Thursday, August 28, 2008

So let me explain...

I am about to become self-employed. It's an idea I have been toying with for some time, but it never seemed like the right time. Many of you have told me time and again that you think me ill-suited to the corporate machine. The trouble is, I am rather well suited to the financial security of a regular paycheque.

Then a whole bunch of circumstances came together very quickly which resulted in my having to hand in my notice at work. Perhaps I will go into more detail at some later date, but the situation is still a little fragile.

So the Learning Anorak has been born. The logo is still a work in progress, and is receiving the attention of a professional, but this is it for now. What do you think?

For some time I have been referring to myself by this name in various spaces, so it seemed logical to carry the theme through.

Many people have been extraordinarily supportive. Mark Berthelemy has (as always) shared freely of his advice and expertise. Harold Jarche, who has walked this path himself, has made himself available as friend, mentor and adviser. Kristina Schneider has been a shoulder to cry on, and has applied all the right insults to the right people to become a friend for life. Several people have given me the names of people and organisations to contact. A man I have never met (but who knows my husband) has offered to put my details in front of the board of a large organisation.

You see, I know I'm good at what I do. And there are people who will back me up on that. The trick is to get the word out there, and people have been astonishingly kind in helping me to do that. I remarked on this in conversation with an associated recently, to which he replied, "Well the more you slice this cake, the bigger it grows."

So I have hung out my shingle. Advice, references and introductions... and prayers... welcomed!


Cammy Bean said...

Good luck, Karyn! A new chapter in your erratic learning journey that we'll all be eager to read...

rlubensky said...

I haven't had a "real" job since 1995. By the look of it, you could probably get on better without one too! I am confident that opportunity will always be in your face. All the best!

Anonymous said...

Karyn, wishing you every success, great news and good luck...

Anonymous said...


Wish you sucess and a lot of satisfaction. I am sure you have a lot to give to people who connect with you. What better way than do it at your own terms. Lots of luck dear.


David Wilson said...

Karyn - best of luck. I'm sure you will find things work out.

Anonymous said...

Karyn, I've been an independent with only a few short re-tries at regular employment since 1998. Although at times it can be really frightening to look into the future and wonder where that next job will be coming from, overall, I've found it to be vastly more interesting and rewarding than having a "job." In fact, I'm pretty sure that I could never go back to working for someone else.

This will test you, but it will be well worth it. Good luck as you start to pull everything together--you will be great!

Anonymous said...

I am sure you will make a great success of it. It's now 18 months since I set up as self-employed. No regrets so far... You go for it !

Anonymous said...

Woo Hoo!
Congratulations, we are all so proud of you. If you are looking for introductions, make sure you make good use of LinkedIn (if you're not already - it's social networking for business purposes - I have had several job referrals from there in the last month, even though I'm not actually looking!).
You are bright, you are a great communicator, and you are passionate about what you do - now apply that passion to (not only teaching and designing but) spreading the word about yourself, and success will follow.
I'm a sales trainer by trade, and used to specialize in helping small business people to ramp up their sales effort (on a shoestring), so if I can offer any advice, drop me a line.
Jason (formerly Jam Master J)

Wendy said...

Sooper dooper exciting times Ms. Karen!!!! Considering how unhappy you seemed to be at your corporate world, this is great news! And it sounds like you have an excellent group of consultants there with you. Congrats and I can't wait to hear more about it!!!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent news ! I have a friend who left Surrey this week and is moving back up near your way, could I possibly put her in touch with you?

The upsycho said...

Thank you all for your encouragement. I wish I could bottle it to sip from when I experience my moments of blind panic!

@Nicola But of course - that would be great. Hopefully I still have your mobile number, so I can text you my new number and email address.

Anonymous said...

I wish you the most success in your endeavor... and you've gotten even more words of encouragement by email from me :-). You know that I know that you're going to be great.

You asked for feedback on your logo, and so here is mine.

I wouldn't base a logo on words. I'd go with either initials or a simple visual element.

Consider this logo for technogenii which is actually the kanji symbol for onna (woman). But you can see a "t" and a "g" in the symbol which I highlighted with colour. It's subtle. Only one person I know got it, but it's a branding that is original. I also sometimes use it with the whole name attached.

I hope that feedback is helpful! If you want to bounce logo ideas back & forth with me, you have my email :-)

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Karyn!

Cutting through all the vinyl here, when my son was 19 years old (he's 30 now) he had 3 jobs and happy.

I had a heart 2 heart with him about employment, when he reacted and gave me a piece of his mind.

He said, "Dad, if I lose my job, it just frees up my time to go look for another job. If you lose your job, your stuffed!".

There was no answer to that.

Ka kite
from Middle-earth

V Yonkers said...

Having been self employed on and off my whole life, I have some advice to help you start off. First, make sure you come up with a good plan on how you are going to organize. If you get some jobs that require more than you can handle, make sure you have contacts with other contractors that you can enter into subcontracting agreements with. I found the work flow to be either a monsoon or a drought, so plan for that. During droughts, don't panic, but rather look at that time as being one for looking for the next job and catching up on paperwork.

Make sure you have your marketing, finance (accounting), bidding, and subcontracting policies/structures in place as you begin to grow your consultancy. There were times when I would forget to send bills in a timely manner (because I was busy with other projects). If I had set up my billing process (perhaps with an outside accountant or bookkeeper) I could have gotten paid in a timely manner. I found this to be true when I worked as a project manager. We would have to wait for months for a consultant to send us a bill before we could pay them.

Finally, network, network, network. Make sure you have your card with you at all times (you never know who you'll meet at school functions or your kid's games). Balance the need for a paycheck for what you can do as you chose which jobs to go after--especially initially as this will create your reputation.