In this feature meet the inspiring women who set up and run their dream businesses. See what makes these entrepreneurs tick, where they get their inspiration from, and how they manage work and home life.
KATIE PORTMAN, from the blog Pouting in Heels.
Katie (with a former career in magazine and newspaper journalism) is now a professional blogger from her inspiring and empowering blog Pouting In Heels, which was launched in February 2012. She has a little girl Elsie, who is three, and her first book is out later this year.
Here she chats to me about blogging, work and life…
So Katie, what is your background?
I started my career in magazine and newspaper journalism, before moving on into PR & marketing. And then I hit 30! (Which changed everything!) I don’t know why but turning 30 helped me to realise that I wasn’t fulfilling my potential or satisfied with my work and so I decided to take the leap into the world of the self employed.
I’ve been freelancing in journalism, PR and copywriting for nearly six years now however don’t do much work for clients anymore, as I’ve become a professional blogger. Over the past 18 months or so, my blog has become my livelihood so all my time – at the moment – is mostly concentrated on that.
Why & when did you start your business?
In terms of freelancing, I started in July 2010 and I made the jump because I just had to! I trusted my gut instinct and knew that working for myself would be the key to greater contentment and personal happiness, which has absolutely been the case.
And in terms of making an income from my blog, well that’s something I never really expected to happen. Pouting In Heels was launched in February 2012 but it was three years later, Feb 2015 when I decided to get serious about everything and knuckle down to make a living from it. I’d been earning bits and bobs for a while and realised that my passion for blogging and content creation had to be explored further and so I just kind of went for it!
Hand on heart, I would recommend freelancing or self employment to anyone. And blogging too of course!
Where do you work from?
I work mostly from my dining room table. Not very glamorous I know but works for me. I’ve also been known to frequent an odd coffee shop every now and then too.
How many people do you employ?
No-one currently, however I do employ the services of professionals as and when I need them, such as a photographer, graphic designer and accountant, for example.
Where do you get your inspiration/ideas for the business?
Gosh from everywhere! I’m constantly thinking of new projects I want to launch or changes I’d like to make to my blog. As a blogger, I get tons of inspiration from other bloggers who are doing amazing work online. But I also get random ideas that pop up from nowhere, normally when I’m just about to go to sleep at night or when I’m in the shower. Bonkers huh?
I would also say that I’m very lucky to know such creative and professional people too, which helps. There really is nothing better for getting the grey matter working than having a natter over a cuppa or glass of wine with a talented and passionate friend.
How many children do you have?
I have one, Elsie my daughter, who is three years old.
How do you balance work and your own family life?
It’s very, very tricky and being totally honest, I’m not sure I ever find the perfect balance. It’s just impossible isn’t it?
However I do try and stick to a routine and am pretty strict about my work and ‘mummy’ time. So when I’m working, I’m working and when I’m on duty as a mum, I try to forget about work.
There’s tons of opportunities I’ve had to say no to over the years, because I’m a mum to a small person, but I wouldn’t change things for the world.
The key to achieving a balance that isn’t perfect, but that works for me, is patience. Which is hard because I’m definitely one of the world’s most impatient people! However it really does seem to boil down to this for me. Having patience requires me to acknowledge that there are only so many hours in a day, that things will happen when they can and it just takes that pressure of.
At the end of a bad day, I always try to remind myself that I’m doing the best I can with the time and resources I have, which really is the only thing any of us can do!
What does the future hold for you / your business?
Well my first book (that I’m currently finishing writing) will be out later this year. That’s very exciting (and daunting). And besides that, who knows!
The last six months have seen me start doing quite a lot of public speaking which is something I absolutely love so hopefully more of that.
But really as long as I’m still working for myself and still making a living from ‘working with words’ then I’ll be happy.
(Although admittedly it would be wonderful if I sold lots and lots of books. *winks*)