Skip links

Letting Go to Win

with Emma Devereux

#breakingpodcast #podcast #toronto

In this episode of Breaking, we sit down with Emma Devereux, managing director at Maintech Recruitment to talk about:

👉 How she pivoted her life experiences after divorce with two young children to create the life she wanted

👉 Why it’s important to celebrate life’s little wins and be in the moment

👉 Building a new business as a busy solo mom

👉 How being in a position of vulnerability gave her the strength to survive and thrive

👉 And much more.


Find Emma Devereux at:



Visit for all episodes of the show.


Muhammad Kermalli –

Triena McGuirk –


Min Woo Park & Diana Hong @ 6 Story –

Episode Transcript

*This transcription was made for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes the automated service made.

Emma: when I started the business. I really started to feel unsure about myself because I was putting myself into it. I’d never been self-employed, I’d always had a manager like, you know, to report into and and whatnot.

So I found myself questioning absolutely everything and, you know, do people like me and I’m a people pleaser. That’s why I’m so good at my job because I liked to please my clients. So I reached out to Nicola and said, look, I don’t know what help I need, but I just need some, some thing.

now, even though I’m absolutely fine and I’m strong now, I still speak to her once a month just to kind of get the thoughts out of my head down, you know, with, with a complete stranger. And it’s great. think sometimes it’s just that having the strength to speak to somebody.

triena: so good day, everyone. I’d like to welcome our guests today. Emma, Deveraux from the UK. Welcome Emma. Thank you for being with us today. and I’m just really looking forward to this conversation with Emma as a. she’s got some gum through some very pivotal life experiences recently. And one of the most pivotal ones at this point was her journey and really recreating her life after divorce with two wee ones and looking at all these different pieces in her life and these moving parts and really reflecting on where she was and how to move forward when your life is really not where you envisioned it to be. just really learning from her story is the importance of. To take pause and to stop and to think and respond and to pace ourselves and not to get too overwhelmed. So I really thank you today for being here, Emma, and I know myself and all of our viewers or listeners will have so much to learn from your journey. So thank you for being here.

Muhammad: Emma. I’ll let you talk about the posts because that’s really what got my attention and then I reached out to you, what was it? What was that post all

Emma: so basically the the picture is the boys my two boys in bed at my mom’s house. So yeah, the guy, which is over a year ago, I am separated with my partner at the grand old age of 35 with two children back at home with my mom. Luckily we were only there for a few weeks. My business was only six months old at that point.

And I just, they were both fast asleep, you know, not a care in the world didn’t really understand what was going on. Like it was, but the first night we got there and I’m sat there thinking, oh my like your whole world has fallen apart. the business is six months old and this is not my core break.

I’ve either got to roll with it. Now I’m reading my kid work or go and get a job at Tesco. Not that there’s anything wrong, obviously we’re going to get a job at Tesco.

triena: It’s not what you had planned for

Emma: Yeah. So yeah, so it was very much, it was very much a reflection of like the last 12 months and kind of going from that situation I’ve now moved into. I’m halfway to getting a deposit together for us to buy our own home. So we’re renting at the moment. The business is coming on phenomenally.

I employ four people now. you know, that’s my driver that getting out of bed every day for, for the kids is what really kind of made me, got me through that dark period of suppose.

Muhammad: you know, if you were to think back Emma, about yourself, and as we try to get to know you a little bit better, you know, you talk about that picture that you posted with your kids and things just seemingly like no light at the end of that tunnel at that moment. would you say that that’s the first time you ever remember looking at that tunnel? Let’s just call it for a second and being like it’s dark and I don’t see light was that the first time that has ever

Emma: no, I think, my mom was a single parent. She grew up with this, this four of us. We grew up in a family that was poor. my stepfather wasn’t particularly great with my mom was emotionally and physically abusive. So kind of grown up in that environment. It was tough. I look at my mom and she’s so strong.

She’s so independent. She’s, you know, she’s kind of really come through the other side of that. the night that I sat there and we’re not out to that picture in my head, I was out while she did it with four of us, I can do it with two, you know? like I said, I think there’s always a point in people’s lives that, that start shaping them.

And you can either, you can either face it head on or you can take a step back and while they’re in there and it’s, it’s obviously it’s a fine balance, isn’t it? You know, don’t, don’t get me wrong. It’s been a struggle. But I think every time I’ve had a setback in life, I’ve come further forward with it. And I’ve managed to get over a hurdle and become stronger. I mean, I’m definitely stronger now than it was this time, 12 months ago, you know, mentally, physically, all of it. A lot of.

Muhammad: What what’s the, like your, your earliest recollection of when you sort of have had that sort of experience, that you can recall that at that moment, you know, now that you look back on it, you’re like, oh no, that made me stronger. Did you have one in infancy? But it stands out.

Emma: I mean, there’s been a few I mean, if you’re out home at 16 starting my career in catering at 16 you know, that was really, really tough. Me and my first boyfriend got together, bought a house together that all fell apart. Um, When I was 21. So, you know that obviously at 21 that’s devastating, that was like, oh my God, the world’s falling apart. And I ended up back at my mom’s dad, my poor mom, and she gets me back and free time. And that was again, I was, you know, at that point I was in debt. and I ended up going into a solid. At that point again, that was probably a real good defining career move. Although I didn’t see that at the time. And so I went into estate agency.

Muhammad: Okay. So this is a 21,

Emma: well, 21, 22,

Muhammad: heartbroken and that. So like, there’s like there’s no present and there’s no good looking future out there at

Emma: so it was I’ve just got to get myself, but get myself out of debt to pay off everything that I have and really kind of get eyes to that sort of thing. So that’s what I did worked really hard. Stayed with him for 10 years, worked with the ranks. Then met my partners at my ex partners, my babies dad ended up having the boys and, you know, and again, unfortunately that.

That didn’t work out, but sit in there. I think being back at my mom’s thinking now, I can’t wallow in it. You know, like take me back to 21. I had a good few minutes of wallowing in worries me, but when it’s just you, that you it’s, it is what it is, isn’t it? You know, when it was me, I’m the boys. I I’ve got no choice. I’ve got to fight through. So yeah, I’m really proud of if that bit a bit

Muhammad: when you think back to when you were 21, you said you were, you were in debt. it’s, it’s a funny thing that it just builds up on us and then one day we’re like, whoa. When you look back as a 21 year old, did you, did you know that this was, you were getting to this point that it there’ll be a data of reckoning coming up?

Or how did, how do you see that a 21 year old or from 16 to 21, that, that there are habits so that there are, you know, lifestyle choices that we make what did you see as things that, were things that you didn’t know, but that they were kind of happening as, as it was building up to this that’s breaking.

Emma: Yeah, I think

Muhammad: What would you say they were.

Emma: And my sister and I inherited my granddad’s house I was 18. you know, at that point it was a lot of money that I went and bought my own house. So we, we sold Grant’s house and went and bought my own hacks. The partner that I had picked at the time, you know, my mom was right and said, you know, he’s no good for you.

And, but you, you know, as, as a typical stubborn, I think it was 1920 at the time, you know, I’m going to, I’m going to make this work. Cause everyone told me that. So I definitely looking back, he didn’t work. I did, you know, we’ve got more ex expenditure going out of the house than coming into the house.

You know, I’m not sharing sat I to sell the house and that walked away with pretty much nothing because I bought it in 2007, which was the peak of the market over here, sold it in 2010, which was the bottom of the market over here. So walked away with, with no equity. You know, that to me was actually that, you know, was really uncensorable was not a good thing to do.

Like I said, I was in debt. So just got no choice, but to really kind of dig deep and get myself out of it you know, kind of picking myself up from that was tough. But in a way it was a really good lesson for me to learn because I’m so money savvy now I’ve got no debt to started the business with our debt. The business has got no debts, you know, where we’re in really good profits for, for being 18, two years. it’s almost like you kind of have to go through something like that to learn from it.

triena: What did you do to pick yourself up a certain

Muhammad: Well, I was actually going to ask the same thing. So when you’re 21, you now know, you know how you just said you skipped over it, pick yourself up was tough. So what exactly, you know, what, what was this 21 year old thinking?

Emma: So one of the things that I did do, and the first goal was to pay everything off and to get myself to a point where I was back to CCRI which is what I did. So I just worked really, really hard. I need the job that I’d kind of fallen into almost because it was commissioned based and I could rise throughout the ranks, you know, going into management sessions and things.

I knew that if I really put my mind to it, that I’d be able to earn really decent money to get, you know, to kind of get that paid. And so that’s what I did, you know, worked on holidays when some of my friends were out and the books and whatnot, I was like, no, I’m gonna, you know, I’m not going to do that. I actually took a bar job in the pub that the girls drank in. So I could not spend,

triena: you can see your friends.

Emma: you know, close the estate job in the day and the barter, but on a night. But yeah, and I did that for a couple of years. It took a while to pay it off, but that said, I’m glad. I think because we’ve kind of come from being a poor family when you’re given all of this money, all of a sudden it’s a little bit like, you don’t know, you don’t know what to do with it.

triena: Yeah.

Emma: one of the things that’s definitely taught me having the boys is. when they were first born, went through a stage, like really spoiling them. And I’m not actually, no, that’s, that’s not teaching them good things. So I’m quite, you know, they have to learn that pocket when you now, when they’re only five and three, so they kind of understand it, but you know, they do afterward.

If they want a new toy, they’ve got to save up for it. And I think that’s, that’s probably one of the essence that it really taught me is to install that, that into them.

triena: And have it for them to manage it. Right. And just save on their own. And yeah, just all of these, we don’t think about all these things that are so valuable to learn when.

Emma: Yeah.

Muhammad: did you, when you were going through it, Emma, you know, this is back back when, and you said you, you wallowed for a while. I forget the term you used. And, and I think that that’s an interesting thing because define wallowing, what are the thoughts that you’re having when you’re wallowing? What, what does that

Emma: Yeah. I mean? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m not, you know, mental health is a, is a really big, big topic, big subjects at the minute. And you know, I’ve, I’ve got a lady that I still do some coaching with now. That’s brilliant. That, you know, she’s um, cognitive behavior therapist.

So she’s really great at, you know, when I’m not feeling my best of just regulating my thoughts and, you know, I think my 20, if I could speak to my 21 year old self, I would say to the bone, get some help, you know, because I D I did get down and depressed about it. I think, you know, I felt like I was completely on my own.

You know, it was, it was a really tough, hard time to go through. And when I started the business. I really started to feel unsure about myself because I was putting myself into it. I’d never been self-employed, I’d always had a manager like, you know, to report into and and whatnot.

So when I first started the business, I found myself questioning absolutely everything and, you know, do people like me and I’m a people pleaser. That’s why I’m so good at my job because I liked to please my clients. So when I first started the business, I reached out to Nicola and said, look, I don’t know what help I need, but I just need some, some thing.

now, even though I’m absolutely fine and I’m strong now, I still speak to her once a month just to kind of get the thoughts out of my head down, you know, with, with a complete stranger. And it’s great. think sometimes it’s just that having the strength to speak to somebody.

Muhammad: But if you, if you watch like the best in the world in anything, whether it’s a tennis player you know, a golfer, a, an athlete, any high performance person always has what they call their, their team of trainers and managers. What, what are these people? You know, at least people are there to watch this person. guide the person, it’s amazing how many people haven’t caught on to that idea yet of having somebody, you know, whether it’s a therapist, a trainer or somebody being part of their team. I think it’s a, it’s, it’s, a great recipe for success, but you know why I asked you about that 21 year old, because I believe that at those moments is when you started actually really defining who you are today.

We, you started making decisions then and there, and you didn’t have the resources of getting a therapist. You didn’t have, you know, somebody necessarily to talk to. So I’m wondering. As imperfect. And as under-resourced as that 21 year old version of MOS there, she was, she was doing something. And I’m curious really, to understand for our listeners and our viewers as well, that, you know, you did a little bit of both.

You, you said you wallowed. and for some of them, many of them, including myself, we’ve done that too. and it served the purpose. Don’t you think like it made you, you know, I, it made you feel a little bit.

triena: it was good to, well, it can feel really, it can feel comforting for a moment.

Emma: to, um, you know, you know, I think you’ve got to get to the point where, right. That it’s done now. And I think if you, if you keep everything bottled up, it’s, it’s, that’s no good for you either. You know, you’ve got to get it right. I’ve done that bit. Let’s, put a plan together and let’s work out how I’m going to put this right.

triena: Do you feel like those thoughts have slowed down more for you like when they surface and they present like the fear or the risk or whatever it is cause I know sometimes you can get really locked into that for a moment. So like how are you able to shift out of that faster than you used to?

Cause I know like what you mentioned CVT before, and I’m not sure if anyone knows, but I’ll just explain it for a second. But cognitive behavior therapy is really about those intrusive thoughts we all have that are the things that you’re just saying, like what if this is coming up, what’s going to happen?

The third year’s the worst year. And so cognitive behavior therapy does, which is I like is what’s the evidence for that? And what is the evidence against this? And let’s look at this from a balanced perspective. So yeah, it could be raised, but also I work really hard and I know how to mitigate this risk and I’m going to, I’m aware of it and I’m on it. And, you know, so if are able to walk through that a little bit

Emma: Yeah. I mean, don’t know whether you use what NYCLA calls, the stock process. It’s like, as soon as those thoughts start coming, right. Stop. And then, like you said, work out is this reality is. Is this not an imbalanced it yet, and now I can pretty much come out of it, you know, within a day I’ve turned myself around and the right, what, you know, and I think also where I’m at right now is I don’t think I can ever experience the feeling of being scared. And I was so scared that that night at my mom’s, my boys were safe and I’m like,

triena: Yeah.

Emma: we haven’t even got high start. We haven’t got a roof over our heads, but obviously we have cause my mom, but you know, for me that I don’t think I’m ever going to be in a position like that again, on there for allowing myself to be in that position. there’s that math five and four, you know, the deposit for that, for hikes, for them to live in that, that’s it, you know, not no partner, no landlord, nobody could ever turn around and say, that’s your end. If, if I ended up losing the house, that would be my fall, you know? Not that that’s that’s ever, ever going to happen.

So yeah, the definitely turning it around a lot, had it a lot quicker then again at 21, you know, that was three months of following in. You know, that, like I said, that, you know, I can’t come to work today.

triena: it’s a major thing. Like just like the business onto itself, and then to have a business starting at the time of the separation is. I don’t know if I work a lot in separation and divorce. And I feel like there’s such a, because separation divorce are so common. I feel like we often trivialize just how distressing it can be if not traumatic for people, because it is actually traumatic for very many people. you know, a lot of people that go through divorce are hard on themselves through that time, because that is such a hard emotional journey. So then you’re going through that while you’re, co-creating a new pathway to be. Self-sustainable like, that’s a lot of heavy lifting. That’s a lot.

Muhammad: The hardest part that, that, that I’m trying to think through right now, it’s kinda like, do you ever get this feeling that, you know, in order to, to, to recuperate to recover out of this, there’s gotta be something that’s thinking about like success, right? Whereas simultaneously the there’s a failure going on right.

Or a perceived failure right. In my mind. how do you on one hand say to yourself, like, what do you, what is a person to say to themselves, right. Who could be feeling the feeling of failure, right. Being very, very real while simultaneously talking to themselves or talking to themselves. The plan to be successful in something else. Did you get the same sort of thoughts or feelings.

Emma: Yeah. I mean, definitely. I think the grief bit of it for me growing up in a family where my dad wasn’t living with us, and then obviously my stepdad, then the situation there moved out all I wanted was that, mum and dad and two kids. So I think the grief bit for me was more like, I’ve let the boys down and haven’t got a fun day, a full family unit.

then I went into overdrive. Trying to make it as normal as possible. And I’ve got a great co-parenting relationship with, with them, with the boys, dad, you know, we, we get on really, really well. And I’ve kind of made that from the offset of look, we may not be together, but you’re still their dad and I’m still their mom.

And we got to, you know, to parent and together. But you know, there was some days where I literally had to say to myself, you can do this today. And I think taking it a little bit by little bit, so was something that Stacy instilled to me really, really you know, why way back was celebrate the little wins because then the little wins, you know, so it was, it was just silly things that come into work and having a great conversation with you know, Canada and, and then putting them in front of an employer.

And then that matching up. It was those little bit little PCs you know, at the time as well. There were lots of people over here that were out of. So I was doing sort of sessions, just helping people, rewrite their CVS and given a bit of time for freight. So just helping them move out their CV, giving them interview tips, you know, and then just somebody texting me and it’s, and it’s crazy.

Cause the LinkedIn community, I think, is so lovely for this, you know, I’d get a message to say, oh thank you for that interview tip you gave me, I’ve just had a brilliant interview and I’ve got the job, you know, and they come through us, it was all those little bits that I thought, you know what, actually, I’ve this, I can do this.

And there is, there’s that purpose that for me, I think there’s so many people on LinkedIn that I think at that point, cause it wasn’t very public about, you know, what I was going through because I didn’t feel like I could be that helped me massively throughout that bit. And they probably will never know.

But it was, it’s just that confidence that, you know, every time a new client reached out and said, can we use you you know, we’ve seen your story. Can we use you? You know? And it’s those little bits that actually really, really made the difference at the time.

triena: I have noticed that shift on LinkedIn recently to like people and even just even news articles, like some judges here are starting to like really identify and be vulnerable and say, Hey, like hand in the air. I deal with depression and anxiety and I’m stressed out and I’m feeling like on the LinkedIn community, we’re seeing more of that too.

People just like looking at the duality of the professional. And the entrepreneurial experience, and it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and great days, it’s, you know, grinning and bearing it and holding on tight. Right. And I love that because it’s just real, real, it’s the authenticity. That’s what people need, because when we’re so busy putting on these personas, it’s exhausting because we’re not authentic.

And so then it’s depleting us. So I’m loving this kind of culture of vulnerability and strength on the same continuum of how to really move people forward in a, in a meaningful way personally and professionally.

Emma: Instagram was the one station network internal I could never really get with it’s my age. But you know, I used to sit, especially when I was when I was at home with George the first time. So they’d been on maternity leave with George was the first time I’ve ever not worked.

you they’re scrolling through social media and all, these are the moms who really got it together. You know, they are, and doing what they want. And you know, today, for example, I am at times I’m so scatty, I’ve dropped my boys off at nursery today. I hadn’t even booked the men.

I got a call at 12 o’clock to say. You’ve brought drunk boys off and it’s absolutely fine because we’ve got space, it is that bit of, you know, life isn’t perfect. Life is not there’s, there’s ups, there’s downs and there’s nice bits in this and this terrible weeks.

Yeah. I put a person needs in it a couple of weeks ago by you know, just bought a new car, but it’s, it’s a new car to me. You know, and that’s the first real big thing of bought myself and running the business and, you know, and there was some guy that was like, oh, you know, you post out this every week. And I was like, actually one I don’t and two why, you know, I’m proud of,

triena: Why does it bother him so much? Yeah,

Emma: again, you know, taking me back if you just had, you know, maybe three years ago that really would have bothered me, I’d have been like, oh, post, you I’ve got no. And I share both the good bits on the puppets, in the hope that if somebody sat there at home thinking, shall I set up on my own? You know, is it a good thing to do?

And I have people reach out to me and say, you know, you’ve grown your team, you’ve put new members on, do you think it’s right for me? I just think if you, if you can do it great, you know, do it and I’m always just dead honest with people on both sides. It’s good on bad.

Muhammad: that’s exactly, that’s exactly the point, right? Is that you come to this point that you are now and it didn’t happen just, accidentally there was work that you had to put into it. And while you were putting this work in. what I want really, to have people understand, because people who are putting in the same kind of work that you were putting in, for example they might get to a point where they’re putting in the work.

They, they know what the right thing do. For example, you talked about, you know, celebrating the small wins, you talked about that. But sometimes they might look at it and go, there are no wins right now to celebrate before that those wins come along, what is it that you were then saying yourself to, to move yourself forward?

You, you talked about feeling like that you had let, let people down, like you had let your kids down, for example. you’re kind of blaming yourself a little bit. how do you go from there to where you are now? It doesn’t just happen overnight, right? There are small steps that you’ve taken before that moment.

And I’m trying to, the reason I go back to those moments is because I think right there in that moment, there was a thought right there wasn’t. And you were like, I’ve tried that, that didn’t work. So I’m going to now try this. Did that you have a moment like that, where you were like doing it this way. I’m going to now.

Emma: Yeah, I mean, part of the reason why I set the business up was because I wanted to be a more, I wanted my career, but I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to be at home, you know, hit the boys up from school and to cook their tea, you know, for them. So we’ve just hit this summer holidays here and there.

Their holiday camp is only nine til three. That’s the only working time that I can, you know, kind of work during the holidays and it’s been fine, but all the little bits along the way. So the late nights that I’ve had to do dropping the boys off at seven o’clock at breakfast in the morning and picking up being the last mom, picking them up at 10 to six, you know, for 18 months, I, I felt like the worst mom in the world, you know, they’d been doing that for days.

They’re five and three, and I’m not. I’m the last mum on the playgrounds. the boys are off, we’ve got to go see breakfast took again. You know, I think looking back to when I was at my mom’s for me, it was one day at a time. And even just getting out of bed, getting dressed and getting this office, you that, that in itself is a win getting both boys to where they need be on time is a win. I think one of the other things that I’ve definitely learned over the last sort of 12 months has been to ask for help, cause I’m really, really good at helping other people.

triena: That’s a hard one, isn’t it?

Emma: the amount of times my mom said to me, well, I’ll pick them up from school for you and I’m not for them, our kids and I should be doing it so he asked me for help. But know, when I don’t know some. Just ask it or if a can’t do something, I’ve also learned the power of no. So I’m the one that you made your friends bring here. Should go into an edge? Go and do that and I’m up? Yeah, I go on, but I’d really don’t want to go.

triena: That’s a hard one. Cause you’re a people pleaser too. Right? So like that is a hard one for people it’s really uncomfortable, right?

Emma: actually I don’t want to do that. So I’m not going to yes, just not going to come. And it’s been, I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’ve lost a few friends along the way for, you know, there’s been some challenges in may and you know, I think definitely these kind of situations really define who you are, who your true friends are.

So again, the example I’ll start thinking of, I really need to take the boys on holiday during the six weeks holiday. They’ve not as a holiday three years, then it, you know, they need to go focus, never really being on holiday. And I was debating it. I was like, how am I going to cope with them? Both.

There’s two of them. There’s one of me. So I’ve roped my friends in. We went last week. I wrote my friends into to go to Wales. And so on the beach, her little boy, my friends who are the friends and her little girl, and we had an absolute wild at the time, but the old me would have just been like, I’ll just go have a horrible week, fall out with the kids. And I was like, you know what? It’s makes perfect sense. They were all stopping in an apartment together

triena: And then they had other kids to play with. It’s like a win-win for everyone.

Emma: time. The boys had a great time and, again, the holiday for me was one of those. I’m doing all of this really hard work and putting all of this effort in the boys, who’ve got to get some sort of mom time back you know, and it’s great.

Now from September, they won’t have to go to before school. I now know I can do what I need to do within those hours and a little bit on a nighttime when I’m in bed. So again, that for me is that’s a massive win, but we’ve got two years of pain to get to that, that point.

triena: How do you find the pacing with that though? Cause I find like what you’re seeing is, so it’s, it’s absolutely bang on in terms of the, the work-life balance, right? That like, if there is such a thing, right? Like it’s the, I find the pacing is something that, that is the tricky part, which is. How do you not, you know, work that extra hour when the kids are there? Or how do you, how do you lock in that protected time? I guess, like how, how have you been able to manage that? Cause that’s a, that’s a difficult

Emma: I think for me it’s been really, really strict with myself. So not only if I set the business up and done that I’ve gone on a real health kick as well. So I’m not back at the gym and, and everything is quite regimen. By default within the business, all of the ladies that I employ, women, moms, women, and moms.

Now it’s not, we’ve not, I’m not going out and thought I’m just going to include moms, but they’ve all continued as they want. They want to be a good mom. They want to Korea and they need to work life balance. So when the kids are sick, they need to just be able to go, you know, Lay’s who works for me, she virtually does the same, just the school, Renee, the size, and then speaks to our contractors on a nighttime.

And actually that works really, really well because the contract, is it a valuable to speak then? And a lot of the girls within the office flex between working at home, working in the office, working around the children, as I say, COVID was kind the, the, the real catalyst for me, because pre COVID, I was very much, if the boys are sick, I’ve got a guy.

If I’ve got a guy, I’ve got a lot of clients down because I’m not in an office working in an office. that was very much if I’m working for somebody. And I have to let the client down as somebody in the background that can then pick that up during COVID everything went on to, to teams. Clients were working at home with their children candidates, working at home with their children. So it very much changed people’s perceptive. I think

triena: It was okay to hear the kids crying or the dog barking cause everyone was at home. Right. So

Emma: you know, and I think also I’m the type of person I’ll come into the office. And nine times out of 10, when you’re in the office for eight hours, you probably actually worked six of them because by the time you had a cup of tea and by the chat about what your day and you know, and then,

triena: yeah, sometimes it would avoid the office just because I couldn’t afford to lose those two hours. Right. And like, if I go in there, I ain’t going to get this work done.

Emma: me, kind of like actually when I’m in the office, I’m not right girls don’t talk to me. And that I think again, working with moms that get it and understand that we’re all the same. So it’s like we get to the end of the day I, WhatsApp chat is probably be more non-work-related than anything.

And that’s just catching up on stuff that we didn’t have a conversation with on the day. Well, we’ll cook you dinner. You know, so it’s like, what are you having for dinner tonight happens while we’re having dinner? You know? I think the world shifted during COVID and that gave me the strength to go, you know what, actually I could set up on my own and I could just see if this will work.

triena: And I know a lot of people will say I’ve been looking at some research about this just because I have access to a university library right now. And it’s just super fun for me to geek out on this stuff. there’s always the argument from the employer perspective that productivity is going to decrease and retention.

Isn’t going to be the same, but some of the research, I think we’re going to see more of that come out is so I guess I’m curious about what your experiences of this as an employer. What does that look like? Like our productivity is that is have the people stepped up and grown in different ways. Cause I feel like this is kind of a way to let people, it’s a really powerful way of leadership. Right? Cause you’re the, you’re the employer, but they have all of this self-determination to get the job done in a way that’s meaningful

Emma: do you. know, I, we have a role in the office where they can work wherever they want. So if they want to work at home, they were hiding from want to work in the pub. They’re working. I’m not bothered. As long as the work’s done, treat them like adults they’ll get the job done and they do, you know, they deliver, I’d say to anyone out. Employer mom that wants to career because that you’re doing their children and the kids, you know, that don’t get me wrong. There’s times when it’s nightmare, the six weeks holiday, you know, juggling childcare.

And all of that is, is a bit of a nightmare. But what I get back there, the side, the loyalty that I get back from the girls their passion and their enthusiasm, you know, originally the business was my reputation. It’s now their reputation. and the bits that I’ll get back from them, it is worth the hassle of I’m sorry, I can’t come and stack so that one’s not very well.

just that work-life balance is so important to people. And I think the employers that get on board with that, don’t get me wrong. There’s some jobs where if you’re in a factory, you’re in a factory. If you’re doing an assembly can’t do that from home, but where you can offer the flexibility, I think genuinely works really well.

Muhammad: it looks like what you’re doing now. I’m by the looks of it is you’re a, you’re starting to build your community now. you using the same, it seems logic of, you know, the, the village to raise child. Right. Use some of the same old age, old, you know, ideas and strategies, and being able to, you know, to navigate through some of these, you know, kind of opportunities or challenges that you’re meeting . As an individual, as a mom and that’s central to your life.

What sort of challenges do you see yourself facing there today that you still looking at going? Ugh. You know, you have moments that you struggle through or does it all now just kind of work itself out and you look up community and often.

Emma: I think the hardest thing is that unplanned time off. So the six weeks holiday, I knew it was going to be a challenge. So I’ve got my roaster, the girls have got the rose, so they know where around where the boys are. You know, when I’m in the office, when I’m not in there, the hardest thing is when the phone rings and nurseries on the phone or scores on the phone and it’s Freddie sick.

Can you come and get him? Because back to being in a corporate world, for me, one of the main reasons I didn’t go back was because I knew that me, them having to ring my boss and say, I need to leave or I’m not coming in stacks a little. One’s not very well wouldn’t be received. And, you know, I would feel as a mom, you feel guilty anyway, you’ve sent your child in probably knowing that they’re, they’re not quite right, but you’ve got to get in and you’ve got to get to the office.

And then, you know, you’ve then got that, that guilt of the child’s not very well. So they want you, but then you let letting the boss down because you know, if it’s safe now, whenever any of my girls ring me and say that their child’s sick it’s out, right. Go deal with that. We’ll pick up from here. I’m all sorted out when you back in there’s no.

What time you coming back in? Who’s gonna have the little one. Cause I get as a mom, I get it. I definitely pull more on the resources around me, so, you know, my mom’s brilliant. If she can help, she left, you know, if the sick she left the kids their dad started to come a little bit more onsite. I mean, he works in the construction industry and that’s so I 80 so way back, you know, that mom should be at home cooking the tea and we’ll ask the kids said, why have you got to go where where’s the mom?

You know, that is still not that type of industry. So again, I kind of see that from both both a male and female perspective. some days when you’ve got a little one that’s staffed and you’ve got a client that wants you and, and you know, and you’ve been pulled from politicos is it’s really, really hard, but again, you just have to that’s just one day, write that day off and start fresh the next day.

Muhammad: I’m trying to find, to get to how Emma processes it right. You know, the Emma of today versus the Emma then w w what sort of, what sort of yeah. Change do you have in terms of your process or the way you, the way you, you know, you playbook through

Emma: definitely when a situation comes up now. So I’m the type of person that, because I’m impulsive is probably the best word. So when some things like, you know, I’ve run it a hundred miles an hour all the time, so it started. Right. What’s the next thing. What’s the next thing. So when something comes off, it’d be like, right.

Just, just deal with it and then move on. Now I’m very much actually stopped probably again, part the CBT with stop. Think about right. What’s the best solution for this? Not what’s the quickest solution. What’s the best solution for this. So it’s that stop right. Having a real good think about it. And sometimes.

I’ve always been the type of person that likes to my inbox and my emails is completely clean every day without fail, you know, delete the stuff that’s not needed, follow the stuff that is needed. that’s my to do list, you know, and my, my brain has to be the same. So it’s like, if something’s happened or something’s like going off, I need to deal with it there.

And then one of the things I’ve definitely learned is actually does it, does it need a response right now? Like if I try to leave and to leave that there, take the emotion out of it and then come back to it later on I used to fight every battle. Every battle I had to win. Now it’s not winning it’s sometimes it’s actually winning is letting it go.

triena: Yeah. Knowing where to put your energy.

Muhammad: you know, when, when we’re training in TaeKwonDo, we say sometimes they say actually the, the, the greatest victory is the one in which you had, you did not have to fight at all. Right. so that’s interesting that the need to have the win versus letting it, letting it go. I hear that coming up time and time again, I love how you’ve said, you know, learning how to say no. it’s amazing how you, as a people pleaser, you would say, you’re learning to say no to others, but you’ve probably also learned to master, to say no to Like you have this thing, you found that to be like, sometimes like the hardest part to say no to yourself.

Emma: Yeah, definitely cause it’s that internal battle of, I want to go and do that, but actually I’m a, you don’t, you don’t want to go and do that. You know, you notice that you’ve got you look at a month and all of a sudden, every weekend full of doing something and then you’ve got a full on month at work as well, and you get to them and you’re absolutely exhausted and you’re not fit, you know, physically not feeling right.

Mentally, not feeling great. And again, I’m like, no, just stop, slow down. Which ones do you really want to do on which one’s going to get rid of? And again, I think you go through those, those stages. I remember my myself really, really poorly when I was in, in the state agency because I’ve just had that three months of, I’ve got to be the best I’ve got to win the league.

You know, I’ve got to, the brunch was doing poorly the year that I took it over and you know, and then actually what that, what I did to myself was making herself physically. Really really poorly. And I just thought that was again, almost one of those lessons of what could you do that to win a league? Like

triena: Yeah. And that’s the thing, people don’t talk about that is that stress we put on herself manifest and physiological symptoms a lot of the time. Right.

Muhammad: So it’s interesting while, while circumstance can be, you know, the enemy, sometimes we are like the biggest, you know, obstacle to our own success, either driving our, in, in your case, over driving yourself. And, and all there had to be was like a catalyst of the character or whatever you want to call it, but it was really us. what’s next for.

Emma: I don’t know. I think you’ve just going to keep building, building main tech, keep, keep the business building. Next year at the beginning of next year, I’m definitely . That is, that is solid, is going to happen. You know, and just, just keep building it. Hopefully I’ll have an army of moms working for me, maybe some dads too. They’re really nice, you know, so you get some, dads that want to come in, you know, share the parents. But yeah, just keep building the business and keep, you know, keep, keep pushing it.

Muhammad: what You sound like. You’re in such a great place right now. And, and congratulations on all of your achievements. This is. Phenomenal for somebody who’s come from where they’ve come from. Like just first of all, the long game, like what you’ve been through all in life. And then even in the short term, you know, what have you been able to accomplish in the short term speaks volumes to your, your sense of, you know, focus and your, your sense of perseverance and resilience.

sound like you’ve got this balance, like you’re very calm, your energy is very, very calm. when you know you see others, you know, have having gone through something similar as what you’ve gone through, there’s so many people going through something look at you and they might say, Emma, you know you got a little lucky. You, you had, you know, your mom you had a business partner, Darren, I’ve heard you say that name.

You know, you’ve had these people around you to be able to get you, and they may feel that they don’t have, that support system around them. Knowing what you know now and having gone through it, what would your, your thought be to them? What would your insight or advice be if they didn’t have these things, how would you get through

Emma: to just reach out that, you know, that one in particular was a real thought through when I was at I’m going to sell Homeland. I know, I know. We want to remind me. And I could be looking back now a hundred percent, could’ve done it on my own in terms of getting the business set off and, and billing. I wouldn’t be as rounded as I am now.

I wouldn’t have got through the hurdles that I’ve gone through quickly without having that experience. They’re lucky that he’s got 15 years experience on top of mine, you know, probably lost a little bit in terms of taking the business partner wrong, but emotionally and you know, and that bit of it actually has been, been brilliant.

So, you know, talking through a situation with somebody else is, is perfect. Now I’ve said to all my friends, I’m that person that everyone goes to when they want wants some advice, you know, and I’m brilliant at giving the advice, but they’re just not taking it myself. So it just sat, there are, you know, the people out there that that will help doesn’t matter what situation you’re in.

There will be somebody out there that will listen and that will, that will genuinely help. If you’re struggling you know, definitely reach out. I mean, I’m really lucky position where I have gotten my mom, but we don’t have a great relationship with my dad, you know, and that kind of had to go deal with that side of things growing up. That bit’s tough. It’s that is just, just life. Isn’t it.

Muhammad: you, You sound like you’ve got a great plan. You things together, your, your priorities versus urgencies, you’re dealing with them. How could anything be overwhelming anymore?

Emma: Uh, this weekend got back from holiday and the man had got the boys, so I decided to rearrange their bedrooms. Cause that was a great one today. And then Fred comes time and he thought, I don’t know, I don’t know, perpetuate. I’m going to sleep in your beds and I’m not. No, no, you’re not.

And I’m, you know, ringing my friend. I can’t get this kid to sleep in his own bed. If you look at my LinkedIn post today. So I said to him, last night, you must stay in your room and he’s laid on the floor and he’s got one little leg out of his door. And the rest of his body is that for me, that’s a win that easy.

Ask them today. You know, I’m thinking all right to say. You don’t know? I think I used to be like hat to know everything and a hat to be able to, have the answers to everything sometimes it’s okay. Just to go. I don’t, I don’t know. They just help me.

Muhammad: so it’s interesting, you kind of, as these challenges, they don’t really actually seem to necessarily go away. There’s always a, a part of our circumstances that are, that are pulling at our, at our balance. Right. And I think that’s, that’s the trick is to recognize when, when this is something that’s taking me off my balance to, to either ignore it or to sort of say, I’ll get to it later, or, you know, here’s how, how much of it I’m going to let in right now, So I think that’s fantastic that you do that. Yeah. Any last thoughts or, or, or for words that that you feel in terms of your journey that have been like, paramount to, you know, your, your discoveries that, that you’ve had over the last little while.

Emma: probably not do it all at once. You know, if you’re going to set a business up and have tiny children and spit off from your partner, maybe. Did one in the same This

triena: Thanks yourself.

Emma: going to give anyone any inbox.

Muhammad: do, as I say, as I do

triena: yeah. And somebody said that to you, Emma, what would you

Emma: I have trouble finding it all.

Muhammad: You’d probably just call it it. Right. So that’s just, it, I that’s beauty of it. I mean, that’s, that’s life, that’s the journey. Right. So good on you. And thank you so much for the time, good to hear these conversations. Just how simple you keep it. I think that’s really like the thing that I take away from it all is that you don’t seem to. I think that you’re saying anything new or groundbreaking or that there’s some new idea, but, but that’s just, it sometimes is that that doesn’t have to be new ideas. It’s just being able to trust some of the good old ones that are there even if they’re applied as, you know, as normally, or as, you know, with, with the fault of average, you know, thought um, but they’re, they are, and they do