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How to have a work-life balance despite running your business

Hello, it’s Scott Trevethan here from Scott Partners. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Marisa Punshon from Miss Moneypenny Presents. In this interview, we discover the importance of having business structures or processes in order to make the business sustainable and how this can also empower working mums to not only grow their business but being available parent for their children as well.

Important Links:

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Small Business Heroes Facebook Group

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SCOTT: Welcome, everybody, to the Small Business Heroes Show, where we talk about everything to help your small business grow and prosper. I’m your host, Scott Trevethan, and today I’m talking to Marisa Garra-Punshon.

Now, Marisa is a small business consultant that works with business owners to create more cash in their business, increase their profits, and make their business sustainable. She runs two entities, Orbit Accounts and Miss Moneypenny Presents. Her approach is holistic, as she combines small business finance with cloud software implementation in helping people reach their life goals.

So, welcome, Marisa. I’ve just given everyone a brief overview of yourself. I’m just wondering if you could take a moment to expand upon the type of work you do and the type of clients that you work with.

MARISA: Hello, Scott. Thank you for having me, first of all.

SCOTT: Lovely to have you.

MARISA: Scott, the people that I generally work with are small business owners, and my biggest – I suppose you could say the biggest catchment is people that have started up their own small business with a passion to do what they love doing, and they’ve got into that business a year, a year and a half, and they’ve realized that they don’t have the structures or the processes in order to make that business sustainable. So the passion is no longer there anymore.

SCOTT: Yep. They’re getting bogged down by all of the everyday tasks that they hate doing.

MARISA: Absolutely, yes.

SCOTT: We can all relate to that.

MARISA: Yes, exactly. It’s one of the things that small business owners do face. [laughs] Tell me about it; I know, I’ve been there. So what I do is I help people move away from being constantly caught up working in their business, and I then take them to the place where they’re able to manage their business, grow their business, increase their cash flow, increase their profits, and actually get paid to do what they love doing.

SCOTT: Wow. I love it.

MARISA: Yeah. [laughs]

SCOTT: When you started out in business, what were you hoping to achieve? And what’s the vision for the business right now?

MARISA: Okay. When I started out in business, I really wanted to achieve a work-life balance, because I have two young children. I wanted to be able to make money, pursue my own career and my own passion to run a business, but also be there for my children. So that’s why I decided – which is really funny, because a lot of people do say that starting up a small business will give them the flexibility, but what I found was in some ways, it might’ve been easier to actually stay employed, because I got caught up –

SCOTT: Everyone finds that out. [laughs]

MARISA: Yeah, exactly. I thought it was going to be easy, but it wasn’t. And that’s what I learnt myself; I got caught up in my business, and I learnt the hard way that you have to put systems and processes in place so then you can have that – your small business can give you that work-life balance.

SCOTT: Absolutely. So what’s your vision for the business right now, today?

MARISA: My vision for the business. Well, I’ve got the two entities; I’ve got Orbit Accounts and Miss Moneypenny Presents. I think if we start with Orbit Accounts, my vision with that is to actually – we do a lot of Xero training conversion and setup, so my vision in that area is to continue doing that and growing the business and really systemizing it.

I have a new project coming up called System-Mate, which is something that I’m going to launch in July, and that’s System-Mate for tradies. It’s a bit like a cookie cutter system, where we’ll set tradies up on a series of software, clerk software applications that will help them systemize and run their businesses. Because I know tradies have awful trouble trying to get their paperwork in, trying to get their businesses running smoothly.

That’s my vision for Orbit Accounts, is to launch – I really enjoy launching systems that can be used by different businesses and help them increase their profits, and make it easier for them.

SCOTT: That’s absolutely beautiful, and that’s certainly what every small business owner needs, whether they’re a tradie or not. I mean, the last thing you want to do is after coming out on the road all day, fixing pipes or power problems, is come home and do your accounts and bookwork and other bits and pieces.

MARISA: The reason I chose tradies is because I have worked with so many tradies, and I just figured that if they had a system where it was just their bookkeeping was taken care of by a great system, their paperwork was taken care of, and they’re able to manage their jobs, and everything is plugged in and it was all automated and they all talk to each other, then it would just make their lives so much easier. It’s got to be an off-the-shelf product that they grab, we implement for them, and then they can use it.

SCOTT: It sounds absolutely beautiful. So across tradies and small business in general, or just tradies for that one?

MARISA: We’re going to start with tradies and then move to different areas. Different industries would have different requirements, especially when it comes to their accounting as far as setting up your accounts and what systems you need. So we’ll tailor it to any industry, and we’ll roll out a few of them. That’s something that I hope to do over the next year.

For Miss Moneypenny Presents, my biggest vision is all my training programs that I run through that. That’s to have a group of people, of women business owners, that will do my programs and that we can create an environment and a community of support and help for one another.

SCOTT: That’s absolutely beautiful. Do you think, is there a big difference between why women get into business and why men get into business? Is that why they need that additional support?

MARISA: I think women – I’m quite involved in the mumpreneur environment, so I think that’s where, if we come from that angle as a mumpreneur, there are quite a few issues that we have to deal with that, unless a man is a stay-at-home dad or he stays at home part-time and works part-time or is the sole carer of children, it does bring up certain challenges that, if you are a mum, you understand.

So I find that not only working with women to help them understand their finances, but also helping them achieve that work-life balance. The biggest issues that we have as mumpreneurs is really wanting to run a successful business, but then wanting to bring up children that are not neglected. Children that are happy, that know they’re loved and supported, and then also trying to find time to look after ourselves in that whole mix.

So Miss Moneypenny helps women not only grow their business, but also gives them strategies and skills to be a present, available parent for their children and also strategies to help them look after themselves.

SCOTT: It’s just beautiful. You got into business as an entrepreneur yourself; would you do it all again? Because you didn’t have yourself to support yourself back then. Would you do it all again? Or what advice have you got for those people, for those women, maybe, that are wanting to start a business, or just businesspeople or tradies in general?

MARISA: I would do it again. [laughs] I would do it again. I would be a lot more – I think I’d have better boundaries and clearer boundaries, and probably a clearer vision as to where I wanted to go, where I want to take my business.

Rather than throwing yourself into a business and saying, “Right, I love doing” – I don’t know, let’s say cutting hair for example – “I love cutting hair; I’m going to open up a salon, and all my clients are going to come and work with me” – that’s one part of it.

But then you’ve also got to look at, “Okay, I’m going to open up a salon, but I need to manage the business. I need to make sure that the systems and processes are in place. I need to make sure that I have the right support around me so the business functions if I’m not there. If I’m sick, if I’m away, I don’t want to have to be in the business all the time.”

SCOTT: So important and so liberating for small business owners to get those systems and processes and support people in place so that they can take some time off. I totally agree. Absolutely.

MARISA: Oh, it is. And there’s a great book by a man called Michael Gerber called The E-Myth Revisited, and he talks about that. He talks about the importance of actually, if you are a small business owner, you have to be a technician, a manager, and an entrepreneur. And quite often, small business owners are the technicians, and that’s why they get stuck working in their business. They never get time out, they never get holidays; they’re always worrying about their business.

By putting things into place, by ensuring you’ve got the software in place, you’ve got systems and processes, that the way the business runs without you – it’s a bit like turning into a McDonald’s. McDonald’s is run by 16-year-olds, and it’s so successful.

SCOTT: Absolutely. That sounds fantastic, Marisa. What’s the best way for our Small Business Heroes community to reach out and find out a little bit more about what you do, and maybe to connect with you personally?

MARISA: Okay, well, they can contact me via both of my websites, Orbit Accounts or Miss Moneypenny Presents. There’s contact forms there. I’ve also got a Facebook page for Orbit Accounts and Miss Moneypenny Presents, and people are able to go in and like those pages and be part of that community.

Also, I’m more than happy, if people would like to contact me, they can email me on [email protected] or [email protected]. There’s no “.au” on that one.

SCOTT: Fantastic. Marisa, thank you so much for your time today, for giving some time up for our Small Business Heroes show. I’ll put all your contact details underneath on our website, so I’ll put this up there as well.

MARISA: Perfect. Yeah, great.

SCOTT: If you’d like to connect with us, the Small Business Heroes community, you can go to the Small Business Heroes Facebook group – that’s an open group – and just join yourself up there, and you’ll see all about our interviews and our tips for helping small business success.

You can also go to the Scott Partners Facebook page and like us on there. That’s Scott Partners; again, I’ll give you all those details underneath on the webpage. Or you can find us at

Once again, I’d like to thank very much Marisa Garra-Punshon for her time today, and we look forward to helping you in the future. Thank you very much.

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