The A-Z of a somethingpreneur – an unofficial guide to being self-employed.

Entre. Solo. Mum. Femme. Badass. Put anything in front of preneur and you feel like you belong to a special group. A tribe. Well, at least that’s what we are led to believe. 

In theory, I belong to all of the above. OK, perhaps not the Badass tribe – although I’d secretly like to join. But there’s a big debate about whether some of these terms are a bit patronising (a discussion for another day). The reality is, I’m a sole trader. I’m self-employed. A consultant. Yuk! No wonder people come up with alternative names to make it sound more interesting.

Whatever you call it, 90% of the time I work on my own from my home in Hertfordshire, with my Labrador sat by my feet and the fan heater on full throttle. It’s the best and the hardest job I’ve ever had, where I’m responsible for absolutely everything but where I get to work with an amazing variety of clients and do the school run. Plus, I can make as many cups of tea and coffee as I like without searching through 50 bottles of milk to find the right tea club!

So, as we are coming to the end of 2018, and because I’ve been sensible all year, I thought I’d do an A-Z of being a somethingpreneur – from the challenges to the best bits, with a few top tips thrown in for good measure!

As you will see, I didn’t overthink this. I just picked the first words that came to mind!

A-Z 

Asana has changed my life – it’s my favourite planning tool to help me stay on track.

Bookkeeping is seriously tedious. That’s why I’m moving onto a digital system to make it more interesting efficient

Coffee, coffee and more coffee.

Don’t hide – join the club, get involved in the #hour, meet up with other preneurs. There are some fantastically supportive communities out there to help you and your business.

Excel sucks (sorry accountants) but it is still one of the best ways to do things with numbers and set out a monthly content plan. Someone create a beautiful alternative, pleeeease!!

Forget about the 9-5. Work is always there. Step away from the laptop…..just one more thing..

Going forward’. Make it stop!!! How about – in future; from now on; tomorrow; don’t ever do it again etc.?

Hummus, houmous, or hummous? It’s a constant battle. Spelling aside, it’s the quickest snack to keep the biscuit cravings at bay. 

It is always cold. Even in summer. I have an impressive collection of fingerless gloves and a heated seat pad – oh yes, I really do.

Journalists are busy, so you need to understand their readership/audience really well before pitching to them. 

Know who your ideal client is and what they need. In a proper list, this would be number one. 

Lists are still a popular form of content. Maybe not after this. 

Map out your content for the year with a clear plan. It’s much easier to stick to creating content with this in place.

Networking can be a great source of business but it’s not about sell, sell, sell. Build relationships and the business will come. 

Outsource the rest – so you can do what you do best. Back-to-front, but you know what I mean. 

Podcasts are a brilliant source of information. I listen to them whenever I can – even when I’m mucking out the horse! 

Questions are the answer to your content. What do your ideal clients want to know? Show them how you can help. Try out www.answerthepublic.com for inspiration.

Radio presenters can teach us all a thing or two about creating snappy intros. They summarise a story in a handful of words – a masterclass in cutting to the chase. 

Swearing is good for releasing stress. Sorry to anyone I’ve ever worked with.  

Time, or lack of it, is the biggest challenge. There are simply not enough hours in the day.

Unflappability is key. I don’t like flapping. Maybe that’s why I don’t like moths.   

Vitamin D seeps out of my body when the clocks go back.

Writing for a living is hugely rewarding. You not only work with amazing businesses, you learn a lot along the way. Did you know, a shrimp’s heart is located in its head? Useful stuff.

X-ray vision would be handy, but a thorough briefing usually works fine. 

Yes is easier than no. No requires practise. 

Zesting, juicing and smoothie-making are on my plan for healthier living next year. I confess, zebra was the first word that came to me, but I haven’t had many dealings with them in a professional capacity. 

There it is. A list of twenty-six totally random bits of insight into life as a somethingpreneur

I’d love to find out what your A-Z would look like. Drop me a line if you fancy talking about it over a coffee.