The Rise and Fall of Felicity Alwell

Talking of empire building, since I last managed to post on this blog work completely took over my life. My own little self-employed empire and apparently I’m not alone.

The UK is now the ‘self-employment capital of Western Europe’, say the people in the know. Lately I’ve seen more and more conversations about the self-employed and why it is that it’s on the rise…

We’ve all been made redundant!
We want better work-life balance!
We want to be our own boss!

In the midst of reading these various random reasons I came across the Royal Society for the Arts and their work with, you guessed it, one of our favourite former chocolate empires, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Their work has set out to tackle the fact that we might not make as much money, indeed we may be one of the most vulnerable working groups in society, but we sure are a happier for it – apart from the lack of chocolate tax relief that is.

Chocolate as business expense

I came to self-employment out of a mixture of necessity and ambition. I was given a chance to move on after (another) period of restructure in an organisation that I didn’t like working for any longer. There was my chance…and I took it and haven’t looked back since.

Saying that, every so often I see a full time job that I could do and put in an application. When I don’t get picked for an interview, I’m pretty outraged – “how dare they not want me?! Their loss”. For the ones I get an interview for, I’m put off as soon as the commute starts. With that, I remember why I really didn’t want to do this in the first place. That’s all the impetus I need to get started on a new project or two…or three…or more. Of course, this won’t always be the case.

Some of the statistics surrounding being self-employed (or more specifically, freelancing like me) are outlined in this infographic – ‘the great unsung heroes of the British workforce’.

In the end, to be good at being self-employed is to be resilient. To have the ability to self-reflect and the stubbornness to do it anyway!