A Very Talented Lady

As part of our series of interviews with Inspiring Individuals, Hannah Martin, Co-founder of The Talented Ladies Club, tells Inspired Mums about the freedom she discovered when she decided to work from home on a freelance basis. Instead of a grueling 5 hour a day commute, Hannah is now able to fit her work around the needs of her young family.

Having achieved a better quality of life, Hannah wanted to inspire other mums to follow their dreams so decided to set up a magazine style website for working mums, www.talentedladiesclub.com


You clearly have a real passion for copywriting, tell me about how you started your career?

I was working in Hong Kong on an international magazine. I knew I wanted to write but didn’t want to be a journalist. My then-boyfriend worked for a big advertising agency and one Saturday we popped into his office to pick up something and I just fell in love with the environment – it felt just like art college (I had dropped out of an art degree a couple of years before).

I decided I wanted to be a copywriter and managed to talk myself into a job with Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world’s biggest agencies! 

What made you decide to work on a freelance basis?

Seven years ago I was working full time in London, and living in Worthing, which meant a 5+ hour commute every day. I was a single mum, and an au pair was pretty much raising my son.

I decided I wanted a better quality of life so went freelance, thinking I’d work two weeks a month and take two weeks off.

But it didn’t work out like that – I was in demand and working full time still, just on a freelance basis. Although I was making a LOT of money, I was still not seeing my son.

When I fell pregnant with my daughter a year later, I decided to stop commuting and freelance from home only. It was tough at first as I could no longer rely on my old clients (big advertising agencies in London) and needed to find a new client base, but it was very much worth it for a better quality of life. For the first time ever I actually did the school run!

What was the inspiration behind The Talented Ladies Club?

When I started freelancing from home I realised that I didn’t know anyone in my home town, so set about finding and making friends. And I was shocked at how many amazingly talented and ambitious mums I met who all faced the same problems – how to make their careers work once they have children. 

I wanted to find a way to help inspire them to still follow their dreams (while being the mums they wanted to be) and practically achieve their goals.

What do you love most about the work you do?

I love every aspect of working for myself, except accounts and paperwork (and chasing the occasional bad payer).

I enjoy the freedom that comes from deciding what I want to do in a day – I can choose to get up early and work and then meet a friend for coffee in the morning if I like. I have no one to answer to, and the harder I do work, the more I can achieve for myself… instead of just making someone else richer!

What’s the most challenging aspect of working for yourself?

You need to be disciplined. With no boss hovering over you or setting you deadlines you need to be able to manage yourself effectively and knuckle down to work.

You also need a wider range of skills as a freelancer. As well as being a great writer, for example, I need to be able to market myself effectively, manage my clients, outsource when needed and keep my accounts up to date.

The Talented Ladies Club has been such a massive success since it’s launch, what are your plans for the future?

We’re just putting the final tweaks to our membership club before launching it. Our site is packed with advice and inspiration for ambitious mums, but the club goes one step further by providing women with practical tools and bite-sized training they can implement immediately and see results. We have also created step-by-step guides to starting a business or a blog, going freelance or changing career, to help guide women successfully on their journeys.

As well as the club, we’re launching a six month training programme which is more mentored and features some of the amazing experts who have contributed to our site. We’re only opening it to 12 women each time, and they’ll have access to all our secrets and personal support!

We believe very strongly that it IS possible to have a rewarding career or business and be the mum you want to be – you just need to be more creative, clever and determined to make it happen sometimes. And we’re very excited about helping women realise their ambitions.

Do you feel you have found a good work life balance?

Yes I do. Though both Kary and I work REALLY hard (we usually work seven days a week) we love what we do, and we have the freedom and flexibility to work on our own terms. We shape our days and decide what we want to do and when.

This means that I am able to do the school runs every day, go to every parents’ evening, help out on school trips, bake cakes with my kids after school etc, while doing fulfilling, meaningful work and earning an income.

Don't miss next week's blog when Hannah will be sharing her top tips on how to become a successful freelancer.

To find out more about The Talented Ladies Club visit www.talentedladiesclub.com, follow on twitter @TalentedLadies or visit their facebook page www.facebook.com/TalentedLadiesClub

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