Oct 16, 2020
Interviews & inspiration | Daniela Pisciottano
This month, Femie interviews single mum, writer and editor of Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire and My Unique Home, Kiran Singh. Despite being incredibly busy juggling a myriad of projects, Kiran has agreed to share her inspiring story with us!
You are now a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman, however, things weren't always easy for you. How did you navigate through the rough patches in life without losing focus on your goals?
What kept me going, in the beginning, was my daughter, to give her the best life I possibly could. Just because I made the decision to become a Single Mother, it should not affect the life my daughter gets to live. So everything I did from 2008-2017, was all for her. I layed the foundation for her life. She is an Award-Winning blogger, Miss Teen Hertfordshire Galaxy 2019/20, Regional Finalist of The Future Chef Competition, Junior Bake Off Contestant, Ambassador for ‘Dream, Girl’ and more – seeing her blossom into a confident, hard-working young woman is a dream come true.
As my daughter is a teenager and has become independent, I have finally got my life back - to focus on myself. Since turning 40 back in 2017, my focus is myself; my personal growth, my needs and wants.
I recently started listening to Jim Rohn and he said something like: When you make your ‘WHY’ bigger than yourself and on serving others, you will follow through. I then realised that this is what I had been doing up until recently, my WHY was my daughter and helping fellow single mums.
As an interior designer and editor of My Unique Home, what is the advice you can give to people working from home to prevent their personal and professional lives from becoming one?
First of all, create an environment that inspires and motivates you to work. Have set working hours. Use the Pomodoro method. Have a clear to-do list, but focus on the task that will have the biggest impact (that’s usually the task we dread to do). Take breaks in-between each work session - if you’re using the Pomodoro method, one work session is usually 25 minutes with a 5-minute break. After 4 work sessions, take a longer break - 15 minutes. The important thing is that you spend your breaks away from your workspace - stretch your legs, get some fresh air, hydrate your body. When you work, focus on work - nothing else, for example; if you start thinking about what you’re going to do on the weekend and get distracted from the work you’re meant to do (and then it usually doesn’t get done), I promise you, you will be thinking about the work you should have done during the weekend and you won’t be able to enjoy it.
Second, and this is something that works for me. Even though, when we have set working hours and a set to-do list of things that needs to be done, sometimes, we’re not in the mood to do that particular work, or it’s just one of those days where we don’t fancy doing anything - everything is just ‘meh’, on these days, step back and do other things that will raise your vibration; go for a walk, do some phonetography, watch a movie, give your Home some TLC - once you feel a change in your vibe, gently, get back into work mode. I used to be very hard on myself for not ticking everything off my to-do list, I felt like a failure and that I wasted my day, so now, as long as I get that one thing that will have the biggest impact off my list, I am happy.
Being a single mum can limit the time a woman can spend on her career. How did you manage to find the balance between work and motherhood?
In the beginning, I didn’t have any balance. I was running around like a headless chicken - Facebook memories remind me of those days every single day! Back in 2008, when we first moved to the UK, finding a normal 9-5 job was very difficult as we had just hit a recession. Becoming an entrepreneur and working for herself was the best option for me even though I knew the money won’t be all that in the beginning, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make. When I look back now, at my entrepreneurial journey, it is the best decision I’ve ever made.
From 2008-2014, my profession was an Interior Designer. My daughter was very young at that time, and I remember dragging her with me across London for my client meetings, with time, I realised it wasn’t doable, so I launched My Unique Home to continue my passion for interior design, offering online design service instead of in-person and running interior design classes teaching people how to decorate their own homes at the local arts centre.
Over the years, with launching and closing down various businesses, I learned all the skills I needed and more, I ventured out to become a Lifestyle Coach back in 2014, which is now a part of my own lifestyle - so it doesn’t feel like work.
In your book "The Woman I Want to Be”, you explore the importance of understanding who we are and who we want to be. What woman did young Kiran aspire to become?
Oh wow… the young Kiran would never have expected to be a Single Mum, losing her Mum to cancer, move to another country and start all over again - I can promise you that! She just wanted to be accepted for who she was and to be reassured that she was enough and she was loved and valued plus have the freedom to do the things she wanted, one of them was marrying the love of her life - which she wasn’t allowed to do, so she had to let him go and enter an arranged marriage. However, she would have been SO PROUD of herself, how she turned her mess into her message, found herself and fell in love with life again.
The year 2020 has been a strange one for everyone, but here at Femie we love to focus on the positives in life. Tell us the best thing that has happened to you in 2020 despite the Covid-craziness!
2020 has indeed been a strange year, but truth to be told, it has been pretty amazing. We moved from the countryside of Hertfordshire to the seafront of Hastings, my daughter turned 16, got a job and started College, in the run up to the move, I decluttered and simplified my home and overall life and gave away more than half of my belongings - now I only have the things I love and serves me. I use the best of my things daily, for myself - not saving them for that one special day or for when we have guests. I deserve the best and I’ll treat myself to the best. Another life-changing thing has been financial stability, going through my finances, cut down costs, pay off debt, work on my money mindset and more. I even attended Tony Robbins Virtual World Summit last weekend which was live. For me, this year has been all about appreciating and being grateful for all the small, daily moments; a good cup of tea, go for a walk on the beach, do phonetography, learn new skills, study courses to continue my professional development and so on. Simply made the best of what I had and where I am at in my life. Spend my time doing the things I love - every day.
You have recently revealed in a very open video that you are trying to step out of your comfort zone more often to better yourself as a person. Why do you think it's important that we leave our "safety cocoon" every once in a while?
I recently realised that all the things / goals / achievements I once wanted, I reached them and more, beyond what I ever thought was possible and I was capable of. So since we moved to Hastings back in April, I felt like my life was on a standstill and I couldn’t figure out why, until one morning when I was journaling and I had a breakthrough moment - the reason I was at a standstill is that I had outgrown the version of me who once wanted all that I am and have, so it was time for a pivot, for an intervention - and the only way to grow and evolve into the next level me was to get out of my comfort zone and take uncomfortable actions - every day. It started with creating a vision of Kiran 4.3 (I’ll be 43 on the 19th of this month, hence 4.3). I asked myself what I wanted for myself as a person, as Mother, a business owner, a Lifestyle Coach etc., came up with some ideas, narrowed them down to one thing I could commit to fully and wholeheartedly and just go for it - and I did / have.
One thing I’ve learned is that it’s not about stepping in and out of your comfort zone, but to expand your comfort zone - that’s the only way you’ll learn, grow and evolve.
If there is one thing that I remind myself of every time I feel nervous and uncomfortable, is the importance of taking things off of my “someday” list and begin putting them on a day of the week that actually exists: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is the one hard thing we have to do to live a life we are excited and happy to look back on.
Find our more about Kiran's latest projects here!