Time for another Day In The Life Of A Freelance interview! This week, it’s the lovely Jo Christy, who lets us peek into what she gets up to.
Tell us a bit about you!
Jo Christy, also known as Miss Sue Flay – you might want to read it aloud to yourself for a moment – I’m based in Cambridgeshire, but I’m a wannabe traveler with a renewed passport and an excitable energy to meet new people worldwide!
How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?
I created my alter ego and started off as a pop-up supperclub host around 5 years ago now. It started as a hobby and I had no idea just how much my life was about to change with it!
Let’s talk about the start of your day – Are you an early riser, or a night owl?
I’m not good with early starts, definitely not a morning person out of choice – opting for a later morning start most days if I can get away with it.
I will stop for an hour around 2pm to exercise with my personal trainer, then re-fuel with a healthy lunch before continuing my day.
I will work for my clients in the afternoon, looking after my own blog/website/social media channels after a light bite with my partner throughout the evening.
I do tend to go to a lot of networking events and get invited to launch parties or openings, so a fair few evenings are taken up with these sort of commitments. When I get home, I will follow up with any contacts made, as I’m usually buzzing and won’t be able to sleep!
What time do you start work?
I tend to start work at 10am, usually with a client meeting or two to allow me the rest of the day to squirrel away. This used to make me feel guilty, as most people will have been at their desks in their “normal” jobs by 8-9am, so for years I thought I had to be doing the same. It wasn’t until I read a blog post written by Kat Williams at Rock ‘n Roll bride that I realised that I need to do what works for me and my lifestyle.
Do you work from home?
I have a home office, it’s a great space, but there’s always something to distract me, I’m terrible. I work best writing creatively in my local coffee shops, coffee is my friend! I also use Regus co-working spaces for a cost effective way to hunker down and get serious – their business lounge access is only £19 per month and gives you a wifi connection and a makeshift office space during the working week, it’s fantastic.
What’s your working routine before you start work?
I hit the snooze button at least 6 times before I groan and leave the BEST bed in the world! A hot shower and a cuddle with my 10 year old pup, Eddy, usually does the trick to get me moving.
Do you take a lunch break?
I tend to eat on the run, so my car is full of lots of tuppaware boxes filled with nuts & seeds for a quick snack and I tend to take leftovers from dinner and pick at it between meetings.
How do you tend to spend your afternoons?
I work better on my client work in the afternoons, by this time I will have had enough caffeine to fuel me and my meetings have already taken place. This gives me time to focus and plan for the next day if it’s going to be a busy one.
How do you stay motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?
I spend a lot of time reading blogs, having signed up to Bloglovin’ a few years back, there’s no lack of entertainment and inspiration within my inbox. Surrounding myself with other creative businesses and an extensive network of freelancers means that no matter which city I’m visiting, there’s always somebody to meet or visit, it’s a friendly world!
What time do you tend to sign off for the day?
I like to be finished by 8pm at the very latest if I have nothing on that evening, but sometimes I just can’t help myself and I might still be writing or indulging in a new idea at 3am. I have a fairly addictive personality and new business ideas have to be reigned in from time to time!
Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?
The freedom. I can work when I like and from wherever I am in the world, it’s a lifestyle I had never considered previously. I worked within the hospitality & service industry for thirteen years and I worked all hours under the sun, so to go back to that world, under a management team fills me with dread – I wouldn’t fit back into it easily.
And your least favourite thing about freelancing?
The uncertainty can be stressful, it’s hard work trying to build up any brand or business and I’m learning to deal with the quieter periods in a much more positive way. I use the quieter times to focus on my blog or website and use it to catch up on everything else that’s made its way down to the bottom of my “to do” list.
What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?
My phone takes a battering, I use it too much, so my “Juice Cube” is a lifesaver when it comes to needing to restore my battery power on the run. (Editor note – I’m a huge fan of the Juice Cube too, especially as it’s so dinky!)
I’m a Twitter fiend, having used this social media platform for years, I’m slightly addicted and I don’t think that’s a particularly bad thing. I’ve made so many contacts and friends through social media, it’s had a huge part to play in the building of my business. Through this, I’ve managed to create a new professional services platform through www.stirupmedia.com to support others in using Twitter to promote their own businesses.
Where can we find you online?
Twitter – @MissSueFlay & @StirUpMedia
www.facebook.com/missflay & www.facebook.com/stirupmedia
Instagram @MissSueFlay @StirUpMedia
The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?
Be yourself! People buy into you for YOU, so don’t be somebody you aren’t, your clients will soon see through it. They will want to work with you because they believe in you and your values, so don’t be scared to be yourself, it’s going to be one of the most exciting elements of your business.
One more thing…
I’ve recently created a support network for Cambridge-based creatives with Stir Up Media (#StirUpCambridge) and I have plans to expand this, so if you are a creative or freelancer looking to join this expanding network, please do get in touch!
Thanks for your time Jo!
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