Happy 1st Birthday
Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you…… ok, so that’s enough of the birthday celebrations.
I call this a blog but in the last year, this is the third one I’ve written at Notebook & Pen so I’m still a novice when it comes to blogging. I get told all the time how it’s important to write blogs, but so is getting the work done for clients; so I must prioritise. With that aside can you believe that a year ago, Notebook and Pen started out on a journey; with a fairly clear vision, but a sincere realisation, that the business had to be adaptive to the needs of clients (at this point it was wishful thinking clients would engage). From attending networking events, meeting contacts, applications on websites and social media posts; the work started coming our way. There was apprehension as to how busy life would be, what kind of clients I would work with, would I get paid? But most of all, was this the right decision to go freelance in the big wide world?
The past year has been a whirlwind, it has quite literally flown by. I have a few thoughts to share with you in which summarise what life working as a Freelance Executive Assistant has been like and what lessons have been learnt along the way.
Routine – Being Freelance means it can be easy to fall out of a routine. I like routine within reason; I have found sticking to a routine on the whole works (i.e. certain days for certain tasks, Friday is always left-over admin day), but allow a little bit of flexibility. Plans always go astray in this job. Days off, gym classes, appointments…. they don’t always happen, because my clients come first. In the work I do, I embrace this flexibility, re-book whatever it is and carry on.
Cups of Tea. I drank lots of tea before starting Notebook & Pen, I drink lots more now. The kettle isn’t far away, it’s convenient. It’s like a hug in a mug when it’s a bad day and thinking juice when I need to concentrate. Coffee has its place. Coffee is for meetings, out of office visits and the occasional pick me up when it’s been a long day. Biscuits? well, I tend to stick to the healthy stuff but thanks for the offer.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Every day I learn or teach myself something new. This is exciting, rewarding and most of all beneficial to my clients. I’m always one to give it a go, work it out; nothing is too complicated when you start to delve in. The power of the world wide web or perhaps trial and error; both have been successful in their own way.
Motivational quotes are the best… did you see Notebook & Pen’s Christmas Advent Calendar on Facebook? These powerful and thought-provoking quotes really make you stop and think. Here’s a favourite one: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” by Henry Ford. Go out there and make a change, don’t be complacent.
Go above and beyond. I’m available from very early to very late every day of the week. I’m on hand to sort out any problems and get things done when clients need them done; not tomorrow or next week but at that moment…. after all, that’s why they choose to use a freelance Executive Assistant.
Be honest. We all get things wrong, we all make mistakes; we’re human. Make your apologies, learn from it and don’t do it again. Be honest if you can’t do something, there are people out there that can do the things you can’t and so let them help. Building a network of contacts really helps with this, I’m no designer and so I know where to send people when they need design work (honestly, my stick person is a piece of art!)
Social Media is here, we use it, we don’t have to love it. I go through phases when it’s a great tool and then it becomes too much. I undertake some social media work for clients and can see the benefits it brings, as they say: everything in moderation.
Warning! Don’t let the pile of post it notes run low. I have them everywhere, they are the best thing ever! Oh, and a decent pen and notebook; one with the thicker paper that enables you to write on both sides of the page – they’re the best!
Love what you do; it makes everything worthwhile. I am passionate about what I do and about my clients I have the pleasure in working with. There is never a dull moment. Working on my own business is often what gets left on the pile but allocating time to mange the admin, engage in a little social media, tidy up the office and book in some networking; all vitally important and in their own way incredibly satisfying.
Help others in some way. I organise RUNETWORK events which are entirely free networking events for people interested in running and being outdoors. I do this to support and help others get the most from their business, make new connections and get out and meet others.
I’m fortunate enough to have clients that have been with me since almost the beginning, others come and go to suit their business requirements, clients of whom I am delivering specific projects for and those that just know I’m here when they need me.
Who knows what the next twelve months will bring, whatever it is I’m ready and waiting. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and feel extremely humbled by the kind words I receive from clients regularly that confirm I’m doing ok.
So that’s enough of my blogging attempt for now. Thank you to each and every one of you that has supported me in one way or another since Notebook & Pen started, I am extremely grateful.
‘Thank you for all the support / what you are doing – makes it so much easier for me to focus, hugely appreciated’
‘Thank you so much for all of your hard work and enthusiasm over the past weeks. I’ve really appreciated that you came on board during a very busy period, and you’ve been a great member of the team’
‘the final product looks superb – I can see why she sings your praises indeed!’
‘Well done Amy – you did a great job!’