Six Months of Self-Employment

Six months ago, I left Canary Wharf for the last time. Usually, on a commute, I’d listen to a podcast or some music, but this time I just put my earphones in to deaden the sound of the other passengers and just… sat there.

I’d left my role at Reach, one that I didn’t feel suited me nor did I suit it, and was pondering my next move. Do I go back to local government work and stick to what I know? Or do I look for another job in an industry that, in many ways, had chewed me up and spat me out? What was next? How would I support my son and my fiancee, or keep a roof over our heads?

That journey was actually relatively painless, but it felt like it lasted a day. By the time I got home, I’d text, emailed, Twitter DM’d and called as many people in the industry as I could. If this wasn’t rock bottom, it was close. The support I received that day was nothing short of incredible, but there simply were no roles available.

Wait. What if I could work for myself? What if I could keep doing what I’d been doing for a year or so, but throw myself into it? What if I could be a freelance writer and drum up work from existing clients?

Understandably, I was nervous. I floated the idea to my counsel (Frankie and my parents), and we figured that it’d be better to kick things off sooner rather than later, all while looking for a job, any job.

So that was the plan: work for myself to get a totally unproven business in the air, while applying for jobs and helping look after an almost one-year-old. Simple, right?

I left my role on Thursday, and on Friday spoke to Gfinity and agreed to work for them on the following Monday. Between working full-time as a news writer and then filling my evenings with all of the freelance work I could get my hands on, I started to make friends in the industry. I grew as a writer, and as a business owner, learning things as I went.

Somehow, despite being the bright spark that decided to start my own business just before a global pandemic hit, I’m able to provide for my family doing my dream job. That’s not to say it’s been easy, and I’m still pulling the occasional fourteen or fifteen-hour days, but I get to make content from my home – how cool is that?

This leap of faith would not have been possible without those closest to me. Mum, Dad, thanks for believing in my mad dream to write about video games. Cath, thanks for looking after Jackson on days where I have conference calls and developer interviews, and for supporting Frankie in the early days where we felt we’d struggle. And Frank, thank you for believing in me like no one else ever has or could.

I’m hoping to have some cool news in the next week or so, so be sure to keep an eye out for that. For now, I’m going to finish my work for the day and spend a weekend in the sun with my little boy.

Thanks for reading,

L

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