Sarah Turner: Author, Freelance Writer and Blogger
Biggest professional achievement to date
The proudest I’ve probably ever felt, in a work context, was the day I got a call from my editor to tell me that my first book, The Unmumsy Mum, was the Sunday Times number one bestseller for that week. It had already been in the chart for around ten weeks by that point so I had assumed that it had already peaked at number three – which was amazing, of course, but ‘Sunday Times number three bestseller’ just didn’t have quite the same ring to it! Seeing the picture of my book in the paper that weekend was the first real ‘pinch myself’ moment and the point at which I felt like a proper author.
Most profound/life-changing, business moment
The moment everything changed for me was when I signed my first book deal. I had been writing a parenting blog as a hobby for a couple of years and it had been doing really well, but writing and publishing a book along similar lines had only ever been a pipe dream. The security of a proper contract and a looming publication date was enough of a kick up the bum for me to take a bit of a risk and hand in my notice at the University of Exeter, where I had been working as an Alumni Relations Officer for three years. I have since signed a further two book deals, of which I have published one, The Unmumsy Mum Diary, and am now putting my mind to the other. I’m so glad I took the risk.
Best life advice ever received
Don’t go to bed on an argument. Don’t make decisions when you’re angry and don’t go shopping when you’re hungry!
Advice for a young woman stepping into the world from school, college or uni…
Gather as much work experience as you can and see the value in every opportunity, even if it’s not necessarily the job you want to be doing. I have had jobs I’ve hated, jobs I’ve dreaded going into and jobs that I thought ‘weren’t leading anywhere’ but they have all offered something by way of skills or useful contacts. Work experience also shows your willingness to get stuck in and connect with the real world. When I graduated, I thought it was my degree that would land me a good job but when it came to my interview for a graduate finance scheme, it was the Saturdays I had spent as a bank cashier that clinched it!
Which book has had the greatest influence on your life
The book I read recently which has probably had the biggest impact on how I think and consequently on how I act is The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. It made me question the insignificant things I worry about and has helped me to care less (in a good way!)
If you could make one change to the world
I would pick up all the wealth in the world and redistribute it more evenly.
What does 2018 hold for you?
In 2018, I am continuing to work for myself from home. Our home situation is slightly different to last year though, as baby Wilf joined the family just before Christmas and my husband is now doing parental leave so I can work. It made sense for us to reverse our roles compared to the last two maternity leaves taken when I was employed rather than self-employed, but it’s still taking some getting used to!
You get out of life what you put in. I’m a great believer in hard work.
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
100 MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN 2018
Grow Exeter Magazine launched the ‘100 Most Influential Women 2018’ in Exeter and the region in December 2017 and we received around 500 nominations for influential women from all walks of life; our panel was spoilt for choice and hard-pressed to select only 100 from the talented nominees that they viewed. The Launch of the ‘100 Most Influential Women’ awards in 2018 has perhaps even more value than in any other year as it was just 100 years ago that the first woman was granted the right to vote in the UK.
Women have truly shown that they can shine in any environment, whether that be in the boardroom, teaching our children, climbing mountains, navigating uncharted waters, they can do anything that they set their mind to and we can’t wait to celebrate our own talented 100.
Honouring women in our March edition of Grow Exeter fell in line with International Women’s Day on the 8th March and the 100 finalists have each been featured in this special edition. To see the 100 finalists individually featured, please grab a copy of our March edition by ordering through the link below. We will be publishing each woman online throughout March and April so keep an eye on our Facebook page or website for their stories.
A huge congratulations to everyone nominated and to the #100WomenExeter, you are all amazing!