Well it’s been a while since I posted my last blog on Lady Chase, and now the time has come for me to make my last entry. There’s been a lot going on since I last wrote, and now I’m off on my merry way to start my own writing business – and very exciting it is too! I’m writing this from my new office (the premises formerly known as “home”) having finished up with SK Chase last Monday.

It’s been a dream of mine for some time now to be my own boss, and in the spirit of “no time like the present” I’ve decided to get my act together, focus, and really go for it. I’ve built my website, asked for a print quote for some business cards, and have set up my laptop, wireless mouse and keyboard in the little yellow attic room upstairs. It’s a humble beginning, but I’m hopeful that it will eventually lead to great things.

Reading back on a few of my old posts, the last year seems (a bit bizarrely) to have been preparing me for this, unbeknownst to me. Check out Fighting Fear Flags with the Vision for a prime example; now more than ever it’s important for me to have a clear vision of the future to look forward to – otherwise I’d just sit about, paralysed by fear and waiting to default on my mortgage. As it is, I’m feeling the fear (by God am I feeling it…) but I’m determined it’s not going to take me down.

My vision is to be working steadily from my new home in the country, comfortably installed in the back bedroom with a colourful and flexible home office. I’ll be working four to five days each week, and will be feeling fulfilled, challenged and satisfactorily in control of my own destiny.

It’s an exciting prospect, and I’ve learned such a lot from Kaye and Steph during my time here at SK Chase, that I feel I’ve got the ideal springboard to get myself going. The most important thing for me to remember is that I need to believe in myself; there’s no need for me to know everything all at once – I can figure it out as I go.

So just before I finish up here, I’m going to share a short list of the Top 5 interesting and unexpected things I have learned so far about the process of starting a business:

  1. Despite being pants-wettingly frightening, it’s absolutely 100% more personally satisfying when something goes right – even if that’s something that you would previously have found dull in the manner of a grey-clad Gordon Brown watching a 4 hr documentary on effective flour grinding methods, in Belgium.
  2. It’s important to have realistic expectations of yourself and your baby business. Getting yourself into a panic-ridden pickle on Day 6 because you haven’t landed a huge contract yet is not only unnecessary, it’s counterproductive and wastes many, many tea bags.
  3. Get yourself a proper comfortable office chair if you’re going to spend a lot of time in front of a computer. You wouldn’t believe how much an unnecessary Day 6 panic-ridden pickle can be exacerbated by unpleasant lower back pain.
  4. Pick as many business brains as you can. My biggest realisation so far (and what gave me the stones to attempt this) has been that there’s really no difference between me and the sort of person who can run a successful business. Surround yourself with entrepreneurs who are already reaping the benefits of self-employment – that could be you…
  5. A cup of tea does not in fact solve everything (see Nr 2) but can go a long way to helping you calm down and gain a little perspective. Time out is important, particularly if you’re in the habit of placing high expectations on yourself.

So, with all this in mind I’m off to see if anybody out there needs a skilled and committed, if slightly irreverent writer with a natty line in absurd Gordon Brown imagery.

Wish me luck….?

Elaine’s new copywriting business is called Top Cat – check out her website at www.topcatcopy.co.uk.