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My diaries: Freedom

When you’ve spent a couple of years running your own creative business you reach a point where you can’t ever imagine a different way of life.

Of course it’s tough being self-employed. It’s scary being so utterly in control of your financial future. But the freedom of making a living doing something you love is worth more than anything.

I don’t miss the routine of my old daily commute into Manchester before 6am. I don’t miss the pressure. It’s amazing knowing I’ll never set foot inside my office again! I love being able to change my days when it’s sunny, or when there’s a concert and I want to finish early.

wedding styled blog shoot (4)

Photo credit Matthew Bishop Photography | Styling by Petra Opperman – click to see this styled shoot

The delights of being your own boss

I love being part of a creative community most of all. People say it can be lonely working for yourself and from home, but there’s a craft revolution happening and the likes of Mollie Makes and Etsy are taking over the internet. Communities and forums for designers and creatives are all over Facebook, not to mention the wedding forums and fan sites we all know and love. Lonely is the last thing I feel.

I feel free. I’m my own boss (and I’m easygoing, devoted to my work and always smiling).

I’ve worked with dozens of wedding photographers, designers and creatives over the last ten years and seen so many make their journeys from part time creatives to full time business owners.

They rarely turn back.

Dedication = freedom.

It’s incredibly true that you get out what you put in. I’ve worked my arse off writing blog posts into the early hours of the morning. I got up just after 5 today, hopped on a train and started writing for the blog straight away.

I’m not obsessed; I’ve learned to manage my life and time so I have freedom to enjoy my hobbies too. For me, that’s important. I read Kat’s post in the Green Room about feeling guilty recently. I enjoy her writing, but this time she surprised me. Never having a Sunday away from work would kill me. Most weekends I’m in the mountains – and maybe it’s from their perspective that I have learned to value my freedom so much.

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Photo credit Matthew Bishop Photography | Styling by Petra Opperman – click to see this styled shoot

Freedom comes at a price.

Some of us pay for our freedom in fear. Taking the leap from employment to financial instability with a small creative business is scary as hell.

Making it work is the most rewarding thing in the world.

I recently met a really lovely wedding photographer at Aspire Photography Training. Her story touched me: faced with redundancy and with just a camera and her passion, she was bravely throwing her heart and soul into making her creative business a success. She was terrified; but balanced her fear with such determination to succeed I can’t imagine things turning out any other way.

wedding styled blog shoot (2)

Photo credit Matthew Bishop Photography | Styling by Petra Opperman – click to see this styled shoot

Sometimes I’m scared too.

Sometimes I worry I don’t have enough calligraphy bookings. Sometimes I wake up and realise my calendar is empty, and I spend my working day scrabbling around trying to find calligraphy commissions and wedding orders.

Whatever your wedding business is going through, I promise you’re not alone. For some, there’ll be money worries. Others will be stuck in a rut. We’ve all been there. But the best thing I’ve learned in my years working in weddings…

wedding styled blog shoot (1)

Photo credit Matthew Bishop Photography | Styling by Petra Opperman – click to see this styled shoot

You can always make it better

Let your fear boost you into a whole new venture; a designer collection or a styled shoot. Grab every opportunity you can – because you’re in control.

Success comes from grasping the reins and really going for it. That way you’ll win the race.

claire gould calligrapher signature

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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