Guest blog: The learning curve - By Joanna Boyce, Founder of Jobot Social

Making the decision to not only change career, but to try out working for yourself can be both daunting and exciting in equal measure. Whether you choose (or indeed have the choice) to stay at home to raise your children, work part-time or are a full-time working mum,  rest assured that you're doing what is best for your family. Feelings of guilt plague our choices but we have to all cut ourselves and each other some slack. There's no 'right' way, we choose the way that best suits our personal situation. The preferred choice isn't always there and the chance to have a good work-life balance can be difficult.

I made a decision right from the start. I wanted to dedicate time to my family and to be readily available for the school run, unexpected illness and school holidays. To do this I needed to find, or create, flexible work.

I'd been in the same industry since leaving university, and knew when I went on maternity leave that I wanted a fresh start and a change. I did some online training courses, borrowed books, sought advice and was lucky to have the full support of an understanding and encouraging partner.

Through my personal connections, I met someone I could work with pro-bono to test out what I had learnt so far - and to see what I needed to learn more about, what I wanted and what I did NOT want for my new career path. You can train and read endlessly about an industry, but you learn more by putting it into practice, through both your failures and successes. I'm still learning and think you should always be trying to learn and improve if you want to succeed.

Don't be afraid to change your direction, if you discover that your priorities have changed and to meet your realistic and achievable goals.

●       You need to plan

●       you need to be prepared

●       you need to make sure you can be profitable or there's no point pursuing your idea.

I thought I knew exactly what I wanted my business to be when I first started (at the study and planning stages) but it has changed organically as I've learnt more and have gained some practical experience.

I don't have all the answers, I know I could fail at this, but if you don't take a leap of faith and try you will never know what you are truly capable of becoming.

Follow my blog as I keep you updated on my progress.  I'll let you know when I'm ready to remove the training wheels, and start my business proper, with real paying clients - with all the demands and stress that can involve.

My next blogs will discuss the steps I've taken to start up a small business, the fantastic array of free software programs and online tools I discovered on my journey, that keep me organised, on track and more time efficient. Hopefully, I can impart some insight and tips I learn along the way, and perhaps even inspire someone else to take the plunge and get the work-life balance you want.