The Ambition Series: Meet Vicki, A Very Honest Mum

Hello and welcome to week two of The Ambition Series. Each week I am interviewing an influential and extremely successful female and quizzing her about her thoughts on ambition and what it means to her. Last week I interviewed the lovely Emma Conway, who writes the award winning Brummy Mummy of 2 so if you missed that then go ahead and check it out here.

This week, I’m fairly sure that my guest needs no introduction especially if you are a blogger yourself. For those of you who don’t know and have been hiding under a rock then let me introduce Vicki Psarias, who is something akin to blogging royalty with her critically acclaimed lifestyle and parenting blog Honest Mum.

Not only has Vicki won the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Outstanding (‘Best of the Best’) award and Best Social Media award in 2016 but Honest Mum has also been listed in the top 5% of all blogs worldwide. As well as being a devoted Mama to her two boys, Vicki somehow manages to combine her passion for blogging with a multi-award winning career as a screenwriter and director. Featured regularly on the television and having worked with huge household brands and famous faces, Vicki is an ambitious female with some serious get up and go. Despite all of this success, Vicki is also open, funny and warm. She has a knack of drawing you in and making you want to be her friend. The kind of friend you want to put on your dancing shoes with and hit the town for cocktails.

Engaging, motivating and endlessly creative – it was a real pleasure to chat with Vicki and pick her brains about what drives her, how she has managed to forge such a successful career and what ambition means to her.

Hi Vicki,
I’ve heard you speak about your own success in blogging and in building an online empire in a very unapologetic way, which I think is fantastic. What sort of reaction do you find this elicits from other women though? If it’s negative, how do you deal with that?

Have I used the words, ‘building an online empire’?! Ha, I don’t remember using that turn of phrase but yes please a million times, that would be awesome!

I find it hugely inspiring to read and hear others speak openly and candidly about their dreams and importantly, their journeys. The A to B. It’s crucial people hear statements like this in context though. It’s so easy to see results and what can sometimes seem like relentless success, yet few highlight the graft and time it takes to hit those much worked for milestones (usually because we’re too busy spending time grafting!)

Success and the definition of it, is personal too. Happiness and health come first of course and to me, working a three day week, something I’ve achieved in the last few months thanks to expansion and having management represent me, really means I’m reaching a mode of working I’ve worked hard to get to! To be with my kids, to feel free, creatively and to work remotely is so empowering. Not sure I’ve ever felt happier.

Regarding negativity, I’m a tough cookie really having worked in the film industry since I was 21 after gaining a distinction in my MA. I won’t ever be ruthless or unfair to others. If someone treats me badly, I walk away and don’t look back. I think that’s the key to successful living generally, being careful about who you give time and energy to. Trusting your gut.

I focus on the positive always. I do my thing and live by the premise of, ‘I’ll do me, you do you’.

I’m so lucky to have so many incredible, strong people around me and never take that for granted – they help combat negativity and keep me on track. Particularly my husband who is my rock. If I get upset about petty things, he sorts my head out. My manager Neil at Insanity too is brilliant. He helps me feel confident and strong. I don’t sweat the small stuff these days either. I’ve lost friends to cancer and accidents in the last few years, which devastated me and made me realise what truly matters. I just want to grab life by the horns and go for it all, you know in a meaningful way. I love working with the charities I do and helping others in any way I can.

What drives you to get out of bed every day and push your career onwards and upwards instead of being happy with the status quo?

I’m so happy with my status quo to be honest and I think therein lies the power in some respect, the power that comes with feeling right where I want to be. To be happy with all that I have- so anything else is simply a cherry on top.

I have dreams, big empty boxes on to-do lists I want to tick but if none of those things materialise and I keep going as I am, I’m cool with what I have right now: a beautiful family, a husband I’m crazy in love with, good health and a job I adore. As long as I’m creative, I’m content. I can’t NOT write or make films. I can’t not create whether that’s cooking up recipes in my kitchen or writing a screenplay. It’s not a choice, it’s a need.

My kids are my purpose and drive me, I want them to always be secure, emotionally and financially. I want them to see their mama happy, doing what she loves. I want us to continue travelling, creating together and having fun. I’m definitely a fun mum I reckon (although maybe best to ask my kids) and there’s such a lot of laughter in this house.

That means everything to me. Laughter, music, dancing and food. What more do you need?

Vicki Psarias Honest Mum

How do you juggle your career with raising a family? Have you had to reign in any ambition since starting a family or do you find you can still combine the two effectively?

I think motherhood has made me more ambitious, more driven in many ways, it’s also calmed me down a lot. I used to work 12-15 hours on set as a director and filmmaker and having Oliver in 2010 made me realise firstly that way of working was no longer possible and secondly, I don’t want to be away from my kids even for a night if I can help it. Blogging gave me a window, a lifeline to keep me creative in a way that let me work flexibly, around my family.

I never imagined it would become as popular as it has-and I try not to think of the numbers reading it because to me, it’s just really me at my laptop, the writer, sharing my life and loves. It’s crucial to think of your audience, of course but ultimately I ask myself before publishing, ‘Would I want to read this?’.

The juggle is real for all us working parents, my youngest is with me 2 days a week when I’m off and 3 days in nursery, my eldest is at school. My parents help and there’s babysitters for the odd date night. We make it work. I’m so strict on when I switch off too and whilst I look like I’m online a lot, I schedule posts on social media and am really brilliant at taking time out.

You write an incredibly successful blog, have won awards for your work and collaborated with some huge household names but how do you define “success” for yourself? At what point did you think “yes! I’ve made it!”

Gosh what a great question. I don’t think I ever, ever think I’ve made it. I do reflect on achievements every so often and remind myself especially when self-doubt rears it’s ugly head, on the things I’ve loved working on and I’ve achieved more than I ever deemed possible but yet I strive onwards, always as every day brings new goals and challenges.

I always thought I’d be a filmmaker forever and I still am in many respects, directing myself in campaigns with video being a huge part of my work but I see how flexible life and careers can be-how varied, stimulating and fluid working digitally is.

I look at what I do in a very open way which is exciting. There are no limits really. Thanks to the democratisation of the internet, everyone has a laptop and phone and can create, share and connect. I want to write and direct more projects for telly and film and I see everything complimenting each other.

How do you feel about other women who are streaming ahead and making a name for themselves in the same field as you?

It’s incredible- and to see so many gifted friends and colleagues shining makes me so proud. I feel lucky to be collaborating with these brilliant men and women and write a lot about the importance of sharing and working together, on my blog. I want to see more of this. It is how I always worked as a director and I love collaborating with bloggers and vloggers in my sector and across others. I have so many great blogging/PR friends who make work never feel like work!

Which ambitious women or indeed, men inspire you? What is it about them that you admire?

Too many to mention but the ones who stand out are: Oprah, Michelle Obama, Marie Forleo and JLO. Trailblazers, role models and ceiling- smashers. Coming back to your earlier question, if anyone mentions me in a sentence with any of these women, I will know I’ve made it!

Which three traits would you say were necessary as a woman who wants to achieve her ambitions?

Passion. Talent. Tenacity.

Vicki writes Honest Mum 

A really massive thank you to Vicki for taking the time to answer these questions.

I hope that you found it as interesting as I did hearing from such a successful and ambitious woman and getting an insight into Vicki’s thoughts on ambition. I particularly found it relevant that she pointed out that success can appear to come easy for some but actually the reality of it is hard graft. Hearing that has inspired me to keep plugging away!

If you have any comments or questions for Vicki or myself then just drop them below in the comments box. If you are enjoying this series and know of others who would like it then please do give it a share across your social media 🙂

See you next week for my third interview!

xxx

 

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74 Comments

  1. Julia
    September 28, 2016 / 7:28 am

    Such a well balanced & likeable lady

    • September 28, 2016 / 4:27 pm

      Thanks so much, that means a lot xx

  2. September 28, 2016 / 7:37 am

    I’m loving reading about successful women! This series is great and well done Vicki. Your story is inspiring to women like me on the cusp of motherhood. It’s great reading all these success stories – it’s extremely empowering 🙂
    Gemma Wilford recently posted…Maternity Leave Essential: September’s BirchboxMy Profile

    • September 28, 2016 / 4:28 pm

      Thanks Gemma, such a fab series x

  3. September 28, 2016 / 10:38 am

    Such an honour to be interviewed on your awesome blog, thanks so much for having me (and to all the kind comments). Thanks too for your support, it flipping means a lot. We are all mother hustling together. All power to us xx

  4. September 28, 2016 / 6:08 pm

    I loved reading this! It’s so inspiring that we can do whatever we want to do, when we have the motivation and drive. I need to take a leave out of your book Vicki. Clsire x
    The Pramshed recently posted…#fortheloveofBLOG Week 20My Profile

    • October 1, 2016 / 12:04 pm

      Aw thank you, you absolutely can do anything you set your mind to x

  5. September 30, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    So interesting to read about the work/life balance thing and switching off. I dorm know how you do it, lady. From what I’ve seen, you answer every single message that is left on all your channels. This says something about how committed and personable and downright likeable you are, but it also shows that you’re in the right job. A job you love and are perusing every day with 100% passion. I’d call that making it lady! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • October 1, 2016 / 12:07 pm

      Thanks so much, ooh I don’t always get to reply right away (wish I could) but I definitely always try to answer every comment and they mean so much to me as does all of your support. I wouldn’t be doing what I love without you guys and I hope to support and inspire others in everything that I do. It is all there for the taking. The internet is such an exciting and democratic platform, there is nothing I love more than working online. I do love tools like Social Oomph too as they mean we can control when we are online with scheduling. Balance is so important. Thanks for your lovely words x

      • October 2, 2016 / 8:43 pm

        See – I knew you’d get back! (I hope my comment didn’t make you think you had to LOL!) Oh thanks so much for the advice on Social Oomph. I’ve been wondering about a social scheduler – I’ll check that one out!

  6. October 1, 2016 / 8:05 am

    I honestly don’t how Vicki does it. She writes some fantastic blogs, hosts linkys. There just aren’t enough hours in the day but she manages it and excels at it! A real blogging inspiration #fortheloveofblog
    Fran Back With a Bump recently posted…Review: Aquabeads Rainbow Pen StationMy Profile

    • October 1, 2016 / 8:40 am

      I totally know what you mean but I think it’s testament to how much she loves her job. You can’t sustain that level of work if you don’t have the passion behind it. That is what I tell myself when I’m still typing away at midnight every night haha! x
      A Mum Track Mind recently posted…My Darling Memory Round-Up Week’s 9 & 10My Profile

    • October 1, 2016 / 12:18 pm

      So kind both, I am incredibly passionate and just love what I do. I’m always honest with others and myself on what I can do and am great at saying no (something I’ve really cemented this year). I have a super manager, assistant, PR and literary agent too. These guys make my life easier allowing me to concentrate on what matters: writing and creating. Thanks for all your support xx

  7. October 1, 2016 / 8:10 am

    I’m such a fan of Vicki from Honest mum, this post is so inspiring #fortheloveofblog

  8. October 1, 2016 / 8:24 am

    Great interview , great series. One of my favourite things about Vicki is that she’s so supportive – she was one of the first posting positive comments on my blog and really helped give me the motivation and confidence to carry on #fortheloveofblog
    Themotherhub recently posted…Ode to a New Mum: Confessions of a Mother.My Profile

    • October 1, 2016 / 8:42 am

      That’s exactly what I first loved about her. So so busy but always finds the time to be nice and supportive of others. That’s what sets her apart I think. Awesome shoes too if you saw her at BritMums in June lol x
      A Mum Track Mind recently posted…The Perfect Post-Workout Protein SmoothieMy Profile

      • October 1, 2016 / 12:12 pm

        Haha thank you lovely, I designed those shoes so am extra proud of them! So touched to read these comments, such a wonderful and much-needed boost of confidence xx

    • October 1, 2016 / 12:17 pm

      That’s really moved me, I love your blog and so glad I’ve played a tiny part in keeping you writing. Don’t stop xx

    • October 1, 2016 / 12:11 pm

      That means so much, thank you xx

  9. October 1, 2016 / 8:45 am

    A great interview and a great series. It’s really inspiring to read about other bloggers. I really enjoyed getting to know how Vicki’s ambition drives her. She comes across as an incredibly down to earth lady too. Xx #fortheloveofBLOG
    Let your light shine Mummy recently posted…Toddler GroupMy Profile

  10. October 1, 2016 / 9:48 am

    So inspiring. This is a great idea for a series and I love reading about other people’s stories and ambitions as it rubs off on me! Vicki sounds like a real inspiration #fortheloveofBLOG x

    • October 1, 2016 / 12:15 pm

      Thanks, love the theme fab, empowering idea xx

  11. October 1, 2016 / 9:58 am

    I am loving this series. It is great to know more about successful woman we follow and read their advice. I look forward to next week.
    #fortheloveofBLOG
    Ali Duke recently posted…My Empties: September 2016My Profile

  12. October 1, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Fabulous interview; Vicki you have definitely made it – you are a blogger I look up to and aspire to that’s for sure! Fi I am really enjoying this series, looking forward to reading next weeks 🙂 #fortheloveofBlog x

    • October 1, 2016 / 12:02 pm

      Oh that’s made me teary-eyed, thank you so much x

      • October 1, 2016 / 12:06 pm

        Ah sorry!! You should be so proud of yourself though 🙂 x

      • October 1, 2016 / 12:06 pm

        Ah sorry!! You should be so proud of yourself though 🙂 x

        • October 1, 2016 / 12:19 pm

          Thanks again, so touched reading these comments x

  13. October 1, 2016 / 10:20 am

    I feel like motherhood has made me more ambitious too! Loved reading this. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • October 1, 2016 / 12:01 pm

      It really spurs us on and gives us purpose huh x

  14. Kelly
    October 1, 2016 / 10:26 am

    So refreshing to see ambition being celebrated! Really enjoying this series! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • October 1, 2016 / 11:59 am

      I agree, such a wonderful series and touched to be part of it xx

    • October 1, 2016 / 11:59 am

      That’s really kind, so lovely to feature here x

  15. October 1, 2016 / 10:58 am

    Fab interview Fi. Vicki is a bit of an inspiration and she manages to balance everything so well. Such a lovely lady #fortheloveofBLOG

  16. October 1, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    I loved this interview, and I love reading Vickis blog, I always leave feeling that anything is possible! She is such an admirable and inspirational woman and a great example that we as women, and mothers, can still have it all. Thank you for sharing! #fortheloveofBLOG

  17. October 1, 2016 / 1:35 pm

    A brilliant read. Wonderful to hear from someone so successful who is also only officially works 3 days a week. I am currently struggling with perceptions that I can only do so much because I’m only in the office 3 days. People like Vicki really help promote the fact that it isn’t a bad thing! #fortheloveofBLOG

    Thanks for sharing your experiences Vicki and and for getting them out to us Fi!
    Angela Watling recently posted…What Little H did – 20 monthsMy Profile

  18. October 1, 2016 / 1:56 pm

    It’s always great to read interviews 🙂 an awesome post idea! #fortheloveofBLOG

  19. October 1, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    I love this series, it’s so inspiring! I love Vicki and she seems to have such a great balance which is hard to achieve in itself! #fortheloveofblog

  20. October 1, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    Love this feature about successful women. I love Vicki’s blog too. ‘You do you, I’ll do me’ is a great outlook too! #fortheloveofBLOG

  21. October 1, 2016 / 7:01 pm

    This is so inspiring – It’s good to hear even the most successful bloggers have moments of self doubt. #fortheloveofBLOG

  22. October 1, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    I loved this interview! I am one of those “hiding under the rock” so didn’t hear of Vicky-Honest Mum before. I really liked your down to earth attitude and love for your family, at the end, for me, that’s what matters the most. 🙂
    Great inspiring words indeed! x
    #FortheloveofBlog

  23. October 1, 2016 / 9:49 pm

    I love the idea behind this series Fi, it’s so refreshing to hear from successful women in their careers. I know when I first started blogging Vicki’s (hello Vicki!) was one of the first blogs I discovered and her Brilliant Blog posts linky was my first ever linky I joined. xx

    #fortheloveofBLOG
    Rachel Bustin recently posted…A Christmas Wish: Coffee MachineMy Profile

  24. October 2, 2016 / 8:35 am

    I really enjoy reading about successful bloggers, and have been enjoying reading Honest Mum’s Blog – so this was a great read! What a fab idea for a post! #fortheloveofBLOG

  25. October 2, 2016 / 10:56 am

    It’s always really inspiring to read about Honest Mum.! I was wondering what your daily routine looks like and how you manage blogging around parenting? And do you plan and schedule posts or just blog when an idea pops into your head? #fortheloveofBLOG

  26. October 2, 2016 / 4:50 pm

    I love the emphasis on ‘hard graft’, because that is exactly it, isn’t it? The things that mean the most to us, we’ve had to work the hardest for. The great thing is that now Vicki can work 3 days and then switch off – properly. I think this is a real achievement and a sign that she has made it, because that is where you want to be: with a life balance that makes you happy. A very inspiring and down to earth woman and always reaching out to support others. Thank you for the interview Fi. Alison x #fortheloveofBLOG
    Alison (MadHouseMum) recently posted…How not to nail it!My Profile

  27. October 2, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    She’s so awesome, and so fab. I’m loving this series it’s brilliant to hear what drives women such as Vicki and just like the rest of us it’s family, having a creative outlet. And she’s so comfortable with the success – that’s great to see. Thanks for the series.

  28. October 2, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    What a fantastic interview, really enjoyed reading this. Great questions and some challenging and inspiring words from Vicki. I really don’t know how she does it, her energy, passion and love for what she does are contagious. Definitely someone to aspire too, and seriously, how do you always look so amazing too?! You should be massively proud – love your joie de vivre. #fortheloveofblog
    Grounded Mummy recently posted…The Perfect SundayMy Profile

  29. October 2, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    Oh I do really like Vicki. She’s so honest and helpful 🙂 #for the love of blog

  30. October 2, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Am loving this series already – so can’t wait for no. 3. This is a fabulous interview – soooo inspiring and what Vicki says makes a WHOLE LOT of sense!! I particularly loved the idea that ‘if someone treats you badly, walk away and don’t look back….’ – great advice amongst many nuggets. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mindful Mummy Mission recently posted…Wicked Wednesdays #9: A Mindful Multi-tasking MummyMy Profile

  31. October 2, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    I’m a new blogger and have already been ‘chatting’ to Vicki over Twitter. How does she find the time?! Really lovely lady, very supportive and a similar career background to me so I hope to meet her and compare notes soon 🙂

  32. October 2, 2016 / 10:52 pm

    This interview has got to be the ultimate in your series- not sure how you are going to top an interview with this super-successful and talented lady! Really enjoying these posts! Xx #fortheloveofBLOG
    Sonia recently posted…Wait, Why are we Moving?My Profile

  33. October 3, 2016 / 10:17 pm

    So so inspiring, especially to those of us that haven’t been doing this for too long. Thank you for sharing these answers with us. Unbelievably I wasn’t following you on Twitter – I am now!! 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG
    Jaki recently posted…My Happy Place, My Guilty PleasureMy Profile

  34. October 4, 2016 / 10:52 am

    #bloggoals, #womangoals! I can barely remember how to put mascara on let alone conquer my own corner of the web! Great interview #fortheloveofBLOG

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