I’m happy to hand over the last Thriving Creative blog slot before Christmas to our guest blogger, Annie Harris. It’s been great watching Annie this year as she grows into her place as a creative entrepreneur. This guest post outlines the next step in her journey of setting up a creative business.
If you are just starting out in the world of self-employment, then you’ve probably got a hundred-and-one questions for the world about how to keep your finances in check.
I have been working professionally as an actress, writer and blogger fairly steadily for the last year or so. Since I graduated just over two years ago, I’ve done many “it’ll be great for your CV/exposure/networking” jobs, but now I’m pleased to say that, in the last year or so, I’ve been steadily getting more and more paid work.
Originally, I was terrified about the concept of stepping up to my responsibilities with all the gusto of a first-time father, letting the government know exactly what I was doing with my time and how much I was earning for it. I was frightened that somehow, somewhere, I’d have miraculously done something wrong that they’d pick up on. Just like when you’re followed by a police car entirely out of coincidence whilst driving, and frantically try to check your tax disk from the inside of the vehicle for a sudden and miraculous expiration of tax that you weren’t aware of.
But there’s really no need to be afraid. After going to Steven for some much-needed advice, he sent me this absolutely wonderful cheat sheet on setting up a creative business that I’m now in the process of slowly and methodically working through [Note from Steven, if you want me to send you a copy then send me an email to email@example.com and I’ll forward you a copy of my cheat sheet on setting up a creative business], having a big clear-up/out of my office space to make sure that I’ve got all the paperwork I need, and filing any new paperwork away appropriately and immediately to ensure I can find it again in the future, should I need it at a moment’s notice.
If you feel overwhelmed or afraid like I did, then the short answer is “don’t be”. As soon as you start trading with your business or taking fees as a freelancer, you need to let HMRC know so you’re not – to put it bluntly – breaking the law. Feeling anxious is a very unfortunate, but natural part of life, and one that I’m familiar with, so if you ever feel overwhelmed by it all, take a step back, get back to you*, and come back to tackle it with a fresh mind.
I hope my insight helped you and some of you out there can relate to the feelings I’ve expressed. If you’ve got any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me via the box below. I’m always more than happy to talk, listen to your questions and reassure where necessary!
Let me know how you get on,
*GET BACK TO YOU (verb)
Pronunciation: gɛt bæk tu ju
Definition: Have a long shower. Tidy your house. Have a cup of tea and a biccie. Watch an episode of something you love. Take a nap. Eat something delicious, in addition to the recent biccie. Whatever floats your boat and gives you the warm fuzzies – do it.
Annie is a 23-year-old actress and writer based in North London.
After spending the first 18 years of her life in South Wales, Annie graduated from the London College of Music in 2011 with a 2:1 in Musical Theatre.
Thanks a lot Annie!
Dear Thriving Creative reader, I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year. This will be our last post until January. Thanks for sharing 2013 with us here at The Thriving Creative and we look forward to many exciting things to share with you in 2014.
All the best,