I have always been independent, the no 2 child of 4, my Dad was self-employed, my Mum worked from home most of the time, so it felt like she was self-employed. I detested politics and ‘playing the game’. I didn’t and wouldn’t, it felt fake and realness and authenticity are important to me.
My career heritage is in marketing and brand strategy and communication, useful in marketing myself, and something I now help my clients with. I had researched the market thoroughly and knew that there was a shortage of strategic planners due to a combination of lack of training and recruitment in the late 80s/early 90s downturn and more communication agencies wanting to get bigger higher value strategic projects from clients.
I has also set up a database of contacts in Excel, my Mum created my first logo on her computer, I had saved a financial cushion of 6 months’ money to cover bills and I had low outgoings as I rented a room in my sister’s flat.
“What’s the worst that could happen?” I told myself. “You can always go back into full time employment.”
I especially enjoyed thinking through the strategic options for my business and what to call it, something I ended up doing a lot for clients as a freelancer. All the company names I liked and wanted were taken and I felt like I was going down a cul de sac with this important issue to sort.
Then one day, I was reading a document and this word jumped out at me: ‘Energise’. That was it. I then did an exercise with a career coach which helped me identify what motivated me and then distilled this down to ‘energising connector’. This later evolved into my personal brand ‘Talent Liberator’. I use this exercise with my clients today.
I crafted a letter and posted it to my database. I can still remember the joy, the relief, coming back home 2 days after mailing the letters to see my answer phone red light flashing. Not flashing a little, but flashing a lot; 18 red flashes in fact. I had not even done any follow up calls to the letter, and they were chasing me, wanting to speak and meet! It was going to be alright. Woo hoo! That moment, sending out my first invoice and being paid for being me and what I offered were wonderful moments that made all the hard work worthwhile.
The only thing I missed about being employed was my company car and the IT help line! Life as an independent contractor and being self-employed isn’t for everyone, but it does give you freedom, choice and the opportunity to control and influence your own future. That, for me, an independent spirit, is priceless.
3 ways we help our clients.
• Defining your personal brand – this is vital with more competition and a growing trend
• Crafting a compelling CV which helps you stand out and be noticed – we have 35 years’ experience doing this
• Self-awareness to maximise the fulfilment from your work
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