Everyone on the evening’s panel faced their own challenges on their way to becoming self-employed. From confidence issues down to the actual practicalities of living with a certain amount of uncertainty, working for yourself can sometimes be a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Through our introductions and the following panel discussion we hope the audience were given a good idea of the sorts of difficulties some face, as well as some of the benefits that come your way once you push for a different type of lifestyle.
Here are some takeaways from the discussion:
Carmel King, Freelance Photographer:
‘My biggest challenge has been taking time out to have three children and maintaining my client base. After my last maternity leave I met with Nat and she helped me with a business plan to direct my work in the direction I wanted it to go, that’s how the Makers project came about which has sent me in a completely new direction, working on my own self initiated projects and working with brands to develop their visual identity and marketing material’.
Recommended reading: The Craftsman by Richard Sennett.
Emma Hammond, Freelance Social Media Manager:
‘Know your worth- everyone has something unique to offer- it took me ages to work that out. Meet people! Network and be yourself. If someone doesn't 'get' you then there will be other jobs. Read about your heroes and other business people. Listening to podcast interviews with people you admire is hugely inspiring. Learn from everyone you meet and be open to criticism. Always be kind to yourself and remember that mistakes are how you learn’.
Recommended reading: How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson
Sophie Richardson, Freelance Designer:
‘I fear being out of of work too long and running out of money. I sometimes fear being out of 'the game' of employment too. This makes me say yes to too much work and losing the work life balance which was ironically the point of freelancing! I was juggling a 9-5 job alongside my own business creating illustrated products for in evenings and weekends - for 5 years! I decided to go fully freelance at Easter to work more flexibly and choose projects I really enjoy’
Coming up roses by Cath Kidston
Build a business from your kitchen table by Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker
Nat Harrison, Business Coach:
'Learning to accept that fear is a part of running your own business was a big thing for me. The way I deal with it, is by putting strategies in place to help me through those times of doubt. Support is my biggest help - I have a work buddy who is another coach and we have bi-weekly meetings to talk about our objectives for our businesses and support each other by coaching each other through tough times. I also have a supervisor who I see once a month - she is 20 years further down the line that me and is always able to offer useful tips and challenge me to step outside my comfort zone and grow.
Feel the fear and do it anyway by Susan Jeffers
Q&A with Emma Morley
We were lucky enough to have Emma Morley, the Founder & Creative Director of Trifle Creative along to answer our questions around the subject of fear. Trifle Creative are a bespoke design consultancy who have worked with top name brands from Moo to Coco de Mer. It was so helpful for us to hear about what difficulties Emma has faced as she created a successful business from scratch. We have included some of her tips here for you to look at.