The 1st of October 2014, was my official first day of self employment as a full-time blogger.
I remember waking up on that Monday, and couldn’t believe that this was my new job. I spent the day taking outfit photos, and pinched myself all day.
Four years on (I can’t believe it’s been four years) I still pinch myself. Okay not every day, cause no matter what job you do, some days are shit – end of.
But most days, I think how incredibly lucky I am to do this as my job.
The past four years have been a huge learning curve for me, both professionally and personally.
I have learnt more about myself and my business than I have before, and today I thought I’d write and share these things with you.
So grab a cuppa, and let’s get into it :
You Need An Accountant
I’ve always been terrible with maths. Me and numbers just don’t work. My brain just switches off and goes ‘nah’ and my first year was a shit show with organising my financials. I had a bit of a mare with some bad advice from an agency with some VAT (the less said about this – the better) and my Mum told me off when it came to the Summer and all my paper work was all over the place.
She marched me down to the nearest shop to buy folders, and files to sort my life out.
It was at this point, I realised I needed an accountant.
I know not everyone needs one, but for me, it’s a valuable investment. I know I’m not going to cock anything up, and everything’s all legit.
I’m a lot more organised these days, and try to do my tax return earlier rather than later.
I probably could be more organised with filling out my expenses spreadsheet monthly, but meh, I tend to do it every few months and it doesn’t take me too long.
But yes, I realised very early on that there were some things I needed help with and this was one of them.
Don’t Under Sell Yourself
I’m my own worst critic, and something I used to do a lot was under sell myself. I did stuff for very little money, and would work myself very hard for little in return.
Signing with a management agency in 2016, helped me to realise my worth, and they repeatedly told me to not do so much for so little.
Although we have just parted ways, I have taken on all their advice, and feel like I have much more confidence in myself and realise how much my time and effort is worth.
Brands and agencies will try to take bloggers for a ride, and it’s not a bad thing to sometimes say no, and realise you deserve more.
Believe In (and Pitch!) Yourself
Like I said above, I’m very critical of myself, and before doing this full-time and even for the first couple of years, I never really believed in myself.
I never really thought that what I was doing was great, or different enough to other people. I certainly wouldn’t pitch myself to anyone, or really gave myself any credit.
Over the past couple of years, I feel like I have so much more confidence in myself and I feel bloody proud for what I’ve achieved.
You could always do more of course, but isn’t that life?
I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished and what I do on a daily basis.
I believe in my blog and my work, and these days I’m happy to pitch myself to a brand, I try to not just wait for things to happen anymore – I try to make things happen.
Don’t Take Stuff Personally
I’ve learnt to not take stuff too personally anymore.
I remember a few months after going full-time, I had this afternoon where I was rejected from 2 management agencies, and turned down for a job which I thought I was going to get.
I remember crying on the sofa, and told Henry how I should just quit as clearly I wasn’t very good at being a full-time blogger- he told me I was being ridiculous.
Which I was.
These days, I try to not let set backs upset me and instead use them as a positive.
Clearly I wasn’t meant to get that job or sign with that agency.
I think about a week later after that dreaded afternoon, I got the email about going on the Trek America ‘I Trek Here’ trip, so it just shows you never know what’s round the corner.
I try to not take things too much to heart, and use it as a motivation to work harder.
Don’t Put Your Goals In Others Hands
I used to be a ‘wait for it to happen’ kinda girl, and these days I try to be a ‘make it happen’ girl.
I’ve decided over the past few months that I need to stop putting my goals and dreams into other people’s hands, and just hoping they happen one day.
I’ve started to try and make my goals happen myself, rather than just hoping someone else will put them in place.
After all they have their own goals to work on, never mind yours too!
It’s Never Too Late To Learn New Skills
Something I’ve learnt is that it’s good to learn new things and teach yourself. Being a blogger like myself, you work in a world which is ever-changing, and it’s always good to try to learn new skills.
Over the past four years, I’ve taught myself things like photo editing on Photoshop and Lightroom, video editing, photography, and much more. I try to dedicate time over Christmas and the Summer to brush up on new skills that can add to my blog and ultimately my business.
I think it’s good to never get too comfortable, and it’s always good to add another bow to your arrow.
The final thing ( I know, this post is longer than I thought it would be too!) is the importance of taking breaks.
When you work for yourself, and I’m sure if you’re self employed too, you’ll understand what I mean when I say, it’s very easy to never take breaks.
I think part of the reason is because, I’ve had a bit of flack over the years for having a ‘easy job’ and that ‘I don’t do much work’ cause I’m a blogger/and work from home. So I almost work over time to prove people wrong, but the only person I was doing wrong was me.
These days, I try to take the weekends off, and try to not work in the evening. I allow myself to have a good few days off at Christmas and well I just play it all by ear.
The thing is, I love my job so do find it hard to switch off, but when you’re doing a creative job which is online, it’s so good to take breaks to clear your mind and re charge.
And I think that’s it- for now.
I have loved every second (okay maybe not every second but you get my drift) of working for myself and working full time on my blog. I am so proud of myself and my blog, and love working on it.
I also appreciate every single person who takes the time to read my ramblings, and supports me in this job.
I would love to know if you any of you guys are self employed and how you’ve found it?
So here’s to the next four years!