Can you actually believe it? This year Mrs MummyPenny turns ten, double digits for my business. June marks the passing of the ten years. Turn back time to that evening of wine with a best friend, randomly suggesting business names, Mrs Mummypenny stuck! The very next day the website was born and a Facebook page was set up. the journey began.
I am going to celebrate the ten years with a series of content celebrating ten things, ten ways, ten learnings, ten ideas. You will see lots of posts over the next few months sharing everything I know about personal finance and the running of my business.
Starting with, what are my ten business learnings in the ten years of Mrs MummyPenny?
Trust Your Gut
Not just a lesson for business but a lesson for life. If things feel like they are too good to be true they probably are. A lesson that comes from experience, many opportunities will come your way, but only goes with the ones that feel right.
Do Not Follow The Money
Leading on from the gut comment is to not always follow the money. The offer of money can sway decisions away from your true goal and meaning. I have been offered thousands of pounds to work with some companies with questionable values. Always the answer is no, never compromise on your values for a big payday.
Be a Nice Person
Such an important one for longevity in business. Be friendly, go for the lunches and coffee chats. Go to events, get to know people in the same field as you, the brands that you want to partner with. Offer help and advice to others.
You are allowed to make mistakes and should! Sometimes you will say yes to things that don’t work out, or invest time or money into projects that end up going nowhere. I once spent thousands on technical project to set up a course that didn’t sell to anyone, and it went against every objective in my business model. I harshly learnt that wasn’t for me.
Embrace your Network
Bird of a feather flock together. Connect with others in the same field as you, share ideas and learnings. Collaborate on projects together. Ask for help when needed and offer to help others. There is so much work out there, don’t keep it all to yourself. Perhaps there is work that you can’t do, offer it other people you trust in your network.
Also embrace your network from previous jobs, even if in completely different fields. LinkedIn is brilliant for this. I have a large network of only people whom I actually worked with from my 16 years of corporate roles and update LinkedIn regularly with Mrs Mummypenny updates, occasionally I am recommended for client work based on my LinkedIn connections.
Evolve with change
Business changes often. When I started social media was all about Facebook, then it moved to Instagram now its moving to TikTok. Don’t ignore these changes, move with them, or be ahead of the curve. Again watch what others in your field are doing, don’t copy and just learn.
Also be aware when a market is saturated, try to start something when it’s new and exciting. Like a book, I wrote a book, The Money guide to Transform Your Life when there wasn’t loads of books about personal finance available. Now there are so many.
Have Strong Ethics
I set certain rules and ethics from early on with Mrs Mummypenny and it has bode me well as the years have progressed. Of course it has meant that I have turned down a lot of money, but if those jobs don’t sit right with you, you will never be able to perform, give it what they require.
I have been adamant to never work with high interest loan companies and gambling companies. It is crucial that I am a customer of the brands that I promote. I only ever work with one company in each industry pillar, I feel this validates my independent views and that I don’t switch from promoting one brand to the next. And that I am a trusted customer of each brand that I promote.
A really important one for business, particularly in content production is to be consistent with the information you share with your readers or followers. Keep regular content being published on your website. Share those YouTube videos every week, or those podcast episodes every week. Share a post on social media every day, send out a newsletter every week. Your followers will expect to see refreshed content, huge gaps will lead to them drifting away.
If You Don’t Ask You Don’t Get
My favourite piece of business advice is this, my negotiating strategy. I go in big with asks, I ask for large fees, I ask for long term commitment with contracts. This works well with long term established business relationships. I have often spent years building up a great relationship and we love working together and its a win-win relationship.
My business model was always aiming for stability so I always aim to agree long term contracts with clients, normally with exclusivity for certain agreed piece of work. This means I have a consistent income coming in and stability, such a wonderful achievement in the world of self-employment.
Surround Yourself with the best Team
Recognise the point when you need to expand your team and pay others to help you with progress and expansion. I have a brilliant team of writers and content production staff. I have a technical team to help with website evolutions and issues and I have an accountant and legal people to call on when needed. Anything that it too much for me, or where I don’t have expertise I will get in the experts.
I particularly love how I have a team of part-time mums who are helping to build the Mrs Mummypenny brand together.
Happy 10th Birthday to Mrs Mummypenny!! More ten posts to come regularly on Mrs Mummypenny!