Self-employed? Hit a "quiet patch"?

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Owner of Develop-meant Training Consultants, ADRIAN PITT, ponders those phrases he often hears that come part and parcel of being self-employed: "It's a roller-coaster ride", "A huge learning curve" and he considers what happens when that roller-coaster hits a downward spiral...

So, remember the first week of self-employment? Sat staring at the walls thinking: "My God! Those windows need cleaning!" Then, you pluck up the courage to enter the maze. Oh yes, that "maze of confusion and self doubt". You need to sort out your Tax, National Insurance, Professional Indemnity, a business bank account - but heck, which bank? An accountant, business cards. Do I need a website? What's this Social Media malarky all about? Shall I ring Business Link? Am I going to sound daft? What support is out there? Marketing?! Marketing?! I couldn't market myself out of a paper bag! Tweet! Tweet!

Networking! What?! I have to SPEAK to people?! Stand up for sixty seconds and tell a room full of strangers what I do?!?! Not even I'M sure yet QUITE what I do!

Somehow, slowly but surely, you tick off all of the above (even if the networking bit means you're jammed in a corner with "Mr Halitosis" thrusting his fold-out business card at you with an insincere grin! "I'm thinking 3D cards next," he says, you smile sweetly as you untagle the contents of your bacon bap from around your dentures!).

THEN, the work starts coming in...AND...you're actually doing "it". You're actually self-employed! You ride the wave of success, you forget to put your 25% aside for the taxperson (equal opps and all that, it doesn't have to be a man!) you treat yourself to the odd Asda "Extra Special" free-range corn-fed chicken supreme filled with sun-blushed Italian cherry tomatoes, wrapped in oak-smoked Sicilian parma ham...

AND THEN...

BUMP!

It all goes quiet.

Oh no! You've hit what we in the trade call a "quiet period", "a bit of a blip", "a time for reflection", "an opportunity to review your Business Plan that's been sat in a drawer for the last 12 months". Ahem, yeah right!

Have you lost your way? Me too! So, who or what is out there to help us? It's a tad unnerving when you hear that Business Link has reached the end of it's roller coaster ride. Last stop. Everybody off! Are you back to staring at four walls? Do those windows need cleaning again?!

So, can you be proactive? Here in Shropshire, we're calling out to folk who are in EXACTLY the same position. We've started a forum, buzzing full of energy and run by facilitators who know where it's at. There's a meeting in August for those small business folk who've made their own way up until now, but STILL need some advice and guidance.

It's not shameful to admit: "I NEED HELP!"

Can you set up something similar where YOU live?

Networking? Let's shake it up a bit!

Ade.

http://www.develop-meant.com

About develop-meant

Develop-meant Training Consultants

Adrian has worked in the Careers and Information, Advice and Guidance sector for over 20 years. He specialises in supporting clients not in education, employment or training to overcome their barriers and realise their aspirations. As an experienced practitioner, manager and trainer for the Connexions service, Ade took his passion for supporting staff and set up his own company, Develop-meant Training Consultants, in October 2009.

With a team of experienced professionals, Ade offers nationally-recognised qualifications in: Education and Training (what was PTLLS, CTLLS, DTLLS), Careers, Information, Advice and Guidance, Coaching and Mentoring, Business Enterprise, Customer Service, Team Leading and Management, Assessment and Verification.

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By hmmtio
08th Aug 2011 13:23

 Brilliant idea Ade! I am really happy to look at setting something similar up in Devon, let me know your thoughts. 

I followed the 30 day challenge earlier this year with John Williams, author of Screw work Let's Play. There were 150 people who all wanted to try doing something new and exciting on their own work front. Some employed, some self employed. after the 30 days, we (just over 50 of us) set up our own closed facebook support network and we motivate each other, moan, rant, laugh, live chat, set goals, try out new ideas....we are limitted only by our imagination. oh and all done online! Never met each other (yet!)

It is so powerful when you realise as a sole trader that it is OK to admit that you can't be all things to all people, but are still fantastic at your niche! (When you have identified that - another great exercise we all undertook!)

So anyone in Devon wanting to set up a training support group, let me know!

 

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Nicki Davey
By Nicki Davey
11th Aug 2011 15:19

Hello

Great post and one I'm sure we can all relate to.

Here in the South West, we have Trainers Exchange every quarter, which is a lively, dynamic and highly enjoyable get together for trainers, training mangers and others involved in L&D. It's a great opportunity to meet, share, make friends, learn from each other, and generate new ideas together. Our next meeting is on 23rd Sept at the Monks Yard near Ilminster, and as well as short sessions being run by group members, we have workshops on using storytelling to aid learning and using TA in the training room. The event is a full day and only costs £40+vat. It's open to all, so if you'd like to find out more, go to http://www.salt-box.co.uk/assets/trainers%20exchange%2023rd%20sept.pdf 

Warmest wishes

Nicki

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