30 Before 30: Tarantino-ing My Own Business

I’ve always liked the concept of owning my own communications or content writing business. I mean, who could be a better boss of me than me? I could set my own hours, wear what I like, do work that really inspires me – it’s a beautiful dream. 

The ugly reality is I’ve got bills to pay, and the prospect of drumming up my own business fills me with the type of terror I previously reserved for sloths. Shudder.

But now that I have the flexibility in my job and my daily life to take on more freelance projects, I can pretty easily set up my own little business without impacting my quality of life or worrying about paying the bills with it.

I just don’t know where to start.

A wise man (I think it was Kevin Costner) said, “If you build it, they will come.” Nope. I didn’t build anything, but man did they come. I’ve got three or four designer clients (more like partners, I suppose) who subcontract some of their writing work to me. And they’ve got loads of clients, so I guess my business is growing, despite it not really being a real business.

Yup, I Tarantino-ed my business and did it all out of order.

So when do I take the next step? What is the next step? I always felt like building my own business would follow a set course:

1. Choose a name. (Done.)
2. Incorporate. (Is that even a thing? If so, what does it even mean? Should I do that? Why?)
3. Design a website. (I could totally develop a website. Or, you know, hire a real professional.)
4. Find clients. (Done.)
5. ???
6. Profit.

So far, there seems to be no set path, and it’s probably better that way. I can figure it out as I go – things like pricing (no idea what to charge or how to price fairly for both me and my customers); taxes (my tax guy – aka hubby – has a little time to figure that bit out); incorporating (really, though, is that a thing I should do?); and the other things I haven’t even thought of that go into owning your own small business.

It’s pretty clear I don’t know what I’m doing yet, but like a Tarantino movie, I think it will all come together in the end – hopefully with a bit less blood and one or two fewer curse words.

In the meantime, I won’t let my lack of business acumen deter me (and I hope potential clients won’t let it deter them either.) I swear I’m a better writer than I am a business owner. 

I’d have to be, or I’d have starved ages ago.

Tell me, my small-business owning friends, what are my next steps? What do I need to do to develop a ‘legit’ business? 


5 thoughts on “30 Before 30: Tarantino-ing My Own Business

  1. thebexfactor

    I would really love to get into some freelance writing. I love to write, hence why I blog, and one day would love to be able to monetize it a little and eventually get away from the full time 9-5 so I can be home with my son more.

    1. Jen Post author

      Becky, a great way to get into some paid freelance writing is by writing for small magazines. I write for Red Deer Living, and Red Deer’s Child very likely uses freelance writers as well. The Alberta Magazine Publishers’ Association has a list of magazines in the province, and if you check them out, you might be able to find some freelance work there as well. Maybe we can go for coffee and chat about writing and freelancing and your adorable kiddo sometime soon. 🙂

  2. Andrew

    Incorporating has some neat advantages that can be vital to certain companies but given the nature of your business I don’t think you’ll make use of the larger benefits. Due to that, the costs and the extra hassles I’d say at this point that isn’t something that would be advisable.


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