I got such an exciting delivery last week. I’ve finally got my own business cards!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had business cards for other companies I’ve worked for, and I have mini cards for my baking biz but these are my first ever business cards designed by me to use for my very own full-time business. I got a bit of a buzz when they arrived because this time it all feels so different.
This time last year I was furloughed because of COVID-19 and I was happily ploughing my way through endless books in the sunshine. I was forced to relax and turn my brain off and actually it felt great. Today, I worked in the morning for one of my lovely local clients, and then had a facial in the afternoon! My life feels so different now, and this blog post isn’t about me bragging that I love my life, because some days are hard. Working for myself is isolating and challenging, but it’s also been freeing for me in so many ways. When my business cards arrives I thought it would be a good time to kick off my blog and share a bit about me as a person to those who choose to read it.
A year ago I honestly never expected that I would be running my own business and actually doing it successfully. I didn’t have the confidence to take the leap. I’d lost a lot of confidence and didn’t have much belief in myself. For many years I’ve worked in the shadows of others because I didn’t push myself. It was the same at school. And although in some ways I’m confident and outgoing, I’m also very sensitive and perhaps a bit of an ambivert. Or maybe I’m an ‘extroverted introvert’. Who knows? All I know is that I’ve never felt overly confident at work because there were always others that wanted to take control, so I questioned myself. Every single day.
In previous jobs, and at school, I’ve rarely pushed myself forward. When asked a question, I’ve considered the answer before opening my mouth which has often led to other people jumping in with an answer, so it seemed like they know more than I do. In management meetings I would talk about work ‘we’ did as a team and others would say things like ‘I’ve done this’. All of this really affected my confidence, so when I started up on my own, I naturally questioned my own abilities and self-doubt kicked in.
But, it turns out that because I no longer feel like I need to compete for attention or prove myself in a team, I’m more confident. I believe in myself so much more and I’m happier. Like so many people, I’ve experienced struggles with my mental health, and honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever given myself the time I needed to heal. Last summer I did that. It was the perfect time to take time out to reflect on my career choices and to change my life. I decided to start working in a way that suited me and my needs. I wanted to work on my terms and stop working countless hours of overtime for free, just to try and stay on top of my work.
That’s why I started freelancing.
Yes, I miss being part of a team. I miss bouncing ideas around and chatting with people in the kitchen about what TV program is great right now (I can highly recommend Money Heist and Ozark by the way). But now I can put a load of washing in. Or go for a walk to clear my head. And right now, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
So back to the business cards…
There’s been a lot of debate about business cards and if people still use them. But the way I see it, if I’m passing the time of day with a taxi driver, or my hairdresser, we might talk about what I do for a living. Imagine if they’re looking for someone to help them market their business, or have a friend that needs a website building. If I don’t have a business card to hand over, I’m relying on them remembering my business name, or finding my details scribbled on a scrap of paper. Not ideal. (I also just really love stationery!)
So although I’m not good at pushing myself forward, I do believe that every conversation is a networking opportunity and could even be a chance to change your life. That next conversation might just result in an incredible opportunity.
Let me know if you need your business cards refreshing!