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How to make sure you reach your objectives in 2014

By on Dec 20, 2013 in Business skills, Ethical business, Freelancing, holiday cheer | 2 comments

The festive season always seems to be a time for reflection and looking back on the highs and lows of the previous year. This year, I say to hell with reflection, let’s start planning! Look forward to 2014 and make a New Year’s resolution for your business Now, we all know that most resolutions don’t happen: go to the gym more, lose weight, socialise more, make more money, get more clients. Why don’t these resolutions work? Because they’re such broad ideas, you’ll never know when you’ve reached them! How much weight? How many clients? How much money? So, I’m going to take a leaf out of my previous project management life and make a SMART resolution for 2014. If you haven’t heard of SMART objectives yet, they’re a great way to turn your objective in to something you’ll actually manage to do. Although I’m on a quest...

Freelancers deserve a break too

By on Aug 16, 2013 in Freelancing | 0 comments

When I thought about taking a proper break for the first time in nearly two years of freelancing, I hit a lot of questions: Will I lose work by taking a holiday? What if I get offered something great and I miss it because I’m on holiday? Should I keep up my social media presence by buffering tweets? Should I schedule some blog posts to be released while I’m off? But then I’ll need to promote them so how do I do that if I’m on a break? And around and around again until I got sick of listening to myself worrying about doing something that a big part of the population does all the time. So, what was I worrying about and were there answers? There’s two big issues here – have you been thinking about them in the dead of night as well? Work, clients, future work, money, money, money Freelancing means you have to plan your holiday time a lot more carefully...

Inspiration on a gloomy day

By on Jun 13, 2013 in Freelancing | 2 comments

Baby, it’s cold outside It’s cold out, it’s been raining for what feels like years, you’re stuck on your project/writing/design/life.  My tip?  Stop thinking so much!  Look outside your own brain for some inspiration.  It’s a big world out there and there’s always inspiration around you.  Here’s some of the ways I try to kick-start my brain on a really miserable day. Got an empty wall? Fill it with inspiration In my little home office, I have an inspiration wall.  This started as a few postcards on a cork noticeboard when we first moved into our home.  Then, my husband wanted to add some more photos to ‘his’ part of the board.  Then, I wanted to add some cards to ‘my’ side of the board.  There’s only so much inspiration a little cork board can provide! One morning, I walked into an inspiration office!  My husband...

How your guts can save you time, money and your sanity

By on Jan 31, 2013 in Business skills, Freelancing, Networking | 0 comments

This is the year of listening to my gut! Growing up with a mum who’s got Crohns Disease and Colitis (and who’s worked tirelessly over the years to remove the stigma from those illnesses, yes, you’re fab, Mum!), I’ve been surrounded by discussions on guts for what feels like forever. But I’m not talking about biology now, I’m talking about something that feels so amorphous that you can’t always believe it exists. Your gut instincts. Not sure about a prospective client? Going back and forth on whether to work with someone? The answer’s in you! What can your gut tell you? So, you’ve gone through a brief with a potential client but something just doesn’t feel quite right. Ignore your gut instinct, to cut and run, at your peril. Ignoring that base feeling can mean you end up: Not getting paid; Involved in a never ending project for...

What cats can teach us about freelancing

By on Jul 4, 2012 in Freelancing | 2 comments

This is Pukey the Cat (aka Max). Like Garfield, he doesn’t leave the cul de sac so I’ve spent a lot of time with him in my new freelancing life. So far, he hasn’t inspired me to draw a world famous cartoon strip but he has taught me a few things about freelancing and working from home. Warning – adorkable cat pics follow! Tenacity Every day, Pukey the cat plays with a little squeaky mouse. He pounces on it, gets it in his teeth, rolls it around with his front paws. He does this every.single.day.  Does my cat think it’s a real mouse or is he sharpening his claws for that unexpected moment when a real mouse darkens his path outside and he’s ready to pounce with all his might? Lesson learned:  Freelancing is your business, keep at it! You never know when that pile of prospecting emails will pay off; when your constant networking will start to work. Keep...

Starting a freelance business

By on Dec 12, 2011 in Freelancing | 2 comments

Being laid up with a sprained ankle has given me time to reflect on my business. I’m just about to hit the two month anniversary of my new freelancing life and boy, has it been a steep learning curve. Two months ago, I thought I knew it all. I was thinking “I’ve financially managed million pound projects, I can sort myself out fine.” “I’ve worked in marketing for years, I can figure out my own marketing fine.” “I used to work in IT, I can figure out my own website fine.” You get the drift. Two months on, I’ve learned so much about freelancing and making my own business work. I’ve also found other people’s websites have been invaluable in enabling me to feel like I’m finally in control of my own destiny. So, here are my lessons learned so far and the fantastic resources that are out there to help you get your business off the ground. Lesson One I don’t know everything I’ve had a...