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The naked truth about working at home

The naked truth about working at home

When you ask work-at-home soloists what they love most about their lifestyle, they’ll wax lyrical about the crazily short commute, or celebrate the extra time they get to spend with their family. The naked truth about working at home #business Click To Tweet But it’s all a BIG FAT LIE. See, the true pleasure of working at home is the freedom to be nude. Yes, you heard me right. The secret pleasure of many a work-at-home solopreneur is that when they’re answering your call they’re doing it buck naked. “There’s something liberating about bookkeeping in the buff, writing in the raw and doing your admin au naturel.” We thumb our noses at dress-down Fridays or casual Tuesdays. And we don’t give two hoots about required meeting attire. Because for us, every day can be a stark naked day! Don’t believe me? I ran an in-depth survey* and discovered that many a soloist likes to pump up the heating and pop out their wiggly bits. “I turn the heating up and let it all hang out.” “Working naked is the unspoken benefit of working at home.” “I work braless in my pjs #livinthedream.” See? There’s something liberating about bookkeeping in the buff, writing in the raw and doing your admin au naturel. If you’re yet to experience the true exposure of flying solo, here are my top tips. Bookkeeping in the buff, writing in the raw and doing your admin au naturel #business Click To Tweet Start slowly. On Monday go sockless. On Tuesday try removing your vest at midday. And on Wednesday why not try just one leg in your trousers? Before you know it...
Are you suffering from entrepreneurial envy?

Are you suffering from entrepreneurial envy?

Or the year I went full circle with my business A few weeks ago I wasn’t exactly feeling 100%. I don’t know if my yin was squabbling with my yang, my cosmic planetary alignment was skewed, or I simply wasn’t eating enough bananas. But I was up and down like badger on a pogo stick. At first I put it down to being a bit tired. It’s been a huge year at Toon HQ, and right now I’m running on fumes. But then I realised I was suffering from something serious. I had a bad case of entrepreneurial envy. And perhaps you do too. So in this post I’m going to take you through a clinical diagnosis of entrepreneurial envy—the tell-tale signs, the potential treatments, and the long-term side effects. Are you suffering from entrepreneurial envy? #envy #entrepreneur Click To Tweet The pre-existing condition This year my business and I turned a corner. After years of happily cruising down the road towards small business success, I inadvertently hit an on-ramp and found myself on the entrepreneur highway. And let me tell you, it’s been a bumpy ride full of potholes and with loo spots few and far between. Now this wasn’t a deliberate pivot. As I did more, and became slightly more well known, I was asked to do more. My ecourse led to me being invited on more podcasts. One speaking gig led to another. And word of mouth went from a mumble to a slightly irritating noisy hum. My marketing was working – it was terrifying. And as I attended more events, I found myself rubbing shoulders...
Two solopreneurs in one family – Good or bad?

Two solopreneurs in one family – Good or bad?

My husband took the leap first. After years of living a rather hippy lifestyle he arrived in Australia (to be with lovely me) without a job or any real career plan. So he bravely decided to start his own French tuition business and seven years later it’s going great guns. Then four years ago, when I got pregnant, I knew that I’d have to make a choice. If I actually wanted to spend time with my baby I’d have to give up my high-flying career running digital agencies and find something else to do. So my small copywriting business was born. After trying various office spaces, working in cafés, squatting in libraries and sharing desks with chums, we now both work at home. This means we spend on average 30-40 hours a week in a confined space together. Sounds fun, right? Well, yes – and no. There are pros and cons to having two solopreneurs in one family; let me explain: “Maintaining a happy working relationship is a lot about leaving each other the hell alone.” Two solopreneurs in one family – Good or bad? #business #solopreneurlife Click To Tweet The pros Someone to talk to: Working with my husband means there’s someone to get advice from, whine to about bad clients and share a giggle with over some funny YouTube clip. Sharing: We’ve been able to share the cost of things like web development (both our sites use the same template), accounting software (the one we use gives reduced rates for a second business) and expensive technical bits and bobs. Cross promotion: Although our audiences are largely different, there are occasional opportunities...
How Donald Trump helped me write my book in 7 days

How Donald Trump helped me write my book in 7 days

Or, how threats can help you get started I’ll be honest: I feel a bit dirty having the words ‘Donald Trump’ in my headline. And yes, I’ll admit it has a little bit of a click bait style to it. But I’m doing it for a reason, which will become clear (for those of you brave enough to read to the end). Now, let me get stuck into this post. I’m writing a book. Not a glorified two-blogs-posts-glued-together-into-an-ebook book. It’s booky book, with a story and an arc and a stunning and seductive heroine. The heroine is me. And the book tells the story of how I built three successful businesses and a lovely lifestyle without following the traditional entrepreneurial rules. How Donald Trump helped me write my book in 7 days #donaldtrump #writing #books Click To Tweet It’s not a get-rich-quick book either, or one about how-to-work-one-hour-a-week-from-a-hammock. And if you see any mention of earning a seven-figure income you’re welcome to punch me in the boob. A photo posted by Kate Toon (@katetoon) on Oct 24, 2016 at 6:50pm PDT My previous book experience You may not know this, but I’ve already written a few books. There’s my poetry book called Gone Dotty, which is packed with witty heartfelt poems and dog poo haikus. I also wrote an equally awesome illustrated kids book called Wobbly Jim and a Parrot called Sue about a lonely pirate and a kick-arse female parrot. I even have an agent. The kind folk at Curtis Brown felt I had enough promise to make me biro my name on a contract, which was crazy...
Client relationships: too close for comfort?

Client relationships: too close for comfort?

A certain level of intimacy with clients can be a good thing. It builds trust, and that – along with the quality of work – is often what makes them return. But if you are going to become chums with clients, you need to know your boundaries. Here are a few pointers on client relationships: Client relationships: too close for comfort? #business #clientrelationships Click To Tweet Be clear from the start While answering one quick question for a friend client is fine, repeated requests for unpaid help are just plain cheeky. Be firm and clear with your clients from the start so there’s no confusion. Limit freebies If a pal client approaches me for my professional help I’ll most likely charge them for it. Offering freebies devalues your services and makes it difficult to ever charge again in the future. Mates rates If you’re going to offer mates rates to close clients, set a figure (a percentage works well) and stick to it. But remember, you don’t always have to offer them. If times are tough and you can’t afford to drop your price, even for a bestie, that’s absolutely fine. Just tell your client. Honesty is an important part of any relationship. “Offering freebies devalues your services, and makes it difficult to ever charge again in the future.” Return the favour Just like any other relationship, if the love is only coming one way things generally won’t work out. Doing favours for chum clients is fine, but they should give something in return. Be creative Try to think of clever, inexpensive ways to show your client love. This can be anything from...
I’m taking a seven-week break from my business. Here’s how.

I’m taking a seven-week break from my business. Here’s how.

Okay, I’ll admit it: I believed the freelance hype. I thought that when I worked for myself I’d be in the office just a few hours a day, take long breaks and earn big bucks. Well, that never happened. Instead it’s been a sometimes painful walk down struggle street, with long hours, zero holidays, and a bank balance emptier than Donald Trump’s soul. Until now. “I just had to have a stern word with my boss and make her understand the break was achievable and would benefit my business in the long run.” Why? Because I’m about to embark on a break from business: 49 client-crisis-clear days; seven sweet, work-free weeks; two months away from my cage desk. In this article I’m going to share how I made it happen: I’m taking a seven-week break from my business. Here’s how #business Click To Tweet 1. Diversifying As a copywriter, I provide a service that relies pretty much on me and only me. So when I don’t work, I don’t earn money. At the start of the year I decided it would be sensible to create some products I could sell all year round. I set up a now highly successful ecourse that runs four times a year and tops up my income for several months, as well as a shop selling virtual products to provide regular income. There was a huge amount of work involved in setting these up, but now I’m reaping the rewards. 2. Outsourcing I’ve always loathed managing big teams of people, so as a solopreneur I’ve never wanted to employ staff. Instead I outsource the work to other solopreneurs. Accepting the need...
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