What a year!! Despite the rollercoaster of life I'm on a new high
As a working parent balancing a traditional 9 to 5 job with looking after children is never easy. It’s something many families struggle to juggle.
But when we found out this time last year that our youngest son needed a heart operation we knew we would face even greater strain. The decision to go freelance was an obvious one. Financially of course it was a risk but it would give me the time to work and take care of my boys, allowing me to achieve both my professional ambitions for my business and my personal ones for my family.
The importance of spending time with family
And certainly this year has shown the importance of spending time with family. It was January that I finally took the plunge to go freelance but it wasn’t until April, two operation cancellations and a bout of bronchitis later, that the operation finally went ahead. The stress had been enormous but thankfully he has recovered brilliantly. With the operation a success we were able to really enjoy life again, having lots of fun times away.
Professionally things were also going well. I’d boarded new clients for Red Monkey Accounting and my networking and education events platform Mums and Dads in Business, which I’d founded for other new parents wanting to develop their own businesses, was also going well. I was achieving the work / life balance I’d dreamt of.
Yet in August life threw us another curve-ball. On a holiday to my homeland of Czech Republic, which was also the first time my parents had met my youngest, my dad was rushed to hospital. A day later he was gone.
It has naturally hit all of us hard, including my mum whose own health deteriorated in October. She’s recovering now but it was another poignant reminder of how important it is to live life to the fullest while you can. Thankfully we've gone back to see her at Christmas.
Ambitious plans going forward
2019 may not have been the easiest emotionally but it’s given me the fire in my belly to make my business a success and despite it all I’ve grown faster than I had expected.
When I first launched Red Monkey Accounting I had two sole trader clients and two limited companies on my books. Today I have 11 sole traders and 7 limited companies.
Red Monkey Accounting has also increased its visibility, with my followers on Facebook growing from 10 to more than 350. It really is more than I ever thought I’d manage in my first year.
M&D in Business has also gone well. We’ve welcomed some fantastic speakers at our child friendly events to help other new parents starting out in business with everything from marketing to blogging.
After proving my success in my first year I’ve ambitious targets for my second year. I am aiming for 1,000 followers on my RMA page, 500 followers to my M&D In Business page, 45 sole traders and 30 limited companies. They may sound big numbers but I surprised myself in the first year so I’m determined to set myself big goals for my second year too!
In December I've started a NatWest pre-accelerator course to help develop my plan to run my own practice.
There’s lots coming your way too, including:
· Monthly networking events with some fantastic speakers lined up, panel talks and some surprise fun dates too.
· More live sessions on the RMA page as well as the M&D In Business page.
· An online course in June and October, set within a Facebook closed group, with videos, articles, face to face sessions and guidance on how to fill in your own tax return.
· Face to face monthly meetings.
· Much more networking, allowing me to get out and about meeting you all.
Keeping the balance
But even though this is going to keep me busy I’m not forgetting that all-important family side either, the very reason I went freelance in the first place. By next year I’ll also have become a UK national and be married – did I mention I’ve a wedding to plan amongst all the business plans too?
Life is good. Embrace it.
Oh and if you need someone to help you with your accounts so that you have a little more time to enjoy your own family then you know where I am!