Look no further! Jude Portman is a Mompreneur you can trust.
I’ve been having a giggle and nodding my head at Jude’s colourful, amusing, motivational blogs on Wealthy Affiliate for the last few months – she is as entertaining as she is on point. (Scroll down to the end of the article for some great blogs!) That’s why I was delighted when she agreed to an interview for Inspiring Mompreneurs. I gave her a long list of questions to choose from, and she happily answered every one of them!
Hope you enjoy getting to know Jude as much as I did…
What do you do for a living?
I’m a freelance writer primarily and am also building my own websites in areas I am passionate about.
If it’s a number of things, which of these do you love most, which takes most of your time, and which brings in the most income?
Freelance writing is what is bringing in the money at the moment.
Where do you work most days?
In my lounge, on a sofa!
Which job title best describes you?
One Woman Band/Small Business Owner
How many days per week do you work, on average?
I try to keep it to Monday-Friday, but that doesn’t always work.
How many hours do you estimate you work per day, on average?
What do you earn as an Entrepreneur?
That varies. Most of my income comes from freelance writing and can vary widely. For example, I have just completed some articles for the UK’s largest recruitment agency – their pay worked out at around $150 per hour, but it’s not always like that. I have also helped out friends with their content or blogs and earned around $60 per hour and there can be occasions when there is little work coming in. My aim, however, is to earn a steady $8-10k per month.
What do you find more Challenging? Being a Mom or being an Entrepreneur?
Each has its own particular challenges. Both my daughters have had various problems which I find myself worrying about and when that happens, I find it difficult to concentrate on my writing, but also they give me inspiration to know that people can overcome a lot, and that means the challenges, and rewards, go hand in hand really.
What do you find more fulfilling? Being a Mom or being an Entrepreneur?
That’s a tough one to answer. Without a doubt, when the kids were younger, being a mom fulfilled me completely, but as they grew, I realised I needed to do something for me as well. I adore the job I do now and find if really satisfying and fulfilling when I make others feel better, or motivated, by my writing.
Do you consider yourself an Entrepreneur?
I do, I am used to working on things which require ‘thinking outside the box’, as much as I dislike that term!
Do you consider yourself a Successful Entrepreneur?
That would depend on what you deem to be ‘successful’ – I feel successful inasmuch as I am slowly but surely building a following and people seem to be interested in what I have to say. However, I have not made any money (as yet!)
When did you take the decision to become an Entrepreneur?
Around 4 years ago.
Why did you take the decision to become an Entrepreneur?
I have various health problems which meant that commuting to the office was becoming more and more difficult. I also needed to take sick days off which my employer wasn’t too happy about, so working for myself become an almost obvious way of moving forward.
Do you like the term Mompreneur?
I do, I feel it acknowledges that we not just business women, we are also moms.
Do you feel there’s a difference between Mother or Father Entrepreneurs?
I do in some ways because as moms, we are used to juggling lots of balls in the air. In my view, fathers are (generally) used to being the breadwinners, whereas women are almost ‘expected’ to take on the mothering role as well as any other ‘duties’ they may have.
Would you like to share any highs or lows in your career (as a Mompreneur)?
Amongst the highs have been people telling me that I have a flair for what I do, which is primarily freelance writing. The lows would be that sometimes jobs are few and far between. It’s either ‘feast or famine’ in the freelance world and so you have to make the best of the work while it’s there. That has now translated into the fact that I can work on my website when I don’t have a lot of writing work to do.
What has been the number one highlight of your career (as a Mompreneur)?
My number 1 highlight would be when I was asked to ghost-write a 70,000 word physical book on weight loss and the psychology behind it. This has been published in the name of an eminent US physician.
What has been the greatest challenge for you to overcome in your career?
I think because I came to it later in life than others, (I’m currently 54,) that I had some difficulty gaining some credibility as a writer. I started on Upwork, (formerly oDesk,) asking $10 per hour. That was a lot more than some people in Asia ask for and yet I had no feedback to back up what I was trying to say I was capable of. Fortunately, now I have lots of feedback on my profile, I am taken a lot more seriously and can charge more.
What has been the number one highlight of Motherhood for you?
Oh, there are so many! I had a lot of medical problems with both of my pregnancies and spent a lot of time in hospital. So the major highlights would be giving birth, via C-section, to 2 gorgeous girls, who although they were very small, they were also healthy, (for the most part.) Seeing them grow up to be beautiful, intelligent, loving and warm young women, when they had such a bad start has to be the 2 greatest achievements/highlights of my life.
What has been the greatest challenge for you to overcome as a Mother?
My ex-husband is an alcoholic and although I tried for many years to keep the family together, it became evident that he was not willing to put the work in to make that happen, so I had to make him leave. That meant I was bringing up the girls on my own, with less money coming in, but it was better for all of us in the long-term, although it was hard at the time.
Has it been tricky balancing work and home life?
My daughters are old enough to take care of themselves – my youngest was 15 when I started working for myself and so I didn’t face the difficulties that mothers of younger children would have done. Having older kids meant that they could also help out with chores and cooking etc. and they were wise enough to know when not to interrupt if I was conducting a Skype interview, for example.
What do you love most about being a Mom Entrepreneur?
I adore the freedom that it gives me. We all went to Italy for a month last year, which was something I would not have been able to do if I was still working in the bank. And yes, I took my laptop with me but I was on a balcony in the Italian sunshine, with a glass of Prosecco in my hand and thinking about which restaurant to visit that evening – if that’s termed as ‘work’, then bring it on!
All things considered, do you feel it was a good decision to become an Entrepreneur?
Absolutely – it has given me the freedom I mentioned above and also the ability to work when I’m feeling well. If I have a bad day, then I don’t need to worry about my ‘boss’ threatening to fire me, after all, my boss is a lovely person lol!!
Do you work from home? If so, what does your room or desk look like?
I do work from home. One of my problems is a degenerative disc disease which means that I need to work with my feet up, so my workspace consists of sitting on a reclining couch, with my feet up, laptop balanced on a cushion on my lap. But, it works well for me. I don’t feel as though I am hiding away from my family and can work quite happily with other people in the room, apart from when I need to conduct an interview. This is their cue to get up, do some chores or make me a coffee!
Do you think it’s harder to balance work and home life working from home?
For me, I would have to say it works really well. Most of the time, I put the laptop down at around 6pm as an end to my working day. I may check emails a couple of times during the evening, but I never do an interview – that’s my time to spend with my husband. As for general day to day home life, my husband does all the chores – as he’s classed as my carer he doesn’t work outside of the home.
What daily rituals are important for you to maintain work-life balance?
I like to come downstairs in my PJ’s to have a cup of coffee and check emails, while I’m ‘waking up’, and then go back up to get changed. That’s the start of my working day. I have a break for lunch and then back to it until around 6. We all know my routine and so we all find it easy enough to stick with.
Do you feel you are living your passion?
Absolutely – writing has always been the love of my life, from the first time I could understand that reading a book can take you to a whole different world!
Do you feel you have already created your best work?
I feel that I always try to make each and every piece of work my best. As a ghost-writer, that is what my clients expect and deserve, after all, they are paying me a premium to write for them. However, my best piece of work (I think,) may still be inside me – I’ve longed to write a novel for years and when I finally have the luxury of time, without needing to think about paying the bills, the I will begin!
If you were to die tomorrow, would you be at peace knowing you had lived a full, happy and meaningful life? Or would you feel you were dying with your song unsung?
My song will still be unsung until I get that novel out!
Do you have a message you would like the world to hear?
My biggest message is one which most people would think was obvious, and that is: ‘always treat others the way you would like to be treated. Never make judgements based on first impressions – until you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, you have no idea what they’ve been through.’
Is there a book or a song or a movie that has had huge significance or meaning in your life?
My husband is a huge Elvis fan and I recorded ‘Love Me Tender’ as a wedding gift surprise for him. I went to a recording studio to get it done professionally and had a photo shoot for the cover. I was thrilled with the end result and then arranged for someone to present it to him on the morning of our wedding so that he could listen to it as he got ready. He cried and cried and that song has a special place in both of our hearts.
What advice would you give someone just starting out as an entrepreneur?
Always believe in yourself and follow your dreams. Be prepared to make mistakes along the way and be prepared to accept criticism, as long as it’s constructive. Learn from others who have ‘been there and done that’ and try to surround yourself with positive, like-minded people as that will attract positivity into your life. If you have people telling you that you ‘can’t do it’ or ‘you haven’t got any skills’ etc. then that says more about them than you – you don’t need that kind of negativity.
Is there anything you know now, that you wish you knew when you started out as an entrepreneur?
My eldest daughter was already working on Upwork when I started and so I knew there was money to be made. I’m lucky in that I didn’t have anyone trying to tell me that I should do things a certain way, as it was new to all of us. I can honestly say that I’ve learned as I’ve progressed and wouldn’t change anything about the way I began.
Is there anything you know now, that you wish you knew when you first became a Mom?
I’ve come to understand that as much as you would like to, you cannot run their life for them and they have to make their own decisions, whether you feel they are right or wrong. Just be there for them, as a shoulder to cry on if things go wrong. I wish I had known that I would get so much out of being a mom and then I would have started my family earlier in life! I was 30 when I had my first daughter and 35 when I had my second.
Is there anything you feel you missed out on by becoming an entrepreneur?
I honestly haven’t lost anything by becoming an entrepreneur.
Is there anything you feel you gained by becoming an entrepreneur?
I have gained so much – from learning that I have freedom to make decisions and choices, to learning that along with that, goes discipline. You have to make yourself work sometimes, when other things may seem so much more interesting or captivating. The best and most powerful thing I have gained is time – we have so little of it, it’s important to make everything count.
Do you feel you chose an easy path or a difficult one?
My path was relatively easy as it came from a place of need – needing to earn money while not having to commute to the office every day, so there was no choice really.
Which tools of the trade have been enormously helpful for you?
My biggest ‘tool’ when starting was my daughter, who had to show me how to use Word and how to save documents etc. I was really that ‘un-techy’! Other than that, a decent laptop and Internet connection are essentials.
Which people have been enormously helpful to you?
My family – I wouldn’t be where I am without their support. As well as my husband and daughters, I also have fabulous in-laws who live very close and they are always ready to go grocery shopping or do whatever I need when my health isn’t too good.
Are there any courses or studies you feel have been essential to your success?
I am taking an NLP course at the moment to become an NLP Practitioner which I feel will enhance my writing skills, both for my clients and also for the content on my own website. Other than that, I have learned by experience and feedback from my previous clients, rather than any particular course.
Who is your target market?
I wear a few different hats as a mompreneur. As a writer, my target market would be those who are building their websites, or wishing to create products, (such as free e-book giveaways in exchange for gathering their emails, etc.) and they need help with content because their writing skills aren’t up to scratch. My market is international as the work I do is not restricted to a certain country – as long as the market is English-speaking, I can write for it.
My current website is targeted at women over 50 and the problems they face, such as sex and relationships when they are post-menopausal or getting back into the workplace after an extended break, losing weight, shopping and eating healthily on a budget, etc.
If you are currently setting up your own website, and need an outstanding content writer, copy writer or ghost writer, contact Jude for a quote. E-mail Jude on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read some of Jude’s hugely popular Popular Motivational Blogs on Wealthy Affiliate:
- How to Be Successful in A Business
- 3 Tips On How to Organise Your Life
- Remind Yourself Why You Started
- The Wrong Choices
- What does Your Dream Look Like?
- Treading Water
- Women of a Certain Age