I have a new life – and I love it! I am happier and more relaxed than I can remember. How long have I been worrying and stressed? Since we moved house for the first time? To be honest it was probably before that. I hadn’t even realised how much I was worrying until I stopped. The house moves and the redundancy and the fear of starting my own business had all taken their toll.
But now I’ve settled into a new routine. I get up early as ever and usually blog as I always did, but I can fit in an hour’s work before the kids get up if I need to. Then I take the kids to school and I either go for a run or a walk. This may not seem essential, but it’s essential to me. The fresh air and exercise help me have a clear head to work and to feel good within myself. Some things have to go and have to change, but exercise isn’t one of them.
The first week was all about looking at LinkedIn, People Per Hour and networking events. I booked a couple of events and went to my first one, which I really enjoyed (it was great to have my old best friend from work with me). I joined a Facebook group for local women in business, tweeted a bit and followed some businesses on my work Twitter account. I sent lots of speculative emails to local businesses. But I didn’t do any work. I was getting ready for work.
Then last week the phone rang. I had work. It rang every day last week at about 9.30am. I had two clients and a fair few jobs – enough for me to do a solid three or four hours of work a day. Not bad considering I only left my job at the end of March.
And I LOVE the work. I love the variety, I love the challenge. I like chatting to new people and being able to think outside the box. I like writing in a different way and being able to express opinions, which was a complete no-no in my old job at the council.
I put my head down and I just work. The time passes and I have no idea where it goes. I feel hungry and I realise I’ve worked way past lunchtime. There are no interruptions and it’s like I’m in a daze. A good daze, a productive daze.
In the first week I wrote a press release, two short articles and a feature article, I wrote a social media pitch on behalf of a client and I edited a website. Apart from the press release, it was all new, but it all came easily. My clients were pleased with what I’d done and they kept phoning with more work.
I feel empowered that people are coming straight to me. They want MY skills and my experience. I don’t have to go through a boss or check with 12 people before I send something out. I just do the work and send it to the client.
And at 3.15, I emerge from my daze and into the real world to go and pick the kids up from school. Generally I realise it’s much warmer outside than in. Freelancing is a very cold business, even in May, because I’m not moving.
I quickly realised I couldn’t work once the kids got home from school. Even though they don’t need me that much, it’s impossible to get away from them and focus. And, actually, part of the reason for going freelance was to be there for the kids. So I am there for them. Right until they finally drift to bed at 10. That’s when I start trying to get my printer to work or send my invoices out.
And in the morning I start it all over again. Right now I wouldn’t have it any other way.