Keep laundry and other chores on Sundays.
Set alarm clock (and get up) on weekdays.
Grab a newspaper from the tube station every day.
This sounds more like personal to-dos than work ones, doesn’t it?
That’s because ever since I decided to go it alone and start my own content creation business, I’ve had to put my personal life in check. And make myself follow a routine so I won’t do everything humanly possible besides work and end up having regular freak-outs.
Taking the leap
About a year ago, I was on the fence about moving to London.
Then, I just went for it.
There was only one catch — I had to come up with a business plan and show that I was serious about my proposed freelance venture through letters of recommendation and sufficient funding.
With the help of a lawyer, massive support from my family, friends and colleagues, and a bit of luck, I was granted an entrepreneur visa to legally live and work in the UK.
*cue the fireworks*
The bumpy beginning
After two months of sorting out legal documents and making my content creation business “official”, cbacontent.com went live!
At the time, I was energized and ready to take on anything. My website had the essentials (background info, published work, my writing and marketing services), but the truth was, it wasn’t giving people in search of content solutions what they needed.
Referrals from colleagues afforded me the opportunity to meet with and pitch a few businesses on content marketing. That was a start!
Plus, something had to come out of all this cold-emailing.
But, nothing did.
My impatience was getting the best of me and I had too much time to think about what I was doing wrong.
It was deflating, absolutely. But this wasn’t going to be the end of my London dreams.
Learning my way
Instead of feeling my way through this black tunnel, I learned my way.
I signed up for Copyblogger’s advanced course on content marketing and am now one of their Certified Content Marketers.
I put my new video skills to test (thanks, Xanthe!) and started creating short films for Instagram.
I became fascinated by Shakespeare’s Globe and the life of Mary Wollstonecraft, researching and writing articles on both.
Tennis, our family’s favorite sport, became my next subject of interest (thanks to my brother’s business, Zen Tennis!)
In between everything was endless hours of reading entrepreneur, small business, freelance, content marketing advice online and in print. As a matter of fact, I’m in the middle of my favorite writing book now — Ann’s got content jokes, I love it.
All the while, I have listened to my family and friends. Because there’s no way I would have gotten this far without them.
Taking the lead
Then, sort of all at once, things started falling into place.
If you would’ve told me six months ago that three of my proposals would be accepted in one week, I would’ve laughed. And cried from happiness.
But, that’s how it happened.
Of course, all of my solo-business troubles have not magically disappeared, however, those troubles are slowly turning into mini-triumphs.
After months of second-guessing myself, tirelessly updating my site, gradually getting used to a home office and fixating on the negatives rather than the positives (sorry, Mom!), I am very excited to be officially producing content and marketing strategies for other businesses.
It’s liberating really, to collaborate with other people and help tell their company’s story while growing their brand and mine at the same time.
This new job ain’t so bad after all.
*knocks on wood*
Onward I go
Looking ahead, far into the distance as this is only the beginning, I plan to remember where I started.
I will continue to learn my way through creating quality content for other people.
I will let my interests lead me and fascinations intrigue me.
I will read, listen to and follow the teachings of pioneers and intellects.
On paper, my business may only consist of me, but so far, its success has been based on many amazing people, countless experiences and lots of inspiring stories.
Here’s to meeting, making and telling much more!