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Reflections on a year in business

I’m writing this blog post to reflect on my business thus far. Officially commencing in a full-time capacity in January 2013, I’m pretty close to closing the chapter on my first year in business as a sole trader. It has been tough, it has been exhilarating, it is has been stressful and it has been rewarding.

Setting up and running my own business has been tough. Sure I have the skills in my field to deliver, but unlike a job (at least in my experience) where everyone has specialised roles, as a sole-trader I’ve found myself doing everything. Client work is often the easy part. Just thinking about all the other things you would have previously relied on someone else in a team environment to do can be exhausting.  The fluctuating nature of clientele and campaigns also has made it tough, keeping one eye on current client work and another on the horizon for new opportunities when projects conclude is a constant challenge.

It has been exhilarating. There have been fantastic highs when a pitch is successful and I’ve landed a new client. There have been very low lows (especially earlier in the year) when you wonder what you have to do land a client and you’re looking over your shoulder asking yourself if going solo was such a great idea after all.

It has been stressful. With a self-imposed deadline to “make it work”, there were very tense times for myself and those closest to me. In the first months of the year, establishing myself and pitching for new clients was tough. I was a very small fish in a huge pond and thankfully personal and professional networks helped open doors. I found that even if these doors didn’t result in a new project, the time spent meeting and talking with others was refreshing.

Luckily, for my work a laptop, phone and internet connection are the only essential tools of the trade. Not wanting to invest in an office or shared space saw me working from home and although it may sound great, separating work time from family time can be very difficult.

Setting up Inlumino Communications as a full-time consultancy has been very rewarding. Despite the stress and tough times, I have enjoyed the ride so far. Knowing that I am creating something entirely from scratch puts a spring in my step. I know it is very early days and I’m not sure what the future holds, but I’m definitely not planning on shrinking from any challenge in future – getting one year of business is a milestone I’m acknowledging with this post, but there is more to be done (there’s always more!)

A quick shout out to my clients. I love what I do. I love what I do for clients. All clients past and present have helped me learn more about myself and running a business.I’d like to thank the clients I’ve worked with this year, whether they are on a retainer or pop up every now and then with freelance work. Thanks for believing in my capabilities. Putting on a “rookie” is a big step and I’d like to think your choice has paid dividends. I’d like to thank S.E. Rentals, Chiropractic Central, Express Glass, Flexitank, Holy Spirit North Ryde, Alex Lehours, Simon Bernhardt, The Boleyn Group, The Grounds, Hustle and Flow, Legal Vision, and Trinity Catholic College.

There are a few people in my personal and professional circles who inspired me to pursue my business and inspired me to keep pushing forward. Some have given me a lot of their time and advice, others have merely asked how it was all going. I’d like to thank Steve Sykes, Chris John Savage, Anesan Naidoo, Steve Maarbani, John Ferrarin, Mark Rix, Loushen Govender, Lachlan McKnight, and Jo Wallace to name a few.

But I would really like to thank my number one supporter – my wife Kos. She has been my trusted Board of Directors, PA and Chief Motivating Officer. Thank you!

Wishing you a happy and safe Christmas.

Cheers,

Sam

 

See you in 2014!