020 I had this great idea to start the world’s first magazine for childfree people around the globe. Why? Because we didn’t have one and there is a magazine in just about every niche or topic possible. It was about time childfree people were represented as a media publication.

I have never created a magazine in my life. I am not a publisher nor am I a journalist so what kind of crazy idea was this. What did I know about creating a magazine? I kept thinking “is this a crazy notion? It hasn’t been done before and maybe that is for a reason. Am I biting off more than I can handle?”

So, I did my research. I looked at other magazines to work out what I liked and I what I didn’t. I set up a Go Fund Me campaign not only as social proof that people wanted it, but to pay for creating the first edition. I called for submissions and asked for contributors to help me. The right people were put in front of me including a fantastic editor with loads of experience on many of the big glossies you know and love. (The universe is great at things like that…)

And some months later Childfree Magazine was live and so far, it has been sold in 28 countries around the world.

The magazine is another passion project. I make no money from it and all sales go back into funding the next one. But the key for me was about having a vision and making it happen, despite the naysayers and critics. The defiant gal I am, was proud to show people that I didn’t need to be defined by one thing in one way. I could make my own rules (one of my personal mantra’s BTW). And I proved I could do it, despite having no past experience.

Oh, and let’s not forget that I also established 3 Spoilt Dogs during 2020 because isn’t that what you do in the middle of a pandemic? As a lifelong dog lover and pet sitter for over 8 years I decided it was time to create my own brand for the future in a space that I loved – the pet industry. 

As you can see, all three business are unrelated to each other. They have totally different audiences with very little cross over. They are at different stages of their lifecycle, some make more money than others and require more time but they are all brands that I created and continue to have a passion for.

But here’s what I think. We don’t need to be labelled as just one thing. Women are multi-faceted like diamonds with many different sides to our lives. Telling me that I cannot do something or it’s not possible is like saying “No one puts baby in a corner” Just watch me.

How do I define myself? Childfree, dog lover, digital specialist, avid traveller, wife, passionate about living life. I cannot define myself in just one way and I refuse to.

As a woman you don’t need to be defined by one thing. You can wear multiple hats and also follow your passions in life. Why not? No one defines the rules but you.

I have always been a dreamer.

Not everything I do makes money (ask hubby who often complains about it). My vision lies in the long term viability and impact that projects can have. They can make a huge difference to someone’s life. I am prepared to work on projects that are not always money driven and hopefully will leave a legacy for the global childfree community.

What am I working on now? In summary (because there are too many to share here)

I’m hoping we can create an 2nd edition of Childfree Magazine. I’m working on creating a program for girls in schools about having choice, a program for the women at work. I’m looking at ways to expand the 3 Spoilt Dogs product offering and transitioning the focus of my digital marketing business. So just a few things on my list.

And I’ve yet to mention that I want to write a fictional book for childfree people in the next couple of years. (Another dream and bucket list item).

There’s a lot to do. I am passionate about all these projects and all three businesses. There is no reason why any of you cannot have multiple passions in life.

I personally, refuse to let anyone define me in just one way. This ‘multiple possibility’ syndrome works for me and I plan on continuing to live it.

For anyone reading this, never let anyone dull your sparkle.