Things I have learned about running a business (2)

In November 2016 I took a retrenchment package from my post at Independent Online.

I thought of myself as being about to go freelancing, a time-honoured way for journalists to reinvent themselves.

Four years later, I think about things a little differently: I think of myself as running a one-woman business. If I didn’t hate the clumsiness of it, I might say that I was a solopreneur.
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Loadshedding solutions for home office workers (that won’t break the bank)

A friend who lives in Melbourne, Australia complained recently on Facebook that he had been without electricity for several hours, in a curfew. His laptop died on him, and there he was in the dark with only his thoughts for company.

I smiled slightly but did not comment.

After all, there is no real joy in claiming the high ground on the question of being without power, and all the tips I could have given him were useless as sitting in the dark probably won’t happen to him again for months or even years.

Here in South Africa of course we all know what it is to be without power – that state of being for which we all grudgingly use the Eskom euphemism: loadshedding. Continue reading

My business and personal theme for 2020: Abundance

April 2020 update: I wrote this post in February, when the world was as it was. Pre-pandemic and pre-lockdown and pre-catastophic economic meltdowns. The world is now a very different place, and I hesitated before sharing it, but I think it still has validity. The world has become a much smaller and scarier place for all of us, and much of that is out of our control. But we can control how we think about things. We can  hope for a better world, and give thanks for what we have now. There is still abundance, if we choose to look for it.
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Small business lessons learned: ask for help, collaborate

At the beginning of 2020, I found myself so exhausted all I could do was sit in a chair and read.

Two weeks into my holiday, I wasn’t feeling much better. I felt as though I was walking a labyrinth that would never end.

Ask for help, said a voice in my head. So when marketing guru and coach  Tina Keys at Pink Diamond Projects asked me to look over a document for her, in return for whatever work I might need done, I said could you give me some of your magic and get me up and running again?

She promptly enrolled me in her month-long Purpose and Identity challenge, which provides a framework for looking at the old year, thinking about the new year and setting some goals, along with a daily and weekly programme to make it all happen.
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Things I have learned in a year of running a business

I’m a member the South African Freelancer’s Association, and the current acting chair of the Western Cape committee. In that capacity, I was asked to talk to a group of film-making interns at Reel Partners about freelancing and entrepreneurship.

I duly sat down and made a list of my five top tips for freelancers – you can read them here.
The talk went down well, I hope, and it got me thinking about what I have learned on a more personal level. It turned out there was quite a lot to excavate from the past year. Here then are the “deeper” learnings: Continue reading