After quite a long break, The A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer interviews are back! I know I’ve got lots to put up, so I really appreciate your patience if you’ve sent your answers in. Let’s kick off with Kerri Walker, a lovely friend of mine who is a PR guru, entrepreneur and a fellow mum of a toddler.
Tell us a bit about you!
I’m Kerri Walker, a Business Coach and Marketing and PR Strategist.
How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?
I flirted with freelancing and short term contracts for a few years, took 2014 off for maternity leave then launched my consultancy business in 2015. I started up because I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my son every day to commute to a job and be away from him 50-60 hours a week. It wasn’t an option for me. I knew from freelancing part time and from seeing other people do it that I could make a success of it myself too… on my terms!
Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?
I’m a former night owl but having a small child has made me an early riser. I actually get up an hour before he does now so I can read or write and have some time to myself so when my son wakes up I’m ready to play and not a tired zombie type creature.
What time do you start work?
I have 2-3 times a week to work while my son is at preschool so those days I’m at my desk for 9am. If it’s a day when I’m ‘off’ you can often find me at my desk starting a session at 7/8pm but I try to limit this as much as I can.
Do you work from home?
Yes and I love it!
What’s your routine before you start work?
Getting a child ready for the day including breakfast, board games and of course building train tracks for our Brio collection. No matter what time of day I work my routine is… walk to kettle, make hot drink, take to office.
Do you take a lunch break?
I don’t work all day, mainly short bursts now and then but when I do have a longer session I will take a break, even if that’s to get a drink and snacks as I know it’s so important to refresh. In the summer I’ll take a sandwich and my book outside for fifteen minutes, often even that is enough to energise me to get back to work.
How do you tend to spend your afternoons?
You can usually find me having a picnic with the mini, out in the New Forest where we live.
How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?
If I’m stressing over a project I will put it down and come back to it when refreshed. Knowing when to step away is a skill I have learned the hard way. To keep motivated, depending on my mood, I’ll listen to a guided meditation, put on some musical movie soundtracks or just take time away from my computer.
What time do you tend to sign off for the day?
Usually lunchtime as I have short bursts of work while my son is in childcare. Even if I had longer to work I genuinely don’t think I would ever work all day because my brain can’t concentrate for that long. I’m quite an energetic person and that requires rest to keep it up!
Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?
The freedom to create new services and change my path at any time I wish. Also the freedom to be able to work around looking after my son. I will treasure these days for the rest of my life because I haven’t had to leave him all day every day to go to a job that I loathe.
And your least favourite thing about freelancing?
I would say financially not knowing what I’m earning in a few months time but then I love the self-employed life so that bothers me less nowadays because I’m able to plan ahead and create packages and income where payment is spread over a certain time so I can.
What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?
Wave accounting so I no longer have to send individual invoices, send payment reminders or have any errors in the invoices. It’s an incredible tool and it’s free!
Calendly I adore too because it saves me so much time for clients to book in coaching calls with me and for new people to connect with me too.
PayPal is a must for me so visitors to my website can pay for my programs and smaller services such as one-off coaching sessions. It means my website is always working in the background for me and I don’t need to be on emails all day responding to enquiries as people can just pay and confirm my services.
Naturally I love Dropbox, Evernote and Google Docs too for taking business on the go but also just because they’re awesome tools.
Where can we find you online?
The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?
Taking inspired action. People can never understand the things I achieve in such a short amount of time. All that requires is a dream, a plan and then taking action to make things happen. I plan out my days in advance so I stick to timings and ensure everything that needs to get done is paid attention. A dream will stay a dream until you take action and make it happen.
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