From Burn Out to Bite Back

From Burn Out to Bite Back

I just got burnt – and I got burnt real bad! But just call me Phoenix because I am arising from my ashes.

If you’re a loyal reader over on my blog, or even just on my social media posts, you will know I’ve had a tough year!

Most entrepreneurs struggle in the early days of their business, usually in the start up stage when they are trying to fully equip for their needs or obtain new clients.

But in true Ivy Wood style (Ivy Wood being my alter ego here) I of course have to be different.

Years 1 – 5, yep perfect! No qualms! Aced it and I loved being a business owner. Year 6, fall flat on my face!

But I am getting myself ready to bite back and take my business to exactly where I want it to be!

Here’s what I have planned for the next few months ahead:

Magic my Mindset

I’ve been working on my mindset now for a few months. This year I’ve taken a new approach and have been undergoing hypnotherapy with the lovely Dee Go who has a treatment room in my building. We’ve been working together and improving both my spiritual awakening and also my confidence and self belief. If you haven’t tried meditation or hypnotherapy before I would highly recommend both treatments. I still need to put more efforts into journaling and gratitude but overall I am beginning to feel a shift in my mindset. And I can definitely vouch for the law of attraction too…

Build up my Team!

To have 100 active accountancy clients all by myself was an incredible achievement! But bloody difficult! I was so relieved when my lovely apprentice came on board in October! The difference it has made is HUGE and in fact come January she was ploughing through the data entry and I just couldn’t keep up with her. February is usually my quietest month, but not in 2018. I therefore made the hefty decision to employ another 2 staff members. We have a payroll Pixie who will be joining us on a weekly basis looking after our client payroll procedures and also an in house admin assistant who will be keeping the work order all in check. Exciting!!

Charge my Worth

This is one of the biggest changes I plan on making. I set my rates 6 years ago when I had zero overheads – I worked from the back bedroom with very basic, no frills and completely free bookkeeping and accountancy software. Would you believe me if I told you I’ve never increased my prices? Despite now having a plush new office, all singing and dancing software, staff members, pricey investments in my personal development amongst everything else. Crazy I know! And by the time I add in my full time childcare fees for 2 children I work at break even. Unfortunately I’ve had to learn the hard way and what I’ve come to realise is when you undervalue yourself, people will undervalue you even more! This is my time and I am now going to value myself. From now on if people are not appreciative they are no longer worthy of my time. Time is precious and I need to use it wisely.

Passive Income Streams

For those few that think my business is run purely for monetary rewards please feel free to come check out my bank balance – you’ll soon see other wise! But at the end of the day this is my business, not my hobby and I need to start earning a living. I’ve already mentioned a price increase but as I’m a nurturer and I want to help others more it won’t have a huge impact to my bottom line. That’s why I’ve created several passive income streams to boost up my bank balance. Over the next few months expect to see some exciting online course including ‘How to file your tax return in 6 weeks‘, ‘Bite Size Business School‘ and also a community for small business owners who enjoy preparing their own bookkeeping but just need that little help along the way.


I am on a mission to inspire others! This has been my purpose for the last 6/7 months and I’m really passionate about it. I’ve been through the highs and the lows, I’ve over come hurdles, negativity but still pushed on to reached my achievements. I want to share my experiences with others and help them on a day to day basis. I’ve already co authored Mumpreneur on Fire 2 – which is a no 1 Amazon top seller. The book consists of 20 inspirational stories for mums in business. But I don’t want to stop there! I want to reach out of my comfort zone and feature in many more articles and publications and even possible public speaking gigs! Eek!

Family Time

And last but not least I am incorporating family time into every day life. Obviously I spend time with my family on a daily basis but what I mean is quality family time. Declan and Isla are both out of the house from 8:30 until 18:00 and I miss them. We’ve had a family shake up these last few weeks so I finally introduced an hour each day at the kitchen table either playing games, reading, colouring and have a chit chat over a cup of tea and some biscuits! It’s been lush and so far so good. My aim is to only work school hours by the end of 2018 and now I have a budding team, I don’t see why this wouldn’t be achievable!!

I’ve had some amazing support from the network around me! For every negative set back I’ve had 10 positives pushing me forward! If you’re suffering the burn out too just remember you are not alone and there will be people around you to pick you back up, you just need to look in the right places!

You’ve got this ladies – just bite back! And bite hard!

(But don’t tell my toddler I said that (oops!))

How to Avoid Mumpreneur Business Burn Out

How to Avoid Mumpreneur Business Burn Out

The life of a mumpreneur is certainly never dull and rarely quiet. This hectic lifestyle can be exciting, exhilarating, extremely rewarding and utterly exhausting all at the same time! Mostly we just about manage juggling everything but there are times when we push ourselves too far and risk dropping all the balls; this is business burn out.

What use are we as a mother, a business owner, a wife, daughter, sister, friend then? What use are we to anyone if we have reached the end of our tether and just can’t function like a human anymore?

In this post I will share with you my top 5 tips to avoid business burn out as a mumpreneur and stay in control.

1.      Get your systems in order

Being disorganised is linked to feelings of confusion and overwhelm. One of the first steps to taking back control is to organise yourself. This means your desk, your diary, your paperwork and even the files on your computer. It also helps to take this approach with other parts of your life outside of business including your wardrobe, the kid’s toys or the kitchen cupboards.

The catch is this means taking time out of your day to day business and this is what prevents many business owners taking this proactive step. We worry that if we stop for just a moment, we step out of the race and we somehow loose. The truth is that at times, stopping is the most powerful, productive step we can take. 

Stopping to organise yourself will give you the chance to take stock of where you are and where you are going, to organise your systems and make them more efficient. It might take you a day to organise your desk but it could save you endless hours looking for things in the long run.

If organising everything in one go is too much just tackle one thing a week. As you make progress you will feel more in control and motivated to organise other areas of your life.

2.      Block out time for you

Look in your diary; between work commitments and activities with the kids, find time for you. Physically block this time out and do not allow other appointments to be booked at the same time.

Use this time to connect with yourself; take a bath, do some yoga, take a walk, meditate. Do whatever feels good and ideally do it alone. Although meeting with friends and spending time with family is a very positive thing, you need time with just your own thoughts too.  Allowing time and space to just be, is proven to be good for the brain, when we are around other people we might be trying to solve their problems or adjust our behaviour to meet their needs, when you are on your own, you have no one to impress but yourself.

The bonus of this alone time is that people often find their most inspired business ideas come to them in solitude; they simply gave themselves the opportunity to listen to their thoughts, the results of which can be magic.

3.      Prioritise

You may have an absolutely huge to do list and if you’re anything like me, you will never get to the bottom of it. Think carefully at the beginning of each day; what are the three most important things that need to be done by sundown? Prioritise these and then anything else that is achieved is a bonus.

We all know how some days simply don’t go to plan, it might be the husband, the children or a client, but we can find ourselves tackling tasks we never considered necessary at the beginning of the day. This is why the prioritising is important; no matter what happens you can surely complete three tasks; this will stop you feeling like a failure when you don’t tick everything off.

4.      Be assertive

Saying no is difficult as a business owner; the fear is that if we turn down work then we lose customers and our business completely fails. The reality is though that if we take on too much we are not able to complete the work to the best of our abilities. The result will be dissatisfied customers which is far more dangerous for our business than politely turning down work.

Know how much work you can genuinely handle and if your work load is getting too much simply communicate with any new customers that you are fully booked for x amount of time. Be clear when you will be available and be flexible in your approach offering them space when your diary is clearer.

If you communicate well and they are willing to wait for your services then fabulous, but if they go elsewhere, don’t worry about it. Saying no (nicely) gives you the time and space to look after your current customers, your family and yourself to the high standard you all deserve.

5.      Outsource

If you feel like you are swimming upstream trying to tackle a side of your business that doesn’t bring you joy, you will probably waste hours and not get anywhere fast. There is a myth with outsourcing that it’s expensive but if you consider the time you save going around in circles and the speed in which an expert can do the same thing, it is actually a cost effective way of spending money. You could be using your time much more effectively and physically growing your business as a result.

This might include content writing, social media or, your tax return or your accounts. Recognise what doesn’t excite you and find the right man (or lady) for the job.

Here at Mums Tax Break, we specialise in keeping your accounts well organised, balanced and up to date. If this is an area of your business that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and on the verge of burn out – get in touch for a free consultation, email us at

How I Changed My Money Mindset With Denise Duffield Thomas

How I Changed My Money Mindset With Denise Duffield Thomas

I had big plans for April being the start of the new tax year, new software, new financial goals in place and some amazing blog ideas! 

It started off so well but come the weekend of Isla’s 3rd birthday party things started to slip! 

If you know me through social media you may have already picked up on my month long April bad mood – I felt over worked, over tired, over-stretched and basically just over crappy! And cash flow was non-existent just to add to the pain. This put me under immense pressure and my bills were bouncing back left, right and centre.

I’ve been a HUGE fan of Denise Duffield Thomas for nearly 2 years after reading Get Rich Lucky Bitch.

For those of you that haven’t heard of DDT, Denise is a well-known money mindset mentor.

The book Get Rich Lucky Bitch gives you an insight into how to become an amazing manifester just like Denise herself. It guides you through setting goals, clearing away bad money experiences and habits, feeling good about money and upgrading your life. 

I’ve tried on so many occasions to put everything into action but failed miserably. So it was without a doubt that when DDT announced in February that she was doing a live event in London in April I immediately booked myself a ticket and arranged travel arrangements. 

And the excitement didn’t stop there either – I was also crazy enough to join on to her Lucky Bitch Bootcamp! 

So back to my bad month, the event was on the last Saturday of April and come the Friday I spoke with my mum about childcare arrangements to find out we had crossed wires and she couldn’t have the kids overnight for me to catch my coach first thing Saturday morning! I was gutted, I had no one else available and spent the entire night crying, I felt like I was at rock bottom.

Saturday morning came and my Facebook news feed was jam-packed with so many amazing women all excited to be heading to London, Again non-stop tears! 

I don’t know what made me check my bank balance after such a bad month for money, but I did and to my amazement, I’d been paid £45 – Not a huge deal but after some googling was the exact amount I needed to get a one-way train ticket to London! Within the hour I’d managed to brush myself off, get the kiddies ready and off to my mums and found myself clutching my book as my train left for Paddington! 

money mindset, denise duffield thomas, mums tax break, accountant, accounting, loa, manifesting, manifestation

Had I really just manifested something? 

The event was amazing, So many inspiring women feeling empowered by Denise’s talk! And it keeps getting better, I had the opportunity to meet DDT, have a photo and she signed my book! 

I came home on the coach as originally planned and I could feel a huge shift in my energy! Even though I was absolutely exhausted, I felt a huge relief and I just needed sleep (I did actually drift off and woke myself up snoring – Oops)! May was going to be a new month for me and I was determined to leave Aprils troubles behind me. 

Late afternoon on bank holiday Monday – May 1st, The long anticipated welcome email for bootcamp came through! I was officially in and so excited…

In the introduction video, DDT quoted 

“Some people start learning lessons the day they start bootcamp” This hit a real nerve and I straight away opened my lucky bitch money tracker app and set myself an income goal for May! 

And what can I say, by the Saturday – May 6th for the first time ever I hit that income goal, in less than a week! 

All I had done in those 6 days was listen to the money mantra subliminal meditation each night as I fell asleep.

Had I really just manifested something? Again? 

I really couldn’t tell you for sure, I think I did, I hope I did.

This week I’ve pencilled in some time to start the weekly bootcamp exercises, I will keep you updated throughout the process and will share with you all of my money wins and successes! 

I’m planning on conjuring up an iPad Pro, gold addition to match my iPhone! I would say wish me luck but I’m going on the assumption I’ve already got it – just call me Lucky Bitch! 

If you fancy joining me on the above journey you can find more information on the Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp here Please let us know in the comments if you sign up and how you are getting on.

Until next time, Happy manifesting, Iona Xx

Oh and P.S Did I tell you Isla’s birthday was the weekend of April 9th! Coincidence or what that my entire crappy few weeks was the exact dates of the second mercury retrograde for the year? Now that’s another blog post in its own right! Argh! 

14 Ways for a mumpreneur to fall back in love with her business!

14 Ways for a mumpreneur to fall back in love with her business!

As we approach the last week of February we are saying goodbye to our monthly valentines theme for February but before we do I have a belated small valentines day gift from me to you.



A Mumpreneur – A woman who sets up and runs her own business in addition to caring for her young child or children.

Running a business, I think is hard enough for anybody, but throw in raising a family and looking after a home on top of that is on another level hard.

As a 'mumpreneur' I have been through many highs and lows, with lots of different challenges to face, I have very often come home feeling on top of the world but equally come home in tears wondering if I should instead find a job.

We very often start a business we desire with lots of hard work, commitment, passion and with the idea in mind we are doing the best for our children whilst being at home. It gives us instant flexibility and as a mum of young children there is no greater gift. Being a mum boss, working from home it means we don't have to worry about school pick-ups, school holidays, sick days and the rest.

Instead what we do feel (and not realising what we are letting ourselves in for) is an overwhelming amount of guilt, stress, financial pressures, excessive work hours, and tiresome days. All of these can sometimes create a build-up of resentment aimed at our businesses.

I am going to share with you a few of my own experiences and best advice I can give as a fellow mumpreneur. By no means am I implying I have all the answers as I am pretty sure I have many more bumps in the road to overcome myself.

Before my final goodbyes for this month… I thought I would leave you with a hint of what is to come for March 2017, We will of course be celebrating mothers day in style with some information and advice regarding maternity allowance.

To download the fabulous and free 16 page e-Book ’14 Ways for a mumpreneur to fall back in love with her business’ all you need to do is enter your name and email and as if by magic the link will appear below for you to open in a separate window.




Feel Fab February

Feel Fab February

Happy February, I can’t believe how fast January passed…


For those of you who don’t know already, I run a small bookkeeping and accountancy practice in Newport, South Wales as well as keeping the Mums Tax Break blog. January 2017 has most definitely been a record month at Ivy Wood with a total of 32 self-assessment tax returns passing through! I only had 50 to file in total so as you can imagine there has been a lot of late nights, early mornings and weekend working! I took on 5 new clients and registered 3 new businesses… Hopefully the momentum will keep up throughout the year.


The blog theme for February here at ‘Mums Tax Break’ is obviously going to be based around valentine’s day and our main read a bit closer to the big day will be based around the marriage allowance – Hopefully we can save a few of you some extra pennies. But for now, we’ll be talking about how important it is to love yourself.



I was lucky enough to attend a ‘De-stress and beginners Meditation’ work shop at Past and Beyond towards the end of last year and the main thing I took away from that experience was that I don’t look after myself. My main priorities in life are looking after the kiddies and running the business. It was a scary moment when I realised that if I was to just crash and burn out one day all the hard work I’ve put it would be for nothing as not only would my kids suffer but who would look after Ivy Wood.


It hit the nail on the head even more when I went back to have my chakras balanced (sounds scary, but amazing) and the spirit guide advised that I needed to drink more water. I came out of the salon at 15:20 that afternoon when it dawned on me that I hadn’t eaten or drank a thing that day!


Now I am no expert but even I know that isn’t healthy but that was just the norm for the life I’ve built myself – I wake up of a morning, make sure the kids are fed, dressed and out of the door on time for nursery or school, I head straight over to the office or off with a client and get engrossed with my work all day before leaving again for the school run. I’d survive throughout the day on the occasional tea, coffee and biscuit and It’s only at tea time that I will sit down and eat a proper meal.


As a result of working with Trish at Past and Beyond one of my goals for 2017 was to be more mindful, to be more at ease and look after my own health. Obviously, that went out of the window throughout January so to kick start that in February I’ve come up with the idea of ‘Feel Fab Feb’.


Every day throughout February I will be posting on social media a ‘Feel Fab Feb’ task with the thought in mind of giving you a time out to take care of yourself. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the following @mumstaxbreak or you can click one of the social media icons that are hovered around the blog!


Day 1 of ‘Feel Fab Feb’ is take yourself to bed early tonight, it doesn’t seem like a big deal but I’m confident you will feel a difference in the morning. For me personally, it is much needed right now. Ideally, I would like an extra in bed in the morning but hey I’m a mum, you’re a mum and we have school run duties!