As my first year comes to an end, what have I learned?
That’s it’s OK to just be yourself. To have opinions, style choices, family commitments, good days and bad ones. All that stuff is what makes you a human being – and that humanity is what makes me ace at what I do.
It’s OK to turn away work – if it’s the wrong kind of work, if you’re not convinced that the relationship will be a good one, or if that little creature in your torso tells you to. I’ve been around for long enough to know to listen to my instincts.
Being in the right place at the right time is not just down to luck. Networking well (strategically, not just prolifically) pays off. For example, I know that the people I’m targeting will open up to me after a few drinks, but after more than a few they’re not thinking about their business anymore. Yes, there’s been a lot of drinking this year (and I’m carrying the extra pounds beautifully), but it’s paid off. And I can safely disappear at 10pm with no fear of missing out.
That there’s a whole community out there. A community of people making the same leap for freedom, with advice to share, help to give and time for a chat over coffee.
Finally, that growing a business is hard work. But, when you’re working for yourself at 10pm, it’s your choice. And if you’ve done it right, you’re doing good work for good clients, which is far more satisfying than catching up with the Walking Dead.
Roll on 2017!