Entrepreneur Alanna Bastin-Byrne can't say no to a new adventure. So when her sister-in-law proposed going into business together with a brand that would focus on building gender equality, she simply couldn't resist jumping in. And now, she's happier than ever that she did. Read Alanna's inspiring story about following your instincts and the joy and freedom that comes from being your own boss.
Hello! Tell us what you do!
Hi! I'm Alanna Bastin-Byrne and I live in Pottsville, Northern New South Wales. CEO of the house, community builder and a globetrotting nomad. I have over 15 years’ experience in Marketing and Communications leadership in the UK and Australia.
Tell us a little bit about you, and your business!
I love work. I always have. I managed million dollar budgets, multiple teams and then life happened. My husband wanted a career change and to do that he needed to study full-time. This was at the same time we wanted to have two children. My career took a back seat and that was my choice. I wanted to raise my children as much as possible and be the sole bread winner while he was studying. I had to take part-time jobs that were well below my skill level to try and balance everything and I guess my ego took a hit. But it was for the greater good and I knew it wasn’t forever.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
When my husband got a full-time job, we moved into a long-term home and my children were older (18 months and 4), my sister-in-law called. Jade said, “Did you know women make 85% of consumer purchase decisions? I think this is the key to progressing gender equality. Do you want to be my business partner?” At first I thought of all the issues like working together as family, the commitment to her and not wanting to let her down, and that I would no longer undertake paid work.
Then I thought of all the benefits. I can be my own boss. I can build the business my way. I can live where I want to live. I can work flexibly around the kids. Plus, I love taking risks and I am addicted to new things, so I said yes.
What Do you love about the lifestyle?
I can make the most of the sunshine. I get out with my kids every morning and we do something fun, walking to the nearest park, beach, music class, art class, library or just go exploring. I am in control about how I balance my life. For me, I work at night or when the kids are asleep. I like proving that you don’t need to have a 9-5 desk job to be productive.
Our project is Femeconomy.com We want women to shop brands with female leaders to create gender equality. Female leaders are the catalyst for change. When you have diversity of thought at the top-tier decision-making level then it will start to benefit all of us. Why? Because culture is lead from the top. The gender and superannuation pay gap will close, there will be more work flexibility and there will be more role models for women, because if you can see it, you can be it.
Work hard and play hard.
I work hard because I enjoy it. When I am in play mode, whether that is with my family or friends, I want to get the most out of that time because time is so fleeting and precious.
Most inspiring person you have ever met so far and why?
Leanne Kemp was pretty amazing. Leanne is originally from Brisbane and is taking the world by storm with Everledger and her use of Bitcoin. She has an incredible intellect and way of looking at problems. Leanne is powerful and vulnerable. She is leader who has not lost the person she is, who is building something unique that is getting traction and she is approachable, unassuming and a fantastic public speaker even though she gets sick before appearances.
One piece of advice you would give your younger self
Sometimes you need to ask others for help.
What's the bravest thing you ever had to do?
I was six months’ pregnant with my first baby and moved with my husband from the Gold Coast to Wollongong where I didn’t know a soul. I actually loved it. It was scary, but it fired up my ‘addicted to new things’ gene.
Connect with Alanna:
Alanna Bastin-Byrne is the Co-Founder of Femeconomy. A website that allows customers to shop brands with female leaders to create gender equality. Alanna lives in Pottsville, Northern NSW, a town of just over 6000 people with her husband and two children. Stay connect with Alanna and her business by visiting her website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or YouTube channel!
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