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If you want to succeed in business- and in life, you need to have a purpose, you need to work out what you’re passionate about, what feeds your soul- and potentially your tummy (we all need dollar) and then you must work on finding the strength, means and time to make that dream a reality.

This doesn’t mean you can’t do lots of things you love but it does mean you need to figure out the area/s that interest you most and find ways of carving out a business or end-product/s from that love and passion.

I’m a storyteller, the medium is irrelevant to me, if I’m honest, I’m open to all. I share my life and story (as well as other’s stories) on the blog– I did the same as a screenwriter and filmmaker making drama and documentaries- and now as a vlogger.

I want to create/share emotion on screen.

I also, ideally, want to make a difference while I’m at it-I want others to relate to my own journey and feel comforted that they’re not alone.

I simply want to connect.

And I’m touched when people tell me my posts do just that.

I hope to inform, entertain and inspire with my words and films.


The pieces I’m most proud of undoubtedly took the most guts to write such as: Being Honest: When Your Weight Going Up is Getting You Down, Being Honest: A Traumatic Birth and the Proud in my Bikini posts.

I want to celebrate life but also show it as it is from my perspective-parenting can be tough-going and parenting blogs are the necessary antidote to the previously glossed-over version of life with kids offered up to us by traditional media. Boy did I feel short-changed when my first baby came along! It looked so much easier in the movies!

Seriously though, the wonderful thing about working online is the freedom you have-the ability to work remotely, to your time and on your terms. Nothing, as far as I’m concerned is as liberating as working in the digital sphere.

Here are some tips to help get your started and focused on creating the business and life you want!

1. Research, study then get to it- (Content is King)

If you are a writer, write what you want to read yourself. Content is king so work on creating content that others will like and want to share.

Do research on the how and why you love, what others do but START TODAY.

I love the book Becoming a Writer by Doreathea Brande and always recommend it to my students when I lecture at universities.

Written in 1934, it is as relevant today  as it was then, a timeless how-to for novice writers and also a vital reminder to established ones too.

The exercise of ‘Morning Notes’ will liberate you and most of all, will have you writing with abandon before you know it.

Look at courses to improve or learn new skills. You are never too old to learn and improve….

Even if you don’t want to blog, improving on ways to communicate your business online is crucial to all. With online advertising leading the way for all businesses, big and small and blogging attributing 126% more sales leads for businesses with blogs than without, everyone needs to work on honing their voice.


2. Be realistic about time frames

Dream jobs take time and usually require other jobs to provide income whiles your PLAN A business grows. I had two maternity leaves in which to grow my blog and I often recommend a ‘maternity leave’ for all new businesses if possible.

I returned to directing when my first son turned 1 and by the time I was pregnant with my second, I had grown a business here I could focus on.

The beauty of blogging is you don’t have any overheads bar buying the domain and if you can afford to, hiring a designer to create your site (mine was pretty basic to start).

Yes you need time but writing and hitting publish even once a week is a good start.

Creativity is a muscle to be exercised so keep writing and flourishing.


3. Grow a thick skin.

Creatives are sensitive by nature and it’s a tough world out there especially the ONLINE WORLD. Accept you will potentially feel hurt by comments but work on focusing on the positives. Keep a gratitude diary and also a progress diary, a place you can list your achievements, big and small.

As Baroness Margaret McDonagh reminded me the other week -the brain is plastic, the more you worry, the better it gets at it. Start reprogramming the negativity and reminding yourself of how brilliant you are.

Still not convinced?

Read my post on How to Stop Worrying About What Others Think of You.

…Margaret also mentioned that gender bias and discrimination happens often unknowingly from birth-boys are encouraged to go on adventures, girls are often protected and regarded more delicate.

We need to TAKE RISKS, TRY and FAIL so we can learn and build from our mistakes.

As my business partner, Jessica Huie MBE so wisely says,‘In order to be successful you have to make yourself vulnerable. If you aren’t feeling uncomfortable or stretched then you are playing in the safe zone…

Whenever I have felt I don’t belong, I’m not good enough, or incapable, if I’ve jumped then, magic has happened. I don’t think that success lies beyond our safe zone, I know it to be true’.

Here, I wrote 5 ways to face your fears and do it anyway.


4. Reach out, network and be open

So many of my colleagues and friendships came from being open, meeting people randomly, connecting, staying in touch and forging relationships.

So many connections also come from me reaching out, sending emails, tweets and asking for insight, help and advice.

Don’t be scared to reach out to others or to saying yes to projects you might feel a little scared to. I read ‘Yes Man’ by Danny Wallace recently and am saying yes to things I might not have considered before. Say ‘yes’ more, like me!

Get out there and connect, not just with your own niche and target consumers but people who could help you and think about what you can offer them in return. An exchange of ideas, PR, support etc.

MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. DON’T wait for things to happen.

Want to work with a brand, then tweet them asking for the email to their PR or simply google ‘PR’ and name of the brand and their details should come up.

Why not contact established bloggers and see if you can interview them on your own site- or ask if you can guest post on theirs.

Also consider guest posting on the Huffington Post and other authority sites to get your work out to a wider audience.


5. Team work makes the dream work

No one can achieve solo. Collaboration is key. Yes you can start on your own, I did- and slowly grew a little team here which includes a PR, agent, designer and my family for support- but this happened organically and as my site grew and I was able to dedicate more time to it. These things take time and you can achieve a lot on your own and with the support of like-minded friends who also work in your field.

From the off, find your tribe and work out how to help one another.
Collaborate on vlogs, guest post on each other’s sites, promote one another’s work on social media and fundamentally support and encourage each other.


6. Be your own publicist

Yes I have a super publicist now but up until a year ago I did all my own PR and I still do some now too because I love it and it’s in my bones. You need to feel comfortable selling your blog/product to others and believe me, the more you do this, the easier it becomes.

Read my post on how to be your own best publicist from becoming confident in your attributes to creating a media kit and reaching out to local and national press.


7. Schedule your workload

No one wants to be working 24/7. Working for yourself is meant to be give you freedom so while you will need to put work in, remember to really live too!

I use tools like Social Oomph, Tweet Deck and Tail Wind to help me schedule social media updates, with the Social Oomph letting me schedule tweets in advance that will tweet forever if I want them too. Invest in tools that will give you back time.

Try and create a plan for blog posts too so you have a schedule for content that can be shared consistently. The same goes for your business, plan out sharing updates in a meaningful way to get your message and business out there.


8. Be Kind to yourself

Why are we so lovely to everyone else but beat ourselves up, talk down and belittle ourselves? It has to stop. Part of becoming more confident is hand in hand with being kinder to ourselves and believing we deserve success. I’m currently reading Playing Big by Tara Mohr based on her transformative course which helps women take ownership of the creative space in the world they might not feel belongs to them.


9. Define success on your own terms

I wrote about what success means to me. It’s important to keep that in check, what matters to you because it’s so easy to get caught up and reach goals, then not appreciate those milestones. I want to feel happy and stimulated by what I do and importantly I want time with my family, the flexibility blogging offers me, means I work full time but in a way that allows me to spend as much time as possible with my kids.


10. Follow Pareto’s Rule

Pareto’s rule states that 80% of our success comes from approx 20% of our activities so 80% of your business will be derived from 20% of your work output and 20% of your contacts and 80% of your happiness from 20% of the people in your life.

I hope you feel inspired and READY! Go!


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10 Tips On Succeeding in Business & Life - Honest Mum


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89 Responses

  1. Themotherhub

    Am totally starting a gratitude diary – going to keep record of compliments or encouragement I have received as it’s easy to feel disheartened and feel like giving up! Thanks Vicky

  2. Jo

    Thanks for this – I’m constantly amazed how supportive the blogging community is. The scheduling stuff is all new to me and something I’ll look into a lot more once I have enough to schedule!

  3. blabbermama

    I took a lot away from this post! I think the most important thing was seizing the initiative and going out to seek your opportunities and make your connections. I’m quite new to blogging so your tips are like gold dust! #brillblogposts

  4. Alexandra

    Everyone has a gift…some people simly didnt discover theirs yet…When ppl ask me why I want to do what I do, so many doing it and that I will never succed I always say to them- but I havent done it yet, so it wont be like anybody elses…it will be different it will be MINE OWN WAY… and I usually was proving them wrong by doing just that.

    We cant start something positive with negativity…

    Thats the third post Im reading and cant help but write a comment.

    You succed because you know what you good at..and yourr gift is to inspire women and write, and oh boy…you ROCK!

    I totaly agree…a house build starts with first brick and by the time know it.. its there.

    I would love to write more but Im dividing my attencion between phone boy 1 jumping on a trampoline and boy 2 trying to eat somebody elses fries from the floor…thats when I have to call it qiut!

    All the best and keep inspiring- Im ready to read it!

  5. Natasha Courtenay-Smith

    Some really top advice here Vicky! I’m about to order a book called Grit – I started following the author on twitter. Grit and determination are so key! Nothing is an overnight success, everything requires work and GRIT! and persistence! Love this post

  6. Laura

    This a truly is inspiring post full of great advice. I haven’t thought about my blogging goals yet as I am finding it difficult to call myself a ‘writer’. Gaining confidence and putting myself out there was what I wanted to achieve first and you have given me a nudge to grow a pair and get out there more. Thank you xx

  7. Megan

    ‘Becoming a writer’ has just gone on my Amazon wishlist 😉

    Thank you so much for this post, so many useful tips. I agree that little girls aren’t encouraged to take risks so much, and I personally find it hard as a woman to be openly proud of the things I have done – although maybe this is more a personality thing than anything!

    I will be bolder from now on 🙂 and say yes more!

  8. Mum in Brum

    These are such fantastic and inspiring tips. I think it’s so true what you say about stepping out of your comfort zone – I always say yes and it always works out in the end! I definitely need to work on my own self promotion more – which is ironic because I work in PR! I find it so much harder when it’s myself I’m promoting. Love how motivating this post is – thanks lovely x #brilliantblogposts

  9. becca farrelly

    What a great motivational post! I think any reader will immediately feel empowered! I agree with the scheduling as it has given me a bit of work/life balance and cut my working time massively! 🙂

  10. Cydney

    Most of those points i already know as a multiple business owner and blogger but it always helps to hear it from someone else. I love that 80/20 rule!

    Cydney x

  11. Mel

    I absolutely loved this post. You are so full of positive energy. You are definitely the sort of person to be around. You could be a motivational speaker and every time I read one of your posts about success, I get a big boost of “yeah, I’m going to do that thing I’ve been putting off right now!” On that note, I’m off to achieve something I’ve been putting off for a week 🙂

    • Honest Mum

      Oh thanks so, so much Mel, that means a lot. Yay, go get ’em girl, you rock. I’m speaking at BritMums Live, are you attending this year, I’d love to see you x

  12. Mummy here and there

    Fantastic sound advice. Definitely need to grow a thicker skin and then say yes more. It is so easy to get comfortable and not challenge yourself and I think it is good to go in to the unknown sometimes and the fact you may surprise yourself X #brilliantblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      So true, thanks for the comment, we just need to remind ourselves don’t we to just GO FOR THINGS more xxx

  13. Nige

    Absolutely fantastic tips really interesting read will definitely be referring back to this thanks for hosting

  14. Morgan Prince

    Great minds think alike Vicky! I wrote my own ‘be brave’ post today. I have just agreed to start writing for another blog, it’s not much but it’s the first time I’ve even considered doing something like that. For a long time I wondered why I didn’t get the opportunities that others do, until I realised that I’d been holding myself back. I was scared to put myself out there for fear of failure. I took my first steps this week, and my first post for another site goes live soon. It may not be much but for me it signifies a huge step. You are so right Vicky, we need to start being good to ourselves. xxx

    • Honest Mum

      Yay so positive Morgan, I wrote this last week but moved it to the front of the blog for #BBP-so important to take risks and GO FOR IT! You will be fabulous, really proud of you xx

  15. Mess and Merlot

    Thanks for the advice Vicki, will check out ‘Becoming a Writer’, I’m not a proper writer, more of an online waffler but it would be great to learn a new skill! X #brillblogpost

  16. Debbie

    Hi Vicki,when I started blogging two years ago that I would want to take it further, but I would love to. I’m a thinker at heart and over think things until I have enough courage to take the next step (or I bore myself so much with my thinking, that I have to take the next step to have other things to think about).

    At the moment I am loving Hootsuite, but really must check out the other scheduling platforms.

    Your words are as wise as ever, so you have certainly given me food for thought.


  17. Emma

    Vicki, thanks for sharing this post this week – great tips – many of which I kinda know already but it is great to be reminded! I love your points on just saying YES and putting yourself out there. we should believe in ourselves and make things happen 🙂 #brillblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks Emma, we must mustn’t we, glad it’s operated as a reminder for you. All about believing ourselves x

  18. Louise | Squished Blueberries

    So inspirational! I’m not in the right place in my life to be thinking about blogging as a business, but I think most of these points are just as relevant to being a mum of three young children.

  19. John Adams

    Oh yes, I need to concentrate on my time frames. I think, however, I can honestly say I am thick skinned. it is, as you say, essential. Thanks for hosting your marvellous linky!

  20. Sarah - Craft Invaders

    The whole post makes so much sense to me, but I particularly like the concept of Pareto’s Rule – I’m going to keep it in mind for the next few days and apply it to my life and see what I discover 🙂

  21. BecomeMum

    It is good to read about time and effort. I think that in today’s digital climate I kind of expected to get somewhere on just my own steam, but there needs to be commitment and real passion to drive success. Thanks #brilliantblogposts

  22. lisa

    Great post! Very helpful and inspiring 🙂
    I loves these kinds of posts as I want to start my own business but its the finding what isn’t out there already and finding my one thing.

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks Lisa, I say being you and your voice makes you unique, your take on life/ business so believe in yourself and everything will fall into place x

  23. michelle

    Always great to read wise words from a pro thanks Vicki. I’m still working on the “be your own publicist” part but I’ll get there ’cause I definitely love what I’m doing!

  24. clare

    I love this post Vicki and I get inspired by your words! Be kind to yourself as we said is THE most important thing Cx

  25. jeremy@thirstydaddy

    great post. I think identifying and then capitalizing on your strengths is one of the most important. Too often I see people trying to hard to be something that they aren’t just to try and achieve something, when all along a different path to greater success is being ignored #brilliantblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      So true Jeremy, it’s so important to find what you are passionate about or a few things and go for those.

  26. Jess Paterson

    Love it when you whack a great dollop of inspiration on the blog, hon! Great advice and wise words here. Congrats to you on all you’ve achieved. I used to read “Becoming A Writer” all the time when I was in my teens! It’s only taken 25 years, ha ha!xx

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks Jess, an amazing book isn’t it-a classic text that deserves greater recognition. So glad you enjoyed this post x

  27. Michelle Reeves (The Joy Chaser)

    OMG this is SO inspiring! I’m firmly in the ‘Just Do It’ camp and fully support all these fabulous tips to make the most of every moment and start each day firing on all cylinders. We all too often consider that we’re just not ‘expert’ enough to push ourselves forward towards our big, hairy goals but if not now, when?! You continue to inspire me every day my friend. Thank you for the introduction to Playing Big (now on my reading list) and for more wise words from the amazing Emma Kenny. Much love xxx

    • Honest Mum

      Absolutely darling, you inspire me every day too Michelle, thank you and for your kind words. Playing Big is superb and I love Emma’s wisdom xx

  28. Babes about Town

    So love your inspirational posts V, always feel ready to take on the world after reading about all you’ve achieved and all that you encourage people to go out and do. I really love Jessica’s quote too about playing in the safe zone, been putting some thoughts together about that too as definitely so many of my highlights have come from taking that step into the unknown. But it’s hard battling those inner dementors that want to suck all the confidence and joy out of the thing that you were born to do. Helps to have people like you as our cheerleaders, thanks again for the wise words as always x

    • Honest Mum

      Aw thank you darling, I feel exactly the same way about you, so wise and talented and one of my closest friends in the world, I’m so lucky to have met you thanks to blogging. Can’t wait to see you soon. We must never let those dementors win xxx

  29. Notmyyearoff

    Stopping worrying about what others think is such a huge one. It really opens you up to so many possibilities. I’ve wondered a few times about publishing some of my more controversial posts and I’m so glad I published them. They’ve all done so so well and gone viral! Of course there’s been the odd negative backlash but a thick skin hopefully gets thicker x

    • Honest Mum

      Well done lovely, so important to not let the self-doubt creep in and stop us from anything. Keep rocking x

  30. Kiri

    Some great tips, thank you for sharing. I need to have more confidence in myself and my ambitions. I will be checking out the writing book too! Another fab post 🙂

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks Kiri, glad you found it useful, so easy to lose confidence, I waver between feeling on top of the world and riddled with self doubt. Loving the book though x

  31. MyCityMyLondon

    Love it! Hard work, perseverance and self belief is important. Oh and gut feeling ? You’ve done well with your blog ???? . I agree it takes time to grow a blog. It sure is taking time with me! Sometimes I get so frustrated and I think being a single mum makes me want to excel and do well in my blog even more??

    • Honest Mum

      Small steps, I’m 5 1/2 years on remember and my career as a TV director and mag editor definitely helped inform my work here. That doesn’t mean you need a media background to make it your career if you choose to (and it isn’t already) and that exactly what I love about the internet- the democracy of it, there’s so much opportunity out there. Good luck with everything 🙂

  32. Lizzie Somerset

    Such a great post Vicki, full of insight and things you’ve learnt. Thank you so much for sharinG.
    I’m going to save this one to my files it’s got so much I want to come back to. I’ve been busy networking recently and you’re right it does get easier! Like you, I need to look at what I’m best at and look at who else can do the bits I’m not so good at, as the blog grows. It makes so much sense to do it that way and you’re right you’re an incredible communicator, really warm and open. Lizzie #brillblogposts

  33. Debbie

    Hi Vicki, inspiring words once again. I am getting to a place where I would like to take my blog further, but then have confidence wobbles. However I do know that unless I take action nothing is going to change.

    I love reading posts like this because it does bring things home to me that anything is possible if we believe and plan.


  34. Nicky Kentisbeer

    Never has a post been more timely. This very much resonated at exactly the right point!! I downloaded Playing Big and have started to read it – looks like my kind of book. I wanted to say a genuinely huge thank you and it is at this point I shall read it again!

  35. Cheryl

    Love this! So many great points and tips in here. I’ll be saving this page to look at again and again. Very inspirational thank you.xx

  36. One Messy Mama

    This is a great article. Just what I needed to hear this week. Thank you for the advice! Definitely going to look into the book “Becoming a writer” ❤️

  37. Ebabee

    What an incredibly inspiring post. So much inspiration and wisdom in your words. You are so right in saying that ‘try and fail’ so much better than not to have tried at all. And yes, only you can make things happen for yourself. And yes to everything you say. Love this post so much. xx

  38. Mirka Moore @Fitness4Mamas

    Darling, this is a post full of so much advice. I have learnt from you so much, being more confident, and you are spot on saying “MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. DON’T wait for things to happen” You are a great example of what can be achieved, and I am so proud of you. You are an incredible woman, we all can learn so much from you xxx


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