I've been thriving on the challenge, the freedom and newness of my situation. After many years in the same position at a large firm, it's so nice to be doing something different.
Here's what I've learnt so far:
1. It's all about relationships. I can't even think of that word without hearing my dad saying it in an OTT American accent. Sorry pops, but the yanks are right on this one - life is all about relationships. I work hard to keep up a good relationship with my clients and I can see the benefits.
What I am aiming for ultimately is having clients who are more like friends - how great would that be?
2. The internet rules. I have clients who I've never spoken to in person, y'all. They email me, I do the work and email it back, they transfer money to my bank account. It's fantastic. Without the internet, my job would be
Thank you, computer nerds, for this most brilliant invention of my lifetime (after the ipod).
3. Anyone with a brain, a computer and a modicum of talent could do this. You don't have to be an entrepenuer. You don't have to be rich. You don't have to be ruthless and cut-throat. You don't even need to be particularly business-minded, you just have to be smart. If you're not good with numbers, you can get someone else to look after that for you. I'm doing everything myself right now, and it seems to be manageable so far. Then again, I haven't yet done my first tax return...
4. It is surprisingly satisfying to be able to do a load of washing in the middle of the day. I've spoken to several self-employed people and this always comes up as one of the main benefits of working from home. Likewise, wearing pyjamas/trackpants all day long. Also, feeling smug when you see all those suited commuters rushing for the train at peak hour.
We're a weird bunch.
5. I owe a debt of thanks to my old bosses. Without even realising it, I've absorbed so much from my previous bosses. They've all had a hand in shaping me, as an employee and a person. I was so lucky to have had a succession of nice, genuine, normal bosses. I've heard some horror stories.
6. I wish I'd done it sooner. Working for myself would have been unthinkable before now - too scary, too risky, too damn hard. Actually, the hardest thing was taking the mental leap.
Thank goodness circumstances conspired to push me into this. I really hope things continue in this vein.