Is it going to be all cups of tea and working in my pjs? I somehow doubt it and suspect it’s going to be a lot harder work than I (and others) imagine, but I love a challenge and am super organised, so this feels like the right time to go freelance.
My motivation to work and earn and strive to succeed on my own, comes from being the parent of a very lovely ten-year-old boy. I returned to work when he was only a few weeks old: a combination of living in London and statutory maternity pay not going very far! So, in between taking calls and running a business with my brother (who accommodated my very early return to work), I was feeding in stock cupboards, among the antique chairs and rocking my newborn to sleep as I worked. I have always felt that mothers’ guilt for this and have yearned for the last ten years to work for myself – to give my son and myself the work/life balance that we both deserve. Well, after gathering plenty of experience and contacts, here we are – finally.
I am under no illusion, that it will be easy. However, I won’t need to be at a desk from 9-5; I’ll do the 8 hours a day for clients – in my own time. I can collect my son from school, help him with homework and have some time to hangout together; listen to the day’s events; the Pokémon battles and the ‘he said/she said’ dramas; then once he’s in bed go back to my desk. So no, it definitely isn’t the easy option. It will be hard work, but I will be able to fulfil my role as parent – guilt free!! PLUS I get to choose the clients I will be working for.
I am starting my freelance career with three amazing clients. I am genuinely thrilled to be working for each one: my family’s business – The French House in York and London; Upside Down Design – interior designers and oh so stylish shop; and Castle Howard, who’s strapline ‘A place like no other’ is absolutely true! I have already received several enquiries from potential new clients, so the signs are good for a steady flow of work with interesting businesses. The key will be picking those clients who I can benefit most, without disrupting that all important balance. I want to avoid taking on more than I can comfortably manage, both for clients and myself.
There may be the odd day I take advantage of working at home, dressed in tracksuit bottoms and a oversized hoodie but, when I have a client meeting I will be putting on my business attire, lipstick and handbag. I’ll be ready to deliver that professional presentation and give the results I’m being paid to achieve.
Work/life balance, here we come.