Blog post,  Business information,  Canberra,  Communications professional

Five years of Elm – everything and nothing changes

After one year in business, I wrote that I didn’t really know what to expect, I didn’t know where to start, and I didn’t know if I would get any work. This week marks five years since I started Elm, and I feel exactly the same.

It turns out everything has changed, and nothing has changed. I still never know what tomorrow will bring, where our next project will come from or what we will be asked to help with. But that is just what it is like to run a small business.

Four years ago, I also wrote that being a solo consultant could be lonely. That is probably the biggest change for Elm. I now have an amazing team to work with, brainstorm with, and share the good and bad days. We have built a great culture and have a pretty smooth operating rhythm (despite the chaos).

I have also found a community of other consultants that have become friends, confidants and people that truly understand the challenge of running a business.

While this week should be all about Elm and celebrating our success, I have instead spent it in the hospital at my husband’s bedside. I tell you this because one of our team values is honesty – bringing our whole selves to work, on the good and bad days. So here I am sharing the bad.

Working for myself means I can work from anywhere.

The joy of being in a loving, supportive team is that they have had my back this week. They have stepped in when I needed them and leaned in to work that made them uncomfortable. Other consultants have taken on work or offered to sit in on meetings. All to ensure I had the space to spend with my family while still serving our customers.

Running my own business is often stressful and hard, but it also gives me the luxury of being flexible about where I work and when—sometimes it’s at the coast, this week it’s at Canberra Hospital.

I have learnt a lot since starting Elm, but nothing more than that our friends, family and colleagues are the most important thing in our lives. I love my job, I love what I do, and I am so excited to have reached this milestone, but I am more excited this week that my husband is feeling a little better.

Happy birthday little Elm. You are a big part of all of our lives, and I couldn’t be any more proud of what you have become.

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