Self Employed

Self Employed

Anna0005I found out in late 2015 that my position as an HR Manager and Executive Assistant was being made redundant. At the time, I was at a crossroads both personally and professionally – I was relocating to a different part of the UK and faced total uncertainty in all areas of my life. Rather than look for new employment in my new city, I decided to set up my own business working as a Virtual Assistant and HR Consultant.

Getting started

Setting up my own business was the most daunting thing that I have ever done. I set about gathering all the information I needed, creating networks with other freelancers (meetings lots of fabulous and inspiring people in the process), creating my website and social media accounts and most importantly finding new clients. I also spent a few days analysing my own sklllset and what I wanted to do. I decided to offer four types of services: virtual assistant, event management, writing and editing and HR consultancy services. As I grew my client base, I expected these to evolve, but this is what I felt comfortable doing. I would never offer a service I couldn’t provide to a high standard.

A year later…

Reflecting on the past year, I am aware of what a huge learning curve it has been – I have found myself doing things I have never done before, outside of my comfort zone, and it is a great feeling. I now know I can push myself and accomplish things I didn’t think I could do.

The world of a freelancer is a mix of elation when you succeed, sheer frustration when you fail, and satisfaction provided by doing what you’d always dreamed of doing, but were always too scared to do. You do fail, and you will fail a lot, but you’ll grow immensely from each failure and learn how to do things better, and differently. Knowing that you can bounce back from failure and create your own success and happiness is the best feeling in the world.

As a freelancer, I get to control the tasks, the objectives and the deadlines. This can be stressful, but it’s not the same as having an unpredictable boss, or an unrealistic workload. I set the pressures, and create the stress that I’ve learned to embrace as it spurs me on my own personal development. I am in control of my destiny, and it is only my doubts and fears that hold me back. Overcoming these doubts and fears are the hardest part but they’ve helped me to grow in ways I never imagined.

The thing that I really love about working for myself is that it allows me to work around my life and not try to squeeze my life around my work. I have an eight-year-old daughter, and being able to be there for her at the start and the end of the day is the best feeling. The day you realise that you are actually in control allows ultimate freedom, and for me, outweighs any other fears.

Controlling my destiny, continuing to learn and grown and having the satisfaction of knowing that no day will be the same makes being self employed so worthwhile! For anyone considering self-employment; what have you got to lose? And if it works, you have an awful lot to gain.


And Steel Heels says:

It’s music to our ears to hear from a pair of steel heels forging their own footsteps across the other side of the world. We love hearing stories from afar and finding commonality (despite the 10,000 miles between us) to remind us that the future is here and that we are indeed a global Steel Heels community.


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Anna Merrall
Anna Merrall is a Virtual Assistant and HR Consultant based in Liverpool, UK.