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Monthly Archives: May 2012

How do I count the words in my Word document?

Looking at the search engine searches people have done before coming to this website, I’ve realised I need to publish some notes on how to count the words in your Word document. This information covers Word 2003, Word 2007 and Word 2010, although most of the screenshots are from Word 2007.

How do I count the number of words in my Word 2007 document?

Word 2007 and 2010 handily display your word count at the bottom of the screen. Well, it should be there. Let’s see …

 But what if it’s not there? If you want to display your word count at the bottom of your document, right click with your mouse on the lower menu bar – that’s the blue bit at the bottom of the window, indicated with an arrow on this screen shot:

Do take a moment to marvel at all the different things you can do on this menu bar – we will come back to them another time! Now, when you’ve clicked on Word Count, you should see your word count at the bottom of the window:

OK, so that’s one way, but what if you want more information, such as the number of characters (maybe you’re writing some text that has to keep to a certain character limit)? Never fear, there are often two ways to do things in Word, and this is no exception.

We’re going to stop looking at the bottom of the screen and move up to those tabs at the top. Click on the Review tab and you will see the Word Count option to the left:

 Click on Word Count and you will get a little dialogue box telling you all sorts of information …

Now, what if you want to count just the words in a particular section of your document (you might be trying to keep to a word limit per chapter or be writing lots of short articles you want to check)? Simply highlight the section of text you want to count, then either look at the bottom of the screen, where it will tell you that you have highlighted x out of a total of y words, or click on Word Count on the Review tab and your dialogue box will tell you just about the words you’ve highlighted:

How do I count the number of words in a Word 2010 document?

Word 2010 works in exactly the same as Word 2007 as far as the lower menu bar goes, so just follow the instructions above to show the word count at the bottom of your document.

When it comes to the Review tab and Word Count option, it’s all pretty much in the same place, but looks a little bit different:

How do I check the number of words in a Word 2003 document?

In Word 2003, you can access Word Count from the Tools drop down menu.

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2003, Word 2007 and Word 2010, all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into! This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. Find all the short cuts here

 

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Expensive or expansive?

Although these are two different words that mean two different things, they are spelled very similarly, and I think that’s how the confusion creeps in. Having said that, even though the a and e are not next door to one another on the keyboard (I had to check that: I touch-type and most of the letters have worn off my keyboard through over-use) this one does come up fairly frequently.

Expensive means of high cost – either in monetary or some other terms. An expensive training course costs a lot, an expensive manoeuvre might cost the army dear in terms of people or equipment.

Expansive means covering a wide area, or extensive (although I don’t see extensive mixed up with expensive, which you would kind of expect!). It also means relaxed, communicative and genial, when used to describe a person. “The grounds of the castle are expansive”.

So you may have grounds which are both expansive, as in large, and expensive in terms of their cost of upkeep. But there’s going to be no more mixing up of the two words, now, is there?

You can find more troublesome pairs here and the index to them all so far is here.

 

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Sarah Rennie

Welcome to Saturday Business chat. Today we meet Sarah Rennie from Rennie Consulting. I first met Sarah at the Birmingham Entrepreneurs meetup, when she was just setting up her business, and we both turn up at a number of other events in Birmingham. We’ve had some excellent chats and exchanged experiences as we’ve gone along our different paths – some things about running small businesses are surprisingly similar, whatever it is you actually do!

And what Sarah does is really important. After 3 years practising as a property litigation solicitor, Sarah left to set up her own disability and access consultancy company.  She supports businesses and organisations who have a certain reputation to protect.  By reviewing physical access, running workshops and implementing mystery shopping programmes, she checks her clients are offering services to disabled people in a dignified and commercial manner.

What’s your business called? When did you set it up?

Oh I was imaginative with that one … Rennie Consulting!  I couldn’t think of a name that wasn’t either really naff (like ‘Access4U’) or broad enough to let me diversify.  I set up in December 2010.

What made you decide to set up your own business?

I had confidence in myself, skills and business offering.  Having no dependants and knowing that my initial overheads would be minimal, there was no sensible reason not to. Then I just dared myself into it!

What made you decide to go into this particular business area?

I was born with my particular disability and have been a wheelchair user all my life.  At Uni and work, I was notorious for writing letters to customer services departments of big companies to tell them where they were either breaking the law, wasting money or offering inadequate levels of customer service to me and other disabled people.  Being a qualified lawyer, I knew the law and being a discerning consumer, I knew what standards of service to expect!  It seemed natural to go behind the scenes of these organisations and support them to offer the right services to disabled people in the right way.

Had you run your own business before?

Nope.  One day I was at the bottom of the pecking order in an international law firm and the next day I made myself the boss!

How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?
Handed in my notice and then had a think.  I wrote one of my ‘special letters’ to the managing director of a huge company telling him about my experience of their services as a disabled consumer.  He called me in for a coffee and gave me a whopper of a contract!  Best Christmas present ever.  We became good mates, actually.

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

From a freelance consultant’s perspective: don’t expect too much loyalty from people you know beforehand.  However positive they seem about you, they may not actually have the decision-making power to give you work!  Imagine starting out knowing ’0 people’ and ask yourself if you think you can get complete strangers to believe in you.

What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?

“Sarah, don’t waste your money on ‘nice to haves’ (fancy websites and social media pages, etc.) too soon!  Keep it lean and concentrate on strengthening your reputation.”

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Being so keen to network and prove my capabilities, I gave too much away for free.  Several big companies were a bit naughty asking for my help, implementing my advice and then didn’t return the favour later on!

What are you glad you did?

It was right for me to concentrate on larger businesses rather than chasing lots of smaller contracts.  Not only is this more efficient for me as a ‘one man band’, but it means that when clients implement my advice it has the potential to make a bigger difference to more disabled people like me.  That pleases me greatly!

What’s your top business tip?

Get on Twitter.  It’s free, keeps you connected to the world when you work alone and it may just win you work!

How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?

Grown and diversified.  I started off concentrating on access audits (i.e., reviewing clients’ physical buildings for disabled access requirements).  I then ran a disability ‘language and etiquette’ workshop for a client to help their staff feel more confident that they were saying and doing ‘the right thing’ around disabled people.  These sessions have proved very popular since then.  My current focus is really getting the mystery shopping side of the business off the ground – I’ve got a great bunch of talented and perceptive disabled people ready to offer my clients a great service.

Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

Still here and still happy.  I wouldn’t mind being known as the wheelchair-user version of Mary Portas by that point!

The work Sarah does is so important. I grimly remember looking for venues for various events and finding companies that either didn’t seem to care about accessibility or tried to look like they cared but failed on the basic details. It’s not just relevant to disabled people themselves; anyone who organises any kind of event needs to take account of all sorts of accessibility needs, and I for one won’t look at a business that doesn’t take this seriously. Sarah’s actively improving life for hundreds of thousands of people who use the companies she works with, and I look forward to seeing her business grow and prosper. Although hopefully she won’t be as scary as Mary Portas!

You can find Sarah online at www.rennieconsulting.co.uk, email her or phone her on 0121 12234 606

Sarah has now found a role within a larger organisation, and we wish her well in her future endeavours.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured. If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my new book, Going It Alone At 40: How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment.

 

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Pus or puss?

Yuck, yuck, yuck! I said to (well, Tweeted to) the last person I saw muddling these up, “Don’t make me do a Troublesome Pair on this one!” but actually there is a need, isn’t there.

I’ll make it short.

Pus is the liquid formed in infected tissue

Puss is  term of affection for a cat, or a coquettish (young) woman.

Pussy (pronounced to rhyme with “fussy”) means full of the above liquid. Pussy (calm down … and pronounced with a u as in “pushy”) is another affectionate term for a cat. Maybe that’s how the confusion has crept in.

Anyway, there we go: all done now. Eugh. But necessary, yes?

You can find more troublesome pairs here and the index to them all so far is here.

 

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My short cuts – Using AutoCorrect in Word (1) What it is and where to find it

Have you come across AutoCorrect yet? Open up a Word document and type “teh”. Did it magically change to “the” in front of your eyes? That’s AutoCorrect.

So, it’s great for correcting common typing mistakes that lots of people make. But did you know that you can harness its power to help you write and type more efficiently and faster? In this article, I’ll tell you more about AutoCorrect and explain where to find it in different versions of Word, so you can tinker with it to tailor it to your requirements. In the next post, I explain just how to do that.

How to access AutoCorrect in Word 2003

Let’s look at Word 2003 first. You can find AutoCorrect under the Tools screen (I have to admit that it was so much better when it was so accessible, right here off a main menu. Nowadays, they like to hide it!). Click on Tools and then near the bottom, you’ll find AutoCorrect Options.

Once you’ve clicked on AutoCorrect Options, you’ll find yourself at a screen that will start to look familiar as you work your way through this article. This is where you can see what is already set up, and delete / change / add AutoCorrect entries as you wish. More about that in the next article!

How to access AutoCorrect in Word 2007

Here is how to access AutoCorrect in Word 2007. When I first moved over to Word 2007, I found it a bit hard to track down AutoCorrect – the key is to click on that Office button in the top left corner of the screen. When you do that, a menu will come up below the button, with a list of the files you’ve recently accessed (that’s what I’ve blanked out, for confidentiality purposes!), with a list of things you can do and, right at the bottom, a Word Options button. Click that button.

Once you have clicked on the Word Options button, you’re confronted with another menu (oh, for the simplicity of Word 2003!). You’ll find lots of intriguing options here, some of which we’ll be exploring in further articles, but for now, what you want is Proofing, about half way down on the left hand side. Click on Proofing and you will get a menu including the heading AutoCorrect Options. Click on the AutoCorrect Options button …

… and you come to a rather familiar screen, offering you a place to delete, change and add AutoCorrect entries as you wish. More about that in the next article! Note that you can also set up a shortcut button on your Quick Access Toolbar if you use this a lot.

How to access AutoCorrect in Word 2010

Now, in Word 2010 I feel like they’ve buried AutoCorrect just that one level deeper. But we’ll find it! To access AutoCorrect in Word 2010, you need to first click on that File tab, one to the left of Home, to which Word defaults. This has replaced the Office button from Word 2007. Anyway, Click on the File tab and you will be given a menu which, handily enough, doesn’t have a “Word Options” entry, but just Options. Click on Options.

Once you have clicked on Options, you will be given a new menu. This is quite similar to the one in Word 2007. Choose Proofing and then AutoCorrect Options.

… and here is your menu where you can see what is already set up, and delete / change / add AutoCorrect entries as you wish. More about that in the next article! Note that you can also set up a shortcut button on your Quick Access Toolbar if you use this a lot.

In the second half of this article, we look at how to tailor the automatic corrections to suit your purpose, whether you have a word you just can’t spell or type correctly, or you need to type a lot of words fast and want to auto-type particular common phrases.

Many thanks to Katharine O’Moore Klopf for the Word 2003 screen shots!

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2003, Word 2007 and Word 2010, all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. Find all the short cuts here

 

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Asterisk or Asterix?

This one is a real life example of something I found in an academic text. Luckily I spotted the error and saved the client’s blushes! But I also thought, “Aha – a Troublesome Pair!”

Asterix is a cartoon character, a Gaul resisting the Romans, in a series of French books.

An asterisk is one of these * – a little star which is usually used to indicate that there is some text in a footnote at the bottom of the page.

Don’t put a Gaul where you mean to put a little star, or, indeed, a little star where you mean to put a Gaul!

You can find more troublesome pairs here and the index to them all so far is here.

 

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Kathy Ennis

Welcome to Saturday Business chat. Today we meet Kathy Ennis, whose business bears her name. Kathy has been in business for a while, but over the years has moved from being a Personal Image Consultant to individual brand management – an example of moving with the direction her business was taking her and embracing change and new opportunities.

Kathy also had an interesting experience, some years into her life as a consultant, when she realised how little she knew about many aspects of actually running a business, something she now uses to good effect when advising business owners herself!

Let’s meet Kathy!

What’s your business called? When did you set it up?

My business is called Kathy Ennis! My strapline is Your Brand Is You. I actually started my own business in a very small way 11 years ago. I incorporated in 2006, however, I can honestly say I didn’t start running my business for real until 2009.

What made you decide to set up your own business?

I sort of fell into it; I wanted to try something different from the job I was doing at the time. There is more background information here. Eventually it became impossible for me to do anything else because I was hooked on being my own boss!

What made you decide to go into this particular business area?

If you take a look at the article in the link above there is an explanation [Kathy was working as an image consultant but found people were asking her more about their wider personal brand, so decided to move into that and mentoring].

Had you run your own business before?

Never. I come from a family of ‘employees’ – the idea of running your own business was as remote as the moon.

How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?

I started while I was working full time. Over the years I cut down on my salaried hours and grew the business in the days I didn’t ‘work’. I became full time in my business once I was made redundant (I wasn’t leaving my last employer until they made me redundant, I had been there too long and I wasn’t going for nothing!)

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

How to run a business! It sounds so stupid to me now, but when I started I thought that running a business meant money coming in, money going out and paying an accountant once a year to submit my tax return.

I went on a business / personal development weekend in June 2009. It was business based, experiential learning through playing games. There was one game we played (8 hours long!) where, in teams, we had to set up and run a business. The team / company with the most accumulated wealth at the end of the game was the winner. I was made the CFO and I was abysmal; I had absolutely no idea about what was going on in terms of business set-up, growth, marketing, financial management, etc., etc.

On the Monday after the course I started leaning everything I could about business, how it works, how to market, how to plan, how to manage money, etc., etc. – and now I mentor people who are starting their own businesses.

Times change!

What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?

Grow a shell; Don’t believe everything they tell you; Just because people have a successful business doesn’t mean they know how to run a business; Spend as little as you can and charge as much as you can – and most importantly – believe in yourself and know what you are worth.

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Not paid out loads of money to people who promised to do stuff for me and never delivered – and they got away with it because I was too business naïve to know.

What are you glad you did?

Get to know a brilliant group of business people who have always been so willing to give help, support and advice (Oh, and marry my gorgeous husband)

What’s your top business tip?

Plan, set targets, know what you want

How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?

I have been through at least 4 changes since I started, but I have never been as happy or as sure about what I am doing as I am now.

Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

Funny, I am working on this at the moment.

·         Higher turnover

·         Fewer, but higher priced, 1-2-1 mentoring clients

·         Group mentoring – face-to-face and online (webinars, etc.)

·         2 books written

Well that’s a specific plan if ever I saw one – we wish you the best of luck and look forward to finding out how things are going in a year’s time!

What happened next? Read Kathy’s 2013 interview here.

You can find Kathy online at www.kathyennis.co.uk. You can, of course, email her, or call her on 020 8926 0331.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more freelancer chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured.

 
 

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Is it actually worth the stress?

I was chatting to a business associate the other day. He’s enjoying his high-powered, high-stress and, let’s be honest, high-earning position, managing all sorts of change, rushing around here, there and everywhere … or he thinks he is.

Actually, he’s plagued by all sorts of niggling illnesses, that have become worse. Nothing that’s putting him in hospital, but things that are affecting his quality of life, outside work more than inside, and can’t be ignored.

So, is it worth the stress?

Downsizing your life, downsizing your stress levels

I can claim to be a bit of an expert on this, from personal experience. Having been doing a management-level, fairly demanding job in London, when we moved to the Midlands I was determined to have “a job”. In fact, we both agreed we would indulge ourselves for a year, M going back to post-graduate study and me looking for a basic level library job.

I had a bit of trouble, as a qualified librarian, getting a basic entry level job, but I did in the end. Lots of people said I would get bored; my managers tried to encourage me to apply for promotions I didn’t really want. I’d been up the corporate ladder, and I knew that it suited me at the time to have “a job” rather than “a career”, something that would pay the bills but allow me the resources and energy to enjoy my new life in a new city.

So that’s what I did, and I was perfectly content for a good few years. In fact, having that lower-stress, lower-responsibility job allowed me to start up Libro and develop my own business.

Different career paths for different life stages

Now, I could have quite easily chosen to progress through the corporate ranks again, gone for those management jobs, gone for the higher salary, which is always a consideration, isn’t it. But I decided to go this alternative route, and set up the business.

But I did that in as stress-free and risk-free a way as I could (see my article on not taking risks for more information). I’d decided it wasn’t worth the fear of going full-time at the beginning, the stress of having to scrape around for money to live on, etc. Instead, I lived very frugally, scraped together money to live on in advance, and launched Libro full time in January 2012.

Now I have a satisfying job, where I’m responsible to myself and my clients, no bosses, no employees. I earn more than I’ve earned in any of my corporate jobs, and, having identified during my career that I like to work in this way, that I don’t like office politics, being a manager, etc., I can honestly say that, even running my own business where every sick day means income and jobs lost, where I do sometimes put in an 11 hour day, but where I can claim what I know makes me happy:

  • responsibility for myself and my clients
  • no employees
  • no office politics
  • flexibility to juggle my day to fit in friends and exercise

I am as stress-free as I can be. And I have no stress dermatitis, no IBS, I’m fit and healthy and enjoying life.

I’m not boasting about this: it’s taken time to know myself and know what I want, and it’s taken hard work to get here, which hasn’t always been the most fun I’ve ever had. But I’m in my own space now, not trying to jam myself into an inappropriate role, and I’m very much happier as a result.

Know yourself and make the change

The photo at the top of this post? That’s butterflies emerging from their chrysalises. Whether what’s confining you is stress or something else, such as lack of the confidence to break free, surely it’s worth trying to achieve your potential and seeing what you can do … if you just break out of the chrysalis.

My advice to you, if you think you’re stressed, or you don’t think you’re stressed but your body does …

  • Think about what you REALLY want. Is the money worth it? Yes, we all need money to live on, yes, economic times are perilous, but if you can save anything ahead of changing your lifestyle, do it.
  • Think about what you enjoy, what you need, and work towards claiming it.
  • Talk to close friends or colleagues. How do they see your stress levels? What solutions can they offer?
  • Talk to a reputable life coach or careers counsellor. What ideas do they have?
  • Mind-map, brainstorm, go walking for a week, whatever it takes to give you space to think this through.
  • Seek mentors and role models. People have told me my blog posts have helped them on their path to self-employment (hooray!) – look around for people doing what you might fancy doing, and drill down into how they did it.
  • Think laterally. Do you really want to be an architect, or do you want to work for a housing association? Do you really want to be a social worker, or do you want to train as a counsellor? Could you work part time while you pursue your aims?

My “career path”, from corporate ladder-climber to “just a library assistant” to successful small business owner shows that you can step down, sideways, whatever. I’m not a risk-taker, I’m not particularly well-off, and it hasn’t always been easy. But it can be done.

Good luck!

 
17 Comments

Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Business, New skills, Organisation

 

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Me or myself?

I find that I and other people wince a bit when we see myself used, as it commonly is, in a seeming attempt to sound more formal, or managerial, or literary, or, well, something. We’ve all seen it – “If you have a problem, please contact myself”. Keep it simple is the rule here: “If you have a problem, please contact me”. There is a place for myself, but it’s a smaller, more precise place than people may imagine.

OK, I’m ranting a bit now; let’s just look at the rules for this one …

Myself is the reflexive first person singular – used by the speaker to refer to themselves as the object of a verb or preposition when he or she is the subject of the clause as well – “I picked myself up from the ground and continued on my way”, “I got myself dressed in time for the video call with my important client”. It’s also used in an emphatic way for I or me, emphasising that something was done personally by the speaker: “I didn’t go to the hairdresser, no: I cut my hair myself”. These, really, are the only times we use myself.

Me is the nice, plain, simple first person singular, used by the speaker to refer to him/herself as the object of a verb where someone else is the subject: “He gave the job to me”; “Please contact me or Linda if you need this work to be done”.

If you’re doing something to yourself, you can use myself. If someone’s doing it to you, you need to use me. “I cleaned myself up after I grazed my knees”/”I cleaned myself”; “Gill cleaned me up after I grazed my knees”/”Gill cleaned me”. Clear now?

Don’t get mixed up with themself/themselves and me/I, while we’re on this topic of how to refer to people …

You can find more troublesome pairs here and the index to them all so far is here.

 

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Carol Ann Markham

Welcome to Saturday Business chat. Today we’re saying hello to Carol Anne Markham, from Barristerlink.com, a service which connects solicitors and barristers and makes their communication easier. This is another young business, and it’s always interesting to contrast these with the ones that have been established for longer – and yet again we find that family circumstances are what’s propelled someone into business ownership. Carol Ann is a serial entrepreneur, however, having already developed then sold one business idea.

As with many of my interviewees, the steep learning curve has been helped by joining business and networking associations, in this case Women in Business and the Federation of Small Businesses – it’s always worth looking around to see what’s active in your local or business area, although it’s good to try things out before committing to any fees – most organisations will let you do this or provide plenty of information on their benefits.

What’s your business called?

Barristerlink.com    

When did you set it up?

January 2012.

What made you decide to set up your own business?

After the death of my Dad, I became the carer for my mum and needed to be able to have a business based at home allowing me the opportunity to work around the needs of my mum but allowing me to work – carer’s allowance doesn’t give you much of an income.  This new situation also gave me the push to start a business that’s always been put off!

What made you decide to go into this particular business area?

I have worked in the legal industry early on in my career, my husband has always worked in this area and over the years I have learnt a great deal.  It is an area I understand and know this service will be beneficial in a changing market.

Had you run your own business before?

I did have a venture a few years before, again a legal service – my husband’s idea that I put into practice and it was bought by a software company.

How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?

As I had to give up my job a number months before to look after my Dad, I was not working. I have not had an income for a couple of years due to the situation with my parents so I hope to soon receive one!

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

That nothing goes to plan!!

What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?

There is a lot more to learn than just the business you want to develop and provide.

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Used some of my time before the launch to learn about social media and SEO.

What are you glad you did?

Joined groups like Business Womens Network and Federation of Small Business to meet like-minded people and attend seminars, talks, and training on items that I need to learn about.

What’s your top business tip?

Make sure your contact telephone number is on EVERY page of your website in the top banner – people do not want to search for it and will quickly check someone else’s site.

How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?

Obviously this is a new venture and I have achieved my first goal of getting a core database of barristers, now I need to grow my users – Solicitors, this is my next challenge.

Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

With a brand that is recognised in the legal community and a “must have” service.

It sounds like things are going well initially, and we look forward to hearing about your first year and a bit in business!

You can find Barristerlink at www.barristerlink.com. Carol Ann’s phone number is 01268 201003  and she can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Carol Ann didn’t provide any further updates after this first interview. As far as I know the website is still live as of September 2013.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured. If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my new book, Going It Alone At 40: How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment.

 

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