How do you know what you are good at doing unless you’ve tried it? Taking that big step out there into the big bad world and giving it a go. It’s a hard step to make and I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone unless you have some sort of financial freedom or, like me at the time, nothing to lose.
I was asked a few months ago to guest write a post about my Successes & Failures in the first 18 months of my own business. I didn’t really want to do that as I thought writing about failures would be quite depressing and not great for my peace of mind to think I had failed in anything. Since then I have thought about it and realise I haven’t particularly failed in anything, I have just found the direction I want to take for my business and for myself.
Previously I had a list of services on offer which I could do, some a lot better than others, but maybe I was trying to find which would be the most popular and I was willing to learn more if needs be. I offered help with setting up websites, SEO, Google Adwords, Proof-reading, Social Media advice and Sales. I realised there are better people out there offering these services and to be completely honest I don’t particularly enjoy doing them.
So after an uphill struggle that really wasn’t that easy I have found that what I actually enjoy doing is what I am qualified for – Accountancy and Writing – there was obviously a reason why I studied these in the first place. I now realise it is far better to concentrate on these rather than spread myself thin trying to do anything else. Besides, my week is varied enough with different client requirements.
I love everything I do now, and I get paid for it, so I’d call that a big success. I have a range of great clients for accountancy and writing and my working weeks are almost full up. But being me I find it hard to turn any work down and will work evenings and weekends too. Although I really am trying to keep Sundays free if at all possible for time out to rejuvenate. Hope writing this on a Sunday doesn’t really count. :)
These 18 months have become a sort of self-learning period too in which I have realised I really do love to write. Any type of writing – blogs, web content, newsletters, maybe one day I’ll actually write a book. I did an Honours Diploma at the London School of Journalism 10 years ago but haven’t used that knowledge apart from my own blogs – I didn’t fancy the “sitting on a doorstep” type journalism possibly involved in starting off.
Via good old Twitter Niall Devitt saw my writing and gave me the huge opportunity to write for Bloggertone.com from its inception – it is now called TweakYourBiz.com and set for really big heights. Thankfully I am riding the wave with it and as I was recently told “I’ve found my mojo”, especially with interviewing people for the site, that has given me a huge boost. I have interviewed a vast range of people for TweakYourBiz.com and thoroughly enjoy it. The research beforehand is expanding my mind about what is going on out there plus, as I’ve said before, I am nosey and like to know how something works so well, how that happened, what’s their opinion on it etc etc. Maybe I should have been a Journalist after all. The interviews get great exposure, especially via Social Media, and I’ve currently got a list I’m going through week by week – at least there is never a shortage of interesting people to talk to and help promote.
Through writing these blogs I have been recognised and found other work doing web content, guest writing for blogs plus being a moderator for Bizsugar.com which I was very proud to be asked to do. In my mind anyone who writes a business type blog should consider coming on board the TweakYourBiz.com group plus always put their business post up on Bizsugar.com to get an International readership. What have you got to lose?
And Accountancy! Yes, I’m a qualified accountant but I’m not the stereotypical one that works for “the big four” earning a fortune (and no that’s not me in the picture either – I wish). I have always worked in a company itself – in my past life as a Financial Director – now for a few clients and more like a specialised Bookkeeper that can advise as well as getting the day to day work done. With my experience I am able to spot cost savings and different options that may make money. I can also advise on simple accountancy systems because lots of small businesses look at accounts like a quagmire and they don’t really need to. I work closely with Tom Holmes of Ballymount Accounts – the guru I need for advice when I don’t know the answer. It’s also very handy to have someone to bounce ideas off.
Yes, I know accountancy is anathema to some but I like getting the figures working tightly, helping a company realise what is working or not working, seeing success and helping that along the way. So currently I’m about 65% doing accounts and 35% writing in my typical week. Yes those are percentages of a week and yes it’s written down – that’s just the way I am.
I have been way up in the heights in London earning big money but more recently broke and having to start from scratch. But it had to be done. If I can do it then why not you? The major lesson I have learned is to like what you do or the job probably won’t get done so well. Have a passion for your work whether it’s making sure the accounts balance or ensuring the words portray the essence of the message you are trying to get across. Most of all believe in yourself then others will believe in you too – after a few knock backs it took me some time but that is working for me again now thanks to some great people around me.
I have been lucky enough to find all this out so I thought I’d share it with you. I really hope others succeed and enjoy their work no matter what it is. Do you have any success stories to share too?