Yesterday marked the end of my first 6 months trading, and so today is my half year business birthday, a significant date for Just leave it with me.
Inevitably this landmark has caused me to reflect on my first 26 weeks trading – the highlights, the lowlights, and the funny moments.
1 I love what I do. This comes right at the top, because it is such a great feeling to be in love with my work again and I had forgotten what this was like. Yippee!
2 I’m learning again. I thought I would be doing much the same as I have always done, just in a different environment. But how wrong could I be? My perception on this changed in the first month and I embraced the opportunity for personal growth. It is so stimulating to be discovering new ways of working, challenging my way of thinking and learning new skills.
3 I’ve met such great people. Maybe because they love what they do too, or maybe because they are stimulated, interested people, I am loving my interaction with the micro-business community, where people are innovating and driving their businesses forward. They have become my working community, and of course this has led to working with some great clients.
Lowlights (I’m struggling a bit here…)
1 IT problems. In the early months I experienced some frustratingly random, but disruptive IT problems. It was hard to determine whether the origins were hardware or software, and I felt quite isolated, having always had the support of IT Service Departments in the large corporate environments I had worked in. Indeed I often had ‘VIP’ status due to working for the Chairman or Chief Executive, so help had always been immediate. But what I have now discovered is that this help is still there, not just for IT, but for all specialist support areas. Indeed, I have now contracted a 24/7 IT support company, zuuMedia* who have given me great help, and also peace of mind.
2 I don’t move enough. Seriously, trivial though this sounds, this can be a cause for concern because I can sit for hours at my computer without being aware of time, and it just isn’t healthy. In a buzzy office background there are always reasons to get up and walk away from your desk – for meetings, to go to the communal printer, but everything here is within arm’s reach. I keep promising myself that I will get out for a walk each day.
3 Hanging on too long. Many people starting out on their own find it difficult to entrust anyone else with their ‘baby’, and I too need to find a way of supporting the growth of my business before it becomes limited by what I can handle in my own time. For example, I am today tackling a low priority job that has been sitting on my desk for 3 weeks, but which I should have outsourced to an associate. Why didn’t I think of that sooner? After all, my raison d’être is to help others let go and rediscover their true role within their business, by outsourcing business management tasks!
A funny moment…
There have been a few funny moments, after all you have to approach life with a sense of humour, even if working alone does mean that you are often only sharing the joke with yourself!
One early memory that still makes me cringe and chuckle at the same time is the vision of my first client, a true City gentleman, in his Savile Row suit and handmade shoes, digging and pushing me in my little sports car out of his gravel drive where I had sunk, in a thick layer of snow, high in the hills of the North Downs.
But I am delighted to say, that despite this incident in my first month of trading, we have just signed a second retainer contract after our first busy six months working together.