Wednesday, 21 October 2009

week one: making the break

it's the end of week one; my last day of paid work is now seven days past but despite my best (and possibly rather optimistic) efforts i don't yet have a plethora of excited and keen-to-be-paying clients for my new go-it-alone venture. adam has suggested that i keep a blog of my efforts; i've added it to the list of many suggestions that he's made and i've briskly dealt with in an efficient "i've thought of that" or "there's only so much i can achieve in week one" sort of way but this one kept buzzing around in my brain and as i feel a desperate need to do-do-do to justify the two days of nursery that we're still paying for i thought i'd give it a go. secretly. i think i will use this blog to share, probably just with myself in an external-internal sort of way, the journey of breaking the shackles of employment and starting my own business. while continuing to be a good mum, probably quite a difficult (if efficient and sometimes a bit nice) wife and all the other roles that us women in our thirties are faced with succeeding at.

i feel a bit like i've entered one of those rivers on a nature programme, where the salmon (or possibly trout?) swim upstream through seemingly unbroachable waterfalls in order to get to the ideal breeding ground. clearly i'm not looking for a breeding ground, not in the pro-creation sense of the word anyway. but i am looking for a breeding ground of clients where they all gabble excitedly about this great new concept in the business world, brought to edinburgh only recently and how it is absolutely essential to get on board now. i'd like to see myself as queen salmon, gracefully executing one of those arcing, water-glistening, leaps to the top. realistically i'm still trying to work out the route, i've got my nose up another fish's arse and am flapping around trying to find a foothold while adapting to the fact i now have fins, not feet. it's all very new and today i found myself justifying my sales activity as "filling the funnel" which felt very novel as i've never been in sales before. i was justifying it to adam. he'd called just to see what i'd been up to on this, day three of unpaid childfree working from home. i admitted i'd just got back from the hairdresser but this was a RARE treat! it had been about 4 months and as i might have a meeting next week i need to look a bit of a business laydeee and not like the mum of a four year-old and a 20 monther.

daughter #1 did say today "are you working at home today mummy, or going to the coffee shop?" she's very interested in the change; why am i no longer at the building with the blue lamp posts? where DO i work? (i fib a bit and say i work at other peoples' offices: surely this will eventually be true..) i was mildly afronted, however as i logged on from starbucks had to accept she was right. well jk rowling does her best work in there, infact i've often seen her in that very one, so as i loaded up my loyalty card in return for free wi-fi i felt it was justified.(and tax deductable?) i was a bit embarrassed about how dusty my laptop looked, and glanced furtively around wondering how all the students could afford i-books and vaios and why everything in my life looks a bit dusty and child-impacted. it really needed a good go with a wet wipe but being childfree this was sadly lacking from my bag. anyway, the coffee shop is also very close to the hairdresser so from a time management perspective it was the right way to go about the day. so now i'm blonder, have had some baked beans and forgot to not put butter on my bread (diet week three; very poor results so far), and have done my first blog entry.

from a work perspective i have also mailed the zoo, the nhs, historic scotland, edinburgh world heritage, the national galleries, scottish parliament, bonhams, lyon and turnbull, rbs: an eclectic group but a group nevertheless. linked by a) my desire to work with them b) my contacts (tenuous but there) and c) my thoughts on their available spend. so the funnel is full of possibles, but only one tenuous meeting so far. i have been granted a free annual membership to the chamber of commerce so when that is duly processed i intend to network wildly with my new executive hair.

i'm ignoring the washing up and washing machine and un-integrated integrated dishwasher sitting next to me; this is a WORK day and as such all domestics get left until the end of the day. i actually find this quite hard but realistically those things are do-able with children round (well, i can't integrate the dishwasher and despite his assurances i'm pretty sure adam can't either so that will have to wait a bit longer) so while the children have tea and refuse to eat delicious omelettes ("tastes yucky mummy" from daughter #2 yesterday) i'll slot back into speed-multitasking-mummy and do all the jobs until adam's slavemasterish employees release him from their grasp and he staggers home grey-eyed and tousle-haired at 8ish. tonight however he has leftover roast (sunday to weds, surely still ok?) and i go out on my work leaving do and probably fib a bit about my funnel.

so i'd better crack on, NOT go shopping for a chair for my new desk, not look at the cost of vaios and i-books and instead work on that graceful arc to the happy breeding lands.


  1. Kate - you write so well I think you should consider a side line in a newspaper colomn somewhere! I'm serious! Best of luck with your new endeavour. As I'm finding here in North Somerset with my Osteopathy things take time and you have to value the learning process as much as profitable activity as it's bound to dominate for some time! Keep running at those salmon leaps though!
    PS I take it you're exploring the Scottish business women forums - I forget the correct title but they should be easy to find. I'm sure you've got it all under control. Give me a ring when you're in need of pepping up - I may need the same! Oh and my attempt to get myself a smart new career launching haircut ended up with an 80s effort. It's staying in a clip for the next few months..

  2. To others wanting to post a comment to Kate, you have to create a google profile if you don't already have one. Don't be put off - it took precisely 2 minutes..

  3. I'm sure it is just time and patience and not much of that in comparison to looking after two very bright little girls!
    Go girl, we know you can do it!

  4. ok, not just time and patience but grind and brainpower but you know what I mean!

  5. Thank you for your comments Daisy and Catherine! I really appreciate the votes of confidence. I am networking like a wild thing Daisy, well, in the planning stages of it anyway! But if any particular forum jumps to mind please let me know: the chamber has a women's group so I'll definitely do that when my membership comes through. Hey, both of you are not logged on as followers though! Please do: will mean you get my updates (I presume?)! love Kate xxx

  6. Hi Kate! Are house husband / new business multitaskers allowed here? Love the blog and recognise all the problems. Suggest you widen your Google ads parameters until you're getting a reasonable number of clicks and then narrow in on what works best. Face-to-face networking probably most effective but worth keeping the ads running (no pun intended!) Good luck! Roger

  7. thanks Rog; good tip on the adwords..will try that tomorrow when kids at nursery! and of course you are welcome to join you fellow multi-tasker! x

  8. I like the exampled that you provides to say that what happen to you. It is the Salmons example, which swim upstream through seemingly unapproachable waterfalls in order to get to the ideal breeding ground.
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