Lynne Huysamen, the Dynamic Founder of Kaboutjie, Lady Bloggers Engage, Lynne Living with Addiction and Small Online Business Opportunity probably needs no introduction here.
It’s no secret that Lynne has been my blogging mentor since the moment we met at Wealthy Affiliate.
How it took us this long, a worldwide crisis and lockdown to get around to this interview is a mystery.
Lynne Huysamen, Blogger and Social Media Influencer
Lauren: In your own words, what do you do for a living?
Lynne: I am a blogger and social media influencer. This means that I create content online (on my own websites and on social media) and I monetize that content in a variety of ways including sponsored posts, product reviews, affiliate marketing and advertising space.
Lauren: If you wear many hats in business, which of these do you love most, which takes most of your time and which brings in the most income?
Lynne: I would say that engaging with my followers takes up the most time by far and while that in itself is not directly earning me income without my readers I would not be able to make any money online, so it is one of the most essential parts of my business.
I earn the most income from influencer campaigns which is where companies pay me to feature their products on my blog and/ or on my social media channels. I love doing influencer jobs, it is so much fun but it can also be quite stressful at times too!
Lynne Huysamen, Mom Entrepreneur
Lauren: When did you decide to become an Entrepreneur?
Lynne: I have always wanted to have my own business, ever since I was a little girl. My end goal has never been to work for someone else. When other children were talking about what job they wanted when they grew up I was always thinking in terms of what business I would have.
Lauren: Why did you decide to become an Entrepreneur?
Lynne: I want the freedom to be able to do whatever I wanted to make money. I did not want to be stuck with business working hours and a set salary. I wanted to make my own way and set my own limits. My dad has his own business and I always looked up to that and wanted to do the same.
Lauren: What prompted you to start your own business?
Lynne: I was already working for myself from home before I started the business I have now. I was doing bookkeeping from home for small businesses. It was not a huge income-earner but I paid my way.
However, when my daughter was born I felt this incredible need to do something more for myself, something that would inspire me and give me a lot of satisfaction.
So I set up an online baby store, inspired by my daughter of course. I then started blogging to bring in more traffic to my website and I fell in love with blogging. It was not long before I changed business focus to blogging full time.
Lauren: Who did you have in mind? Who do you serve?
Lynne: My target market is moms in South Africa – women like me that have the same daily challenges.
Lauren: Is this your first entrepreneurial pursuit?
Lynne: This is my first official business pursuit – although I was working from home before I started this, it was not a passion of mine. It was simply a way to pay the bills at the end of the day.
Lauren: How did you come up with the idea?
Lynne: My original business ideas was to provide great quality baby clothing, at low prices online in South Africa. I came up with it because online stores were not that common at the time, it was only just starting off in South Africa and I wanted something that involved being a mom and something from home.
The internet was the perfect way to do this. It went quite well and I was enjoying it.
However, blogging really inspired me and I could very quickly see how much more freedom I would have to work around my family commitments if I blogged than if I continued with my online store.
Lauren: Would you like to share any highs or lows in your career as an Entrepreneur?
Lynne: There have been so many highs for me as an entrepreneur. I love learning new things and finding new ways to make money online.
I’ve had some amazing opportunities such as being flown to Durban to spend the night on a cruise ship which was so much fun. I also had one opportunity where I was paid R10 500 to write and publish a sponsored post on my website – it took me 2 hours from start to finish to earn that so I got such a kick out of that.
Yes, there have been a few lows but nothing that was too hard to handle. It is really sad when there are changes to search engine algorithms or on social media that have a negative effect on my reach and traffic but then again there are many times too when there is a positive effect so it evens out.
Lauren: What has been the number one highlight of your career?
Lynne: It was when someone approached me in the Wimpy while I was drinking coffee and working and she introduced herself and told me that she follows me on Instagram and she is also a recovering alcoholic and addict.
She said that my blog and my social media posts have really helped her.
This is the reason that I love blogging, yes getting to do cool jobs like going on a cruise ship is awesome but it is when I can make a positive impact on someone else’s life that I know I have really achieved my goal.
Lauren: What has been the greatest challenge for you to overcome in your career?
Lynne: Feeling self-conscious and like I am not good enough, especially when faced with online trolls. It is hard to put yourself out there and it is inevitable that someone will come trolling.
Lynne Huysamen, the Mom
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Lauren: What has been the number one highlight of Motherhood for you?
Lynne: Wow you want me to choose one highlight?
There have been so many amazing highlights for me and my children surprise me and make me proud every day. I couldn’t possibly choose one highlight out of motherhood.
I think the thing that I love the most about being a mother to my two children is watching the amazing bond that they have. They love each other fiercely and it shines through so strongly that it makes me emotional just thinking about it.
Lauren: What has been the greatest challenge for you to overcome as a Mother?
Lynne: There have been a number of challenges. The greatest one would probably be that I have had to learn how to trust myself as a mother.
It is a scary thing being responsible for bringing up 2 children and there was a time when I was so unsure of myself and I kept double guessing myself. It has been a process coming to understand that I am a good mom.
Yes, I make some mistakes along the way, but I do the best that I can and I’m doing a good job of it.
Lauren: Is there anything you know now, that you wish you knew when you first became a Mom?
Lynne: I wish I had trusted myself more and that I had known more about PND (Post Natal Depression) so that I could have recognized it for what it was and gotten myself help.
Lynne on Work-Life Balance
Lauren: Has it been tricky balancing work and home life?
Lynne: Being a mom and running my own business and household all at the same time is the trickiest thing I have ever done. There is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. It is a constant juggle and it is not easy.
Lauren: What do you love most about being a Mom Entrepreneur?
Lynne: The juggle might be real but I love the fact that I can be at home with my kids, run my own home and make money at the same time.
I’ve always wanted my own business and I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom. Now I get both!
Lauren: All things considered, do you feel it was a good decision to become an Entrepreneur?
Lynne: Most definitely! I love the idea of knowing that all my hard work goes into benefiting me and my own family. I don’t like the idea of working for someone else and being part of the rat race.
Lauren: Where do you work most days?
Lynne: I usually work from home. I have a big desk in my bedroom which overlooks the sea. In the afternoons when my kids are home I work in the living area and sometimes when I need to get out a bit I work from a coffee shop.
Lauren: How many days per week do you work, on average?
Lynne: I usually work every day, even if it is just a short time. However my main working days are in the mornings Monday to Friday.
Lauren: How many hours do you estimate you work per day, on average?
Lynne: Monday to Friday I probably work 6 – 8 hours per day. On the weekends maybe an hour a day if there is not much I need to get to.
Lauren: Do you have any daily rituals to maintain a work-life balance?
Lynne: The first thing I do in the morning after dropping my kids at school is taking an hour to myself – this is for my own self-care.
I use it to exercise, give myself a facial or anything else that I need to focus on.
It really is important to look after myself first thing every day otherwise there is literally no other time to do it.
It really keeps my body and my mind healthy to put myself first like this.
Getting to know Lynne Huysamen
Lauren: Do you feel you are living your passion?
Lynne: Yes very much so, I love what I do. Both in business and with my family.
Lauren: Do you feel you have already created your best work?
Lynne: I have many things I am proud of but I believe that I can always create something better, so no I think the best is yet to come.
Lauren: If you were to die tomorrow, would you be at peace knowing you had lived a full, happy and meaningful life?
Lynne: I’m not scared of death, I believe I have lived a full life and I am content with myself.
The only thing that I would be thinking about if I was on my death bed right now is that I want to be around until my kids are grown up and independent.
I want to make sure that they are able to look after themselves before I take my leave.
Lynne’s Message to the World
Lauren: Do you have a message you would like the world to hear?
Lynne: There are lots of things I would love the world to hear, but if I had to choose one thing it would be to spread a message of hope about recovery. If I can get sober there is hope for everyone.
Lauren: Is there a book or a song or a movie that has had huge significance or meaning in your life?
There have been many yes, but I think the ones that have made the biggest impact on my life are recovery books. The AA big book, which is like the bible for alcoholics was a real eye-opener and game-changer for me.
There was a book I read while I was struggling with sex and love addiction that made a massive impact on me – Is It Love Or Addiction.. and many others.
Lynne’s Advice for Entrepreneurs
Lauren: What advice would you give someone just starting out as an Entrepreneur?
Lynne: Believe in yourself and go for it. Don’t let anyone else’s negativity stop you from reaching for your dreams.
Lauren: Is there anything you know now, that you wish you knew when you started out as an Entrepreneur?
Lynne: I wish I had more faith in myself and my abilities when I started out. I was very unsure of myself.
Lauren: Is there anything you feel you missed out on by becoming an Entrepreneur?
Lynne: Not at all – it has been a fantastic experience. Ok, sick leave, maternity leave and a paid annual leave with a bonus would be nice… but the benefits are amazing.
Lauren: Is there anything you feel you gained by becoming an Entrepreneur?
Lynne: So much! I have gained so much confidence in myself. I also feel that being out of the daily rat race has been so good for my mental health.
It is also fantastic having the freedom to work when I want and where I want so that I can make being a mom my main life focus.
Lauren: Do you feel you chose an easy path or a difficult one?
Lynne: Well my life, in general, has not been easy but it has not really been a choice that I made to follow the path of addiction. I have chosen some harder paths since then but they give me joy and satisfaction.
Lynne’s Hopes for 2020
Lauren: What are your hopes for 2020?
Lynne: When I started answering all your questions it was early in the year and this answer would have been very much focused on myself and my family.
Now that it is mid-April and the world has changed because of the coronavirus my answer is very different.
I wish everyone the mental and physical strength to endure what is still to come.
I hope that we can all focus on the fact that this too shall pass and once it is over we can pick up the pieces on the other side.
I hope that even though this has been a most traumatic and horrific experience that when it is over we can all look back at what has been wrong with the world and make changes for the better. For the planet and for the human race.
I hope we pull together and stop fighting amongst ourselves and start to look at what is really important.
I hope that when this is all over the change that comes about makes up for some of the pain and heartache that everyone around the world has gone through.
I hope that there will be some good that comes from this.
Lynne’s Greatest Fear
Lauren: What are your fears?
Lynne: My greatest fear is relapse – as long as I stay sober I will be fine.
Lynne’s Tools of the Trade
Lauren: Which tools of the trade have been enormously helpful for you?
Lynne: I love Canva for designing images for my websites. I just cannot do without it, so that is probably my top tool.
I also love Jaaxy for doing keyword research, Flodesk for sending out my emails… and I love Wealthy Affiliate which is an amazing platform to learn new things, host my websites and to connect with other amazing bloggers.
That is where I met you after all.
Lynne’s Support Online
Lauren: Who has been enormously helpful to you? Do you have mentors in business?
Lynne: You have been fantastic – I love sharing what I learn with you and I love learning new things from you.
I don’t think I have a mentor as such, I more have wonderful people that I have connected with and we support each other.
Alison from MOM Diary, Julie from Parenting Hub, Ally from 4AKid, Theri from Therific Naturals and Karmen from Creativersis are all amazing women that I have connected with and we regularly help each other out.
Lauren: Are there any courses or studies you feel have been essential to your success?
Lynne: It was when I first joined Wealthy Affiliate that everything started falling into place. It was the missing key that I had been searching for.
I have not actually done any other courses. When I need to know something that it still the place that I go to!
I also love watching Youtube videos, so if I get stuck and I can’t find my answer at WA I search Youtube.
The only other actual course I did was your Redbubble course recently and I loved it. It really helped me to get myself up and running on Redbubble.
Lauren: If there was anything I could help you with, what it would it be?
Lynne: Look after my kids for a few days so I can catch up on some sleep! LOL
Lauren: Who is your target market? If I were to give you a referral, who would I be looking for?
Lynne: Moms in South Africa!
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