In our series of interviews, Successful Mums founder Jane Knight talks to different women about what personal success means to them and how they combine the work and family balance…

This month, Jane meets Sam Holman, mum to Alex, a lifestyle coach, author and photographer and a big fan of the work we do at Successful Mums


How does a typical day start for you?

It very much depends on Alex, the work I have on that day (I may be writing/skyping at home, coaching in schools or a private therapy room, or doing photography shoots) and my husband’s hours. He’s a very ‘hands-on’ dad, but Alex loves it when I take her to school (which is a 40-minute drive away, and closer to my husband’s work!) so it could start with social media, breakfast, getting ready and running out the door, or a ‘lay in’, social media, yoga, breakfast and working from home! Flexibility is a keyword in our house!

How has becoming a mum had a positive impact on your work life?

Alex has taught me how to get disrupted with a smile on my face. She does not understand that I am working from home and loves to help me with my printer and scanner – if that’s where I am then that’s where she wants to be. She propelled my passion to get the message out there that doing what we love is so important and we don’t have to be held back by labels. Alex has Down’s Syndrome, but she doesn’t let anything hold her back. I think, ‘if she can, then we all can’!

What one piece of professional advice would you give other working mums?

Lead by example and strive for balance.

I have worked with many teenagers over my school-based working life to know that what they value most is a parent who is happy and can make time for them.

What does personal success look like to you?

Creating positive change for others and work/life balance for me – I know what makes me ‘me’ is what makes me happy, so I make sure I make time for that. I am very lucky to have an amazing husband who supports me; we make time for ourselves as individuals and as a family, as well as one to one time with Alex and each other. When I’m off kilter you can be sure that one of those things are not being fully met.

What one thing for yourself do you always make time for?

Travelling somewhere new, so I can surround myself with nature and write.

If you were cast away on a desert island, which book, music and luxury would you want with you?

‘Eat, love, pray’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, a mixtape (I have an eclectic taste in music and need music to match my mood), and my luxury would be a beautifully bound journal and a pen.

And what would you happily throw into the sea?

The iPad/YouTube for kids – especially Ryan’s (materialistic) world!

Finally, one last tip for women returning to work after a career break?

Identify your unique skills and interests as a career break is a great opportunity for change, ask for support if you need it and stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself.

A big thank you to Sam for her time. You can find out more about her coaching business HERE

Why not achieve your own personal success and join Successful Mums for a back to work or business start-up course. Find out more HERE.