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.