Self employment

Self employment

Postby Anna » Tue May 29, 2012 6:21 pm


I've recently become solely self employed, as I was struggling with office work (low energy levels etc) despite only working 2 days a week! So far it is working for me as I can pace myself and take regular breaks and ironically I'm probably working more hours now.

For those of you that are struggling with work and could pursue something on a self employed basis it's worth a try and you are still entitled to working tax credit subject to the minimum working hours. I reckon for me this route was the only way I may not have to rely on any benefits - fingers crossed!

You can see what I do at: or
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:24 am
Location: Devon

Re: Self employment

Postby pwoodger » Thu May 31, 2012 8:47 am


Well done on your initiative, and I wish you every success in your new venture.

I have written here before about the work issues and energy/concentration peaks and troughs. I also find it much easier to do useful work when I am in an environment I can control. I can take breaks when I need to, go for a walk etc. When I get stuck on a problem at work, I find it very difficult to concentrate and to advance. I have deadlines and the team I work with (though very understanding) cannot reorganise things just to cope with my "problems".

I now work 3/4 time, and will start 1/2 time in September (all with corresponding loss of salary of course), but I have decided that I will retire early next year. I just can't see how I can remain in a "regular" job any longer. I hope to carry on being useful when I retire (I will only be 55). I will take a much reduced pension, but feel in these difficult times that I will be at least one of the lucky ones who can take early retirement at all.

I am actually desperate now to get on with the rest of my life. I know I cannot be as productive as I was before in the office, but I am looking forward to the next phase which I will be able to control much more closely. I hope to do some voluntary work and maybe give free advice to people/businesses in my speciality area (environmental management)

Just an aside..My condition is recognised as a disability at work, and there is supposed to be "reasonable accomodation" shown to people with disabilities. This can mean extra equipment where needed or indeed flexible working hours. However we are now to start clocking in and of course there is no provision for this flexibility in the system. I would have to talk to my manager each and every time I needed to leave early, go for a walk etc. He doesn't want or need that, but the system.....

When I have mentioned this issue (intermittent tiredness/concentration) problems with medical people, I see their eyes gloss over. My endo' in Germany even said, "ah well you are in your 50s these things happen in middle age!" I KNOW it's due to my Pit' condition and the hormone replacement. But if it's difficult to study or evaluate something that is so vague in nature then it is quickly put to one side I feel.

Anyway enough blathering and good luck again

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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:24 am
Location: Hampshire

Re: Self employment

Postby Anna » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:02 pm

Hi Phil

Thanks for replying. The tiredness/lack of energy is a difficult one for people to understand not being 'visible'.

Reducing your hours will help but early retirement even better! I'm hoping my craft business will eventually be profitable enough, otherwise it will be early retirement for me but in 10yrs :|

In the end I think quality of life is more important than money and I don't have the energy to do much socialising anyway, which greatly reduces expenditure!
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:24 am
Location: Devon

Re: Self employment

Postby plum » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:44 pm


just wanted to join in and agree with the points about tiredness, quality of life etc. i like your website Anna and wish you all the best with it. especaily with maintaining motivation to continue with your business.

i was self employed before i became too ill and have been pretty much unemployed for the past 2 years. i was diagnosed just over 1.5 years ago. i do sometimes wonder if it might have been better if i had been employed at the time in case that would have made it easier for me to move into some sort of 'reduced employment', much like you have had Phil.

i have tried to find part time work on several occasions in the past 6-9 months but am still too 'unreliable' ie unable to commit to definitely being available on certain days, due to medical appointments etc. Also, I am looking for work that does not match my CV since my brain doesnot function in the way it used to. And that is extremely difficult to get people to understand.... So employers seem to think i am ovequalified for the jobs i am applying for. well yes, i am, but only on paper!

Anyhow i am being supported by Remploy and they have been very helpful. I am now looking for voluntary work in the local area. That won't pay any bills. But the idea is that it will provide me with a set of different skills so that it should be easier to find some sort of employment at some point.

Meanwhile it's true that with no energy or enthusiasm to do anything much, it is amazing how that keeps costs down....

all the best

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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:41 am

Re: Self employment

Postby member_6464 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Hi Anna,

Looking though you're website and liking what I see.
Great talent you have and a nice way of doing
something different. Must let my wife see them,
she also likes good artwork.

Also like the fact you have the nerve to have a go with it.

Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:23 am

Re: Self employment

Postby Anna » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:49 pm

Thought I ought to post an update and thanks for your responses John, Plum and Phil

I'm still glass painting and this last year has really picked up. The National Trust shop in Widecombe in the Moor now stocks bowls and vases, I'm starting to make regular sales of my designs on a print on demand site, plus I'm in a local shop. I changed my business name and have my own website

Continue to struggle with energy levels and recently been diagnosed with thumb arthritis, which means I have to pace myself even more than I did before! However I feel lucky to be able to do something I enjoy.
Access to work have been brilliant recommending a lower desk, better mouse and the charity Remap who made a support for my glassware. This has really helped so I'd advise contacting Access to work for work adaptions.
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:24 am
Location: Devon

Re: Self employment

Postby Carl » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:57 am

Sorry to hear about the arthritis and continuing low energy levels, but so good to hear about the good news story with the glass painting. Regards, Carl
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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:27 am
Location: Near Southampton, UK

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