Update – My Third Year of Being My Own Boss

In the words of Marjory Sheba “When life gives you lemons, make champagne and leave the whole world wondering how you did it!” 🍋🥂

I can’t believe it’s already my third year anniversary of leaving Banking to become my own boss! This year has most definitely been the most challenging one yet but also most prosperous.

I’ve had to deal with 3 bereavements in the space of 3 months as well as all the chaos that Covid 19 has brought with it, especially ever changing goal posts with regards to government restrictions that have impacted all of my clients, as well as my own plans.

What I have learned though is that a challenging environment is one in which I truly thrive in and I have actually managed to expand and diversify my client portfolio in the midst of a pandemic and come out stronger! It forced me to think outside the box and pivot, which has worked wonderfully, and I have gained knowledge of new industries which is a bonus.

I am very grateful to have such amazing clients who trust my decisions (you all know who you are) as well as have additional and diverse income streams from my Blog, workshops and our buy to let property.

Here are my top tips on how to stay on top of things when running your own Freelance business, especially during such disruptive times like we have now:

Stay organised

I would recommend always carrying a pen and a notebook in your bag, especially if you are constantly on the move like me, whether in London or abroad, as I always find it useful to have handy to jot down important things especially if a client happens to call whilst you are out and about, or if you are going for meetings or as what happens to me often, an excellent idea suddenly comes to your mind and you don’t want to forget it!

The lovely folk at Pen Heaven  kindly gifted me an amazing Parker Urban Black Gold Trim Ballpoint & Rollerball Pen Set and a gorgeous Amalfi Medium Refillable Leather Journal, both of which I cannot be without. I absolutely love Parker Pens especially, and as both the pens and the Journal are refillable, it means I can use them for years to come.

I use my notebook to make notes, to-do lists and to make plans. There is no better feeling than crossing out an item from your to-do list!

Check out their range if you are a stationery fan like me. They are perfect to treat yourself to high quality pens or notebooks as well as make the perfect gifts for loved ones.

I cannot live without my Planner too and much prefer using a physical planner as opposed to a digital one. I’ve religiously used an Erin Condren Life Planner for 6 years now. However, for next year I have decided to make the switch to a Hello Day Planner and I am so excited for it to arrive!

In my office space I also have a Wall Planner on which I stick post it note reminders of things coming up so I can quickly see how my week/month is looking so I don’t slot too much into a week. I got this one from Paperchase for a bargain price of £2.50!

Communication

Regularly keeping in touch with your clients via email and calls is so important, especially as you may not be able to see them much. This also helps them understand factors going on in your life. For example, in the last few months I have had to deal with grieving 3 different times in the space of 3  months due to the loss of loved ones and I found that being honest with my clients really helped them understand my situation even though there was absolutely no disruption with regards to the work I was doing for them.

Keep your finances in order

My number one tip with regards to finances is to keep money aside each month for your forthcoming tax bill. Also keep good records of your incoming and outgoing revenues, your receipts and other related information so that when it comes to doing your tax return everything is easily accessible.

I like to do my tax return much earlier so that I can plan ahead and budget accordingly.

Take Time Off

When you run your own business it can end up being a 24/7 activity and it’s very tempting to spend all your waking hours in the office. But to make sure you’re not over stretching yourself, re-charge your batteries every so often by booking time off for yourself in your diary (including evenings off) to do something fun.

Celebrate every victory, no matter how small

Finally, celebrate every victory, even if it’s as tiny as getting press coverage for your clients, the joy of being paid an invoice on time or a successful campaign!

Some of mine on the blog front since my last update have been being shortlisted for the Asian Media Awards, British Indian Awards and press trips to Seville, Spain, Lisbon, Austria and a Chateau in France.

Thanks for reading and all the support so far and here’s to the next year of self-employed life! xx

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About Binny

Hi, I'm Binny - a writer, dreamer and serial wanderluster with a love for Wildlife Conservation. I am originally from Kenya but I now live in London. 'Karibu' to Binny's Food and Travel! I regularly share my experiences eating out, cooking and travelling, both in the UK and globally, as well as educate on the plight of Wildlife. I am an ambassador for World Animal Protection and regularly support the work of The Born Free Foundation, Four Paws and Dreams Come True Charity. I love packing my bags and going off on adventures as one of the best things about travelling is the ability to just get lost in it. To set aside the maps and itineraries and just see where the road takes you, learning and evolving and living in the moment along the way. It's my goal to get swept off my feet as often as possible!

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