A mum of three and an entrepreneur, Juliet Potter is the director and owner of Girl Communications, a PR Agency, and three websites, including the number one cars website for Aussie women, www.autochic.com.au.
This forward-thinking mum of three knows how to take challenges in stride and to make just about anything seem a little more chic. Her fearless spirit as an entrepreneur is nothing short of inspiring and she’s telling us how she makes it all happen.
SheKnows Australia: Tell us about your family.
Juliet Potter: I have three gorgeous children — my son Ashley, aged 13, Lola is 8 and little Gia (aka Gigi) is 2. Ashley is very bright and has a sense of humour way beyond his years, Lola is incredibly creative and a deep thinker and Gigi is funny and affectionate. They all have such different, yet unique, personalities!
SK AU: How do you balance the demands of running a business and taking care of a family?
JP: With great difficulty. I am no different from any other working mum; I find it hard to balance my work life and being a mother. It is seriously a daily battle for me. I really would prefer to only be a mum and I constantly feel guilty for working. But that’s just my life, I guess. I can only do my best.
SK AU: What’s your favourite thing about being a mum?
JP: I love seeing my children grow, learn and develop. I also love the emotional connection I have with my kids and I really enjoy their company — especially the cuddles in the morning and night-times — the little things like reading books or playing Scrabble or their cute drawings. I love all that fun stuff.
SK AU: What are the most important things that you want to teach your daughters?
JP: To develop a strong sense of self and self-esteem. It is super important in life and definitely in our world today. I also want to teach them to take responsibility for their actions and to appreciate that life is short and a gift.
SK AU: Who inspires you now and who inspired you growing up?
JP: I am inspired by any single mother who can make a success of herself despite having little support. Growing up, I can’t think of any particular person, but I have always been inspired by strong, outspoken women. I still am.
SK AU: What drives you?
JP: Putting a roof over my children’s heads, food on the table, paying the bills. All that financial stuff!
SK AU: What car do you drive? Why?
JP: A seven-seater Kia Sorento mummy-mobile. It’s super practical, comfortable and economical. Love, love, love it!
SK AU: Describe your last car repair experience. Did you detect any bias or “blokey” behaviour?
JP: Not at all! I always go to Kmart Tyre & Auto Service and they are lovely. No negative blokey ‘tude whatsoever — I even got a reminder text and one to let me know when my car would be ready and when my car was completed. Sure, it’s a dirty and greasy environment, but that’s car workshops for you — it goes with the territory.
SK AU: How do you handle sexism?
JP: It depends on the situation, really. I either try to use a sense of humour to defuse it. I find sexism normally goes hand in hand with ignorance or bullishness so I either completely ignore it, or if I’m really angry, I have been known to go to great extremes to rectify it — take AutoChic for example!
SK AU: Tell us about your most difficult career experience (as an entrepreneur or before you started your own business).
JP: Every single entrepreneur has a hard-luck story and a bunch of roadblocks. Mine have always laid in the fact that, as a mother, I’ve had to continually fight for just the opportunity and time to work and earn a living, along with simultaneously doing the cleaning, cooking, school and mummy stuff. I’ve also found it hard to be taken seriously as a woman and certainly in finding funding — you have to have money to make money and there are lots of restrictions and obligations within taking on business partners or investors. Women are really vulnerable in this area.
SK AU: What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs?
JP: If you’re not passionate about what you are doing, don’t bother, as it’s the passion that will always pull you through the tough times. It’s definitely not an easy road. Also, if possible, try not to take on investors or partnerships. I always felt I couldn’t do it myself but, on reflection, I was more than capable. I just didn’t have the confidence or strength at the time.