You can doubt me, laugh at me, even call me silly, if you like, but I’m starting a business and that’s all there is to it. I got the shove from the universe, and rather than losing my balance, I’m going with it. Wheeee!!
I know I harp on about not having enough time to write my novel, let alone take on a new commitment, but today I realised, if I had never had my babies, I’d still be working full time. So I’d still only have the evenings to write. What’s the difference to now?
Plus, I’m terrible at being managed. When I choose to do a good job, I do a good job, but you can’t make me be on time, organise my tasks or tell me I have to look ‘corporate’. Micro management makes me shrivel. I can’t stand it. If those advocates spent as much time working, as they did managing my ass, then a hell of a lot more would be achieved.
Now’s the time
I also realised, I’m in the best position right now to test the waters. I’m not the breadwinner. I don’t have the pressure to put food on the table, get ahead with the bills, pay the mortgage. Yes, I contribute, but it’s surplus. I’m lucky. I’m cared for. I’m loved and I’m nurtured to do what makes me happy.
There is no better time to take a risk. Not that I’m going to outlay anything much financially. Just my time, which of course is very valuable. But I always knew at some point, when the girls get old enough for school, I wouldn’t hang around like a spare part at home. I’d get bored. And it’s also not fair — I want to share the load. I want to be an equal money maker.
Of course, I’m still going to be a novelist, and I’m deep down convinced this is my calling, where my success and my fulfilment lies. But why not make doubly sure I can bring home some beans? We’ve got school stuff to pay for after all. Plus, I want to be able to go on holidays, have a nice house, save for that rainy day. I also want to enjoy life for all that it offers. Money is good. It’s not everything, but it’s good!
So, my thinking is, I should start right now. Start slowly, get established, then I can hit the ground running when the girls start school. Money isn’t the only reason. I want to enjoy what I do every day. Isn’t that the dream? To be self sufficient. To work from home. To have a work-life balance. To get up every day and be enthused, be purposeful, be happy while you work 🙂
The universal nudge
Well, that’s what I want anyway. And the universe agrees it seems. So what was my nudge, you may wonder? Well, I was having a cheeky breakfast out, with my youngest little pickle, and my mobile phone rang. I was’t going to answer it. Probably another sales call, I thought. But I was in the mood to argue, so I answered.
‘Hello. Is this Eleanor the Editor?” came the friendly English accent.
‘Uh. Yes?’ I felt confused, but went with it. After all, it was what I portended to be.
‘I have an editing job for you. Can you please provide me with a quote?’
‘Sure! Can I email you?’ I might have sounded confident, but inside I was crapping; my head swarmed with crazy questions. What the hell do editors charge? What should I be asking him? Does he know I’m not experienced? Can he hear my toddler screaming? Do I sound at all professional? Arrrgggh!
He didn’t seem to notice (at least I hope he didn’t).
The conversation progressed, and I learnt about his manuscript, his background, his requirements. I took down his details, said a polite goodbye, then pretty much jumped. for. joy! Yippee!!! My first paid editing job! Was this for real? He sounded real.
When I got home, I double checked. I jumped on the internet and confirmed he was indeed a writer and he did indeed choose me to edit one of his chapters. I wasn’t dreaming.
That’s when it hit me. He called me Eleanor the Editor. He trusted me to do the job he was going to pay me for. It had to be right, I couldn’t wing this. So I didn’t. I researched the different types of editing, downloaded examples, learnt editing marks and brushed up on my grammar. I knew I could do this. I wasn’t afraid. It felt right.
And so, to cut a long story short, he was happy with my work. He even gave me a reference, which I could use for future clients. Future clients. It was decided.
And this is where I am today. My business will be called:
No idea too large. Giving strength to your words. Wise. Loyal. Patient. Honourable. Magical. Divine. Elephants never forget. There are so many connotations that I think fit in well with offering a good service.
Besides, elephants are my thing. They symbolise so much to me. I have a tattoo of an elephant on my back, which I had done at a time in my life when I needed strength the most. It’s seen me through the bad times, and into the good.
And I am most definitely in the good right now. I have a beautiful family, I have a wonderful partner, I have caring friends, loving parents and a not-too-shabby roof over my head. Sometimes I get bogged down in the stresses of day-to-day living, but I do appreciate every day, every morning when I open my eyes, that I am LUCKY. So lucky. Like an elephant with his trunk up 🙂
Like I said, I’m not giving up my dream of being a writer, but everyone needs a day job. And I like editing. I can’t help myself. I correct everything I read. Besides, I can’t swan around in coffee shops and hair salons all day once the girls go to school. I’d go mad… I think.
So this is it, guys. Now’s the time. It’s chosen me. I’m not expecting it to be easy, but we have to start somewhere, some time.
As someone smart once said:
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
– Lao Tzu
Well, I’m taking my first step. I sincerely hope I don’t have 999 miles to go!
PS. If you’re interested in reading my first client’s first book, you can check it out on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Round-Bend-Ningaloo-Search-Redundancy/dp/1780883900. His second book, for which I’ve played a very small part, will be released shortly 🙂