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Posted by: andrea | on August 18, 2014
Twelve months ago I started Citrus Content, I had no idea about what to expect but knew I could make it successful. At the time I was working full time and like most families in the UK we needed two incomes to pay the mortgage so I began leading a double life. By day I would go through the motions of the employed, rush home and spend some family time, then off to my office to start work on my business. No matter what people tell you about leading a double life, the facts are it is exhausting, exciting, stressful and yet so much fun. As of the 1 August, I ended my double life and now focusing solely on Citrus Content, I just feel like a huge weight has been lifted. For those of you taking the tentative steps into a double life I hope that these tips will help.
Your family and friends will suffer no matter how much you try and organise your work round them. It is impossible to dedicate 100% to your business and still give your family the amount of time they need and deserve. I virtually became a hermit for 12 months trying to juggle everything. Set one time in the week that you set aside for family time. I used to set Sunday day as our family day, I would make sure we did something special on that day even if the day could only be for 3-4 hours. I found it more difficult as we have had serious illnesses in the family which have also been emotionally stressful to add to the mix.
You think you have felt tiredness before? Think again. Yes you sacrifice that completely, when I did get to bed around 1am, I would restlessly be thinking of all the things that needed doing and how was I going to squeeze them round everything else? Sleep when you know you really need it. You will get to a point when you know you need to sleep, I would sometimes have a siesta when I got home from work, just to recharge. When you finish work, you will sleep better than you have slept in a long time trust me.
You will let people down
Unfortunately this was my biggest bug bear. With my personal blog Trying to Balance the Madness, I had some many good intentions to showcase people and companies. I was asked to write a number of guest blogs which I wanted to do, but if my client work took all my ‘free’ time this got pushed back. I’m ashamed to admit that a lot of work I intended to do for other people is yet to be done. To those people this affected I am truly sorry! Learn to say NO! yes OK I was rubbish at this, but since leaving work I am more careful on what I accept unless I can honestly work it into my schedule, the last thing I want to do is let down a paying client.
Growth will be stunted
I am not being harsh it’s just that you will spend all your ‘free’ time working on your client work, it is hard to put in the hours required to strategically grow your business. You also need to think about whether you can manage any growth. I reached a point where I knew I couldn’t accept any new clients as I physically didn’t have the hours in the day to achieve anything more. Know how much growth you can realistically manage, once you have stopped your double life, this question doesn’t go away but the way you are able to manage growth changes.
Should your clients know?
This is only a question you can answer, you know your clients. I never promoted the fact that I was employed, but some of my clients knew my situation and some didn’t. I didn’t want any client thinking that their work was being affected as I was working full time. You will be surprised to know how many business owners are leading a double life – many that you don’t even expect.
I know that the last 12 months of my double life has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but wow was it worth it. In just 12 months I have managed to build a business I am proud of, that is successful and I can see so much in it’s future. Thank you to all my amazing clients that have made my first year in business so pleasurable.
If you are thinking of leading a double life, remember like in most things, you only get out of it what you put into it.
Posted by: andrea | on September 11, 2013
Last night, as I sat at my desk looking at the wall of Post-it notes in front of me, I began to get scared. I felt as though this black cloud was hovering over me, the weight pressing on my slumped shoulders. I felt overwhelmed. Each Post-it represented a piece of work I needed to do, emails to send, blog posts to write, projects to complete. They were staring at me as if calling my name, haunting me with their presence and draining my energy.
It’s hard to start a business, and even harder when you are still employed. Every second is so precious as though it was a rare jewel for the taking. I balance my life between work, family and business my supportive husband encouraging my every step.
I have so many things I want to do for my blog, my business and my writing. I have a mystery story constantly itching to spill out on a page, ideas for my blog and vision for my business. I will get there, I have a plan, and every day I am moving closer to this dream.
I took a deep breath.
I the looked at the wall again. This wall didn’t represent fear, it was magical, inspirational and rewarding. Who would have thought when I started Citrus Content I would have been contracted for such a variety of projects and with fantastic companies.
* Writing articles for print and online
* Social media campaigns
* Marketing a websites
* Writing website content
I am loving every minute of it.
This is my wall
My wall represents by business, my future, my dream.
Posted by: andrea | on August 14, 2013
I was reading a blog post today by Jeff Goins about following his dream and being a writer. And this part of the post got me thinking.
A few years ago, a friend asked me an important question:
“What’s your dream?”
“Don’t have one,” I said.
“Sure you do. Everyone has a dream.”
“Ah, I dunno… I’m living it, I guess.”
“Really? Hrmph.” And then a long pause — “Because, well, I would’ve thought your dream was to be a writer.”
As soon as I heard those words, something in me stirred. Something that had been there all along.
“Well, uh, yeah…” I gulped, “I guess I’d like to be a writer… some day. But that’ll never happen.”
I sounded so sure, so certain that at 28 years old, I knew where the rest of my life was headed. Shaking his head, my friend smiled.
“Jeff… You don’t have to want to be a writer…”
And then he said nine words that changed me life:
“You are a writer; you just need to write.”
This got me thinking of my own journey and the right to use the term ‘writer’. Do you have to earn the right? Or can you just be one?
It all boils down to that feeling we all have from time to time of being a fraud. Even the most successful people have a ‘fraud’ moment from time to time. I recently read the book by Sheryl Sandburg, Lean In. She speaks openly and honestly about her ‘fraud’ experience. She then talks about whether you lean in to the moment or lean out. Reading her experience gave me confidence, why? It demonstrates that we are all human, you could be the COO of Facebook or me and still have the same emotions in similar situations.
Julian Smith in his book Flinch, states “The flinch is the moment when every doubt you’ve had comes back and hits you, hard. It’s when your whole body feels tense. It’s an instinct that tells you to run. It’s a moment of tension that happens in the body and the brain, and it stops everything cold.”
Whether you ‘Lean In’ or face the ‘Flinch’ both require you to have faith and confidence in your ability.
Writing is something I love to do, it’s so expressive, creative and true. There is something scary and liberating about putting pen to paper and sending it out into the world. Citrus Content is still in its early days but my passion for writing is growing. I am constantly armed with a notebook frightened of missing a line, a story or any kind of inspiration that magically appears in my mind.
In many ways starting Citrus Content is like unlocking a door or even flood gates. What has been held deep inside me is now racing to get out. Words are like drops of water forming together into a dramatic waterfall. I feel alive.
So instead if feeling a fraud and flinching, I am now going to embrace the four words and proudly state “I am a writer“.
Jeff Godins expert via
How I Stopped Waiting to Become a Writer, Quit My Job & Launched My Dream
Julien Smith, Flinch
Sheyl Sandberg, Lean In
Posted by: andrea | on July 21, 2013
“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”
As some of you may know I have gone through a difficult few weeks. To tell you how I got here you have to start at the beginning.
When I joined twitter I never, ever imagined what lay ahead of me. I started with complete naivety and skepticism of what it was. I plodded along really not knowing what to do and then I started to find my voice for property and interiors and I never looked back. Building my followers has been organic and underpinned with engagement. I love hearing people’s stories sharing their successes, their interesting articles and honored they want to share them with me.
Just over a year ago I started Trying to Balance the Madness – my blog which I share my passion for Property, Interiors and Social Media. This blog came from, well basically, being nagged by a certain part of my following. Again I was a novice and really no idea what I was doing. Again soon I found my blog voice. Trying to Balance the Madness is a huge part of me I feel it shows my journey and my story.
About this time last year I started to have talks with a friend about the idea of A Passion for Homes, after months of hard work we launched in February 2013. It was an amazing day one I will never forget. I was so proud that so many of the followers had supported me in some incredible ways with venue, photography, speaking, being part of the site. You name it my followers were there, sharing the experience and I felt honored.
About a month ago I made the very, very difficult decision to walk away from A Passion for Homes. This was not a decision I made lightly but knew it was the right decision for me. Partnerships are difficult. My Passion for Property and Interiors is stronger than ever and I knew I wanted my own business and I have so much to give.
Trying to Balance the Madness is growing and it’s fascinating seeing it develop and mold into something more exciting every day.
Through Trying to Balance the Madness and A Passion for Homes I realized how much I loved writing. My parents had always said that I had a talent for it but I never really thought anything of it. Over the last 6 months the request from people for my writing has been overwhelming and I have realized that my parents were right.
I Love to write!
Citrus Content allows me to utilise my love for writing with my passion – perfect combination.
- Website Content
- Rightmove MicroSites
- Social Media
Wherever content is needed – you will find Citrus.
I am honored to already be working on a couple of really exciting projects.
As people always say, ‘When one door closes, another one opens’.
I feel as though that door was there all the time and I just hadn’t found the key.