This November marks my first year in business. Despite the fact that I went to business school, I never imagined I’d become an entrepreneur. I thought they were a special breed – with innate qualities I didn’t possess. They were risk-takers, extroverts, and they understood financial statements.
I was happy to do a job for someone else, learn some new skills and take home a regular pay cheque every two weeks. There was security in knowing another cheque, in the same amount, was coming my way with regularity. Until it wasn’t anymore. Along with my colleagues, I was laid off in late October 2012 when the company we worked for decided to change direction.
Right away, my husband Josh told me to start my own writing business. I came up with a ton of reasons why I wouldn’t be successful: I’m new to Saskatoon so I don’t have the connections, I’m not comfortable cold calling, self promotion doesn’t come easily to me – I had a lot of excuses. Josh’s company needed proposals written from time to time so I told myself I’d write proposals while I looked for a new job.
But before I found any jobs to apply for, I found a request for proposals (RFP) through LinkedIn. The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) was looking for a writer for a new website they were launching. As it turned out, the communications officer at SREDA was someone I had interviewed for an article I wrote in my previous job. I submitted a proposal and won the contract – and my first client not acquired through nepotism.
Over time, without going out and asking for business, acquaintances started approaching me with writing work. The work load in my first year has had peaks and valleys like anything else, but I’ve usually been happy to find myself with enough work to fill my days and pay the bills.
And the work is truly interesting, challenging, and often a lot of fun. In the past year I’ve written press releases, website content, brochures, magazine articles, awards applications, construction proposals, and video scripts. I’ve interviewed our mayor in person, styled sets for a promotional video, and even played a small role in said video. I’ve also become a strong proponent of the Oxford comma. Although I originally intended to offer just writing and editing services, I’ve since branched out into marketing too.
All this wouldn’t have been possible without all the fabulous people who took a chance on me. Your support during my first year in business makes me confident I’ll still be plugging away at this game five years from now. And my clients are what make this the best job because they’re doing incredible, exciting things – from building beautiful homes to vibrant villages and much more. Many of those aforementioned acquaintances have become good friends.
So here’s a big THANK YOU to everyone who kept me busy and out of the red in the past 12 months: Sarilia Country Estates, Span West Construction, Tamarack Ventures, Lexis Homes, Saskatoon Home Magazine, SIAST, KPMG, SREDA, and Global Neighbors Canada.
I look forward to helping you build your businesses and share your stories for years to come.
Image via: Rife Paper Co.