sally whittle

It’s time for another Wonderful Women, and for this interview I have had the pleasure of speaking to Sally Whittle.

Sally is a full-time blogger living in Lancashire.

When she’s not blogging at Who’s the Mummy, she is the founder of Tots100, Foodies100, Trips100 and HIBS100 communities which have in excess of 15,000 members, along with organising the MAD Blog Awards and the BlogCamp series of social media conferences, two of which I’ve had the honour of speaking at.

Sally is also a full time single mum to daughter, Flea, aged 9.

Describe a typical day for you? 

Every day kicks off with a large skinny decaff cappuccino, as I fruitlessly try and trick my body into thinking I’m giving it a jolt of caffeine after the school run. 

Then I might be working on securing coverage for client campaigns, consulting on pitches, planning events. There’s a lot of networking in my job, so I’ll often be out attending meetings or events. 

Actually, though, a huge chunk of time is simply taken up running a business –  from invoices and contracts to business rates and accounts, then there are editors, contributors, development teams… there are a lot of details that make up a company, and the biggest challenge is to focus on the big picture.

My team will tell you I’m a horrible control freak with high standards and have a terrible habit of jumping in to ‘fix’ things – but I also buy nice presents, so hopefully it all balances out eventually. 

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

Going from being a newly divorced single Mum in a new town, where I knew nobody, having way less than a penny to my name – to running a successful company that provides an home and income for me and my partner, and also helps to provide an income for hundreds of other people, mostly women.

Doing that while wearing jeans and Converse.

And raising a child who knows what it is to laugh – at the world, and herself. 

What’s in your handbag/satchel etc?

My wallet, a book, and two phones. I have one for work, and another with a secret number for personal use – because private time is ridiculously precious when you work in a 24/7 industry. Oh, and an assortment of dog treats.

You never know when you might need to bribe a puppy. 

What are your ambitions in life? 

Honestly, I’m not a career-oriented person – I want to grow the business to provide financial security for the family, of course, but I’m much more motivated by the opportunity to keep learning, to keep having new experiences, and seeing new places. I had two brothers who both died young (one at 27, one at 39) and I’m ridiculously aware of how short life is, and how easy it is to waste it on things and people that don’t matter. 

What advice would you give your pre-baby self that you now know having had a child? 

To quote Ferris, ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it’. Never more true than when applied to the first five years of your child’s life.

When Flea was born, I was very focused on building up my job security, finding a house, keeping a house – and it was three years before I realised that I was so focused on reaching ‘happy’ that I was missing the fact it was already there for the taking. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I think one side-effect of having loved ones die young is you don’t look too far into the future. Who knows what will happen? I look forward to being surprised. 

Finally, happiness is…

A lot easier to find if you learn to look for it in moments – the colour of the grass on the school run, the feeling of someone’s feet on yours under the duvet, the splash as you jump into the ocean.

Look for perfect days, and you’ll be disappointed your whole life. Look for perfect moments, and you’ll see ‘em everywhere. 

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39 Responses

  1. Susan Mann

    This is really inspirational for me at the minute. Sally is fab & lovely. The looking for perfect moments and stopping & looking around is something we need to do. Xx

    Reply
  2. Lindsay At Newcastle Family Life

    What an inspirational interview, I love the quote at the end and I really must try to remember that more myself. I also need to remember that my little people are only little once xx
    Lindsay At Newcastle Family Life recently posted…Slimming World Weigh In OneMy Profile

    Reply
  3. Michelle Reeves (The Joy Chaser)

    Oh my that has to be the best ending to an interview I’ve ever read – the perfect sentiment for a happy life! Loved finding out more about one of our industry’s most notable movers and shakers – very poignant but funny too and glad I’m not alone in fooling myself that decaf is anything but 🙂
    Michelle Reeves (The Joy Chaser) recently posted…Share the Joy #34My Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Incredible interview isn’t it? Sally is a pioneer in our field and it was wonderful to share more about her life and wisdom here x

      Reply
  4. Mim

    What a lovely interview with Sally 🙂 I completely agree about life being too short and being aware that we’re (hopefully!) already in our happy place 🙂 Mim x

    Reply
  5. Sally

    Some lovely comments here, thanks so much to everyone who took the time, I’m very touched. Now off to try and wrestle a small puppy into the car for a vet’s visit… #LivingTheDream
    Sally recently posted…40 (more) Box Sets to Watch Before you DieMy Profile

    Reply
  6. Hannah Budding Smiles

    Fab interview with a very inspiring woman indeed! I’m so early on in my digital ‘career’ (if I dare call it that whilst I keep having time off to have babies!) so it means a lot to me seeing how strong, intelligent women like yourself and Sally combine motherhood with successful careers xx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      That means a lot, thank you Hannah and you are well on your way with your digital career, love your blog. Thank you for being so supportive. Such an inspiring interview. So great to feature Sally here x

      Reply
  7. Hayley - Downs Side Up

    I have a lump in my throat reading this. Sally is someone I look up to and view as a true philanthropist, someone who’s priorities are firmly sorted. I knew a little of her upbringing but no idea of her losses, but it all fits into place.
    Thank you Sally for all you do for others, for your amazing example, incredible parenting lead, and for sharing.
    Hayley – Downs Side Up recently posted…A Photo for SundayMy Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Oh Hayley, what a touching comment and you are absolutely spot on with this. Really honoured to share more of Sally’s background and journey here. A true pioneer and trailblazer 🙂 x

      Reply
    • Sally

      Goodness Hayley, what a lovely thing to say – if it helps, the feeling’s entirely mutual.
      Sally recently posted…40 (more) Box Sets to Watch Before you DieMy Profile

      Reply
  8. Babes about Town

    This: “And raising a child who knows what it is to laugh – at the world, and herself.” Totally agree, great way to raise another human being. So sorry to hear of your losses Sally, and absolutely, the death of your closest family members gives you such a new perspective on life and what you truly value. You’re doing awesome work, keep at it and thanks for sharing another fab interview V x
    Babes about Town recently posted…How to Keep Healthy in WinterMy Profile

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    • Honest Mum

      Amazing words, I want to print this interview and put it above my desk-so touching and inspiring. Thanks Uju for your comment and Sally for featuring, a real honour to share her work and wisdom here x

      Reply
  9. Ebabee

    What an inspiring interview. Lots of wise words in there. Especially love her words about happiness. So well put and so true. x

    Reply
  10. Colette

    Awesome answers Sally – though feet on my feet don’t make me happy ever. Urgh. Other people’s toes?! My husband knows to keep his feet on his own side of the bed 😉
    Colette recently posted…Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week #2 – 2016)My Profile

    Reply
  11. Nell@PigeonPairandMe.com

    Ah, the wisdom of Ferris! This is a great interview – nice to get to know Sally a little better. Thanks for sharing, both!
    Nell@PigeonPairandMe.com recently posted…Camping at Yelloh! Village Parc du Val de Loire, FranceMy Profile

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