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. And how to work out what to charge for your product or service – with guidance from an accountant and a foolproof spreadsheet for ensuring all costs have been considered.

When I was launching my digital magazine The Early Hour, I had big ideas. My dream was to create the Huffington Post for parents – and sell it for £200m, like Arianna Huffington did. But during a business course, I was asked to think about why I was setting up my own business, and one of my main reasons as to be around for my daughter. So from the early stages, it was clear that what I actually wanted was enough work to keep me afloat and enable me to stay close to home.

If you’re thinking off building a multi-million pound business; great. I think having big dreams and ambition is brilliant. But this does mean making sacrifices, as growing a business to that size means dedicating almost all your time to it. Holidays become harder, if you have kids – you’ll find yourself unable to do the school drop-off and pick-up, work meetings will suddenly wheedle their way into time you’d planned to spend with friends or family.

So it’s worth thinking about the reasons you want to work for yourself…

Why have you decided to start your own business?

Once I was earning some money from sponsored posts and writing freelance articles, I came to the conclusion that I’d actually be quite happy to earn enough to cover my share of the household bills plus a bit extra for holidays, clothes and savings. I let go of my dreams of becoming the next Arianna Huffington – especially after reading about how over-working led to her having a mega breakdown and re-thinking everything about the way she works. Basically, I got a bit realistic.

I’m enjoying growing my online course business, and seeing where it leads. But with all the aspects of my so-called ‘multi-hyphen career’, the aim is to ensure I’m earning enough to not have to worry about money, and to be able to enjoy the things that matter to me in life. That means time with family. So I’ve designed a working week that means I can do school drop-off and pick-up every day, hang out with my kids in the mornings and afternoons, spend two and half days working – while my daughter’s at school and son’s at nursery – and spend the weekends with my family.