It's now six months since my last day at work and time I started to think about earning again. I'm grateful I haven't got the abrupt jump into to work I would have if I was returning to employment, but getting started in self employment has its own challenges. For the moment, I'm just getting some rough plans together and leaving the harder work until the first few months of 2010.
Not surprisingly, the last few months have been more 'baby' than 'business'. I'm making sure that amid all the chaos of being mum to a 19 month and (almost) 4 month old, I stop to appreciate where I am. One of the joys is seeing the world through the eyes of a toddler – the noise that gravel makes when you stomp on it, watching the last few roses of autumn clinging on in the cold, dropping letters into a big red postbox. And the joys of being a parent to a toddler – finding a tin of tuna on your doormat and your phone in your washing machine! Baby boy is just starting to grasp at things with his little hands. He's smiling at everyone and is fascinated by everything going on around him, including his big sister trying to balance teddy bears on his head.
Getting back to my business, I'm planning a 'multiple streams of income' approach. I've already arranged to do some admin for a book keeper friend as one of the income streams. If you like the sound of this approach, it's worth putting the word out among family and friends that you'd be happy to do some admin work on a freelance basis. You never know who might need someone to do a mail shot, compile a mailing list, tidy up some spreadsheets, write a manual, do some invoicing and so on. I'm not talking about becoming a fully-fledged virtual assistant – although that's an option of course – just bringing in an income while you get other streams of income up and running (and that usually takes longer than you think).This approach takes some careful planning and focus because it's easy to get distracted if you have several jobs on the go at once. But for me, it's worth the risk to not have all my business eggs in one basket.
One of the other business eggs in my basket is exploring web-based businesses. I've been learning a lot about blogging, social media and driving traffic to a website over the last six months. With my background in coaching and training, I feel sure I can develop an income stream from it although I'm still working out the best route to take. I'll let you know how I get on. If you have any experience of going self-employed after your maternity leave ended or using a multiple streams of income approach, drop me a comment :0)