2012: The Year of Independence

It’s a reflective time, the end of the year, isn’t it?

A mixture of disappointment that you haven’t reached the (frankly out of reach) goals that you set yourself and excitement about what lies ahead.

I’ve been looking closely at 2012 and I’m quietly happy to let the year go, having had my own ups and downs. Let me know what your list looks like!

1. People are smashing

It’s not that I haven’t met a few wrong ‘uns during the year, but I’ve met many more who have restored my faith in humankind. They’ve been there when I’ve doubted, offered sustenance and solace, ideas and imagination and the odd, ‘you’re awesome’. Blush.

2. Business is becoming collaborative

It’s liberating to be able to open up and share with other businesses on the journey too.  We can grow something much bigger for all of us by working together, and it doesn’t have to be toxic business.  Every day of this year has bought more possibilities to collaborate and I love it.

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will

(Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre)

3. There is no flatline

My days are up and down and roundabout. I wouldn’t have it any other way. No day is ever the same and you just can’t tell where you’ll be from one rollercoaster day of exhilaration to another of desperate disappointment.


4. We independent types are a force to be reckoned with.

We have discovered our own power and realised that we don’t have to march to the corporate tune.  The sector is getting larger and more vocal by the day and the indications are that our impact is growing. We’ll make up a large part of the workforce in just a few years, changing the way people think about work.  I’m part of that. Wow.

5. Evolution is good

I was so sure of myself at the beginning of the year, but I’ve changed direction a few times. I see this as a good thing. I’ve had great advice and I’ve experimented, and the end result is much, much better for having been a collaborative effort.

6. Not every wants to be an entrepreneur

The desire to make something happen, and your aspirations to change the way it works are truly important goals to have. But the way we go about this is different for all of us.  I’m a firestarter, but I wouldn’t describe myself as an entrepreneur.  I’m perfectly happy choosing my own route to success. And I certainly don’t call it a ‘lifestyle’ business. Because that’s patronising.

7. We need to manage our cashflow better

Obvious really, but what goes out has to come in first. If I had to change something, I would have managed my finances better.  End of.



8. Everything takes longer than you think

Why did I ever think that it would be just a case of doing it? Everything takes longer than you think. From setting up your website, to arrange events, to growing your membership. I’ve just had to learn to relax and let it happen.

9. Being myself has been key

It’s hard to be truthful sometimes, when the reality is that freelancing can be a lonely business, and you can lose your way. But writing about that and being authentic in the way I describe how I feel seems to have resonated with many people who know exactly how it is.  And it helps all of us to know we aren’t alone.

10. It’s not complicated

Ditch the business books and do it your way. You’ll only get yourself in a muddle trying to do things ‘the right way’.  I’ve learnt to be instinctive, right down to knowing when my body says ‘enough, I need a rest’.  By all means take advice, but there’s no need to beat yourself up.

So, take comfort in what you have achieved, which will almost certainly be much more impressive than you are allowing yourself to believe. Let go of the other stuff. It won’t help.

And throw yourself into 2013 knowing that this is going to be ‘your’ year.







Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.

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