Welcome to another Small Business Update – today we’re saying hello again to Jane Badger from Jane Badger books, now working full time as an editor. We first met Jane in November 2013 and when I asked her where she wanted to be by now, she replied, “I hope I’ll still be working for my regular proofreading clients, and that I’ll have acquired a few more! I’ve been asked to write another book (fiction this time) so I hope I might have finished it”. As you’ll read, Jane’s had an interesting year, with a slight change in direction and lots of learning experiences. She’s enjoying her new job and still writing as well as editing – sounds good to me!
Hello again, Jane! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Thereabouts – in fact slightly ahead.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Although the business is certainly doing better than I’d planned, it hasn’t developed as much as it could, because of family illness. This is never something that you can predict; certainly not when it stretches into years. I underestimated the toll it would take on me.
Fortunately new clients found me, and I started doing manuscript assessments, which wasn’t a direction I’d planned on taking, but which I very much enjoy.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
Don’t ever take your clients for granted: keep on working at building a positive relationship with them.
I’ve learned I can actually write fiction, having written a book which is, in theory, going to be published next year. The whole process certainly came as a surprise to me, as I’ve only ever written non fiction before.
I haven’t regretted giving up bookselling at all!
I am one of those people who tend to think “Give me ALL THE TASKS,” but I am, rather slowly, learning that I can’t do that, and that a slow rate of growth, and managing to keep all the balls in the air at home and at work is sometimes the best you can actually do.
I do find it challenging balancing the various facets of work me: the author, and the proof reader and editor. My rule is that stuff that pays always takes precedence; anything else is just a bonus. I can’t see myself ever earning a living from writing alone, so that does very much have to take a back seat.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Don’t beat yourself up if your personal circumstances mean you’re not going to be Entrepreneur of the Year.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I hope my latest book will have been published, but nothing is ever certain in publishing.
I would like to have a couple more corporate clients under my belt. I am very conscious I don’t make as much use of social media as I could, so I am putting together a plan (using your book!) to improve this.
I’m also working on my CPD (Continuous Personal Development), which has been a bit neglected this year, and am researching courses and accreditations.
To sum up, I want to be doing what I’m doing better, and taking it to more people.
Well, that’s some good aims, and I hope the new book is out there by this time next year, because I certainly want to read it! Jane makes a good point about not beating yourself up – we all have tough years or seasons and it’s just what happens – it’s best to plod on, do your best and not hold yourself up to impossibly high standards. I like her orders of priority, too – that’s how I arrange things as well, although it can be frustrating when there’s lots of lovely paid work in and you have to put aside something closer to your heart. I hope to hear good things from Jane next year!
You can find Jane on LinkedIn as well as on her editing website www.janebadgerbooks.co.uk/editing/ and visit the largest website in the world devoted to pony books at: www.janebadgerbooks.co.uk and blog: http://booksandmud.blogspot.com/.
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 (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.