How to start your own business (inc. freelance, side hustle)

From the author of The Freelance Mum: A flexible career guide for better work-life balance

Ready for the ultimate work-life balance and to earn what you deserve? This course will help you work out what your business should be (or refine an existing idea), give you a big confidence boost, ensure you have the money stuff sorted and the steps to get started…



Ready to start a business that you feel passionately about, that enables you to work the hours that suit you and that you can grow as big as you like (and reap all the benefits)?

This course will help you work out what your freelance path, online business or ‘side hustle’ should be (or refine an existing idea), give you a big confidence boost, ensure you have the money stuff sorted and the practical steps to get started…

The benefits of self-employment are huge…

  • Flexible working hours
  • No more commuting
  • Choose what you earn
  • Better work-life balance

But many of us stay in job we don’t like because we feel afraid; we don’t have the confidence to make the leap.

I understand, I’ve been there.

However, after giving birth to my daughter, I had a ‘now or never’ moment and set up a freelance business. I’ve developed a career that pays me double what I was earning before kids but I work half as many hours.

I now also have two more children, and I’m around to do school drop-offs and pick-ups. As well as meet friends for mid-week coffees, or go for a nice long walk.

If you like the sound of my work-life balance (kids or no kids), this online course is for you.

These four modules will teach you everything you need to know about becoming your own boss – from deciding what your freelance path or business should be, mustering the confidence to make the leap and ensuring it will pay.

You’ll also be armed with legal advice, and the necessary steps for setting up as a freelancer, including: registering as self-employed, building a website, branding, social media, making contacts, spreading the word, childcare. All presented in digestible chunks.

Louise joined my course and after module two, wrote to me saying:

“At the start of this course I had no expectations of what I might find out about myself, I just wanted to be really open-minded and not just take the easy option. And I have really have surprised myself with my potential new career interest… I feel like I’ve come across my dream role!”

I had a message from another course participant:

“The confidence week certainly helped me a lot. And suddenly I am talking with a client about flying to Miami for meetings after essentially being a SAHM for two years!! It’s astounding how I felt so lost a few weeks ago and suddenly things seem to be moving again”.

This course is creative, practical and packed with exercises, tips and advice – from me and a load of other freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Here’s the course outline…

Module 1: What should my freelance work or business be?

You may have a job that translates easily into freelance work, or perhaps you’re keen to try something completely new. Either way, we’ll take a look at your deep-rooted passions, skills and experience and through a combination of practical and creative exercises, you’ll end up with a clear idea about what the focus of your work should be. There’s a great exercise from business coach extraordinaire Suzy Ashworth.

Module 2: Finding the confidence to make the leap

Now clearer on what your freelance work or business will focus on, it’s time to muster the confidence within yourself to believe that this can – and will – happen. With an exercise from business coach Nicky Raby, plus tips and advice from seasoned freelancers and entrepreneurs (inc. the author Elizabeth Day), you’ll soon be brimming with confidence and self-esteem. It’s all about mindset.

Module 3: Making it pay – short-term and long-term

It’s time to get practical because while becoming self-employed is great, without the monthly paycheque landing in your bank account each month, you’ll need to know that you can still cover the bills. We’ll discuss the various options for earning while you set-up-shop, how to work out what to charge for your product or service – with guidance from an accountant. Plus a foolproof spreadsheet for ensuring all costs have been considered.

Module 4: Getting started

Now that you’ve decided what your freelance work is going to be, you have the confidence to ‘make the leap’ and you’ve done your financial planning – what’s next? In this module, I’ll walk you through the necessary steps for setting up as a freelancer, including: registering as self-employed, building a website, branding, social media, making contacts, spreading the word and more. 

The details…

  • Online course, start whenever you’re ready.
  • You’ll be given access to exercises, advice, tips – and set tasks. You access this whenever you like (you don’t have to sign in at a particular time).
  • You’ll have access to this course for one year.
  • It costs £99 (you’ll make this back in no time once you’ve launched).


“I’ve been ridiculously emotional since the lightbulb, as I can’t believe working for myself from home could actually become a reality. The BYOB course has been exactly what I needed to guide me in the right direction at this point in my life. Thank you!” – Suzy S

“Annie, this module has made me so excited! Thank you for asking all the right questions – it’s left me feeling confident and not at all rushed to make decisions. Rather, it has reoriented me back to the ‘why’ instead of the ‘what’ of starting a business.” Elizabeth H

“I’m so sad that this wonderful course has come to an end. I have absolutely loved doing it, it couldn’t have come at a better time for me! I have also loved feeling like I’m part of something, the Facebook group is fantastic for networking and sharing ideas.” – Catherine Hemming

“The activities have really varied and have pushed my brain to think in ways I was not expecting and, in some cases never really ventured before, which has been really refreshing and insightful. I feel like I’m learning about how to set up a business whilst also learning a little more about myself too.” Chloe R

“Thank you for this week’s tasks. It has been very helpful to start to visualise what I want life to look like.” Helen H

“I’ve had to send myself so many emails with ideas as they’ve randomly come into my mind!” Lou J

Who am I?

I’m Annie Ridout – author, freelance journalist (Guardian, Forbes, Grazia, Telegraph), certified coach and speaker (panel talks, BBC radio and TV).

I lost my job when I gave birth to my daughter. And I felt mixed. On the one hand, I loved that I could focus on becoming a mother and getting to know my daughter without thinking ‘what will the return to work be like’? But on the other, I had no idea what I’d do for money once my savings ran out.

So, I launched a business. I discovered that you don’t have to work a conventional 9-5 to get by – in fact, you can work nap-times, evenings, weekends and then, when you can afford it, get childcare and grow your freelance career/business even bigger.

But to get to that stage, I had to work through a specific process. Firstly, deciding what work I wanted to do. Next, developing the confidence to go for it. Thirdly, being business-like and working out how I’d make it all pay. And lastly, all the practical steps for launching: website, branding, PR, registering my company etc.

It’s not easy, having kids and then trying to work out whether you should/need to work and if so; what to do. But it’s very satisfying when you find a fulfilling career and a work/life balance that feels right for you. I’d love to help you get to that stage.

If you’d like to join this course, I’d love to help you make this leap into your new future.