Freelancing six months on: Loud ‘n’ Proud

I can’t pinpoint the exact day I started up my new business and my freelance life as a copywriter, proofreader, blogger, PR and social media geek, but it’s been about six months now. I finished work at the end of March, took it easy for three weeks over the Easter holidays, then I tried to work out how to make money from sitting at home at my dining table, writing stuff. There is no glamour to what I do. I literally sit staring out of the window and write stuff. And I love it.

Needless to say, there have been ups and downs, just as I expected, but it feels like it’s going my way now.

After an early wobble, the work started to come in. I had three clients – a local PR company who got me to do little jobs on a tight deadline and a couple of websites which I edited and updated. Those jobs kept me reasonably busy in the first few weeks.

Business, Website, Freelance, Three World Media

Then there was a quiet period.

I started blogging for the two websites I edit. If I had a quiet day, I’d bash out a couple of posts and get them in the bag ready for the heady days when I would be too busy.

I emailed some local small businesses to sell my services. I got a handful of replies. I had some meetings. One by one, they rejected me – not quite the right time, they were already working with another company, they wanted a specialist in the sector… Just one remained outstanding.

I pottered along, invoicing ยฃ30 here, ยฃ70 there. Not exactly megabucks, but I still had (still have, in fact) the cushion of redundancy money behind me. I was working, just a couple of hours a day. But I was building it up and that was all that mattered.

Then came the summer holidays and I didn’t really want to work. I wanted to enjoy time with my kids and I didn’t chase any work. I had three biggish jobs – each earning me around ยฃ400, rather than the ยฃ40 I’d been invoicing previously, plus a few hours from the PR firm. That kept me going.

The jobs finished as the summer holidays did. And what then? Suddenly there was a big void of nothing-ness. Where was the work? How would I get it? I didn’t know. I started to worry. I knew there was no point in speculative emails – 100 emails had all come to nothing. Why waste time on another 100 or another 200?

The words ‘get a job’ were uttered. Just once, but they were uttered. And I knew more than anything that I didn’t ever want to get a job again. I didn’t want to travel, didn’t want to worry about how much leave I had and childcare (would my parents even want to look after my kids after six months off?).

I’d heard nothing from the PR firm for a few weeks. I got up one morning and resolved I was going to call them. But before I did, they called me.

I did two hours’ work for them and, as soon as I’d finished, the phone rang. It was the last remaining company whose work I’d pitched for three months ago. They wanted me to work for them! Yes, they knocked the price down, but this was regular, ongoing work, which I wasn’t about to turn down. Then I got an email from a friend – would I be interested in a job involving children’s books? Children’s books? Hell, yeah!

With that all underway, I had a tip-off from a friend about a PR company who needed someone to write articles for an internal magazine, so I got in touch with them – and wrote some articles. Then another friend offered me some work blogging for her business site.

Right now, the work more up than down. I’m enjoying the freedom and variety of the work and I’m enjoying working with people who treat me as an equal and talk to me with respect. I don’t put on any airs and graces, I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not – I’m a middle-aged woman who likes a laugh and can write really fast. If they want me to work for them, brilliant! And if they don’t, well that’s fine too.

I am proud of what I’ve achieved so far and very grateful to everyone (mainly friends) who has sent work my way. I might not be earning a fortune, but I’m heading for equalling my old salary and, best of all, I’m happy.

Mum of Three World

Next week Loud ‘n’ Proud will be hosted by Mama Owl.

If you’re feeling Loud ‘n’ Proud about anything you or your kids have achieved this week, please add it to the linky below:



 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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47 Comments

  1. Yaaay well done. Your persistence has really paid off and I’m so glad it’s working out. I think it’s scary as hell to become self employed and you need the drive to do it, which you definitely have. I hope in another 6 months it’s more than doubled and it’s not just coming from friends!

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    • Thanks very much, that would be brilliant if that could happen (although it’s great getting the work from friends!). It’s so much easier to do when you have a cushion of redundancy money behind you though.

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  2. The biggest achievement for me, is your bravery in even having a go! I think what you’ve achieved is incredible and your determination has got you this far. Onwards and upwards! I have no doubt you will succeed with your attitude.

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    • Thanks very much! I’m never going back! I could never have done it without my husband’s support – I could have stayed festering in my old job forever.

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  3. You went into this the right way – you planned and researched. You spent time looking for business and getting yourself out there. I’ve seen many people give up simply because their attitude is wrong and they expect work to land in their laps. I’ve no doubt you’ll ever look back! Congratulations! xxx

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    • Thanks very much! Right now I’m certainly not looking back! The work is building up at a rate I can cope with – enough to keep me going, not so much I’m overwhelmed. It’s brilliant ๐Ÿ™‚ x

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  4. Very well done you!! It sounds like it’s going really well….Long may it continue x

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    • Thanks very much, I really hope it does! x

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  5. Yay well done, I’m so pleased for you. I left my salaried job in July, and after taking the Summer off to be with 7yo, I am starting (slowly) to start working for myself.

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    • Good for you! So you’re only a month in? It’s a great feeling, I really hope it works out for you.

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  6. That’s fantastic Sarah, so happy for you, well done! You have a really positive attitude, and that coupled with determination is just what you need. I might be picking your brains this time next year, once the wee girl has started preschool and I have my mornings back again…

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    • Feel welcome to pick them! I didn’t really have a positive attitude to start with – looking back I realise my old job had really knocked my confidence. It’s so refreshing to have that back.

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  7. You should be VERY proud Sara. It is a huge achievement to start up a business and keep it going! I know all about that! And you are not alone…. I’ve been running my design business for 11 years now and I still worry about work drying up and not bringing in a regular income. The flip side is that I can do the school runs and I can take time off when I need to. But it’s such a huge learning curve. I’ve found establishing good solid trustworthy relationships with clients and companies who outsource to you are invaluable and that is where you’ll find work long term. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks very much. So far I really do enjoy it! I like all the people I work for and I hope I can continue to work with them in future. Like you, I love the freedom to be able to do the school run and to be there for my kids.

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  8. Happy. The most important word, and if Mum is happy then usually so are the children. So pleased it’s working out.

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    • Yep, I think we are generally a much happier family now! I always knew happiness was important, but didn’t know how I could be happy. Now I realise the old job had really knocked my confidence, but I’m a changed person now! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. Well done! I’m glad it’s going so well. I think you’ve done really well for just 6 months into a new career.

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    • Thank you, that’s a lovely thing to say ๐Ÿ™‚

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  10. Glad to hear the trend is generally upwards, I think it takes a long time to build up a good base of clients to keep you in regular work and I am pleased that it is all heading in the right direction! I am hoping to manage similar when Syd goes to school, or at least enough that a part time job alongside would make me feel my contribution was enough!

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    • It’s definitely a gradual process, but I think the fact that the trend is mainly upwards is positive. I’m sure it will work out for you too – preferably without the part-time job!

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  11. Well done for getting that regular job… I cringed as I read the ‘get a job’ sentence. You are very brave for embarking on the freelanc journey, well done to you! #PoCoLo

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    • Thanks very much. There’s no way I’m getting a job again! I’m a much better mum and a happier person as I am, so it’s better for the whole family to have me working like this.

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  12. It’s great Sarah, in fact I may need to come to you for pep talks as I’m in a redundancy situation now (which wasn’t voluntary and has no money payment!) and am wondering if I can do a similar thing…you give me great confidence though! Wish me luck! So hard to know what to charge!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • So sorry to hear you’re in a redundancy situation, especially one without money. Good luck! You are very welcome to come to me for that pep talk!

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  13. Well done, I may be looking to go freelance myself next year. I think you’ve done really well and should rightly be proud of yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks very much, and good luck to you too!

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  14. Amazing work. Well done for being so brave and chasing your dream. I’m super envious that you work fr home. Good luck on your future work ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thank you! It was a decision which was taken under the pressure of redundancy and it wasn’t good timing as we’d just moved house and got a bigger mortgage, but it was still the right decision.

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    • Thank you very much!

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  15. That sounds fantastic, you are achieving exactly what you set out to achieve. This is exactly what I would like to do, but have absolutely no idea where to start.
    Well done, you are right to be proud! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks! I didn’t have much idea where to start either, but I did it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. Well done, this is a really interesting post for me as I’m currently trying to move more into freelance work myself. Just goes to show that determination and remembering who you are is key.
    Thanks Xx

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    • I think so! Good luck to you!

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  17. Congratulations! It sounds like there were some anxious times but it shows that persistence and a positive attitude really can pay off xx #PoCoLo

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    • Thanks very much, they certainly can!

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  18. Aww you are doing great Sarah, wish I could think of an way to work for myself on the internet that would bring in a wage in. I need a job where I can take my daughter to and from school but it is hard finding one.. working from home sounds perfect…

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    • It’s not easy fitting work around school, so this has been great for me.

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  19. You have done an amazing job Sarah, well done. Like you, I have done the same, not really knowing where it might take me but I am so pleased I did – and still do! It isn’t always the most secure thing in the world but my goodness I love it – and I hope you do too. The most important thing is to be happy in your work and it sounds like you are doing great. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo ๐Ÿ™‚ x

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    • Thank you! Well done to you too, it’s a great thing to do if you are able. x

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  20. What a lovely refreshing post about how going it alone really feels. I’m so, so pleased it’s on the up and long may it continue! X

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    • Thanks very much! Let’s hope so, eh? x

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  21. That’s fabulous – well done and glad that things now seem to be working out after your quiet period ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks very much ๐Ÿ™‚

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