Olive Can Fly is almost 2 years old! The time has absolutely flown by. I launched my socials in June 2022, followed by the online store in September 2022, and over the course of the last couple of years I’ve had time to experience and self reflect on all the pros and cons of being self employed.

1. Variety, being the spice of life and all. 

Everyday is different. That might sound like a cliche but it is. 

I might be running a workshop, pressing a wedding bouquet, designing and framing another wedding bouquet, making a commissioned stained glass piece, creating stock for my online shop or creating content for socials and planning new area for the business to expand on. 

Even though my niche is quite small, there’s plenty variety within what I actually offer to clients which keeps my working days interesting far from being dull.

It’s true that when you run your own business you’ve got about 72 different hats to wear. Some I wear better than others; some with pleasure, some are definitely worn under duress!


2. Admin Days, Doggy Style (not that kind you pervs)

Admin days, although the bane of my existence (and NOT the object of all my desires IYKYK) they have to be done. But I get to choose where I do mine. 

It’s a huge plus to be able to work from home on those days when you just can’t be arsed to go outside and be around people. Those days are perfect for just staying home to work. Even better when Mike isn’t away on tour so he can do the school run then I don’t have to go outside at all ha!

I’ll often opt for working from home so I can spend time near the pack of rescue dogs that we’ve got. Our huskies are old men now so when I’ve got the opportunity to stay home I will. I like to sit at the messy little desk we built under our stairs surrounded by them, even if I do get covered in dog hair. As soon as I sit down they lie nearby on the floor and go to sleep. 

We know that we are on limited time with our huskies now due to their age, we already lost one in April 2023 due to age & illness, so I’ll hang out with the fluffy old timers whenever I get the chance. Bloody love those scruff bags. 


3. Me, Myself & I 

My husband Mike says that I’m at my happiest when I’m working away in my studio on a clients commission, running a stained glass workshop or creating pieces for the website.

I taught photography for years so I’m comfortable in a workshop scenario, I can chat away and deliver workshops no problem.

On a more personal level I’m quite introverted until I get to know you and I can be quite guarded. This can come across as rude but it isn’t, I’m just quiet until I’m more comfortable. What I’m also noticing more and more as I get older is that I know when I’ve had enough and need things to be quiet so I can move myself into a situation where I can get that calm and quiet environment.

I was chatting to Mike this week while on a lovely walk around Sefton park in the rain about how I know when I’ve reached my limit and need to withdraw from a situation. I enjoy being sociable but I also know when my battery is low and I need to go and recharge.

Working for myself supports my need to just be by myself sometimes. I share a studio with Mike and when we are in there we are both busy (apart from when we are distracting each other) so I don’t have to make small talk with someone I don’t get along with. If he gets on my nerves I can just ignore him without being sent to HR haha!

I think that most of us have been in a situation where we haven’t always gelled with the people we work alongside but we have to put up with it anyway regardless of how it makes us feel. I struggled with this and it takes a lot of energy to be stuck in a rubbish environment so I’m absolutely relishing the fact that I can choose who I work with and when. It’s so refreshing to be able to say no.


4. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now

Every bit of time, effort and energy that I put into my business pays off and that pay off comes directly to me and my family. 

That might not sound like a big deal, or it may sound obvious, but when you have spent years working for someone or something else where no real recognition for all the hard work you put in is given, and you certainly aren’t financially rewarded to the extent that you should be, then having something that’s just yours is a BIG deal. I have worked in organisations that loved to take the credit but are just as quick to point the finger when things aren’t going well (even though they’ve ignored resource and support requests).

I love being completely independent within my business, free to make my own decisions and the fact that all of my hard work (and I am a grafter!) pays off for me and mine. 


5. Freeeeeeeedom! 

Exactly what William Wallace was scrapping for (okay, maybe not exactly, but close), is the freedom of being self employed. 

No set working hours, no 9-5, nobody telling you when your lunch hour is (what if I’m not hungry 12-1 but I am at 1.30 hmm?), and no managers to deal with, and although I was lucky and had good relationships with both my managers while teaching, you are still bound by the BS rules of those even higher up who are trying to reinvent the wheel or rehashing things that were tried (& failed) 10 years previously. It’s beyond boring.

I came straight from a lengthy career in Higher Education into being self employed and I will never, ever take this new found freedom for granted. 

I can schedule in a day off when I want to, I manage my own my working day, I can visit a friend for coffee during the day if I choose to and I have a much better work / life balance now that I’m self employed.

I’m around more for my kids, I have more energy and I am a LOT happier – that kind of shit is priceless. 


Little add on..

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all a bed of positive infused roses, being self-employed can be quite the rollercoaster of emotions; the hustle is real and seemingly endless.

But that would be a whole other blog 🙂


Get in touch if you’d like to chat more about all things Olive Can Fly!