Running your own business can be challenging, but the good easily outweighs the bad and I feel immensely lucky to work as a freelancer in Cornwall. In such a beautiful part of the world, inspiration comes in endless supply and it’s no wonder that more and more people are leaving their 9 to 5 life in search of independence.
Myself, Clare, Ali and Emma all took the plunge at exactly the same time and it’s been a pleasure to build my freelance writing business, Lottie’s Words, alongside these women, whilst watching them flourish and pursue their passions.
In this article, I’ve delved firstly into who we are, where we are based and what we do. I’ve looked at the reasons why we decided to become our own bosses, outlined our favourite things and the hardest parts, and finally touched on what advice we have for anyone who is on the fence about going freelance themselves.
Who, Where And What?
My name is Lottie Lewis and I’m based in the Seven Bays area – a collection of coves and beaches near Padstow. Lottie’s Words is my freelance writing business, consisting of creative copywriting, content creation, travel writing and social media marketing. I work with a diverse range of clients, from local businesses to international travel publications.
I decided to start my own business because, first and foremost, I adore my freedom – I always have done and I always will. It’s been amazing to utilise my passion for writing to earn a living and it’s such a pleasure to meet so many new people!
Through my work I have heard so many creative ideas, and seeing the passion that people have for their own business is really inspiring. Helping these brand and business owners put their thoughts and ideas into words is great, and it’s awesome to be a part of their journey. I’ve also had the opportunity to collaborate with many of my friends who are freelancers too, which is really fun and adds a totally different element to our friendship.
Time management has always been my downfall! Organising my days so I have a steady workflow throughout the week, instead of spending hours without a break working on multiple projects, is my nemesis – I could definitely spread my work load out over a few days to make it more manageable.
Please, just go for it! If I didn’t make the decision to work for myself, I’d never have had the opportunity to work remotely from places such as Indonesia and Switzerland, whilst also being free to manage my own time while living in Cornwall. For me, starting work early, going for a mid-morning surf, working until the afternoon then walking my dog on the beach, before returning to my laptop in the evening is not only the perfect work/life balance, but it also makes me far more productive than being sat behind a desk all day. If you work hard and truly believe in yourself, you’ll be able to build something amazing.
Photography By: Ben Battell
Who, Where and What?
I am a 28 year old, photographer/filmmaker and I’ve worked in the industry for about 10 years, all over the world. I am now based in Newquay where I shoot in-water, surfing, wild swimming and any other sports or products that clients ask me to. I work with a variety of clients including dive companies, sustainable businesses, the UK Pro Surf Tour and travel publications, while also producing wedding videos and crowdfunding videos, plus shooting interior, food and event photography for businesses.
My lifestyle is very active – I love surfing and working on projects which are making a positive difference to the world. Whilst working in a 9-5 job, I found myself losing my creativity and my love for photography and film, so about a year ago I decided to take the leap and go freelance.
I have so many favourite things! My work/life balance is a lot better and I get a lot more time off to travel, as I’m not restricted to 4 weeks holiday a year. I work with companies and businesses who inspire me, and also with good friends who are writers and models. My love for photography and film has returned, and I’m feeling healthier and happier. I have also reduced my carbon footprint, since I work from home and don’t have to drive to the office every day.
The business side; keeping on top of income and expenses, balancing the books and understanding the tax system are all big learnings, but they are part of the challenge and it keeps it interesting.
If you are unhappy in the job you are doing and have the skills and desire to succeed, don’t hesitate to go freelance. Many people have the fear of financial security, however I never suffered from that, and have found that I earn the same now as I did when I worked in an office, with the potential in the next few years to earn a lot more, on projects I am passionate about.
Photography By: Clare James
Who, where and what?
My name is Ali Green, and I’m based in Cornwall where I work as a Freelance Food Photographer and Graphic Designer.
There were many things that pulled me toward freelancing. I always wanted to support ethical businesses and work in the food industry. I needed the freedom to develop my skills, experiment and challenge myself, and going freelance has allowed me to work with companies I care about. I have always had the drive and dedication to be my own boss, but for years was denied the confidence, until something snapped! I knew I needed to make my own way if I ever wanted to achieve the things I wanted from life.
‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’ – until I went freelance, I did not believe this saying. Now that I love my job and being my own boss, work no longer kills my passion for my hobbies.
Juggling your responsibilities – when you freelance, you are your own manager, accountant and administrator – that can make it difficult to prioritise, because it’s not as enjoyable.
If you have the determination and dedication, you cannot fail!
Photography By: Ali Green
Who, where and what?
My name is Emma Fraser-Bell, I’m based in Newquay and I’m a sports massage therapist for REVIVE.
I can’t say I have always wanted to work for myself. Ever since I left Uni, I wanted to be part of a team, be on a salary and have a safe 9-5 job. I managed to get my foot in the door with a company I had always strived to work for. I couldn’t have been happier when I finally had that salary and security in a company I loved. However, after a year and a half, the comfort surrounding the daily routine suddenly began to feel restricting. I soon realised there was little room for growth within the company, so I saved up for a couple of years to finally pay for the massage course I had been dreaming of doing. As soon as I qualified, I saw a realistic and attainable opportunity to work for myself, and quit my day job.
I think the best thing about working for myself is that I’m able to choose when I work. The majority of my clients are surfers, so if the swell’s on, there’s no worrying I’m going to miss out on work (or waves) because all my clients are in the water and they’ll be calling me up as soon as they’re all surfed out!
The hardest part is probably the physical demand running a sports massage therapy service can have on my own body. Sometimes I feel quite fatigued by the end of the day, but it’s all made better by the fact I’ve allowed my clients to feel less anxious, more relaxed and more comfortable in their own bodies, so I certainly can’t complain.
Firstly, you shouldn’t feel like you have to quit your job straight away. Build up your brand and client base first before you take the final leap. Have a few side hustles, take on some clients and be sure it’s definitely what you want. If you do something you love, feel passionate about it and see an opportunity to leave a job that doesn’t light you up from the inside out, then go for it! What’s the worst that could happen? If it doesn’t work out, at least you gave it a go…you’ll only regret what you didn’t try.