Many of you will have seen on Twitter last week that I’m going to take the plunge and start freelancing full time from January.
I believe this may be momentous decision number 2 in the space of a year…
Starting full time from January has a nice symmetry to it as I reduced my working week and started part-time freelancing in January of this year and I like the idea of starting a new challenge in January of next year.
Although it’s quite a daunting thought that now I won’t have sick pay, paid holidays or a pension plan, I’m actually ridiculously excited. So much so I’ve bought a wallplanner.
It’s laminated. 🙂
It also comes with an array of coloured sticky dots. What’s not to love?
So far it has nothing on it apart from LILAC (which is 25-27th March by the way) (other conferences are available.) but there’s something fantastic about sitting here looking at this empty wallplanner and I think it’s the huge realm of possibilities that are now in front of me.
Before my current role I tended to only stay in positions for about 2 years so that fact that my last job change was 5 and half years ago is now slightly baffling to me. I honestly don’t know where the time has gone and even though I’ve enjoyed it, (and will miss my friends hugely) the idea that I don’t know what next year is going to bring or what I’m going to do or who I’m going to meet, is exhilarating and a breath of fresh air.
My next steps, (well, as soon as I put the blog post down) are to brainstorm my business/marketing plan. I’ve one tentative booking for March of next year which I’m excited about (and hope to be able to share soon) but I’m looking to generate at least 2 days training a month. This means that I need to think through who I’m going to contact, who could I contact from my networks and what organisations might be interested in my training. Last year, Deborah Dalley suggested drawing up lists of warm contacts – people I actually know and cold contacts – strangers. I started this work but then got sidetracked by actually being asked to provide training courses. This is work I need to revisit and include into my business and marketing plans.
The other thing I’m thinking about is looking for project work. Does anyone need someone to do some work for them? I’m thinking about training, information literacy, marketing related stuff. Areas where I have a lot of experience. However I also need to research where you find project work. What sites are there out there, who does what and why?
My other worry is periods of down time. Months where traditionally people don’t book training. January for example, is a worry. What should I do? Are there organisations out there who actually do book training in Jan and if so how do I find them? (Answers on a postcard) What do other freelance trainers do? Or is this just a worry for this year and next year I use January and August as my downtime too? Time for researching and recharging. Skiing anyone?
My other other worry is motivation – how do I keep myself working, when possibly there isn’t any work coming in? Do I have the discipline to do this? I’ve been really enjoying Llord Llama’s Research Ramblings blog, particularly when he talks about motivation. I can see parallels between doing PhD research and my going self-employed full time. (Llord Llama can too) The blog has been useful and I’m totally going to steal his tips and tricks to keep motivated. If I come up with any extra tips I’ll let you know.
But I think today, is mostly going to be about sprawling out on the floor with flip chart paper, felt tips and my new colleagues…