This week is a big week. I celebrate my five year birthday of my fourth baby Mrs Mummypenny. Plus it was three years ago to the day when I left EE.
Here are the highs and lows. Hmmm but where do I start? The highs or lows? I think I will intermix!
The hare and the tortoise.
How amazing that Mrs Mummypenny is five years old. Started on a whim whilst on maternity leave. I knew I had a message to send out to the world and starting the blog was the best way to do this. On day 1 I bought the domain name, grabbed the social media handles and started writing content. My plan was weekly posts and daily Facebook shares of posts or deals or tips.
Of course I had to go back to work, I returned when Jack was 10 months old. I lasted around 14 months in the corporate world. I swopped jobs from the digital team to a highly stressful, but amazing job where I negotiated the commercial contracts with the EE franchisees. This is the job I left in June 2015. I negotiated redundancy which allowed me to run Mrs Mummypenny on a full time basis.
By this point I had earned around £50 from Mrs Mummypenny in a bit of affiliate income. Year three wasnt much better for income. But this was not the focus. The focus was writing content, networking and building my social media.
Year four was when it all changed as a result of all the tools I had put in place during year three. IT TAKES TIME PEEPS. Success is not an immediate thing in this world! The pivotal things were 1) my relationship with Aldi, whom I made happen. I joined the Aldi wine club, I entered the video competition describing my fav wine in 1 minutes, which I won. I was invited to an Aldi wine filming project I met the PR team and the wonderful Sam Caporn (the mistress of wine) and the rest was history. I work with Aldi every couple of weeks now.
The other pivotal moment was going to the 2016 SHOMOs awards. I am ever so grateful to that group, to Andy Webb for organising this event. There was a discussion on commercials and I put my point forward that we should value our work and charge more for our blog posts and social media. Everyone turned, who is this person? This unknown nobody, but talking sense. Emma Bradley messaged me the next day and asked me to write a book together. I thought about it for about 2 minutes and went with the gut, yes! That book changed my Mrs Mummypenny Life, along with my relationship and friendship with Emma. Emma taught me the reality of blogging life, she is a seasoned pro, and introduced me to many brands and jobs (burlesque dancing, chocolate making at the Ritz….oh yes)
AND we created a wonderful book together that years on still sells well and makes us a nice chunk of passive income each month.
The rest is history, Mrs Mummypenny was recognised brand by PR agencies and the brands themselves and they approached me to work with them on campaigns. But the core remains, produce brilliant content, grow social media and network like you would never believe.
Cash Flow Management
This is a nightmare!! Something I never seem to crack. I realise this is linked to my inherent money control (or lack of control) issues. I have had times when its been tough and times when I have cracked it. My current position is not great. I have committed to some big business costs, a team of staff, new IT equipment, coaching. But don’t quite have the cash flow to pay for it! The other thing that doesn’t help is clients paying late and me over spending on my business expenses account. This has to stop. No more frivolous purchases for the next two months. Aldi shopping and home cooking all the way.
A very good strategy described by my coach/manager Andrew, is to set aside 10% of my monthly earning for spending on fun stuff the following month. My turnover is up and down depending on when clients decide to pay me. I can literally vary by £3k from one month to the next so the 10% rule works. And stops me thinking, I’ll just buy this as a treat as I ‘can afford it’.
Work that I am Proud Of
I have so much work that I am super proud of my content and involvement. Here are a few highlights, sometimes pinch myself moments, in no particular order.
- Being a billboard model for Pensionbee, plastered all over posters in Brighton. The filming day itself was amazing, huge team milling around my house for photo and video shoot. Hair,
make up, wardrobe. I LOVED it. More importantly I love what Pensionbee does, their morals, their business model, their comms strategy. I have met many members of the team who are happy bees, and customer service is at their core.
- Charitable work with Grief Encounter, Christians Against Poverty, Freedom Against Abuse (coming soon), UK Food Banks, Macmillan. I love using my platform to give back and to help out a cause that I feel strongly about. Grief Encounter look after bereaved children, so close to my heart, and money goes to them whenever raised. I have written for Christians against poverty. I was part of a tremendous campaign that went media crazy Christmas 2017 giving to food banks. And I have lots of content coming working with Marilyn and team from Freedom From Abuse.
- Helping out the small business community. I love my small business community and adore finding brands doing their bit to earn a crust doing what they love. I do a lot of bartering and
exchange of services and charge the SME folks a lot less. I am an active member of the Federation of Small Business. I love finding businesses like Cafe Vero in Knebworth, The Fitting Room in Stevenage, Chia in Hitchin and helping them out with an Insta story or Facebook mention. Every little helps.
- Becoming an SG1 radio show presenter. I LOVE this weekly day of joy. Tuesday is radio day and it is the best day ever. I just love using my voice which I is the most wonderful way of spreading the word of inspiration. I love choosing the most perfect music for a Tuesday lunchtime and I love interviewing inspiring people. A huge thank you to Ray, who owns SG1 Radio. A man who has taught me the complicated art of radio show presenting, production. And given me much time and office space in Stevenage.
- My pieces in the press and other print media. I had the most beautiful and helpful piece published in iWeekend. I have been in The Sun, Daily Mail, The Mirror, The FT, The Telegraph. The list goes on. I have appeared in Womans Own (Christmas front cover!!), Woman, Good Housekeeping August 2018 edition. An amazing medium to get my message out there to the world and get more traffic back to ym sit to rad my incredible content.
- TV appearances. Yep I do the TV as well. Appearing on Good Morning Britain discussing excessive packaging, Victoria Derbyshire getting my point across very well on the badness of payday loans. I even did London Live promoting Blogging Your Way To Riches!
It has been a pretty damn good five years. Bring on the next five.