Self-Employment: busiest three months of my life!

At the start of 2017 I quit my day job as a full-time NEBOSH tutor for SHEilds Ltd, and went self-employed with my own company Atlas Safety Ltd.

My idea was to deliver training for course providers on a freelance basis and help them develop new courses. I’d soon move on delivering training direct to clients. In the long-term I would specialise in developing bespoke training solutions and resources.

I had intended self-employment about being able to spend more time with my family. It was supposed to be about that having flexibility over what I do and when I do it. It was supposed to be about more freedom and having control over my own destiny.

It has been the busiest three months of my life! Finding time for the truly important things like spending time with the family has been very challenging. But the whole experience of self-employment has been incredibly fun and exciting. Every week seems to bring a new challenge. Opportunities have sprung up out of nowhere.

I’m not particularly spiritual, but sometimes it really does feel like the Universe is throwing me a bone. I’m truly grateful to everyone that has helped get me some work in these early days of self-employment. People like Patrick Frayne, Kristian Davis, Pasi Raitanan, and Gary Read (no ordinary pub DJ) all spring to mind.

So what have I been up to?

  • I have delivered 3 IOSH Managing Safely courses to Paneltex in Hull.
  • Delivered a 2 week NEBOSH General Certificate course for SHEilds Ltd.
  • Spent an average of 20 hours a week rewriting a NEBOSH International Diploma course.
  • Storyboarded two 1-hour short courses on Fire and Manual Handling Awareness for an online course provider.
  • Marked 50 x GC3 practicals, 59 x IGC1 exams, and 47 x IB exams.
  • NEBOSH have trained me to mark the new DNI reports.
  • Built two websites, but first had to learn how WordPress works.
  • Written three health and safety blogs for a NEBOSH course provider.
  • Have met with various potential clients about delivering training to their employees, or working on their behalf as a freelance trainer. A pipeline of business is starting to build up.
  • Started and passed the Level 3 Award in Education and Training (latest version of PTLLS), become a qualified teacher in the lifelong learning sector.
  • Got my 90s Dance Tribute Act Skool Daze www.skool-daze.co.uk up and running after three long years of hard work. I began hunting for bookings in January (worst time of the year to start!). We’ve performed 8 gigs so far, and I’ve managed to fill two thirds of the diary for the first half of 2017. Not bad for a standing start!
  • Massively built on my web design and graphic design skills, as well as dabbling in some Facebook marketing.

In the midst of all that, I have managed to spend at least 1 to 3 full days a week with my two little boys. And that was the whole point of going self-employed.

Let’s see what Quarter 2 of 2017 brings!

Things to look forward to over the next two months:

  • I’ll be working on a couple of professional projects for myself very shortly. Hopefully I’ll be releasing some learning resources for NEBOSH students later in the year.
  • A trip to Israel is on the cards. A mixture of business and a bit of site-seeing.
  • I must make time for a few days backpacking, wild camping, and hiking.

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