Updated: Apr 23, 2019
This week on the feature I'm very honoured to have Annie Ridout a woman who has used her strengths to create a work life balance that fits around the life she wants to lead. Annie is a published author, founder of The early hour, co-founder of the Clementine app, online course creator as well as being a mother with one on the way, read on to see how she does it.
Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Annie Ridout - mum of two (soon-to-be three), freelance journalist, founder of The Early Hour, co-founder of Clementine App, author of The Freelance Mum and I run online courses, teaching people how to do their own PR and how to make the leap from employed to self-employed. I've also written a novel, which I'm hoping will be published soon.
The Early Hour is a digital parenting platform, publishing interviews and articles that are useful, entertaining and/or enlightening at 5am (for parents who are up early). Clementine App is a hypnotherapy app that helps women with sleep, confidence and stress. It was voted one of the 'seven apps every woman should own' by the Guardian. I'm a co-founder and head up the content.
What inspired/motivated you to create your business?
I lost my full-time job as a copywriter when I left to have my first baby. This was really disappointing (and scary) but I realised that in order to ensure it never happened again, I'd just have to become my own boss. Now I decide my day rate, when to take holiday, what maternity leave I'll take. It's been an empowering move.
What advice would you give others wanting to start a business? Or rise up through the ranks?
Do something that you love - or that will at least end up in you doing what you love. You might need to do some 'money work' to fund the 'passion work' but if it's related in some way, you'll still be learning as you work towards making the passion work your main source of income.
What have you learnt on your journey as a business owner?
That women undervalue themselves. We don't ask for enough money, we're too apologetic, we worry too much about what people think of us, we focus too much on appearance (we're tackling this with the new 'body' section of Clementine App, which I'm really excited about).
What has been the toughest challenge being your own boss? Being in such a high position?
It took a while to get to the stage where I was earning enough from my 'bread and butter' work (copywriting, blogging) to not have to worry about whether I had enough coming in to cover my half of the bills. I used to rely on the ad-hoc income (writing articles, a book) but now this goes straight into savings/holiday fund. Running online courses is working very well for me right now.
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
Choosing the hours I work (2.5 days a week), seeing my kids all the time, knowing that the more I work; the more I earn (rather than doing loads of unpaid overtime).
Seven random facts about yourself
I have 10 body piercings.
I can whistle with my tongue.
My favourite smell is vanilla.
I practised Cecchetti method ballet up to teaching level.
I play the guitar and piano (and soon, the accordion)
I'm happiest dressed top-to-toe in leopard print.
Why not connect with Annie via her website
The Early Hour - https://theearlyhour.com
The Clementine app - http://clementineapp.co.uk
Instagram - https://instagram.com/annieridout
To celebrate women in business I've launched a series called #FemaleBossFeature
Each week I will introduce a woman in business who will share what they do, how they do it, what they've learnt and share a piece of advice for those wanting to start their own business. To get involved please contact me here.