2020 is a month old. There has been Dry January, Red January, Veganuary… I haven’t taken part in any of these but I have used January as a month to relax, recharge and re-energise. Also, I have used it as a time to reflect, not just on 2018, but the last 4 years since I went into business for myself.
It’s been such a learning curve for me, not just the practical stuff such as Self-Assessment, website hosting, accounting systems, expenses but the things I’ve learnt about myself. For instance, after working in busy offices for most of my working life, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to work on my own. But I love it. I understand that I’m a sociable person, so need contact with other people too but networking fills that need for work-related social interaction. On the days when I’m not networking, I can run, it’s amazing how many people you see whilst running. Also, I can pop to the gym. The main thing is that I can choose how to organise my day.
I hadn’t realised how restricted I had felt in a regular job. Working a set number of hours, following a certain working code, sometimes dressing a certain way. Now I work the hours that suit me, certain days are busy so I work long hours, other days are quieter, so I can start work later/finish earlier. I know what is expected of me from the clients I work for but there is a great deal of flexibility, which suits my lifestyle. After getting up early to commute to London for a while, I love the fact that most days, my commute involves walking down the stairs.
Importantly, the main thing I’ve learnt is that if you’ve got a strong urge to forge out your own working hours, working conditions, type of work and you’re prepared to take a chance, working for yourself could be the best decision you’ve ever made. Because to twist the well known quote, it’s not the days in our lives that count but the life in our days.