Zippy Financial principal broker Louisa Sanghera came into broking over three years ago so she could work around the schedule of her two high school kids. It’s not happening.
Working 18 hours per day on average, Sanghera often misses out on seeing her kids participate in school activities. If she does show up, she arrives late. “The job was supposed to work around my family life, but it took it over,” Sanghera told MPA, sister publication of NZ Adviser.
“I sit through a two-hour dance show to watch my daughter for only five minutes. I sit there anxiously thinking of the work waiting for me.”
She hardly even spends any time with her self-employed husband because she works every night. On Saturdays, they could be in the living room together, with her husband watching TV while she’s on her laptop, half listening to what’s on the telly. Sanghera spends Sundays preparing for the week.
A mobile broker with no physical office, Sanghera spends hours on the road on her phone talking to as many people as she could while driving. She only pulls over to jot down notes. And there is, of course, the seemingly endless to-do household list adding to her stress.
Life in Sydney
While Sanghera’s kids show their worry for her health and wishes she stays home every night, they know that the sacrifices their mother makes are necessary.
Sanghera has told her kids about how life in Sydney is more expensive than she had imagined. She explained to them that by the time they arrived from a different city, Sydney’s house prices had shot up and they now need to pay a mortgage.
“I also hope that I’m teaching them that they have to work to achieve, and not just to expect everything to be given to them. I feel a lot of youngsters these days do just expect everything to be handed to them,” she said.
Sanghera takes pride that although she and her husband both manage busy careers, their kids never got to experience day or school care while growing up. When she needs to go out at night or during weekends for business calls, her husband stays at home with their kids.
Although her kids are becoming less reliant on her as they grow older and would rather spend time with friends, Sanghera and her husband still make the effort to take their kids out for dinner or to catch a movie every so often, and to enjoy real family time together during holidays.
“This does make my busy life a little easier, but it makes me sad knowing that I worked every school holiday and didn’t take my kids to the zoo more whilst I had those years,” she said.
On a personal level, Sanghera takes respite from home and work responsibilities by occasionally meeting her business networking group or doing an all-girls’ night out. More recently, she makes
time for floatation tanks, acupuncture and hypnotherapy to de-stress and to deal with the health issues brought on by her hectic lifestyle.
Not for all mums
Sanghera feels, in her honest opinion, broking isn’t a job for mums with small children. “I think it’s almost impossible for you to do decent volumes, to run a household and to have some ‘me’ time,” Sanghera said. The job becomes 10 times harder when the mother is also the business owner, she added.
Sanghera thinks that if she would only take on so many clients and plod on with roughly $25m per year, her life would be a lot easier. But she couldn’t do that…at least for now, especially when her volumes keep growing year after year.
“I’m also trying to run a free networking group up on the North Shore, Northern Beaches and I have two online businesses that feed business to Zippy Financial, so life is busy,” she said.
“Do I earn a massive salary as some people suggest? No, I don’t!”