A year ago today, I was in the process of setting up my social media accounts, ordering business cards and reaching out to nearly everyone I knew to announce the launch of my new business. I had wrapped up eight years as editor and content developer at my old job and, after 16 years of working for other companies, I was ready to branch out on my own.
Starting my own business took a lot of courage, and I had to summon all my inner strength to trust that the work would come.
I was fortunate to know several people who had launched freelance businesses before me. Each of them assured me that the market needed business writers and editors. They said I would be amazed at how doors would open up for me once I took the leap of quitting my job and announcing my new practice.
I am thrilled to say that they were right.
In the past year, I have had the great pleasure of working with clients in diverse industries. My clients have included businesses in commercial real estate, banking, hospitals and health care, nonprofits, law firms, a dental practice, engineering firms and restaurants. I have written website copy, blogs, brochures, social media posts, newsletters and feature articles. I have edited annual reports and a novel. It has been an amazing year full of interesting work.
As I look back on my first year in business, I am struck by a few key realizations:
- I am doing work I love
Starting a business can be daunting because you don’t know what you don’t know. From legal and tax business filings to marketing and self-promotion, I faced a lot of unfamiliar territory as a new business owner. However, I have confidence in my skill as a writer and editor. Not only that, but I love the work. Having the ability to do that work and to serve my clients well is at the core of my business, and it is what keeps me plugging away at the operational side.
- Variety keeps me ticking
I started out thinking I would target clients in a particular industry, but I decided early on not to hem myself into that narrow niche. I am so glad I didn’t. I have realized that I absolutely love researching and writing about real estate one moment and writing about a restaurant menu launch the next. Variety is what keeps my creative juices flowing, and I always look forward to the next client project as a result.
- People are cool
As an writer and editor, it is often necessary to close the door, put my head down and focus on the work at hand. I thrive in those focused moments. On the flip side, as a business owner, it is necessary to get out into the world and meet people. That has been one of my greatest joys from the past year: I have met such interesting people. I am glad that I get the opportunity to branch out into the community and connect.
So, as I step into year two in business, I feel a strong sense of accomplishment mixed with anticipation for what’s next. I am a little more confident and a lot more brave. I know what to expect, but I am ready for the unexpected.
Mostly, I am thankful for the people who have guided me along the way and the clients who have partnered with me this past year. I so look forward to the next year of interesting work.
Amy J.V. Atwell is a Denver-based freelance writer and editor. She works with businesses to grow their brands through high-quality copy and content. Read more at www.heirloomcommunications.com.