This is a space for me to reflect on the business & share some of the ups + downs of being a Content Marketing freelancer in Edinburgh.
I’d also like to bring some of my personal life into these posts because I don’t think we can ever truly separate our work + home life. One will always affect the other.
And, for me, freelancing is a way to enrich my home life + lead a happier non working life with greater flexibility. So, home life is really important to me.
The final reason is to embrace vulnerability. I believe it’s really important to share the highs + lows, it’s easy to put on a brave face and to pretend that everything is perfect all of the time.
But, we all have our own stories and our own challenges in life. I’d like to be more transparent about my own challenges & show them alongside the positive.
November Happy Moments
Lots of visitors came to stay
My energy is returning
Went on a mini retreat
I have agreed 2 more clients ready to start in Jan
Still recovering my profits, finances are tough
My strategy for next year is still not clear enough (I have too many plans right now!)
Lots of fun in November
Lot of fun was had in November, it was the month lots of my friends and family decided to visit. My mum, some friends from uni and my aunty all came to stay in November. I guess the plane tickets were a bit cheaper because they certainly didn’t come for the weather.
November isn’t the best time to visit Scotland its a bit dreary and drizzly but anyway it was really wonderful to have them stay and show them around Linlithgow and Edinburgh, visit the Christmas markets and do Christmasy things. For my mum it was more like a trip down memory lane since she is Glaswegian and worked in Edinburgh for quite a period of time.
I also decided to go on a mini retreat as well in between their visits for some rest and relaxation. On retreat I met a wonderful musician and drummer, Javadev, whose birth name is John Richardson, he was the drummer from the Rubettes many, many years ago and has had a long career as a drummer, musician and then spiritual teacher, he has offered to teach me drums which I am ecstatic about.
I play the steel tongue drum and I’m really interested in using music with meditation and sound healing and would really like to run sound healing groups & sessions in Edinburgh and maybe even play in a small band to create relaxing, healing music.
Javadev has been working on lots of these ideas for a long time so I am so thrilled to have met him right now and be able to have a couple of hours with him to speed up my progress & learn from the best. (pic of the ashram below)
More fun = better business
This probably sounds like an odd point but it’s quite important I think. In fact it’s been the central theme of a recent post I wrote where I reflected on the last 4 or 5 years of being a business owner. Read that here.
I’m noticing that the more fun and creativity I add to my life the more I’m enjoying my freelancing business and also making better decisions with it. I’ve gone through many phases of loving and then hating my business. It’s not easy!!
Being a freelancer is not all wonderful, happy moments where you feel free and able to do whatever you want. I’m a creative person and luckily I have quite a lot of freedom creatively with the clients I have but I’m still following a plan, a set rhythm for the work and needing to deliver results and reports.
What I’ve noticed is, it becomes a lot harder to do the work happily and with enthusiasm when the rest of my life is stressful and boring. When I’m totally focused 100% on my freelancing business & clients and don’t have any energy for enjoying anything else, I start to resent my business and then the work isn’t as good either.
When I have the attitude of enjoyment, a lightness and excitement, the work I do is much, much better and so are the results. I’ve also noticed that I do actually like quite a lot of the freelancing work I do. I like researching, learning and writing. I like creating blog content. I like delivering reports and seeing the evidence of the work I’ve done and the results and thinking about the effects of that on the clients business.
I like the challenge of managing an outreach campaign, of negotiating and trying to win partnerships with bloggers and again delivering reports with what I’ve achieved. So, when I don’t feel good about the work, when I feel like it’s boring or dragging on and all of the negativity comes, what I’ve released is, it’s not the problem with the work, its a problem with my life outside work.
I’m not having enough fun and fuelling myself enough creatively in my life to bring that to my freelancing work. Not sure if any of that makes sense!
But, this is an important learning curve for me and is the underlying reason why I work from 3 - 7 / 2 - 7 every day and spend the first half of the day looking after myself, exercising and then being creative, writing, painting or in the spring and summer I’ll be outside in the garden planting and growing my vegetables too!
My plan is to keep filling up my LIFE with creativity, nature, art, exercise, good food and hopefully I’ll make new friends too in the area! And this will give me the fuel I need to give the very, very best of me to my clients.
Suddenly I have a win, win situation. My clients get the best of me, I get to be more creative in my work which is more fun and also I get to fund my lifestyle of being more connected to the arts & nature.
I’ve got quite a few plans for the business next year so I’m excited to see how this new balance changes the way I approach putting those plans into action next year.
Next Month - December
December for me is about starting to prioritise my plans and goals for next year. Reflecting on this year and seeing what worked and didn’t and then applying those learnings to how I’m going to approach 2020.
I don’t really want to start anything new in the business before I have a clear plan and priorities, so it’s going to be BAU. I’ve got blogger interviews to do for the Ginger Marketing Blog, content to be written up for the blogs, I’d like to promote some of that content on Linkedin in & medium.
I’d quite like to get the blogs - Ginger Marketing and The Happy Freelancer completed in terms of design and automation. The homepages at least need to look smart & professional and I’d like the email subscriptions to be more visible so I can start to build up the email lists.
And then, create a plan and priortise for 2020!
Summary of priorities for the business
New blog posts
Homepage design blogs
Subscription Sign ups for blogs
Written by Cheryl A Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Content Marketing Freelancer @ Ginger Marketing (unless stated otherwise)
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