The excitement and challenges of 2009 – new clients, new focus, many networking and collaboration opportunities – was only marred by an increasing struggle with an on-going health issue, which over several years had left me drained, anaemic and underweight. In December new treatment began and the results were immediate. Nevertheless, a solid break to recover fully was advised and – given there’s generally a lull in my line of work over Christmas and the New Year – I took that advice wisely and spent most of the festive period irritating friends and colleagues via Twitter, from the comfort of my sofa. Now, it’s half past January and I’m gradually returning to my daily routine, while determined not to push myself into ‘full steam ahead’ mode too soon.
One resolution this year is to be a little more strict with myself over the amount of time I give to unpaid or ‘pro bono’ type work. Sometimes, those relationships really do turn into solid gold opportunities for both me and my client, whether it’s in terms of actual cash coming in for them (and enabling me to be paid from then on) or by developing a relationship that sparks ideas and brings further opportunities. However, as much as I would like to give the best of my brain to those brand new and struggling organisations that need it the most, there are only so many hours in a day and days in a week that I can afford to give away. Additionally, having a bit of time off has allowed some long cherished dreams and hobbies to re-awaken and now that I’ve found that renewed interest, I aim to keep them up.
An off-the-cuff discussion – at an event late last year, where I voiced my burgeoning guilt at not being able to give unfunded organisations the support they need at the time they need it most – led to a suggestion to put in for funding for my own business to enable me to carry on helping where help is needed, without suffering financially myself. I hadn’t considered the issue from that angle before, so I’m pondering it now to see if it’s got legs.
Happily, my new website is coming along nicely and I plan to have a comprehensive and useful section containing template versions of the bespoke tracking spread sheets I create for clients, to help them (and me) keep on top of upcoming bid deadlines and the information-gathering that’s needed to meet them.
General advice, top tips and the like will be posted as usual, as and when I write it!
A links section will allow me to point clients in the direction of more help and advice, along with some kind of aggregation of the upcoming bids and/or funds I trawl the ‘net for on a daily basis. I’m currently figuring out the best way to do this to get each type of client where they need to go with minimum fuss.
A couple of days over at OCN in Wolverhampton – where I was getting up to speed with IV procedures for We Share Stuff’s expanding prospectus – allowed me to meet a lot of good people involved in a wide variety of projects and organisations. I see many collaboration opportunities here and will be contacting those that shared their info with me to see what magic we can all make together in the future.
So that’s my little round up for now. Happy new year and let’s hope 2010 is even more exciting!