Welcome to another Small Business Chat update – with me! My original interview was published on Christmas Eve and when I asked myself where I planned to be in a year’s time, I answered, “Well, I’ll have been full-time with Libro for a year. Hopefully I’ll be earning enough to support myself, I’ll have taken a holiday or two, and have a good solid roster of regular clients to keep me going“. Let’s see how I’m doing …
Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Yes! I have been full-time for a year, I’m earning more than enough to support myself – it’s so nice to be able to have lunch out when I want to, or treat myself to some nice pampery toiletries in the sales, and to be able to buy my friends nice birthday and Christmas presents. I have had one holiday and some time off, I’ve got better at scheduling in time off, and I do indeed have a solid roster of regular clients to keep me going – I’ve added one or two per month this year.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
The main thing is having only one job – much easier. I have been able to spend more time with my friends and with Matthew. I have stopped working with Master’s students through their course, as I discovered this was quite draining and gave rise to lots of urgent panicky work for people’s deadlines (I’ve been able to recommend such prospects over to a friend who’s great at working with such customers and is specialising in academic work). I’ve published one e-book and I’m about to publish another, so I should have some sort of passive income going on soon. What’s stayed the same? I’m enjoying my work still (hooray!) and enjoying working with clients around the world. And apart from a brief flurry around the beginning of the year and then September, when I presented my paper at the Iris Murdoch conference, I haven’t finished writing up my research project, although I have finished the questionnaire gathering side of it.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve learned to be better at stopping work to have the evening off, to not panic when the work goes quiet, and how to work on my own, I suppose. I wish I’d formulated some of my tips for homeworkers sooner so I could make sure I was looking after myself. I also wish I’d found some back-up people earlier, so I can be ill or busy without worry.
Any more hints and tips for people?
If you’re thinking about jumping ship from your full- or part-time day job, and you’ve got the money saved up to support yourself for a few months … go for it!
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I’ve got some personal plans bubbling away, and I’d like to be training for a marathon in the next year or two. Business-wise, I would like it to be pretty well as it is now – a good roster of interesting regular clients keeping me busy and keeping my income steady.
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