My First Freelance Anniversary: 12 Months Running a Small Business

I actually can’t believe I’m writing this. I’ve managed to survive 12 months as a freelancer, and I’m grinning from ear to ear as we raise a champagne toast to a thriving business. Launching a small business, let alone one specialising in social media was never a career path I ever could have imagined for myself, and yet here I am.

Celebrating a year of freelance small business life Aqua Nueva Adventures of a London Kiwi

And I adore it.

I love the freedom, the challenges, the clients that I work with, the creativity it allows me, the spreadsheets I have to wrangle, ticking off my multiple to-do lists, meeting passionate new people and having a furry Tabby cat as my Executive Assistant.

Chatting with friends and other freelancers, I keep finding myself saying that the highs are higher, and the lows lower than when working in an office, but 12 months on, I can definitely confirm that it was the right choice to make for me. Even looking back on my three, six and nine-month updates as a freelancer only reaffirm this.

Freelancing seems to suit my personality and was very much what I needed at this point in my career. Let’s be honest here for a quick second: it’s not for everyone. Freelancing isn’t the glamourous mecca that people seem to idealise; you often have to hustle, there are late nights and early mornings, there are times you have to cancel plans because of deadlines and there are days where you seriously question everything that you’re doing.

Celebrating a year of freelance small business life Aqua Nueva Adventures of a London Kiwi

But. There are moments when every bit of strategising, hours of hard graft and awkward networking meetings pay off.

I’ve somehow managed to land dream clients, developed a nice boutique portfolio of retainer and project clients, worked with some incredible organisations making a real difference in the world and simply haven’t looked back. Along the way I’ve also had some really interesting job offers that almost turned my head, but on serious contemplation, I knew that they weren’t going to be the right fit for me.

I’ve been so lucky to have had mentors that have guided me through stressful patches, I’ve discovered supportive networks who totally understand the problems I’ve uncovered and common sense has stood me in very good stead. 

I’ve also had challenges that have not only taught me new skills but helped me to realise what doesn’t make me happy. 

Celebrating a year of freelance small business life Aqua Nueva Adventures of a London Kiwi

Was this the right decision for me? Absolutely no question.

And to top it all off, I’ve exceeded a few goals that I set for myself, never really daring to hope that I would reach anywhere near the lofty heights that I was aiming for. There is part of me that feels badly superstitious by shouting like this, but sometimes you need to sit back and celebrate the wins. Mondays aren’t to be feared anymore.

Cheers to the next 12 months!