The editor, Annie Ridout, has benefitted from having a business mentor to help her with The Early Hour. Now she’d like to offer a mentorship to another freelance mum, in need of some guidance…
Starting out as a freelancer can be incredibly daunting, especially if you’ve just had a baby. There will be a lot to learn, and all while looking after your kid(s). But it’s a path many women choose, as freelance work is often more flexible than your average office job.
Prior to my daughter’s birth, four years ago, I was working as an in-house copywriter, on a rolling contract. Although I was self-employed, the work was stable. But once I’d met my baby, I knew working from home would suit us both – and so I set about making this happen.
Initially, I was writing articles for other publications. But after a year, I decided to set up The Early Hour. I liked the idea of having full control of the content, and also hoped that 1. I could monetise it. And 2. It might naturally lead to other work. (Both have happened.)
Now, alongside running The Early Hour, I write freelance articles for publications including Stylist, the Guardian, Red Magazine and Metro. I’m the copywriter for Clementine App and I blog for BabyCentre. Most excitingly, I’m writing a book – The Freelance Mum – to be published by 4th Estate early next year.
Being a freelance mum is the right path for me. I love being able to drop my daughter at pre-school every day and pick her up at 3.40. My son has a childminder two half-days a week and other than that, he’s with me; learning to walk, talk and appreciate the world around him.
But it’s not always easy.
Sometimes, my head gets all jumbled up and I forget what I should be focusing on. There are days when parenting has to take priority and the work slips. There are weeks when I feel full of anxiety, because I’m not sure I’m doing a good enough job of either parenting or work.
And that’s when having a mentor is invaluable.
Two years ago, I completed a short business course with The Prince’s Trust. After a Dragons’ Den-style interview, they decided my business – The Early Hour – was viable, and gave me access to a business mentor. It didn’t work out with the first one, but more recently, I was introduced to Georgina.
Together, we’ve looked at strategy, marketing and the possibility of getting a business partner involved. When I’m confused about everything and need someone with a smart business-mind to help me brainstorm – it’s Georgina I can turn to. I did this last week, and she helped me to order my chaotic thoughts into something more coherent, and less overwhelming.
I find it incredibly beneficial to have a mentor but I understand that it’s not always easy for women to find someone they can turn to. After all, the mentor/mentee relationship relies on the mentor volunteering their time to support the mentee. So I’ve decided to launch a mentoring scheme via The Early Hour.
Every six months, I’ll offer one freelance mum a mentorship. You might be keen to try this path, at the beginning of your freelance journey and in need of guidance, or further along and simply looking for someone to bounce ideas around with, or for general support and advice.
The areas I’m experienced in are: digital publishing, creating content, SEO, blogging, setting up a business, juggling parenting and work, social media, securing freelance work – in journalism, and in other fields, too. Most importantly, I can help you to start making sales/money.
If you’d like a mentor – and think I could help you with your freelance work or small business – I’d love to hear from you. Please send an email to me: firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 29 April 2018, with the following details…
- Your name
- The age of your kids (if you’re pregnant, so right at the beginning of motherhood, that’s fine too)
- Your field of work
- What stage you’re at, as a freelance mum (in no more than 100 words)
- What you’d like help with (in no more than 100 words)
- Why you’d benefit from having a mentor (in no more than 100 words)
I’ll select one freelance mum to mentor for six months, and then open up the applications again towards the end of that period to find the next mentee. I look forward to hearing from you…
As well as these six-monthly mentorships, I’ll still be offering consultancy – advising freelancers and small businesses on how to make it all work – and other online services. Here are details on how I can help and my fees.