It is hard to think that just two years ago I was thinking about starting my business and was full of worry and self doubt. We are now 17 months on from when I made the leap and although at times it has not been easy I have never doubted it was the right move for me.
There appears to be more people wanting to tread the same path I have, out of a paid monthly salary and into the world of being self-employed. I was particularly interested to see the announcement from Hard Numbers and the Hype Collective this week. For anyone who missed it they have established a start up fund for staff who want to launch their own agencies. Staff can bid for up to £100,000 of funding. It is a great initiative recognising that agencies can and do work together and are not always in competition.
Many people I speak to have found themselves wanting to make a change in their lives having found themselves considering things during the pandemic and lockdowns. The past two years have reminded us all how short and uncertain life is and we never know what may be around the corner. So, we need to make changes now and not accept what we don’t want.
I was reading through my spew journal the other day. (Yes, I do have a spew journal where I release all the negativity and bile I have within me. It is a way of getting it out and then feeling able to move on.) I rarely look back as there is some difficult stuff written within it. But on this occasion I found I had written: “I am weary and tired. I can’t focus and I feel I am on a train that I don’t know where it is heading.” Just a day later I had written: “I need to find a way of smiling or being happy but that feels a long way away.” It was tough and I knew I needed to make a change but it was scary to think about leaving what I had known for so long.
In the past 18 months despite the difficult days of the pandemic I am definitely smiling more and I feel in control of my own destiny. It isn’t nirvana. I still have difficult days when I wonder what I am doing, get overcome with imposter syndrome, or worry about having enough work in the future. But it was the best decision I have made in many years. I am surprisingly happy with my own company and have a wonderful network of fellow freelancers and communication professionals that I can call upon if I feel in need of some help.
All the help and advice I was given over recent years has been invaluable and I am grateful to everyone that has taken their time to give me guidance. This freelance and self-employed life isn’t for everyone as we are all different with different priorities and responsibilities. I am not going to try and replicate all the best guidance I have had here but just to give any aspiring freelancers one important message and that is if you want to do it, prepare, consider and then go for it and don’t look back.