Money Making Mums Blogger Interview: Helen Dewdney from The Complaining Cow
Hello, welcome to my Money Making Mums Interview. Please tell me a little about who you are, where you’re from and where you blog.
Helen Dewdney and I'm The Complaining Cow. A consumer expert (apparently, although I hate the word) and author of bestseller How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds Redress and Results! The blog provides stories of gaining redress, consumer rights laws, advice and tips and how not to be fobbed off.
This series is all about mums being able to make money from home. Can you tell me what you do from home to make money?
Writing a book is probably the biggest thing. Writing the blog and becoming known as expert (although loathe the word) in the field has meant that media contact me for quotes, radio and TV and the amount I now get paid for is increasing and of course radio can often still be on the phone!
What makes it suitable for mums?
It is the combination of finding a hobby and a gap in the market. You can't suddenly decide I'm going to blog, write a bestselling book and get ad hoc work in the media! I didn't! But looking back someone could plan what I did. Find something you enjoy doing (so for me, it was sharing stories of how I gained redress for friends and family as well as myself and I enjoy writing even if it does need a lot of editing sometimes because I waffle on!) You need to be quite creative and the sort of person who has lots of ideas and see opportunities. For me, the blog grew from just stories when people contacted me for advice. Research showed a huge gap and I then wrote the book. So blogging and writing a book are easy jobs for any stay at home parent. You just work the hours you want round the kids! When you build up your expertise over a few years you will become the go to person and again most of it can still be done at home for printed/online media and some (particularly local which doesn't pay but still raises your profile) and the TV work will be very sporadic and one offs which you may be able to work round.
What do you love about working from home?
Being my own boss. That surely has to be the top one for everyone! And of course doing the hours you want. I am happy to work through the night! But it's also useful for getting the washing in when it starts raining!
What are your top three negatives to working from home?
1) Gossip! Occasionally (less as the years go by) I do miss the office banter. 2) People who think, particularly when you are starting and not bringing in a full time wage, that you aren't doing a proper job. 3) The difficulty of choosing whether to work or clean the house!
If you could only pick one, either working from home or working in an office for the rest of your life, which would you pick?
Home without a doubt.
Lots of people say they’d find it hard to stay motivated if working alone at home. What keeps you motivated?
Each little success. The reviews on my book and comments on the blog and social media knowing that I am making a difference and I'm increasing the number of people not being fobbed off!
Do you have a favourite quote to keep you inspired?
Nope. When I see a lot of them, particularly on social media I just turn off. No quote is going to keep you motivated. Not really. It is YOU that keeps YOU motivated.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to share with mums wanting to make their own income from home?
Don't beat yourself up. It takes time. Ride any ridicule and patronising comments. Ask opinions from people you admire and respect not your family and friends. I don't mean you can't respect and admire your friends and family! Just that they will hold back even if they say they aren't. Unless you have a friend or family member that doesn't understand tact, diplomacy or subtlety either when speaking or listening. But we are few and far between and easily offend without meaning to! So once you have the advice and opinion that you asked for take it seriously (but you don't have to take it!) Opinions given without being asked, less so.
Thank you so much for taking part in my interview.
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