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  • Writer's pictureHelga Brandt

Creating your own business can feel a bit like baking a cake

Updated: Feb 11, 2021

I’m not usually one for kitchen metaphors, but at some point, while I was musing over creating my own #freelance business, baking occurred to me as a perfect description of the process I was going through. You add all those ingredients (read: ideas, experience, skills, expertise and, at times, serendipity), then stir until they all blend together into something new. Sometimes, you need to stir for a bit until something useful emerges.

Baking ingredients

I had thought about “going freelance” for some time, for various reasons. But despite me being clear about what I wanted it took me a while to figure out how I could make it work. It wasn’t so much about market research, writing a business plan or promoting services – although they are of course vital skills for freelancers.

It was more about the right parameters. I discovered that growing a business alongside a demanding full-time role didn’t work for me. Yet neither was I in a position to leave to pursue my freelancing career, or even to discuss part-time options with my employers.

And of course it took some careful research and planning to decide how to present my services. To me, my career path always made perfect sense. I love language and I am passionate about arts, heritage and culture, and about talking to other people about it. Which, essentially, more or less sums up my working life to date. But of course it needs to make even more sense to others. So, yes, I am an #artsmarketing professional, but that’s only one “thing” I do. The Write Brandt website (oder hier die deutsche Version) presents a carefully curated compilation of services that I believe work in combination – and in two languages. Let me know what you think!

Mixing the dough

So – to return to my baking metaphor: just as you know from the consistency of the dough or the smell from the oven that your cake is ready, I think you know when the moment is right to present your business to the world. Sometimes, though, to help this process along it needs a “secret ingredient” – call it serendipity or a stroke of good fortune.

For me, the “secret ingredient” took the shape of a change in circumstances that allowed me to leave my full-time position and accept a part-time role for one of the UK’s most exciting dance companies, which finally put me in a position to launch my freelance business.

An empty plate

Of course, everyone’s way into freelancing is different, and sometimes circumstances don't allow us the luxury of choosing the "right" moment.

But when you're in control of the process, whether it’s done with a pressure cooker or more like slow cooking (what is it with these kitchen metaphors?) – you know when it tastes just right.


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