Reconnecting: reflections on self employment

Roof of the Scottish Parliament

It’s now just over six months since I left Edinburgh Napier University and made the switch to full-time self employment as Awdesign Digital. I have come to recognise the many benefits of being my own boss during this time, including:

  • Flexibility: the ability to work whenever and wherever I choose (e.g. home, coffee shops, libraries and offices).
  • Variety: no two days are the same, with different projects demanding different solutions (e.g. website development, graphic design or video production).
  • Convenience: my daily commute has dropped from 70 miles to six feet!
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Small steps and giant leaps: transitioning to self employment

Awdesign business cards

Sometimes in life, change is considered, planned and expected; at other times it takes you by surprise as your personal circumstances shift. The latter happened to me this year as I moved to full time self employment.

I was fortunate, having balanced my main job at Edinburgh Napier University with freelance work as Awdesign for 12 years. My roles in each were largely similar, involving a broad range of digital work like web design and web analytics. This allowed me to utilise skills developed as a freelancer at the University and vice versa.

However, despite working as a freelancer for some 16 years now, I still had gaps in my knowledge on the business side of things that I had to rapidly plug when I left Edinburgh Napier. Below are some of my key learnings over the past few months and resources that I have found useful.

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