It's been a long time coming. But I have finally thrown off the shackles of employment and have taken the leap into self employment.
This prospect is a nerve racking one but at the same time fills me with a level of excitement that I haven't experienced in a while.
For those of you who regularly read this blog and follow me on twitter, you'll know that the last year has been a tricky one at Chateux Hapless. The arrival of two children, a period of significant ill health and redundancy for Mrs Hapless and significant workplace stress of my own has resulted in my very own "Annus Horribilis". Apparently this doesn't mean fat arse, it actually means a "crap year" in Latin. I nicked it off the Queen.
Either way, the last year has seen my own, hard fought, successful career go down the toilet due to my own health issues. This has resulted in significant uncertainty in the Hapless household and not a small amount of worry, to say the least.
The thing is every cloud has a silver lining. This may be an over used expression but in this case it's true.
Mrs Hapless, with the strength of a maternally outraged Gorilla, has returned to the workplace at the same level she was before having kids. Quite a triumph given the cut throat industry she excels in and her significant health issues over the last few years.
I have discovered that my health problems this year and my resultant career implosion was a blessing in disguise. It has forced me to really consider the person I am, what's really important to me and how I can make things work for myself and my family. This has revealed a few important things.
Firstly I do not give a rats ass about 'career'. I always suspected as much but I know for sure now. I do care about working and I do care about earning. The fact is I would spend my time shovelling shit if it paid me a good wage. I'm not interested in what people think about what I do, because it's not something that influences my own opinions of others. I judge people on who they are and how they behave, not what they do, or what they drive, or where they live. People who believe they are better than someone else based on such things make me feel very sad, slightly nauseous and I have the strangest desire to beat them around the head with a steak tenderiser.
I do care about success. I do believe whatever you do you should put in the required effort to be the best you can be. Success comes in so many forms. For some it is the right car in the company car park. For others it is the flexibility to spend more time with family and friends. You must decide what your definition of success is and do whatever you can to achieve it. The last year has helped me to clarify what I see as success. Not in the eyes of others, but in my eyes, because that's all that really matters. When all is said and done you have to look at yourself in the mirror every day and be happy with the person that looks back.
So what have I learned?
Well, and I think I knew this in my heart already, I'm really not very good at working for other people. All managers are shit, just in different ways. I know this because I have been a very successful manager numerous times and I am a complete arse. The fact is if you have a boss, whatever your relationship, he or she will make you do stuff you don't want to do. That is the basic function of management. Don't confuse this with leadership. Leadership is just a poncey way of saying you give people a load of extra work to do but then fuck off when it needs to be done.
The second thing I've learned is that if you have the right motivation and the right skills you can achieve anything. Since I have been ill I met a couple of young lads who had set up a business. I spent a number of years in sales and business management before I entered the teaching profession. So I agreed to help them out. I am really proud to say that the help I have provided has helped turn an idea into a fully functioning and successful business. More importantly it has given me the confidence that things can be done if you just go for it. These lads are inspirational in terms of what they have achieved and the hard work they have put in to make a success of themselves.
I knew I was enjoying helping out with this project but I never thought it would give me the tools to develop a business idea of my own. But it has!!
I am now owner and managing director (chuckle) of WeBlog4You. WeBlog4You provides outsourced blog content, sponsored blog posts and twitter account management to small and medium sized companies. All companies, however small, have a website. What I didn't realise was that good quality, regularly updated blog content can improve your rankings on search engines such as google. Small business owners have the skills to run their business but they may not have the writing ability and, most importantly the time, to run a blog. I, on the other hand, do. In a very short space of time I have secured a number of contracts to provide blog content and arrange sponsored posts. I wouldn't say I was earning enough to retire just yet, or even enough to buy brand name chocolate hob nobs, but things really are moving in the right direction.
So there you have it! From corporate slave to business owner as quick as you can say, "flat broke at the moment".
I may never make a fortune. But I know that everything is down to me, one way or the other. Some might find that rather scary. I find it empowering and exhilarating.
I will keep you posted dear reader.
Now, on with some paid work instead of chatting to you lot.
I you work for a company who may benefit from my help or you are an established blogger looking for sponsored post opportunities follow me on twitter @WeBlog4You or visit the web site at www.weblog4you.co.uk