Like Jon Snow, I knew nothing about how to set up my own business. In my mind the process went like this:
Step 1. Acquire skills
Step 2. Advertise
Step 3. Profit
Nope, nope, and nope. I got so much wrong, and I am sure I will make more mistakes in future. But, I am on the right track now with the right people behind me. My fault lay in the fact that I never really considered this job as a business. I saw it just as a way of earning a living in a manner that suited me. Just because I didn't have other employees to worry about or a business premises to set up I thought things would be different. If i'm a sole trader, the only thing I need to worry about is if I have saved enough money to pay my tax bill. I quickly learned that even if you don't consider yourself to be business-minded, you damn well need to acquire some business knowledge and skills fast or your foundling enterprise will fall flat on its face like a toddler taking its first steps unsupervised.
So, with some encouragement and advice from my friend and boss at Canteen, Paul Williams, I signed up with accountant Paul Murphy at Murphy O'Connor Accountants. Here I got some great advice on how to register my business name, set up a business bank account, and pay my taxes. I was also advised to set aside money from each job specifically for marketing and now, here I am up at 7.30 am on a bank holiday Monday studying an excellent book by Louise Harnby entitled Marketing your Editing and Proofreading Business. Louise's book is laden with practical advice on how to attract new clients by marketing yourself properly.
With all of this advice and support I find I am more enthusiastic and motivated than ever to develop my business. It has also changed how I view my professional self. Before, I saw this career choice as a way to survive as an introvert, a way of making money without having to deal with the typical working environments that caused me a lot of stress. Now I see myself as a business owner. I run my own business, I do my own marketing, and I provide a service with exceptional skill and professionalism. I don't feel like I am hiding from anything anymore, in fact, I am standing out in the world and saying "My name is Brí and I run my own business" and I must admit, it feels good and empowering to be able to say that.