Carolyn Cronin from CC:ME - Parents in Business

This week we are launching our first series about parents in business.

In these blog posts, we will introduce you to the achievements of wonderful parents who also run their own businesses. We hope you enjoy finding out about them and what they do.

Name: Carolyn Cronin

Business Name: CC:ME


Nature of business: Virtual Assistant

Years in Business: 5

Tell us about yourself..

Hello, my name is Carolyn. I live in Reigate and I am married with one 5 year old daughter. My husband and I have been together for 18 years, married for 9.

In my career before setting up my business I worked for over 20 years in corporate environments, helping to manage projects, databases, keep track of expenditure, investigate and resolve problems and help my teams and managers successfully and consistently achieve targets and deadlines.

I love to read books, from science fiction to self-development. I always have about 3 books on the go either audiobooks or physical ones!

My hobbies include making and decorating cakes, and anything crafty. I have recently got into sewing and making dressing up outfits for my daughter.

Tell us about your business..

I’m a Virtual Assistant, so I take on the admin tasks of small business owners. This gives them time to get on with other things in their business. Or gives them their free time back instead of working all hours trying to fit everything into their day!

I started my business after being made redundant in March this year. I knew it was coming from June 2019, so I took a course and learned how to set up a VA business and planned to launch in April. When COVID happened, I delayed my launch to look after my daughter, and over the months it became even more apparent to me how much small businesses need help, now more than ever.

I offer 1-2-1 coaching to help business owners manage their time effectively to achieve their goals. I also have a free Facebook group called The Planning Club where we talk about all the issues related to goal setting, time planning, distractions, and mindset. I really want to help as many people as possible in this uncertain time. I realise not everyone is ready for a Virtual Assistant in their business, but they could still benefit from my experience and knowledge.

How do you balance work, personal life and motherhood?

When I went through my redundancy last year, I had a lot of pressure and stress put on me. Lots of my colleagues left the business early and I ended up taking on their workloads as well as my own. I was under so much stress that my hair started falling out, and I realised this could not go on!

That experience, and now living through lockdown, has taught me that I need to realistic about what I can achieve each week. We tend to be our own worst enemies and pile pressure on ourselves, but it need not be this way.

I am also realistic about when I can get work done, for instance once my daughter is home from school I know that I cant sit and think about new business ideas. She needs, and deserves, my full attention. Saying that, I know if she is happy colouring or watching a cartoon that I can do something like unload the dishwasher!

Working smarter, not harder, is my philosophy.