How do you manage to juggle work and life balance?
If I have a lot to do, I wake up early and get a couple of hours’ work in before the rest of the house stirs. I work every day while the children are at school and then take a break when they get home. Once my partner is home in the evening I usually squeeze in an hour or two too.
It’s very tempting to work every available minute, so I have to force myself to take a break every so often! It’s worth it though as I return to work again much more energised.
What is your biggest accomplishment in life?
Aside from being a mum, it’s creating Talented Ladies Club. I launched it with my friend Kary less than three years ago. We knew nothing about creating a website or running an online business at the start and it’s been a HUGE learning curve since.
But learn we have done, and now we have 60,000 readers a month (and growing), a collection of online courses and a monthly business membership club. We’ve also appeared in national newspapers and magazines, appeared on national TV and even been invited to the Houses of Parliament!
What top tips would you give to any mum on starting her own business?
My top three tips are:
- Do something you love – you’ll be more willing and able to learn, you’ll be more instinctively better at it, and it will keep you enthusiastic and happy in your business through the inevitable peaks and troughs.
- Know exactly who you’re selling to – one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is not knowing who they’re selling to, or trying to appeal to many people. Don’t be afraid to narrow your market; it will make it easier to create products and marketing that will really appeal to them.
- Be persistent – very few people achieve instant success, so be prepared for plenty of ups and downs! I see too many people give up on their business early on as they become disheartened if things don’t go as they expected. But stick at it, learn, adapt and you will find a way to succeed in the end.
What is your top family recipe that everyone loves to eat?
We all love different things! I lived in Asia for years, so mostly cook Asian food. My partner loves pies, and the kids seem to change their minds about their favourite dishes on a weekly basis – what was a hit one day can be ‘disgusting’ the next! But one meal we all love is homemade burgers with a homemade brioche bun (I love cooking and prepare most of what we eat from scratch).
What is your favourite hang out in London with your children?
I love museums and can spend hours lost in them with the kids.
How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
Doing something I love, just because. My favourite things to do are walk along the beach (we’re lucky, we live five minutes’ walk from the sea), cook at home, watch a movie in the afternoon, eat out or go for a walk with my family, and spend time with my friends.
I used to spend most of my time working, but have learned my lesson now. It’s so important to have time just for you, and I make sure I do plenty of the things I love every week.
What does motherhood represent to you?
To me, motherhood means nurturing, caring for and loving my children, and ‘training’ them to be good, happy adults. It also means setting a good example by being a fulfilled, happy person myself.
What do you love most about London?
I love the vibrancy, possibilities and multiculturalism of London. It always feels exciting to get off the train if I have meetings in town.
Where is your ideal family holiday and why?
I’d rent a villa somewhere in southern Europe and just relax. We’d play in the pool, read novels, walk around ancient towns and villages and sample all the wonderful local food (and wine!). It would have all the things I love – family, food, warmth, culture, exploration, meeting new people, and endless time.
Given we are all about embracing our Motherhood journey what advice would you give a first time Mum?
Enjoy it! Yes there are hard times, but children grow so fast (it’s a cliché but so true… my son is now 13 and yet it seems only yesterday he was a toddler) so find something to treasure every day. And don’t let go of ‘you’. Take the time to do things you love, things that fulfill you. The happier you are, the happier your children will be.
Hannah Martin is co-founder of talentedladiesclub.com, a magazine-style website with daily advice and inspiration for ambitious mums.