It’s almost a year since I started my own business and went freelance. Phew….I’ve made it 12 months on my own.

It’s been a year of tremendous highs, growth and development for me. I’ve worked with some lovely and brilliant people and learnt a lot from them. I’ve had the opportunity to develop some great business working relationships with great brands and organisations that I respect and admire, and I’ve also made some new friends that I really value.

I’ve also had some great successes: securing quality media coverage that has a return on investment for clients, created compelling content for websites and newsletters and managed some big projects from start to finish. I’ve started running workshops to help people understand more about PR and the value of good communications, which is something I’m particularly proud of.

But I would be lying if I said it had all been positive and happy. People have surprised me, and not in a good way. I’ve had to have challenging conversations with people and lost clients for reasons out of my control. All of which has had an impact on my self-esteem and confidence.

Looking back, I am happy and proud to say the positive moments outweigh the negative ones. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if I could go back a year and give myself some advice this is what it would be:

  • Celebrate the small things. You’ve worked for some big organisations where media coverage was routine – it’s much harder now. Celebrate and be proud of the coverage you secure for your clients even if it’s an outlet you deem to be small. They all count
  • It could take a while for a potential client to come back to you when you’ve given them a quote. Don’t clock watch and don’t bank in it happening.
  • You will doubt yourself at some point and you will have imposter syndrome at times. Don’t believe it. Remember your experience. You’re good at what you do, and people believe in you.
  • If you lose a client or a project finishes there will be another. Don’t panic.
  • It’ll take a while to get used to the self-employed life. It’s ok to have lunch with a friend or do the food shop. That’s what flexibility is all about.
  • Take time to invest in yourself. One of the reasons why you went freelance was to give yourself the opportunity to do new things and grow as a professional. Investing in yourself is investing in your business.

So, I’m going to take my own advice and I’m going to raise a glass and celebrate the last 12 months. There have been some epic wins and some challenging times. All should be recognised.

I’m looking forward to what the next 12 months will bring – I’ve no doubt that I will experience all of the above again and again.