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  • Aude Villebrun

"First 100 days" they say...

Well, it hasn't been 100 days yet, more like 70 days, but I wanted to share an update of what leaving the corporate world and embracing an entrepreneurial adventure (or to be more exact, two different adventures, of which one is still work in progress) had meant for me during the last 2 months.


Before making my decision, I had thought about this next chapter for a while and had discussed it with a few people I really trusted, to get their "two cents". I have to say, it helped massively - not so much that they influenced my decision but it made me even more curious about this new "status". Someone whose opinion really matters to me (and who had made the same decision at some point in his career) told me one thing that intrigued me a lot. He said : "having a portfolio career is very rich and fulfilling. You will be very surprised though, by who your first clients will be and who will actually support you in the early days. Most likely people you would never think of or never expect."


That was partly true for me. After 2 months and almost 4 missions, half of the jobs came from people I already considered as my mentors, a woman and a man. One came from someone I knew from another life (aka when I was much younger!) who I didn't expect to call me but was so happy to reconnect with. And the last one - if confirmed, which I hope because the topic is fantastic - would come from someone I did not know, who saw one of my posts from my regular LinkedIn updates.


In the last two months, there have been mostly great moments. There was that day when I sent out my very first invoice EVER - which I bored my friends with ALL DAY, telling them that I felt like a million dollars! There was that day when I received the e-mail from that person I didn't know from before, who was contacting me after reading one of my posts. There was that day when I went swimming on my lunch break and thought it was pretty cool to be able to do that. Or that day when I decided that my Fridays, from 3 to 6pm, would be dedicated to my two daughters and we would do something fun every week.


There was also one moment of immense discouragement too, let's be honest! When I realized that opening a business bank account that would work outside the UK was such a pain today with Brexit & Covid and when you are nobody, just someone trying to build a little something that is meaningful to you and hopefully others. The most difficult thing for me right now? Well it would be carving out time in my week to work on my entrepreneurial project (the other one).


Other than that, really, I feel happy, and truly grateful for having been able to do that when I felt ready to. The biggest difference and true luxury for me today? Being able to choose the people and projects I work with, and also, I have to admit, not having to be in zoom meetings 6 hours per day every day...


I know that the Fall and the Winter will bring more challenging days (lack of light, working alone, at home all day - it's been more than one year now, and I'm still ok with that, but I expect some fatigue at some point maybe). I remain lucid and pragmatic about the fact that there will be moments when I might not work as much as I want (but for me who is a workaholic, is it really a bad thing?!) but overall, those first 2 months have been an amazing journey so far.


I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the people and teams who have trusted me so far (they know who they are) and friends who have supported me or helped me in various ways (accounting, bank account, status, all the fun things!) but also by checking in, offering a coffee, reading stuff that I would send them....


Lastly, as it is always so important to give back what you were lucky enough to receive: if anyone reads this and they are considering free lancing or entrepreneurship and want to chat about it, bounce ideas, or ask questions, I am available and would be more than happy to share my short experience and all the tips I was given when I started. Feel free to contact me through LinkedIn or via this website!


Stay safe,


Aude


The real perks of being an entrepreneur working from home? No commute and the possibility to work in your pyjamas. Or not.


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