My Day Series: Crystal Keet
That Works For Me is the supportive and affordable platform for flexible work. And what work is there more flexible than freelancing. There are numerous benefits – owning your own time, working round your family, hand picking your projects – but it’s not always a bed of roses. It can also mean loneliness, uncertainty and financial insecurity, all issues we acknowledge and want to help with. Because when you get it right, it’s amazing and means the freedom to do what you want, when you want, whether that be school runs, caring or yoga.
This month’s My Day comes from Crystal Keet, a North American living in the UK. Previously a teacher, Crystal now works as a business consultant, describing herself as having a coach’s heart who is passionate about using digital technology for good. She talks to us about her day and how she manages her work around her family.
Racing out the door again, we have two baby dolls in tow, one in the pram and one underneath.
“Biscuit?” A little voice asks. Oh no…. I mutter to myself. I forgot them….oh, we’ve got cereal instead for the crowded train.
Nursery in the neighbouring town is my saving grace each week. Yet, no matter how early I get up, we always seem to be late. Today, maybe, it was the early morning call to Asia which put me off; or the fact that our toddler was teething again, up through the night and I woke up with 15 minutes to spare before leaving to catch the train.
Time is tight, but I love it. Time-blocking, early mornings and afternoon naps are another saving grace. That, lots of good coffee and the odd run see me through the seasons (that is until we add number two!).
It all Started in Form Time…
As a teacher, I’d love watching my students grow, working to develop the curriculum and connecting with colleagues. But, as my bump grew, so did my discontent with the status quo of my career path. I’d been teaching the same subject for more than a decade and wondered if I could do the same when the tiny feet dancing inside me emerged into the world.
“What do you want to do when you are gone?”, a year 7 pupil asked me one day during form group. We’d just watched one of those all-inspiring BBC documentaries about starting your own business to do good in the world. “You get a lot of time off to have a baby.”
Well, the observation was right. In a way, we’re given a huge gift of time to change nappies, sleep, go to funny toddler groups and baby sensory playtimes, but underneath all that, there’s a groundswell of mommas (and papas too) who are taking the time to do something different.
How do you do it?
The journey from teacher to freelancer to small business owner in the last two years has been as emotional as that of motherhood. I’ve given birth to a crazy new idea, kind of gotten my husband onboard, and found community in a whole new way.
- Crazy amounts of cheesy online classes, webinars and books to learn business skills
- Confidence kick-in-the-butts to realize I can offer value to the world with my skills as a course-builder and coach
- Consistency in community that cares enough to challenge me and hold me accountable to higher standards, so that I charge the right price, deliver a quality service and timeblock to spend time with tiny feet.
To anyone else who wants to chase tiny feet AND build something for yourself that will give your family the freedom you dream of, know that it’s possible. Simple but not easy, and a joyful journey at that. As a mentor says, making money and having a family is simple, but we humans like to make it more complex than it needs to be.
I’d say, eat more chocolate, have a nice biscuit and enjoy the time ahead.
And, countless biscuits to be eaten on the train.
Bio – Crystal Keet
A North American crazy enough to live in the UK, Crystal is a business consultant who works with businesses to develop more income streams through courses and communities. When she’s not drinking coffee or behind a screen, she lives a low-tech life outdoors chasing little feet on both sides of the salty pond.