Lucie Loves... Tech // Happy birthday to me celebrating my first year as an entrepreneur and introducing the Samsung TabPro S
*Sponsored advertorial in collaboration with Samsung*
It was just one year ago that I left my full-time job at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (August 2015) to pursue life as a freelancer in London.
My first thoughts upon leaving my well-paid job… “Yesss!” followed closely by: “Oh shit!?”
I’d been juggling my work/blog/life balance for a while, and – after three years in the same role, with more and more cool blog opportunities presenting themselves – I was increasingly feeling the need for a new challenge.
I was also about to hit a milestone birthday. The big 3-0.
So, I went away to New York, to celebrate this coming of age and while I was there, wracked my brains for a company name.
When I worked at Kew, my frolleague (friend + colleague) Antonia and I would often joke that the two of us, with our Kerley and Kanczula surnames were ‘Agent K’. We were very good at investigative work, extremely creative and excellent at seeing PR potential in people!
The name stuck.
I was thinking we could be: one part secret agent, one part someone’s agent, and one part creative social media agency.
So, having finally decided to take the leap, I did it! I set up my own limited company, Agent K.
The first thing I did, following my decision to go it alone, was change my LinkedIn profile, advertising myself as a Creative Digital Strategist & Social Media Consultant (freelance).
The beauty of LinkedIn – being the professional version of a Facebook-esq social network that it is – meant that almost as soon as I’d updated it, to reflect my latest career move, I received a message from someone I’d worked with previously. The offer? Asking me to meet them to talk about a position that might suit me. Wow! So quick!
But… the thing is… I don’t just do Social Media Consultancy… Nope! As one of the slash generation, I’m a Photographer and Blogger too. So, over the past 12 months, my income is probably 75% consultancy and 25% blogging.
Why choose the uncertainty of freelance over the stability of a full-time role?
Working for myself means that I have the freedom to arrange my working week around me and my lifestyle. I have the flexibility to work on various projects simultaneously. I can travel – for work or pleasure – at the drop of a hat. Last week I flew to Paris for a tech launch! And, I have also time to look after myself, and keep fit. Because without our health, and without investing time in ourselves and our mental health, we’re nothing.
I needed to find a balance again, and this was my way of doing it.
However, the last year has not been without its ups and downs.
Those of you who know me well will be familiar with the major life change I’m going through, and those of you in a similar employment situation will be able to relate to the inevitable money worries that comes as part of the freelance package…
I admit there have been times when I’ve literally thought: “Shit! Lucie – maybe you do need to look for a full-time job again…?”
And there have also been times when my mum has sensed me nearing burn out, and begged me to come home to rest for a few days… or even made the extreme suggestion of moving out of London completely, in order to alleviate the stress of keeping up the cost of a London lifestyle. But leaving London, and returning to my family home – as much as I love them – would mean I’d failed. And I’m not ready to fail.
But, I’m determined. I’ve only just started my journey as an entrepreneur. I’m lucky – like over 3.8 million other Brits out there – to be able to turn my passions into pay checks.
So when this latest press release pinged into my eternally over-flowing inbox, from the guys at Samsung, I was fascinated to read about the rise of the ‘Funtrepreneur’.
Yep! That’s definitely a bit of me, I thought.
The research carried out by Samsung Electronics UK suggests that passionate entrepreneurs, like myself, are set to increase their earnings by 50% in five years! I’m up for that!
I left a good career to pursue my dreams – and I’m still not sure if, in the long run, this risk will pay off… But, what I do know, is that my lifestyle is very well suited to being a digital nomad.
I’ve been able to take up opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to find time for before. I’ve definitely got increased job satisfaction and I have been able to do more networking to benefit my career than I’ve ever had the time to do before.
September is already looking pretty busy, as I prepare to join the panel of judges for The Drum’s Social Buzz Awards.
My tech equipment is really important to me, and I as grow as a business I need to think about what tools I need to streamline my workflow and enhance my offering.
I currently use a laptop, when on-the-go, either working on client premises or from a cafe or co-working space, and a desktop computer on a day-to-day basis. But I’m starting to think that I might actually benefit from owning a tablet too, to present my work in meetings or for client pitches.
“Two in five workers who left their jobs to pursue a career that aligns with their passions said they did so because they didn’t like the working culture at their old company, while almost a third (32%) claim they wanted a change of lifestyle, with over one in ten (14%) stating they wanted to be their own boss. Of those that have left or plan to quit their jobs, technology (7%), retail (5%) and blogging and vlogging (4%) top the list of industries that Brits have gone into. The additional study also found that senior decision makers in micro-businesses believe there are additional benefits to those who have turned their passions into pay checks, expecting those who have done so to have increased job satisfaction (84%), increased creativity (63%) and improved focus at work (59%) as a result of pursuing their passions.”
I popped down to Boxpark to take a look at the latest offering from Samsung, the limited edition version of the TabPro S, featuring a top tips and insights package for budding entrepreneurs created by award-winning writer and columnist Jack Monroe, acclaimed journalist and founder of Fashion and Mash Rachel Arthur, artist and designer Luke Edward Hall and pizza pioneers Thom and James Elliot from the Pizza Pilgrims.
The device, which will come in an exclusive box designed by Luke Edward Hall, will be available to purchase online for £799 at shop.samsung.com/uk
For more information, visit samsung.com/uk/tabpro-s
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Samsung Electronics UK. Sponsored posts like this – or features done in collaboration with a brand – are selected carefully, to ensure that they are a good editorial fit for the Lucie Loves blog.
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