My Early Hour: Hannah Hardy-Jones, founder of Kite App

“What’s the secret to career success? Believing in yourself and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Even taking small steps can make a big difference in terms of the situations you put yourself in that will help you grow,” says Hannah Hardy-Jones, founder of Kite App…

Hannah Hardy-Jones, 35, is a mum of two and founder Kite App. She lives in New Zealand.

Where do you live and with whom?
I live in a rural town called Lincoln which is 20 mins away from Christchurch in New Zealand. I live with my husband and two children – Alice who is six and Henry who is two.

What’s your home like?
We have a four-bedroom one storey home in a quiet cul de sac. It’s only four years old so is very modern – a change from the 1940’s brick home we owned before. I do miss some of that character. It is also very white – I enjoy muted colours and white frames around our art and photos. It’s open plan which I love but often scattered with toys and mess.

What time are you up in the morning?
I am usually up at 6.30am during the week. Slightly later on weekends but kids aren’t conducive to lovely lie-ins are they?!

What wakes you up?
My alarm wakes me (I set it for 6.20 and always hit snooze for ten minutes!).

How do you feel?
I am not a morning person at all. I generally feel quite groggy first thing (probably because I have stayed up too late the night before). I’ve always struggled with mornings and it’s best not to talk to me before a coffee.

What do you do first thing?
I make a coffee before anything else (see above!).

In three words, describe mornings in your home?
Calm then rushed.

Tea or coffee?
Coffee in the mornings then English Breakfast tea from lunchtime.

How might the rest of your day pan out?
I work three and a half days a week on my business and on those days I generally work from home, in the public library or at a cafe. Being an app my business is very much online so unless I have a meeting in the city I will stay close to home.

What’s your workspace like?
I have what they call a “study nook” for an office (I can slide a door across to shut the mess away). I tend to work some of the time from that desk but also like to move around with my laptop – doing my work on the bed or outside in the garden. I like constant change.

Where are the kids when you’re working?
Alice is at school. Henry is at preschool (nursery in the UK)  the days I work. I do a lot of work in the evenings too as that is when I work best so that fits around the kids well too. Not so much the husband though!

Tell us about your business: when did you launch, and how/why did it come about?
Kite launched at the beginning of March 2019. It is a tool to deliver mental health/wellbeing and self development content via a beautiful app. We launched it as Kite for Mums first, as maternal mental health is a passion of mine because of my own personal experience. Kite for mums provides women with daily practical bite sized techniques and tools for coping with the everyday challenges of being a parent.

We have just launched Kite for Business which is using the Kite Mums template but it allows organisations to deliver a tailored wellbeing program for their staff.

I have a background in HR and coupled with my mental health experience. I was inspired to create a beautiful resource for mothers in the form of an app as there was nothing like this available on the market. However Kite is a wonderful resource for any group.

What’s the greatest challenge when running your own business?
The isolation is a big challenge for me. The fact that it’s all my own brainchild and I don’t have anyone sitting next to me to bounce ideas around with. It’s also challenging trying to keep your confidence levels up when it’s your own business and the self doubt sneaks in.

What makes it all worthwhile?
When I hear from mothers and they tell me what a difference the app has had on their lives. It’s all worth it then. The most common feedback is how helpful the relationship content has been.

Are there aspects of the production that you delegate to others?
I do not have a good relationship with numbers so I have an accountant for that. I love the client facing/creative side of the business but the detail sometimes takes a backseat. I have recently hired a PA to work 12 hours per week which is very exciting as she is extremely detail oriented.

Are you a happy lone worker, or do you enjoy the buzz of a shared workspace?
I am an extreme extrovert so I struggle working alone. I have a co-working space I use occasionally but that can get quite distracting as there are so many interesting people to talk to. Working alone is better for my productivity but I don’t particularly enjoy it.

What’s the secret to career success?
Believing in yourself and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Even taking small steps can make a big difference in terms of the situations you put yourself in that will help you grow. Also not being afraid to ask for what you want – or what you need. Particularly when it is around your wellbeing.

Is the juggle real for you… do you find it difficult balancing parenting/relationship/me-time/time for friends/career?
Yes I struggle to keep a balance. Being an entrepreneur can be all consuming and it naturally impacts on your relationships. I find that after I have put on my mum hat that there isn’t a lot left for my husband! I am constantly thinking about new ideas and it can cause me to become really distracted – I’ve been known to take over half an hour to make a cup of tea!

Describe an ideal weekend?
Reading in bed in the morning with the kids, going to a local market, family bike riding and then dinner with friends. We really value our time with friends as a wind down from a busy week.

If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
New York.

Any other comments?
There is a perception that if you are an entrepreneur you have it all together. That you probably wake at 4am every day and do yoga for an hour! It’s not the case. Also if you have an idea don’t be scared to pursue it.