I lead by example. I don’t give up – Pip Meecham – Queensland Australia

Hi, I’m Pip! A mum to one fabulous soon to be five-year-old girl called Lucy and the owner of ProjectBox. I love the smell of coffee but can’t stand the taste, instead, a strong hot chocolate is my go-to hot drink, I’m a swag lover, a geek at heart, and shamelessly sing at the top of my lungs while driving. I believe in passionate people, about doing what you love, and about no boxes.

What is your business?

ProjectBox – I work with people to look at how they do the things they do (their systems) to create how-to guides (standard operating procedures) and to help them to become more efficient and more effective. I’m also a go-to gal for technology and software questions.

How long have you been in business?

ProjectBox was born 2.5 years ago, prior to that, I had another successful business working as a Virtual Assistant.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?

I always knew that I was destined for more than working 8:30 to 5 for someone else but it wasn’t until I became a mum and returned to work that the urge kicked up a notch. That’s when I started up as a Virtual Assistant (VA) – this was just over four years ago, just before being a VA became a huge thing and ‘the norm’ for businesses to have.

It quickly became more than just a job. I was building something that was going to give me the flexibility I needed for my family, and soon after that when my marriage broke down, it gave me the flexibility needed to be a single mother.

Being the business owner of ProjectBox is the most exciting thing I have ever done. I’m building something that I am incredibly proud of (all my hopes and dreams are wrapped up in here somewhere), something that is helping people, and something that gives me the freedom and flexibility of being a Rockstar mum and also having not just a career, but of having something that I LOVE showing up for every day. It’s one hell of a rollercoaster ride but it’s a ride that I love hanging on for.

Who has been your greatest influence in business and personal life and why?

My dad has always been one of the biggest influencers in both life and business. He is a successful businessman in his own right meaning that his words of wisdom are ‘normally’ sound and come from his years of past experiences! He has ALWAYS been my biggest supporter which when you are playing entrepreneurs and start-ups is important to have not just to seek advice from but also to lift you up on the hard days, to remind you what got you here, and to empower you to keep moving forward. It is because of him I have a ‘what is the worst that can happen’ attitude and because of him (and my mum) that I give so much to others.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

Honestly, the fact that ProjectBox is still here. People always talk about how tough the first five years in business are and about how many don’t even survive their first three. It’s not until you are in the midst of it that you finally understand. Yes there are many happy clients, lots of positive reviews, and a bunch of successful projects, but I believe that my biggest professional accomplishment is all the stuff that sits behind that. Learning basic code so I could build my first website, mastering knowledge extraction on myself so that I can sell my IP, being flexible on what ProjectBox ‘is’ to adapt to changing environments, being referred to by my peers as the Queen of Systems (a title I am happy to hold!).

What do you do to inspire women?

I share my story. I am very open in where I have come from, things I have been through, have done. Giving complete honesty in my triumphs and my failures. Nothing is covered up, I share all the nitty gritty of just what I’ve done, what I do, and what I myself aspire to. I show them that it is ok to fail and that everything is possible.

What inspirational qualities do you possess?

I lead by example. I don’t give up – I am persistent. I am incredibly passionate. I have courage! I have a zest for learning. But the biggest one? I am authentic.

What’s your advice for other women that may want to do what you do?

Be really clear on what it is you want to do, on what problems you want to solve. Make sure you have the cash flow or the means to access the cash flow as the first few years are so irregular – get comfortable with your numbers and also the fact that sometimes they are going to look mega scary! Find someone to hold you accountable, work out who you can rely on for support – sometimes your friends and family aren’t the best people to help keep you moving forward. Find your courage – you will need this! Just get started, don’t sit around all day wondering what if. If you strongly believe that you are capable and that you have the means, then just do it!

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to Inspiring Women Today?

It’s not easy but you just have to keep going.

It’s such a straightforward statement, but one that so many of us take for granted. Just like our personal lives, business isn’t what it’s made out to be on social media. Yes, there are a bunch of success stories about people who found some magic solution to start turning over six or seven figures and these keep making their way into your news feeds but the reality is that those people are few and far between. For most of us, it’s a labour of love and a lot of hard work!

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

My daily routine for this is singing in the car, as soon as my daughter is at kindy, the windows go down and the stereo gets turned up….loud. I then sing my lungs out until I get to where I am going.

The other one is camping – I love nothing more than escaping from the house for a few nights, living off the basics and having a chance to just do nothing.

What’s the best way for our Inspiring Women Today members and blog guests to connect with you?

Come and connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn – search for Pip Meecham. You can also email me at hello@projectbox.com.au or feel free to give me a call on +61 420 679 812.