Sarah Hawes has been a journalist for 20 years and a PR freelancer for the last 10 of them. She took Izzy PR full-time last May and hasn’t looked back…but it hasn’t all been plain sailing.
Here, she shares her work life as one of the country’s millions of self-employed and the help she wished she’d had along the way.
Self-employment has changed my life. And I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but it has.
I wake up every morning knowing that my agenda is my own. My workload is my own, my time, my decisions, my hours, my meetings, my late or early finish!
I’ve been a ‘wage slave’ for 20 years and whilst I’ve learnt new skills from each and every job and use them within my business, working for someone else just didn’t agree with me.
I didn’t have an allergic reaction, obviously, but looking back, I just wasn’t happy to remain on PAYE for the rest of my working life.
Being self-employed, when I’ve got a good idea, I can work on it without having to run it past a hierarchy.
I can manage a whole project from start to finish, I’m working with MDs and CEOs and absolutely love building relationships with them. There is no camel. Or committee…Or blue sky thinking or touching base!
I’m autonomous – I decide my week, my time, appointments, workload and can be flexible when I need to without having to agree when to make the time up, fill in a form and write it on wallchart!
Flexibility is important because I can work around my daughter’s school and clubs, plus I can get my hair cut, book the washing machine repair man or other appointments at 11am in the morning if I really want to!
Now let’s talk about money – I’m much better off being self-employed, full stop. I also have the ability and potential to earn more when I like, just by taking on more work. In employment, you can’t just have a salary increase of whatever you want whenever you fancy it but the self-employed crowd can!
I’ve learned a lot since I started my business and even more since taking that leap of faith into full time self-employment.
What I’ve struggled with though, is growth. I would have liked for there to be more help to grow the business.
I’d have wanted to know:
Do I take on staff before I get busy or topple over first then get them in when I can afford it?
How do I scale up?
Employment v freelancers v apprentices
Bookkeeping – a basic how-to would have bee very useful, because I’m a words girl after all!
What should I outsource and how?
How to write terms and conditions
The plus sides far outside any negatives and for me, self-employment has given me the life I want, the salary I want and opened up a whole new world of people to me who are keen to help each other to grow and be successful in their businesses.
Join in with the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #thinkselfemployed