'I quit my job and now I'm happier than ever'
AN entrepreneur's journey to finding work-life balance has led to national recognition.
Mackay mother-of-two Donna Marks was fed up with her 9-5 job and the impact it was having on family time, so she quit.
Six months later, Mrs Marks is now the owner of successful online company The Virtual Assistant and is in the running for an Australian Mumpreneur award.
"I've worked in corporate management all my life, but after I had kids I kind of fell into administration roles where I felt undervalued," she said.
"I was in workplaces where there was no flexibility, I couldn't spend time with my kids on school holidays so I was basically working to pay for vacation care and after school care.
"I was unhappy and I felt like I needed to re-evaluate my life, so I quit my job."
Within two months, Mrs Marks was itching to go back to work, but she decided to take a different path.
"I thought why not use my management experience and create my own business," she said.
"I now help small businesses and entrepreneurs with their social media, sales, administration and management strategies.
"It's a broad umbrella, but there is definitely a market there for that kind of support.
"I was fully booked out just two months after launching The Virtual Assistant."
Mrs Marks said focusing on the role of social media was a huge part of her job.
The free platform is vital for advertising, when used correctly, she said.
"I never ask my clients to pay for any sponsored posts on Facebook or Instagram, because with the right techniques you shouldn't need to pay."
After a whirlwind start, Mrs Marks is now being recognised for her hard work and business savvy.
She has been nominated for the 'Influencer award' in the Australian Mumpreneur competition.
The winners will be announced in September but voting is open now.
"One of my clients actually nominated me and it's an amazing feeling just to be recognised," Mrs Marks said.
"I think this award acknowledges the fact that it's no longer a man's world. A lot of mums have children and question whether they should get back into the workforce, but you really can be successful professionally while having a family.
"Having that lifestyle and that balance is possible."
Other Mackay mums in the running for an Australian Mumpreneur award include Juanita Halden from Butterfly Realty Group, Andrea Farley from Book The Whitsundays, Elizabeth Morris from Brilliant Frames and Co and Jasmine Kratz from Inspired Impact.
Voting for the 2019 AusMumpreneur People's Choice Awards is now open.