By and large, working for yourself absolutely rocks. Sure, there are the odd moments of frustration and loneliness, but overall I absolutely love the independence and autonomy that comes with self-employment.
For one, I get to work from my cosy little home office daily or, should I decide I need to get out of the house, a coffee shop (though I have a two latte maximum before I start getting jittery and have to retreat back to the safety of home and its endless tap water).
The ability to work around the kids and their school days/endless activities (sports day, anyone?) is of course a huge plus, as is my tendency to, once a week, sub my half-hour lunch break for a 30 minute power nap – sleep being just as nourishing as food, IMO.
Then there are the little things I love; the fact I’m able to be as over-effusive and warm as I like in my emails without being dressed-down by a boring boss for being unprofessional (I will end my emails with an ‘x’ if we have a good amount of banter, so there), the times I can head out to my favourite class at the gym at random points in the day to beat the rush, and the judgement I no longer receive for my terrible music choices when it comes to the 3pm dip (Kelly Clarkson is motivational, I promise).
In life I always think people fall into one of three camps: you’re either great at words, great at numbers or incredibly creative. And, as someone who has just written a book and struggles to draw a stick figure, you can probably guess which team I fall into.
Plus, I have to say, there is nothing like the feeling when you get paid and know that it’s because of something you built from scratch. I cant explain the practical difference between that and the salary, but it’s amazing – I’m always extra-proud of that money dropping into my bank account.
Though herein lies one of the difficulties I find with self-employment: getting paid. Or rather, the admin of it all.
My assistant’s cuter than your assistant
You see, in life I always think people fall into one of three camps: you’re either great at words, great at numbers or incredibly creative. And, as someone who has just written a book and struggles to draw a stick figure, you can probably guess which team I fall into.
Yep, my talents lie in the crafting of words, which is all fine and dandy when you’re composing a bantery email but when it comes to anything to do with invoicing I am well and truly stuck. I hate it; I am happy to admit to doing simple arithmetic by counting my fingers and just can’t be bothered with the whole fandango of formulas and spreadsheets. Sometimes I wonder if Hux, age 6, would do a better job of keeping my books.
Which is where the services of Xero software come in to their own.
Xero Software – for those who still use their fingers to count
Xero is accounting software for people like me: small businesses who want to spend their time where it matters (like writing in coffee shops) rather than on the snoozefest that is their accounting. It has a number of features that completely and intuitively streamline everything money-wise: a daily bank reconciliation so you can tally your accounts and PayPal transactions, easy invoicing, including recurring and mobile invoice generation, scheduled and batch payments and inventory tracking.
There are also over 700 integrated apps to work alongside the accounting software, like WorkflowMax – a seamless workflow and project manager – and Xero projects, a real-time project accounting tool to help manage billable work more efficiently.
Xero software has really revolutionised the way I invoice for my work. In the old days I’d be logging all my monthly projects in a spreadsheet which I would then cross-reference with a folder full of invoices, with my expenses logged elsewhere (er, mostly in one of the five envelopes I have dotting around the house). I’d also keep a track of my outstanding quotes in an Evernote document (or my head), with no way of flagging the correct time to chase.
It was a logistical nightmare, especially for someone like me who just doesn’t DO seamless process.
Now everything is in one place, including my bank balance. With my tshirt business taking off this has been invaluable; my expenditure and income would have been in bits without the automatic reconciliation of Xero. And I no longer have to manually check when invoices for my other work are overdue – because it tells me automatically! Hurrah.
And as an added benefit, with the Xero app absolutely everything can be done on-the-run, which means I don’t need to wait until my admin days to generate invoices or quotes.
Xero software is a total lifesaver for people like me who just can’t be bothered with the headache of calculations, spreadsheets and formulas. Plus as a bonus, if my fingers all get lopped off in a freak blender accident I won’t get stuck doing mental arithmetic!
Click here for a the services of Xero.
Thank-you to Xero who commissioned this post.