Womenlines takes pleasure to share ‘Entrepreneur of the Month’ Michelle Mcfarlane, founder of Business Women Network, Singapore.
Determined, self-driven and with a never to give up attitude Michelle Mcfarlane stands out in the crowd. BWN is her dream project and she has worked very hard to make it a reality.
BWN is about empowering women by bringing expat and local ladies of the community together and giving them a voice to share their passions, stories, achievements, skills and supporting women become successful entrepreneurs. The aim is to grow BWN throughout Asia and continue inspiring women, provide a network and platform with like-minded women of all cultures and background to come together to achieve goals and be among a community that supports and encourage each other through collaboration and the sharing of business contacts and opportunities.
Business Women Network runs monthly networking events for nearly 3 years now. All who attend meetings are given the opportunity to speak at the front of the room and give a brief description of their business, product or services. Once the introductions are over further networking occurs.
Read about Michelle’s interesting entrepreneurial journey in her own words-
1.Please share with our reader’s little bit about yourself.
My name is Michelle McFarlane, I am Australian, married, mother of 2 teenagers and have lived in Singapore going on 7 years. I own a few businesses, a freelancer, and property investor. I love anything business so can talk about that anytime and go out on the motorbike with my husband.
2. So when did you started this venture and what inspired or motivated you to take a plunge into this venture?
When I moved to Singapore 6 years ago, I was among many other women either starting or looking for a home business opportunity or upscaling a current business. After attending a few network groups it came apparent that there were many ladies in Singapore like me looking for opportunities, friendships and trying to make the most living overseas. This gave me the inspiration to start a group for women in 2014 to share ideas, learn more about different cultures, celebrate and embrace business growth and create a supportive network with a platform to showcase product and services. Since then we have grown dramatically and many more women have grown their business, collaborated and gain great supporting friendships.
3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced during your initial days?
Operating your own business comes with many challenges to managing time, learning new programs, hiring staff, balancing life and business, organizing events, meetings, attending outside events and much more.
Many challenges I have overcome is by talking them through with my husband (poor thing ha ha) and other professional friends and mentors, writing and planning things through, being organized and taking control of your own time. I have learned to stop and take a breath put everything in perspective, be true to my values and focus on my visions.
4. So how do you balance your personal and professional life?
Balancing personal and professional life can be challenging at times especially working from home. Having older children is easier of course because I don’t have toddlers to work around, however, I still do the cooking and cleaning and be on beck and call when my family needs anything, owning your own business gives you that freedom I guess. Managing your time the best way you can, set tasks for yourself and allow time to do them in. I share many milestones with my family to share and teach my children the importance of running a business, what it provides and the satisfaction it brings. Learning to say No to stay sane is something new business owners need to do to avoid burnout.
5. What would you suggest to other aspiring women who want to venture out on their own?
Starting a business takes a lot of preparation, planning and goal setting. It is well worth researching on the laws and regulations, join a community or network like BWN to ask other businesswomen about their experiences, contacts etc to help you get started right from the start. Surround yourself with positive and like-minded women who will keep motivated and inspired to help achieve your venture.
6. Is there any person who has mentored/supported/inspired you?
There are many people I have learned from, Tony Robbins, JT Foxx, Shaqir Hussyin, Brain Tracey and many others. My biggest support network and inspiration is really my family and Business Women Network. For every woman who posts their achievement or story in our magazine it always inspires me and gives me great joy on why I love doing what I do.
7. What do you have in the pipeline for your venture’s future development?
My future plan is to expand into more areas of Asia, grow our team of women to support even more women in business. I would like to offer more business services, collaborate with other businesses and offer women more opportunities to grow their network within BWNASIA.
Womenlines wishes all the best to Michelle for success in her entrepreneurial journey!
Promoting excellence in women!