Casey Patch is the founder of Little Lifelong Learners where she supports parents to inject more play into their days at home with their little learners! As an early years teacher and parent to three young children herself, she is passionate about using play as a way to slow down and create magical memories to treasure for a lifetime!
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Thank you for joining us, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Casey Patch: My name is Casey and I’m the founder of Little Lifelong Learners where I support parents to slow down and connect with their children through play! I’m also a published author and support hundreds of parents across the world inside my membership, the Little Play Club!
Can you tell our readers in what ways you are disrupting your industry?
Casey Patch: I predominately work with parents as a coach inside my Little Play Club membership. Parenting can be such an isolating journey, especially in those early years and even more so throughout a global pandemic where many parents found themselves suddenly disconnected from the support networks they would usually lean on. I am facilitating a beautiful, intimate community where parents across the world come together to talk about all things play, learning and development. Kind of like a mother’s group but online!
Many women really struggle to find careers that are flexible when they become mothers. So we’re seeing a huge rise in small businesses run by mother’s who are creating these incredible empires during their baby’s nap time! As their family grows, they’re scaling these businesses which eventually sustain their whole family unit. Three years ago, I was able to scale my business to a point where my husband was also able to leave his fulltime position in the trade industry to also join me at home with our own little learners. It is truly such an amazing thing to be parenting AND running a business with him by my side. A business that allows us total flexibility to drop in and out during periods where our young family needs us more like school holidays!
Did you become a disruptor by choice or by necessity? Tell us more about the journey.
Casey Patch: It was definitely by necessity in the early days! I had originally started my business as a bit of a side hobby. I was teaching in the classroom fulltime and was blogging about all the fun things I got up to with my students. I created a few simple digital products which I sold to teachers to not only save them time, but take the guesswork out of planning. When I fell pregnant with my daughter, I lost my teaching contract so I decided to work on turning my hobby into an actual business while I did some relief work on the side.
Fast forward a few years later, we had our second child and money was getting very tight. I knew it was time for me to start investing in my business so that I could grow it faster and be able to supplement our family income. We always knew I’d stay at home with our children but we also knew that we couldn’t continue the way we were going! I spent a lot of time doing courses and learning about the other aspects of business like branding, email marketing, Pinterest, Instagram.
I very quickly found a niche I loved which was play and parenting…and from there, my business boomed! It certainly wasn’t an overnight success but it has been such an incredible journey getting to this point!
Now for the main focus of this interview: Many readers may wonder what are the biggest challenges women entrepreneurs must overcome to be successful?
Casey Patch: I think the biggest thing is time, especially if you have a young family. Quite often, women are left to raise kids and that alone is a fulltime job…so it doesn’t leave a lot of time for women to also run successful businesses!
I have always been very fortunate to have a husband who saw the value and the possibilities for my business so he has always wholeheartedly supported me in my business endeavors. But many women don’t have that support from their significant others. They’re left to juggle the kids, the housework, the birthday gifts, the soccer games – the mental load is significant so there’s not a lot left over for building an incredible business!
How did you overcome these obstacles? Who helped you during these difficult times and how did they?
Casey Patch: I honestly just had to prioritise what I felt was important! I created an ideal work week where I sat down and mapped out the really important family time first. I looked at how many nap times I had in a week and how I could get support from loved ones to give me some longer stints of focused time to work on scaling my business too. I would spend 1-2 days a week doing professional development and learning to make sure I wasn’t spending too much time *in* my business and spent a decent amount of time working *on* the business to ensure its growth.
How did these lessons shaped the way you conduct business today?
Casey Patch: I went through a stage where I felt like I had to live and breathe business any time my children were happy and content. I’d work when they napped. I’d work when they went to bed. I’d work weekends when my husband was home to look after the kids. But I very quickly burnt out and realised that kind of hustle culture isn’t sustainable. So now I make sure that when our children are in bed for the night, I don’t work.
I spend time filling my own bucket and ensuring I’m winding down and taking care of myself – without giving myself time and space away from parenting AND running a business, I can’t give anyone my best. When I’m well rested and take those creative breaks, I’m more able to give the best version of myself not only to my husband and children, but to the parents I support every day inside my business!
What advice you wished you had received when you started, that you’d like to share now with aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Casey Patch: That it’s okay to take things slow! Small steps each day add up to huge shifts and growth over 6 months, 1 year and 5 years. Success doesn’t come overnight but it does come to those with a clear vision. So keep checking in on those big goals and make sure you’re taking steps towards that incredible vision each and every day!
Out of all of your proudest moments as an entrepreneur, is there a particular one that stands out the most?
Casey Patch: Definitely buying our first home! It’s something I had on my vision board for many years and I never imagined my business would enable us to reach that incredible milestone. Handing over all my business financials to the bank and showing them that women can run highly profitable businesses was probably my proudest moment!
What do you plan on tackling during the 2022 year? Share your goals and battles you expect to face.
Casey Patch: This year is all about ease. Over the last 10 years, I’ve spent a lot of time trying new things and testing to see what works and what doesn’t work for me. As a result, my business has become pretty complicated haha so my plan this year is to really fine tune. We have some incredible income streams that I’d like to focus more on in 2022 to ensure that our business is allowing us to live a life that feels fun and easy!
I’m sure our readers will be very thankful for the insights you have shared. What is the best book you’ve gone through lately and please share some take away lessons from it.
Casey Patch: I’m honestly not much of a reader! I much prefer video content in the form of video courses!
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, I do have one more question for you. When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?
Casey Patch: Ohh I had to really think about this one! I actually just signed up for my first business mastermind experience which I’m really looking forward to. It’s the biggest investment I’ve made into my business outside of my visual branding so it was a little scary but I’m SO excited about the possibilities!
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Casey Patch for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Casey Patch or her company, you can do it through her – Facebook
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