Your Name and Age: Peggy Melmoth (43)
Tell us about your family: I’m a single mum of two cheeky, artistic daughters, aged six and eight. We live in a cottage in Devon with a little black cat called Emily.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
I previously managed a music recording studio in London for several years, before retraining as a hypnotherapist. After I had my second child I wanted to work flexibly from home (on our narrowboat) and so in 2011 I started a small business as a virtual assistant and freelance blogger. The ‘transition’ kind of happened while I was on maternity leave. I already had a personal blog called The Real Life of a Narrowboat Wife; this gave me a micro-niche of working for canal-based business and charities. At first I was providing admin, blogging and social media services, but after a while I was able to outsource the social media to an assistant.
Alongside the freelance blogging I’ve now launched The School of Special Sauce: Online training resources for artistic, or holistic entrepreneurs.
How did you get started?
I started blogging and building a community at The School of Special Sauce in the summer of 2015 and first offered a free personal development course called How to Get What You Want, and Want What You Get. I also offer a free video-class called Create an Audio Download in 60 Minutes or Less. This month I’ve launched a new e-course called Monetise Your MP3s. It helps women to overcome their technophobia and create their own audio downloads without paying for a professional studio. It’s aimed at coaches, healers, therapists, poets or online-teachers, who want to reach a wider audience and generate passive income by selling sound recordings.
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?
Working at home and not commuting! When I lived in London I seemed to spend a good part of my day just getting to work and back. Now that I work for myself I walk my children to school and then head straight back home to start work. I feel like it’s a much more efficient use of my time! I also love the flexibility of being able to turn up for school events and assemblies, and always being able to fit my work into school hours.
What’s the thing you least enjoy about running your own business?
Marketing and PR – it’s not my zone of genius, and like many women I feel a bit uncomfortable about promoting myself!
What has worked well about your business?
I think with my freelance blogging business the best thing I did was to specialise and become a perceived “expert” in narrowboating. This was an accident, as I didn’t even know what a “micro-niche” was at the time!
What’s been your biggest business mistake? How did you deal with it?
It’s more of an ongoing challenge than a mistake; it can sometimes be hard to stay focussed, motivated and productive when working at home alone.
Are you working towards a financial goal for your business?
Yes, I have a short term goal and a long-term one!
Would you ever give up your business to do something else?
I might start a new business, but I think I’d always like to be self-employed while I have children at home. It means I can always put them first.
Have you had your ‘I’ve made it’ moment? Tell us about it. If not when do you think it will come
Yes, there came a time with the freelance blogging where I realised I had enough clients to make a reasonable income and that felt like a real achievement, to have “created” my dream job out of nowhere!
Where do you hope to be in five years time?
I plan to add more e-courses to The School of Special Sauce to create an online academy. In five years’ time I hope to have dramatically increased my passive income which will give me even more flexibility and freedom in my life.
Peggy Melmoth is an artist, writer and teacher who runs The School of Special Sauce, for artistic, holistic entrepreneurs. Her new e-course Monetise Your MP3s will take you from techno-phobic to selling your sounds in just six weeks. Visit her website now to grab her free training: Create an Audio Download in 60 Minutes or Less!