I’m quite proud to celebrate a big milestone this month: I’ve been a freelancer running my own business for 2 whole years. Yep, 24 whole months of running my small business, working in specialist social media management, training businesses and as a photographer, helping other small & medium businesses!
Over the last two years, I’m thrilled to say that I’ve worked with dream clients, random clients, businesses who I never could have imagined I’d work with, charities with causes very close to my heart, and clients who I’ve come to discover their amazing business stories.
Who would have thunk it!
At the beginning, just the act of setting up my online portfolio www.emmacreese.com, updating my LinkedIn profile and proudly setting my Facebook status to ‘self-employed’ all seemed like ginormous steps. They were in some ways, as this branding defined who I’d be as a business person, and also what my business would be defined as.
But, in many ways, they were teeny tiny tiptoes into the world of business – I’ve learned so much, and I know that I’ll keep on learning as I continue. Trusting my gut feeling, making sure to keep upskilling, not being afraid, talking decisions through, not getting stuck in my own head and knowing when the right moments are to push – all lessons that I’m learning and I’ll continue to learn doing social media management and photography.
I’ve shared some of my business milestones and lessons along the way:
3 months into my freelance journey (sorry for the cliche, but it is definitely a journey!) I couldn’t quite believe that I was a (MacBook wielding, coffee drinking, flatly photographing, stereotype embodying) freelancer, running my own business and helping other professionals market their wares as a social media manager.
Half a year along, I had started the long process of discovering what my own strengths and weaknesses really are as a girlboss businesswoman. (I also learned that I don’t really like the term girlboss – it seems a little demeaning though it’s meant to be empowering.)
9 months in it still felt like only yesterday that I handed my notice in, after months of indecision, planning, list making, counting down and then rejoicing at how right my decision felt.
A year into this adventure, I, quote, “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.”
18 months along I wrote all about how I still loved 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. ( 2 years in, she has now somehow been promoted to the boss, which has left me scratching my head.)
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 it was definitely the right choice to make for me. I’ve been so lucky to have had mentors that have guided me through stressful patches, I’ve discovered supportive networks & people (you know who you are!) who totally understand the problems I’ve uncovered and common sense has stood me in very good stead.
Somewhat terrifyingly I’ve had people say to me ‘well, I’ve seen how well you’re doing and thought if you can do it, so can I’ and whilst being a bit flattered (let’s be real here) it definitely grounds me, reminding me of the hard work that it’s taken.
Now I’ve hit this 2-year milestone, I need to begin looking at some long term strategies and decide what direction I want to take the business and my upskilling in. Watch this space!