3 Months In
The highs and lows of working for yourself
Right then, I promised an update of how working for myself was going, so here it is, almost 3 months later!
So why has it taken me 3 months to get round to this? Well, I’ve been too busy working (and motor racing too, but that’s a blog for another time). Talk about living the dream, but that’s actually how I feel right now. It’s given me a new sense of positivity and enthusiasm which I hope naturally translates in my day to day work with my clients.
Thankfully and perhaps luckily, there have been far more highs than lows since I started working for myself. What started off as a 4 week contract ended up being extended by another 4 weeks and a few days on top of that too. That’s a massive confidence boost for someone who’s effectively started up on their own as a one-man band.
The last 3 months have seen me finally get a business logo designed (thank you to MAD Artwork for that one!), write my first company invoice and get paid on it as well as send me on trips into London and other parts of the UK often at very short notice. I’ve also worked alongside people from different countries, including as far away as Brazil and had to work some seriously odd hours into the night due to time differences, but it’s all been thoroughly worth it, because first and foremost I’ve enjoyed it.
So what exactly have I been doing then? Well, for reasons of confidentiality I’m genuinely not allowed to tell you the specifics but I can say that I’ve been contracting at Nielsen working specifically on one of their key accounts, Britvic Soft Drinks PLC, who own brands of Robinsons Squash, Fruit Shoot, Tango, R Whites and distribute Pepsi cola in the UK, to name a handful of their brands. In a nutshell, I’ve been looking at their sales performance across different countries and helping them understand their markets and consumers. I count myself as very lucky and privileged to have kicked off my business with this as a first project, working with household name brands.
The week I’m writing this blog is actually the first full week I’ve had off since starting my own business up. It’s come as a welcome rest allowing me to catch up and deal with all the business paperwork and admin, make some small revisions to the website, and also do some desk research before (hopefully) starting a new contract next week.
OK, so this all sounds amazing right? Well to be truthfully honest it is, most of the time. The biggest drawback of doing this is the uncertainty of work, something which I’m actually surprised just how well I’m coping with. I’m not sure that even as recently as a year ago I would have been able to cope with it without tearing my hair out with worry. For anyone else considering doing this I would simply say that you have to be in the right frame of mind to cope with that. Sure, there are days when I feel a little worried about when and where I’m next going to be working, and those are the days that when a recruitment agency randomly calls, trying to tempt me into applying for a full-time employed job somewhere, I’m tempted to do it. So far though, I’ve stuck to my guns and said no – I’m having fun, so why change that?
There is work out there but you have to be prepared to pro-actively go out and look for it and chase it up. If you’re not one of those people who’s comfortable doing that then consulting/contracting work probably isn’t right for you. If you enjoy a bit of the unknown and excitement of what next week could bring, then becoming self employed might just work for you too.
The Winning Formulae Ltd