Just over a week ago I set out on a new path; life as a self-employed person began.
I have considered, many a time, the prospect of setting up my own business but I have held myself back for a number of reasons:
- There are many professionals consulting in the same field, would there be a need for another?
- Am I good enough to make it on my own?
- How would I cope with not being around other people; colleagues, team and customers all day, every day? I’m brilliant company (even if I do say so myself) but would I enjoy significantly less interaction than I have been used to?
- Would I be able to pay the mortgage? The security of being employed by a successful, established business and the financial benefits that come with that have, if I am honest, been the overriding factor for not taking the plunge sooner.
I needn’t have worried. Yes, I am only a week in but I have been blown away, and truly humbled, with the level of support and encouragement I have received. Both by my nearest and dearest and by people I have interacted with on social media and IRL, too. Thank you all so much, I really do appreciate it.
“But support and encouragement, alone, do not pay the mortgage” I hear you say. You are absolutely right. On their own, they don’t, but they certainly help. Couple that with people I have worked with in the past inviting me to contribute to their business, I may have just found my utopia. Long may it last.
I have, however, been in quite a strange space this week. I am collaborating and supporting an inspirational team on number of projects; their Investors in People assessment, team development and recruitment of awesome Managers, among others . They work in very brilliant business and are based in London. I live in Coventry. Some of this work I have needed to be in London for but most of it I haven’t. I have been able to work remotely and flexibly.
This is where I have found it a little odd.
I am used to being out early and back late, up and down the country, sometimes overseas, in all the roles I have held previously. Over the last week, I have contributed, been available, had just one night away, delivered what my client has asked and still had so much time on my hands, compared to what I am used to, I have felt as though I am not working enough. I have spent quality time with hubby (not sure he would use the same words), we have eaten dinner before 8.30pm every night I have been home, I have spoken with friends who I would sometimes go weeks and not hear or see, I have been round the in-laws and we have been to the pub to play darts. Twice. I don’t even have any ironing to do. I am all over the chores. I don’t know what to do with myself. I do know that I am quite enjoying it. It’s taking some adjusting to, but I am really enjoying it.
It led me to thinking about how I will approach and adapt to my new working situation. The big questions and, if I am honest, challenges to myself are:
- Why would prospective clients choose me?
- What am I offering that others aren’t?
- Who will challenge my thinking?
- Where do I bounce my ideas?
- How will I grow and develop my client base?
- How will I ensure that I interact, verbally and in person, often?
- Who will I have fun with? (apart from hubby and our cats, that is, although I’m quite sure me being home so much will wear thin at some point)
I don’t have all the answers yet but I am so very lucky to have met some brilliant people on Twitter who have established themselves in the freelance space. They have afforded me their time, advice and support, along with their own services, together with suggestions for co-working on a regular basis so that interaction, challenge and creative thinking can flourish. I am very thankful to have such brilliant, passionate, people in my network. People Stuff Matters. It’s the future.