It’s time for a chat with Amelia Wilson of The Editing Shop who offers copyediting, translation review and localisation services. We first met Amelia in November 2014,and had our first update in January 2016 and then in January 2017. When I asked her then where she wanted to be in a year’s time, she replied “My course will have launched! I hope to have increased and diversified my revenue streams, and to have continued to grow my audience via my blog and newsletter”. Let’s see whether those exciting things, or indeed other things, have happened …
Hello again, Amelia. Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
No – and I’m noticing the consistency of this answer to this question! I love to plan and set goals and challenges, and meeting them is important, but I also love that working independently means being able to adapt and grow and say yes to new and unexpected opportunities that crop up along the way.
I’m involved in new, but related, areas of the industry, and even spent six weeks working in Italy teaching English to non-native children. I’m finding that my interests are diversifying, and my skills are growing and changing alongside them. To me, that’s the definition and the beauty of the freedom that comes from running our own businesses.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
What’s stayed the same are my core offerings – I still provide copyediting, translation review and localisation services, and I’m still really happy with my branding, which I put a lot of time into changing and getting just right last year. I love the work I do and I feel happy with how my business is represented and the personality it has.
A big goal for me was increasing my revenue streams, and that’s become more important as I’ve realised how effective it is. It’s sort of like spreading a wider safety under my business; if one area slows down, I know that all my eggs aren’t in the same basket, and I have other income streams to smooth over any dips in client work. This has been really helpful in avoiding the whole “feast and famine” side effect of self-employment, which is something I’m sure we’ve all been through!
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve grown in confidence in business in general, and in diversifying in particular. I think when you start, you put so much energy and focus into doing one thing really well, and I feel that I’ve got that nailed down. Having my core services as a base, I now feel better able to build, grow, and see what I can add that’s different. I don’t have to stay in one lane in my business, and I’m getting better at blending in new interests without worrying that it will detract from other things.
I don’t want to jump ahead and pinpoint anything I wish I’d known; I’m really enjoying the journey and I think that we can all read the best advice, but for it to really sink in I think it has to come from experience as you go along, as you make mistakes, and as you celebrate successes.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Say yes and figure it out later! Don’t hesitate to diverge or branch out just because it’s not necessarily something you planned to be doing. The best experiences and the best lessons – and the most fun – come right at the edge of your comfort zone.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Personally, I’d like to invest in professional development in the areas that are taking my interest, and find ways to blend this into my business and my services and products. I love that deep learning about my own interests can be rewarding not only to me, in terms of growing my business, but also to my clients and the community I serve. It’s the biggest privilege of self-employment.
In a year’s time, hopefully I’ll have had the opportunity to dig deep, expand my knowledge, and find ways to reflect my growing skillset in my business.
I completely agree with Amelia’s point about diversifying. Like her, I’m not just an editor, in fact, a lot of the time I’m doing more transcription than anything else right now, and, indeed, when I branched out into that area originally, I was very much at the edge of my comfort zone (or back in a very old audio-typing one!). I have customers around the world and in different fields, plus a small income from my books, which helps keep things safe and even.
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