Becoming Self-Employed: Why I Started My Own Business

Everyone has their own reasons for starting their own business. Something somewhere will have pulled or pushed you to leave your 'day job' and launch out alone...


My personal motivation was when I realised that the jobs I had been doing:


a) Didn't use my skills, and

b) Pushed all my 'pain points'


In the year since finishing my undergrad degree, I spent one month working at a surf camp in Fuerteventura, four months training to be a secondary school art teacher, and two months working at a luxury New Forest hotel. All of these jobs had aspects that I loved, but they also all had serious parts to them which made me just crumble - mostly due to my lack of stamina, and becoming completely overwhelmed.



Living and Working in Fuerteventura, May 2017


I struggled with depression throughout my time college and university, and had to work so hard to find 'coping strategies' which also suited my work style.


As an English undergraduate, I had so much self-directed time, and very few contact hours. Throughout the five years that I was a uni student, I learnt how to harness my creative and academic potential - which it turns out is really quite good when utilised properly, I graduated with a first class degree from Exeter in 2017!


I knew exactly when to work at home, work in the library, socialise, sleep, go home to my Mum's, go on a surf weekend, when to stop drinking for a month, and when to give myself a BREAK! After five years of working like this and achieving great results, I really struggled to fit into somebody else's structure and routine.




Graduating from University of Exeter in July 2017



My first ever job as a sailing instructor also prepared me for this kind of independence and leadership role. At sixteen I qualified as an RYA Dinghy Instructor and would be charged with six little sailors for the week as I taught them to sail during the summer holidays. I would plan everything; how we would fit the syllabus into the time we had, when we had breaks, when we had briefings, when we joined up with other groups, and so on. I was in charge and I loved it!


At a job interview (pre-New Forest Writing Co) I was asked to describe a time when I had taken ownership of my own tasks and time management at work. I jokingly told her that I had always done that and that my learning curve was to be able to deal with someone else's 'task and time management' of me!! The interviewer replied; "you sound like you need to work for yourself..."


Lightbulb moment.


(I did not get that particular role as a Sales Assistant at Crew Clothing!!)


New Forest Writing Co.


Another major motivator for me was speaking to the gorgeous Kate Bell about the way she ran her marketing business. I had never met anyone before who ran their own 'service-based' business on a scale and style that I could relate to. The idea swam around my head for a few days and then settled on the possibility that I could offer my writing services - the one thing I knew I was good at - to small local businesses.


It had also taken me until about this time to realise that writing is actually a skill. I am incredibly lucky in the way I was brought up reading and writing extensively - writing for me is as easy as talking (sometimes a lot easier, actually!). I realised that this is not the case for everybody; and finally started to value my 'talent' for what it was - a crafted skill that I had actually worked on and crafted for years, almost without noticing.


I began jotting down business names, ideas and plans in a classic Emily-style mindmap. The rest, as they say is history...


Only it's actually quite a complicated and steep learning curve to turn an idea into a proper, profiting, regulation-conforming business. Keep an eye out to follow my business journey as I grow and develop New Forest Writing Co.


Best Wishes,

Emily x