Today, Mark McGuinness once again opens the doors to his Creative Entrepreneur Roadmap course.
I’d like to briefly share my personal experience of before and after the course…
“When did you leave your job?”
“Hmm… 4 years ago”
“It seems longer…”
Mum had called to tell me something important and the conversation turned to work.
When I think about how much things have changed, 4 years seems like a very long time ago.
It’s been a full-on year
2008. Fast Typing and Mining Reports
When I left my job I was thrilled to have the chance to write content for £20 per 500 word article.
There is no sarcasm there, I was genuinely excited that someone would pay me to write. I didn’t care about what, this was the first step. I was going to be a writer!
Then I attracted another client, helping to write Business Intelligence reports for the mining industry. Each one paid £100. Holy crap was I even more excited.
I set to work typing as fast as I could in addition to other content work I could find to help make the bills.
It was 2009. One of the best years of my life.
2009. I Needed a Gun
Photo by: m4tik
To either shoot myself, or the stack of mining reports
I realised that taking any writing work was not the same as creating a freelance lifestyle that was enjoyable.
So I decided to fire my clients.
It felt amazing.
Then I probably panicked drank Kronenbourg and ate a pork pie.
While I was finishing up the year I started to rethink, check in with myself and wonder what to do next.
I followed more closely the businesses I admired: Lateral Action, Men With Pens, Copyblogger. I wrote for them. I wrote my own blog. I guest posted.
I wasn’t sure what I was doing, I was just experimenting. Trying out various pieces of advice I was picking up on the Internet (can you relate? 🙂 )
So when Mark McGuinness from Lateral Action first launched the Creative Entrepreneur Road Map, I invested and signed up.
First Investment in Business Training
I loved the course.
You can see what I thought about it in my first review here. (A LOT has been added since then)
Now, I’d managed to attract enough clients in the first year of freelancing to feel like I could survive.
This course gave me a much better direction.
I began to see how to build a business that suited my lifestyle and interests, rather than just attracting clients willing to give me money.
I started over and followed the road map.
It’s 3 years since I took the course. I still refer to the materials and keep checking in with myself to assess if I’m on the right track or not. There is no “set and forget” when you’re creating a business to suit your lifestyle.
So is it all champagne and private jets now?
Of course not and I can’t promise what it can do for you, but I can share my own experiences.
Last week I got back from Berlin, providing content marketing and blogging training. (It may look like we just spent time studying Yacthing Monthly, Glamour Magazine and Coarse Fishing Magazine but it was serious stuff).
(From dinghy sculling to chub fishing,
we were much more informed after the session)
This September I was in Vienna. In May it was Stockholm.
In March I went to Austin Texas for SXSW, my second visit to meet in person friends from my online communities (Mark shows you how to build those).
I’ve worked with conference companies, technology marketing companies and cultural relations organisations in this year alone.
I’ve panicked, cried, drank beer and eaten too much pastry but even through those times, I knew I was living.
It’s those experiences that make the years seem so long, because so much happens. Through the good, bad, breakthroughs and challenges I’m growing, stretching and getting stronger.
But the little things also give me freedom in my business.
Working from home. Skype meetings in my dressing gown if I want to (cliche? Maybe, but it’s the real reason I say my webcam doesn’t work). Booking appointments at times convenient to me, not around office hours, not having to check time off with anyone, supermarket shopping at off-peak times, being there for my dad’s 70th, unplugging for 6 weeks throughout the year for reflection, raising money to pay for a wedding…
Those moments add up. They become the life you want to live.
If you can relate to the overwhelm of starting out on your own, and need some inspiration and guidance to make the journey easier go and do one or more of these things:
- Check out his fantastic interview with previous student CJ Lyons (she sold more than a million self-published novels!)
- Listen to my own journey of firing, cherry picking clients and other lifestyle benefits in this short interview
- Go to the sales page and find out about the whopping addition of content Mark has added since it first launched
What about you? Are you thinking of starting your own venture? Already designing a business around your lifestyle? I’d love to know where you are and if you’ve had your own moments of panic and triumph in the comments!
angela j simpson says
I’ve just been listening to your interview having found out about Lateral Action earlier this week. Very inspiring and I will listen to it again. Thank you
Hi Angela, just been looking at your site, your work is stunning. I could have sworn one of your pieces was a photograph. So glad you liked the interview and stay close to Lateral Action – there’s great content for creative entrepreneurs there!
I really enjoyed this post. It’s also interesting to see the time it took for you to establish your writing career to a place where 4p a minute was but a distant memory.
I remember starting out about 18 months ago. I was charging 4c per word…and…I’m English. However, I was living in Asia so it was doable. But like you, I got to the gun stage. Whilst I have gotten rid of most of the bottom feeder clients, I do still have a few whose projects I just don’t enjoy working on. In 2013, they’re all being fired and I can’t wait!
Hey Stacey, lovely to see you here. If I’d known what I was doing, I could probably have moved away from low paid jobs sooner, but don’t they say something about when the student is ready the lesson / teacher appears?
Sounds like you’re at a pretty exciting time! Let me know how the firing goes 🙂