I have just celebrated (with a curry, if you’re asking) the end of my second year of running my own business. After congratulating myself on successfully avoiding the inevitable LinkedIn plea for plaudits, I took to reflecting on the highs (many) and the lows (a few, but then again, too few to mention[i]) of my two years of independence.
So, for what it’s worth, here is a selection from my “Lessons learned” log. Take from it what you will; steal, adapt, ignore or hoot with derision. These are in no particular order and many may be completely wrong.
- Come to terms with the fact that no-one loves you during August and December. And try to enjoy the time off. Decorate. Write books. Rearrange your stationery. And don’t panic.
- Congratulate yourself on the fact that by far the best form of marketing/business development is to do a damn good job the first time. And the time after that. Etc. Ad lib to fade. . .
- Standing up in front of an audience for an average of three days a week is an excellent weight loss mechanism.
- A celebratory gin afterwards isn’t.
- Balancing current delivery with future work generation is a delicious tension that should never go away. If it does, you are doomed.
- Love all your clients more than all the others.
- Remember that the clients who read blogs are apparently the most intelligent and astute.
- Learn to love admin days. And get used to the fact that no-one is paying you for them.
- Get feedback, but remember – perception is not always reality![ii]
- If you work from home for more than a few days at a time, under no circumstances give in to the temptation of watching Bargain Hunt at lunchtime[iii]. It’s a slippery slope.
- Keep your saw sharpened (see previous blogs).
- Whether you have too much work, or not enough, take each week at a time and don’t panic.
- Don’t panic. It’s all going to be fine.
- No, really.
[i] Actually, that’s not strictly true. But I’m not going to.
[ii] Like all facilitators, I have had the feedback that an event was “too long”, “too short” and “about right”. From three people sitting next to each other. I mean, really. What am I supposed to do with that?
[iii] And under no circumstances start making bets with yourself as to whether the Blue team or the Red team will win. Therein lies madness.