Guest blogger #37 is Natalie Phillips who is a relatively new friend I’ve made online, and her writing the story of Her Biz Her Way is just what I’d expect, funny, smart and honest. Perhaps that’s why we got on so while when we spoke! She describes my book Your Biz Your Way as “straight-talking, humorous, female-centric book that kicks aside all the demons lurking in your head.” Straight-talking and humourous makes us two, Natalie and me, twins!
The reason this blog exists….is because of this post.
Back in the heady days of January, Judith announced she was running a blogfest. “Great!” I said. “Count me in – I am setting a blog up”. Judith kindly took me at my word, meaning I actually had to come up with the goods.
Accountability with a deadline. Oh, bugger.
So, in the spirit of running before I could crawl, I plunged into writing articles, sourcing pictures and inwardly quivering about launching a public blog.
But I took action.
And this is the one thing I want you to take away from this post today.
- It does not matter if you have the most perfect plans in the world.
- It does not matter how good (or bad) you think you are.
- It does not matter if you need to learn as you go or beg and borrow help to make it happen.
- What matters is that you take action.
As I have noted elsewhere, humans are social animals and my fears of letting Judith down were infinitely more than appearing foolish on the Internet. So…this blog happened. I also learned a lot along the way and here are my responses to Judith’s blog fest.
How do you run your own business your own way?
Messily. Life is not tidy and neither are my various business ventures. I am (by trade) a digital marketer and I keep my finances flowing with a select group of clients who need email campaigns, landing pages and small websites built with love, humour and a lack of fuss. To feed my soul, I write this blog – 95% of what you are reading is what I have talked about, done or advised my friends to do in conversation. In some respects, this blog almost feels like a shortcut: all the resources, research and links in one place so I can lazily point people in this direction in the future. In addition to this, I am starting up a side hustle, creating info-products. It’s fun and it’s something I can wrap around my clients and kids as an extra way to learn, earn and enjoy myself.
Why did you make up your mind to do it like that?
The consultancy happened naturally: it’s something I am good at and I can do easily from home. However, it’s also a time-crunch: I have had a lot of days when the kids are at home sick, clients are calling in and you are just in crisis management. I swore to myself when I started down this road that I was going to have fun with my life – why else would I choose a route that meant more stress, irregular hours and irregular income? So, I started looking at businesses models that are less time-critical. With books, blogs and graphics, you still have to invest the time but you are not going to hit a speedbump if your child’s school is closed or if you want to have a day off. Finally, I thrive on synchronicity: learning – making connections and seeing opportunities along the way.
How do you go against received wisdom to make yourself happier, more productive and abundant?
By setting goals that would make me happy instead of the ones society thinks I should have. Instead of pursuing the job title, the salary, the impressive office or the jet-set lifestyle, I wanted something simpler: independence, freedom and stress-free time with my family. Once I had those goals in place, it became much easier to design my life (and business!) to fit. It also gives me the confidence to turn down opportunities that (on paper) seem like a good fit for me.
What do you do differently in your work to illustrate this?
I am very picky about my clients! I only have a handful at any one time and they can expect respect, attention and a contribution far beyond that of a contractor. In return, I expect them to observe my boundaries, communicate honestly and expect crazy ideas. At school, I was always the weird one and I tried to hide it. In business, I now celebrate it.
Read this post in full as Natalie intended at her own website HERE. Tell her Judith sent you!
Natalie, what can I say? You’ve got this, but you can’t relax yet I know, thanks to those lovely kids who keep you on your toes and never knowing how you will meet your commitments to yourself and your biz because their illnesses (and other delayers) come out of nowhere. I don’t know this first-hand because, as you know I am single and don’t have any kids myself, but all my clients do and I know how frustrated they get at being slowed down by all the things you have explained to me. It is a balancing act which sometimes feels like a juggling act. There’s a subtle difference I know you will get, one is a choice.
However, you already know the upsides of parenthood and family life. And you know too – because you are a clever bird – that this will pass all too soon and there will be plenty of time for you and any biz of any description for the rest of your natural after that. I know, I know, we want it all and we want it now! But we can’t have it all when we have tinies. But soon, all too soon, they won’t be tiny and you’ll be accelerating away from the solid starts you are creating now. Well done to you, honestly.
Thanks so much for joining in. I am glad you met your commitment and that I was uncharacteristically stricty-pants in chasing you up for your post. It was worth it for us both. x