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Happy birthday to me! (or, rather, to my business)

Happy birthday to me! (or, rather, to my business)

Although I issued my first invoice in August 2009 (and so will be celebrating in August, too), when I set up as self-employed, I matched my financial years to the UK’s financial years, to make everything easier, and so Libro officially started in April 2009. I cannot believe I’ve been going ten years, though – that astounds me.

Originally, after a lot of experience working on various types of texts through my working life (see About Me for more information), I was approached by one of my colleagues at the university library where I worked to see if I could edit their student’s Master’s dissertation. I said yes, did it, and instigated a string of lovely referrals. For the rest of that year, I mainly worked on dissertations for people whose English wasn’t their first language (I still do that today, although I work on more PhDs now).

I was lucky enough to have a fairly routine job and flexitime, so with a lot of time management and hard work, no holidays and an understanding then-boyfriend (now-husband), I worked part time editing and full time in the library through 2010. Then in 2011 I made the decision to go part time at the day job, after making sure I was replacing my wages with my self-employed income. I came off the Certificate of Low Earnings (which lets people who don’t earn much from their self-employment not pay national insurance: something I only did because I was paying NI through my PAYE in the job). Later that year I dropped a second day of the day job and in November 2011 I resigned, starting full-time self-employment in January 2012 (at which point I got jury service for the first two weeks of January!).

It’s been a lovely part of my working life and one I hope never to leave. I have a reasonable amount of flexibility, working alone at home (but with lots of friends a Facebook messenger message or “meet me at the cafe!” request away). My earnings went up and then stabilised, I had a good year last year and I’m aiming to work a bit less this year to retain my flexibility. I’m grateful to my lovely clients, some of whom have been with me almost from the very beginning, and I now edit, proofread, localise and transcribe, so I have a lovely variety of work, from helping academics record the voices of their interviewees to sorting out philosophers’ words and making sure British people understand American companies. Here’s to the next ten years!

And to celebrate, I added two chunks to my Kiva portfolio and, with the repayments I had sitting in my account, made three loans to three entrepreneurial women around the globe:

  • loan Rosa
    Honiara, Solomon Islands

    A loan helps to buy bags of rice, biscuits, soft drinks, and noodles for her canteen (general store) business.

    $25.00

  • loan Jivtiben
    Kutch, India

    A loan helps to purchase kurtas, sarees, leggings, etc., to expand her clothing business.

    $25.00

  • loan Mwanaisha
    Makumbusho-Dar es salaam, Tanzania

    A loan helps to add stock of braids, weaves, earrings, necklaces, hair food, hair pegs, and hair treatments.

    $25.00

 
10 Comments

Posted by on April 18, 2019 in Business, Celebration

 

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Season’s Greetings from Liz at Libro

Reykjavik in the snow

Reykjavik in the snow

Season’s Greetings, however and whatever you celebrate, as we slip past the turn of the year and, in the Northern Hemisphere, the days get longer again.

I wish all the readers of this blog and Libro customers older and newer a happy, peaceful and healthy 2016.

2015 has been a good year, and I’m looking forward to achieving some personal and business goals in 2016. Thank you to everyone who’s helped get me to this position of freedom to be able to work hard, give back, maintain connections, read a fair bit and keep fit.

The Small Business chats and other blog posts will be taking a short break, but will be back with a vengeance in the New Year. I will be taking time off 24-26 December inclusive, and working part time between Christmas and the New Year.

With best wishes from Liz and the household.

xx

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2015 in Celebration

 

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Happy fifth birthday, Libro!

Libro birthday cartoonI started working for myself (very much part time) in August 2009 – so now it’s Libro’s fifth birthday!

What am I doing to celebrate? Well …

I’m having a little party today over on the Libro Facebook page … including a draw to win a free Kiva loan

I’m making some loans to Kiva (see below) and donating one to someone else

I’m celebrating the relaunch of my two main business books, with their new titles and covers …

… And I’m launching my new website devoted entirely to the books I write, where people can find info, links, reviews and news in one place

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating Libro’s birthday by popping over to say hello on the Facebook page or by doing a Kiva loan yourselves.

Happy Birthday to me!

Quick update: the Kiva competition in now CLOSED. Alison Mead won the free loan and was sent a voucher. I started new loans to a man selling spare parts in Benin, a travelling salesman in Paraguay and a food stall in Bolivia. These were all people who friends of mine had already lent to.

Kiva is an organisation that facilitates loans to small businesses around the world, who traditionally find it hard to raise capital. You commit from $25 upwards, and you can choose by gender, country, industry sector and individuals within those areas. They then pay the loan back to you in small increments – you get an update email on repayments once a month and sometimes updates on the individual or group you’ve loaned to, if the organisation handling the loan provides them. Once the money’s paid back, you can reinvest it or withdraw it if you want to. I love helping people to help themselves in this way; it feels like I’m helping to make a difference to another small business somewhere far away from me.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Business, Celebration, Ebooks

 

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Introducing my new business titles: Running a Successful Business After the Start-up Phase and Your Guide to Starting and Building your Business

Liz with her new books

Liz with her new books

It’s time to tell the world: I have two new books out, and I’m pleased to share the news with my readers and subscribers.

Running a Successful Business After the Start-up Phase: Who are you Calling Mature?” is a look at what happens next. Following on from “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment: Going it Alone at 40“, it shares what I’ve learned about optimising your customer base (including saying no to prospective new business), optimising your income, keeping that vital work-life balance, and blogging and the use of social media to build awareness and grow your business. It’s had some good feedback both personally and on its Amazon review page and I’m really pleased to be able to help people further along their journey through the wonderful world of self-employment and running a small business.

You can buy the print or e-book version from Amazon – you can go straight to Amazon UK, or see the book’s web page for links to the other international Amazons, and buy in different formats including pdf and for Kobo at Smashwords.

I decided to put “Your Guide to Starting and Building your Business” together to offer a low-cost option for people who want to read both books. It’s on e-book only at the moment, and is an omnibus made up for “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment” and “Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase” which takes you right through from how to decide whether to go self-employed, taking the first steps, perhaps while working in a day job, setting up your business, getting your first customers, working out which customers to continue working with, using blogging and social media platforms and getting your life back while running a successful business. I really do write this blog and these books to help people, so I’m really pleased to be able to put this package together at a decent price, and it’s so great when I hear how I have helped people!

You can buy the e-book only omnibus from Amazon UK and other versions of Amazon (see list of links), and for all e-book formats, from Smashwords.

Thank you to everyone who’s supported me in my writing efforts – I’m so glad when I hear how I’ve helped people, and hope that I can continue to do so for many years to come. Watch this space for my new venture – an editors’ version of the two books and a workbook to go with both sets of books, based on the mentoring I’ve been doing with some industry colleagues this year.

If you’re interested in how I got to this point, do pop over to my Adventures in Reading, Writing and Working From Home blog, where I talk more personally about writing the books and choosing (and tweaking) their titles.

And you can find info on all of my books on the Liz Broomfield Books website!

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Business, Ebooks, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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Happy Birthday, Libro!

Happy birthday, Libro

I’m proud to celebrate Libro’s third birthday today! In August 2009, I really had no idea that I would be working for myself full time, doing such varied things as transcription, writing and editing as well as thesis proofreading, which is what I started out doing.

I am going to have a small celebration at some stage soon, perhaps with friends of Libro, perhaps just with Matthew. I was considering marking the occasion by buying myself something, perhaps a piece of jewellery. But then I had a better idea.

I’ve been doing Kiva loans for a while now: we’ve got two loans on the go and re-loan them as they get paid back. Now I’ve helped to fund five more women entrepreneurs (which means those loans will be on-going too and help more people as they get paid back). Kiva funds grassroots organisations that help people do small, sustainable things that will make a difference to their lives. Here are the groups and people I’ve chosen to donate to. I’ve also made a donation to LUCIA, a charity close to my heart, run by friends from the Library where I used to work, who do the same kind of work in Ethiopia.

So, I’ve helped these women:

These ladies are in Paraguay, where my friend Sandy spent her year out at University, and they make textiles, which is an interest of mine.

This lady from the Lebanon supplies special food for Ramadan – an appropriate time of year to lend to her!

This group of ladies in Mali (location of Timbuktu, twin town of Hay-on-Wye) have already had and repaid several loans.

This lady goes spear fishing to send her children to school. A bit different from sitting at a desk typing to afford to buy millions of books!

And this lady is from Georgia – I met someone from Georgia at the Social Media Surgery last month, so that seemed appropriate.

If you want to start using Kiva, you can have a FREE $25 Kiva loan to make to an individual or organisation: follow this link to sign up and get your first loan for free! (the management of Kiva have sponsored a certain number of free loans to encourage people to sign up).

Thank you for everyone’s support of me and Libro over these three exciting years. Here’s to the next three!

There had to be a cuppa and a bun somewhere in this post …

 
12 Comments

Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Business, Celebration, Ethics

 

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Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays from Libro!

Just a quick post to say Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays from Libro – and thank you to friends, Matthew and my lovely clients for making it a happy and successful year. I hope 2012 is full of health, happiness and success for all of you!

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Celebration

 

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On Why I Love What I Do

I wrote this during graduation week at the University where I still worked part time at the time, and that’s a time of year I have always loved.  The expectation, the joy of the families, the relief that the hard work is over.  And during the past couple of years there’s been the added pleasure of knowing that some of the people whose dissertations and theses I’ve proof-read are among those happy bands of people throwing their hats into the air on the library steps at my University and at various campuses around the country.

It’s not just the students, either.  OK, I also had a lovely email from a client whose English I’ve been helping throughout her Master’s year.  She’s nearly finished her dissertation, it isn’t half bad, her written English has improved hugely as she’s worked hard through the year, and I’m proud of what she’s achieved – and she appreciates the care I’ve put into my work with her.

But I’m also proud of the novelists who get their precious words in print, whether in a “tree book” or electronically.  I enjoy working with people who struggle with their writing, whether English isn’t their first language or they face issues like dyslexia, and bringing their words and meaning to life with them.  And I’m always excited to see my name on an acknowledgements page in a book!  I get a real thrill from opening a favourite magazine and seeing a journalist’s article which they’ve created from the bare bones of an interview I’ve transcribed for them – but I’m also pleased when I help someone with a transcription that is never going to see the light of day anywhere but in a research paper.

I get pleasure from seeing my corporate clients grow their businesses with the help of blogs and press releases I have written.  They are so proud of the work they do, and I love the fact that I can fill in some of the areas in which they might not be so confident.  I don’t think I’ll stop being pleased when I see the words I’ve written filling someone else’s website, helping them climb up the search engine rankings and representing their voice as well as I can – even though there won’t be a credit to me on the website and sometimes I don’t even tell anyone I’ve written it!

I also love helping other entrepreneurs and organisations, both formally through helping out at the Social Media Surgeries and more informally at Entrepreneurs’ meetings in coffee shops and the Social Media Cafe every month.  It’s great meeting other people with such enthusiasm and drive, and wonderful to share ideas, tips and hints, in a spirit of collaboration rather than competition.  As part of that, I’m really enjoying putting together the interviews I’ve been posting on Saturdays for the past few weeks.

I became a librarian because I wanted to help people and benefit society in some way.  As I transition away from my library career and more and more into Libro’s world, I am happy to say that I feel I’m helping people and benefiting them and, yes, society, perhaps more than in my library work.  Libro turns two in August, and I will continue to work in a way that I feel is both comfortable (most of the time – a few challenges along the way make it more fun!) and ethical, and, well … I love doing what I do!

Libro offers copyediting, copy writing, proof-reading, transcription and typing services to other small businesses, individuals and corporations.  Click on the links to find out more!

 

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