This has been a long time coming.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been asked when I would set something up and go solo. A combination of fear, confidence and patience made for over a decade of learning from others; a huge benefit.
Timing is key – I needed to learn from others how to (and not to) run a business, and get to a place where I was ready… Turned out a hefty dose of burnout combined with a feeling of ‘what are you waiting for now?’ was the combination for me to make the change.
For those thinking about taking the plunge, or those in a similar place, here are a few bits that I have found to be key to getting started and staying motivated…
Why these clients?
It all goes back to where it all began for my work life; in an outbuilding full of boxes based in the middle of nowhere outside of Stamford, a beautiful town in Lincolnshire.
My first day working for Sophie Allport, a small family business, where the owners, brother and sister, both busy with jobs elsewhere at that point – seeing the time, worry and care that they made with every decision, and the way each family member saw the brand – the heartstrings attached to a small, family business had me hooked.
Since that introduction, I’ve found the greatest satisfaction working with businesses of a similar ilk; where you see the difference you make, where you can see the legacy that the brand creates going back back into the roots and into everything that brand touches. The potential for good business, sustainable business, it’s inspiring and addictive.
If you can find something that motivates you and that keeps you engaged and inspired, that also pays the bills, surely you’re onto a winner?
Having a husband that loves to keep an eye on my to-do list has been pretty helpful to make sure I got through everything as soon as possible – safely avoiding any major sense of humour failures.
I had set money aside for investing in myself; making sure I was up to the work I would be pitching for, so a refresher photography course was a great place to start, not to mention a world of podcasts and webinars. I invested in the programmes I knew I would need and use all day everyday (Adobe, I hate to love you), all to ensure I’m constantly evolving and up to the task at hand.
The remaining funds have been pretty useful whilst building up the workload too – Turns out the summer holidays aren’t a great time to launch a freelance business, FYI…
The bump in the road…
Those who follow me on Instagram (or have seen me recently) will know what’s coming, but for those yet to have their eyes pop out of their head…
A month after deciding to take the plunge, I discovered I was pregnant – a planned, but huge surprise, one that meant I had to get a move on quickly, in order to get the life admin out of the way and any work under my belt before the little bundle of joy arrives. Nothing like a ticking body-clock to get things moving.
With all the symptoms you hear about and a bump that seems to grow by the minute, it’s not been easy, but there are magical days mixed in… My level of respect for working mothers and pregnant women has gone onto a whole other level – ladies, you are truly unbelievable.
Luckily for me, a few friends have also gone freelance at the same time – it must be in the air.
Once a week, I have a visit from a dear friend who spends her day working from our flat with me. We swap work stories, share advice and generally save each other from going mad. Working from home with the bump makes like a lot easier, but does create an added risk of cabin fever, so this is such a great way to have the best of both worlds.
I also use the family office in central London from time to time – so helpful to change location, although with people dropping in at any point, it’s not always the most productive, but is so hugely appreciated – another way to stay sane and connected.
So, with a crazy few months behind and no doubt years of it ahead, it’s off into the world of freelance, sharing stories of brands, businesses and people that truly inspire me; hopefully others too.