Tell us a bit about you!
Hi, my name is Sherry Bevan and I’m based in London. I am a performance consultant and coach, working with the business services teams in law firms. I work with managers and leaders to help them build teams to be proud of. You can find out more about my work at www.sherrybevan.co.uk.
I also coach women who have lost confidence after a career break through my private coaching company www.inspirationparty.co.uk.
I also work as a breastfeeding counsellor in my local community.
How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?
I have freelanced for more than two years now. I had always wanted to run my own business and freelancing gave me the opportunity to combine my passion for supporting women, and at the same time continue to work with law firms. I know lots of people want to get out of the corporate life in the City but I love it! Freelancing means I can be more flexible with my working hours and fit in around my children’s school activities.
Let’s talk about the start of your day – Are you an early riser, or a night owl?
I tend to be an early riser – though if I have a big client project on, I’m a night owl too. But early riser suits me – I have the house to myself for an hour or so before I walk my daughter to school.
What time do you start work?
By the time I get back from the school run, it’s 8.30am. When I’m working with a client in the City, then I will generally arrive at their offices around 9am/9.30am.
Do you work from home?
Much of my work is done from home however it really depends on what client work I have on as I might be on site for a few days. My coaching clients are mostly done over Skype – they could be based anywhere in the UK and I’ve worked with clients in other countries too.
What’s your working routine before you start work?
I am usually first up in the house. I have a cup of tea, and might check my email/social media or write a blog then. When my eldest daughter gets up, we have breakfast together. My second daughter doesn’t need to leave so early. Then we get dressed and I walk my eldest daughter to school. It’s a mile each way, so it gives me quality time with my daughter on the way there. On the way home, it’s my thinking time. Some of my best ideas come on that walk back. I get home just as my husband and youngest daughter are leaving. Then I might relax or sometimes I’ll go straight to the gym or meet my Thursday morning running group.
Do you take a lunch break?
Yes always thought it might only be a short break. I like to sit in the garden with my sandwich and cup of tea.
How do you tend to spend your afternoons?
My routine is not that fixed so it really depends on what clients I am working with. If I’m doing interviews for my newsletter, these tend to be in the afternoons. The children start arriving home from 3.30pm so it’s a bit noisy for an hour or so. I sometimes will stop then and go back to my desk in the evening when they’ve gone to bed. Quite a few of my private coaching client sessions are in the evening.
How do you get motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?
I write in a reflective journal each week to focus on my successes the previous week and what I plan to accomplish in the coming week. I have a vision board on my PC backdrop to remind me why I work, what I want to achieve, and what I need to focus on.
What time do you tend to sign off for the day?
I tend to sign off around 6pm but if I have clients in the evening, then I’ll take a couple of hours break before the session starts at 8pm. What time I sign off depends on what else is going on in my running life – if I’m training for a marathon, then I try and fit my long sessions in during the day while it’s light, and work in the evening.
Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?
I love the freedom and flexibility to work my own hours, mostly. I love that I can get to the Christmas Carol Concert at school. I love that I can pick and choose my clients. This has enabled me to do my breastfeeding counsellor work.
And your least favourite thing about freelancing?
If you are running your own business, not only do you have to work in the business, but you have to work ON your business. You always have to be looking ahead to the next client. Sometimes that’s hard.
What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?
Surprisingly perhaps I LOVE my paper diary. At a previous firm, I was the electronic diary evangelist. But since running my own business and being on different client sites, I have found it so much easier to work with a paper diary that I always have with me as there are fewer repeat meetings that you have in a corporate. I like to use EverNote to capture ideas. I love my BlackBerry and being able to use an app such as Hootsuite to manage my social media.
Where can we find you online?
The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?
Hard work, determination, taking action, professionalism and integrity. Holding myself to high standards. Plus I LOVE what I do!
Thanks Sherry! Want to take part in the Day In The Life Of A Freelancer series? Simply fill in this form!