• Ellen Pope

Why it has taken me so long to share my KitKat

First off, I’m an only child.

Now, I wasn’t raised with a spoilt brat syndrome that meant I wanted every gift in sight. To be fair to my parents they will openly admit that apart from a Mr Frosty Ice Maker in the late 1990s, I have never ever asked anyone for anything. Especially gifts. So no, I wasn’t the spoilt only-child that had a pony and the latest everything. 

What I do carry as an only child trait though, and probably is more irritating than a pony or the latest pair of Kickers, is …. I like things my way.  And to be fair, I very rarely budge. 

I grew up around adults. I didn’t have brothers and sisters (obvs), I didn't have cousins. That is why, at 30, I have no sudden urge to have children. I don’t really know what to do with them - apart from trying and reason with them when they are crying. NOTE: Never works. 

I have been used to my own space and making my own decisions since I was small. You kind of do as an only one. You have to figure shit out by yourself. You have to figure you out by yourself. You don’t have a reference point really for how you should be, you kinda mix it all together and hope for the best. You probably end up in your own head too much, and I know I  have always been in there, mooching about. Routing out every possible way, that every possible situation is going to pan out so that everything won’t surprise me. NOTE: Don’t like surprises. They are shit. 

A friend of mine recently called me (quite off the cuff), headstrong. A label I had never associated with myself, but actually, he nailed it in one. I am headstrong. I am also stubborn and defiant. I would quite happily defy the devil. It also means I am a grade one asshole if you ever cross me. This, I believe, is another only child trait. I mean, those around me will hopefully pipe up in my defence and say that I am quite lenient. My threshold to turning into a grade one asshole is a solid distance away. But when you cross me, you cross me. I hold grudges. I lick my wounds for many a year. I never forget, and I very rarely let go. 

And just like that, here is a nice little editorial segue into letting go. 

Working as a freelancer has been amazing. There is no greater joy than being in control of your own destiny (in some way), especially if you are a stubborn, defiant, no surprise liking, control freak like MOI!. It’s like fucking catnip. 

The only problem is when you are a stubborn, defiant, no surprise liking, control freak like moi, you don’t really know how to let go of anything. You think you can do it all by yourself. Under the influence of freelance catnip, you think that somehow you have added an extra day in the week. 

“Fuck it, I don’t need sleep”. 

“Fuck it, I can do accounts. Fuck it, I know exactly what this crumpled up receipt was for from March. I’m indestructible!” 

Only probs peeps < Utter bullshit. 

You don’t have an extra day in your week. You just drop the balls and think you are getting old because you can’t remember which Virgin Train you got in March and why. 

And you are not indestructible, and Google will not always give you every answer.

Sometimes, you have to let go. Let parts of your business go to people who actually know what they are talking about. Because, like, it is their job. 

It has taken me a good 18 months to understand that hiring people to do what they are good at actually frees up more time to allow me to do what I am good at. 

Now, I know that sentence is the most obvious sentence in the world, probably. But I really didn’t see it. I took it all on - something you do when you are on your tod. I know I am shit with accounts, so I hire an accountant. I can’t keep my books tidy for toffee, so I hire a bookkeeper. I can’t work and manage my garden, so I hire a gardener, and the fact that my bathroom ceiling has been left unpainted for 9 months because I realllllllly can’t be arsed to paint it, has led to me hiring an actual decorator. To, well decorate. 

Nobody has died. My business is better for it. I am better for it. I have a little more time to focus on what I need to focus on and spend time over thinking parts of the business that I will never truly understand. 

For those that realised this early on. I salute you. For those who are struggling to carry the load like Buckaroo, take time, breathe and outsource. As small businesses working together, if we all outsourced the bits we were shit at to each other, we’d not only be a little less stressed but also supporting a great network. 

Outsource. So you have more time to be an asshole to people that have crossed you.


Miss Pope is part of the Ellen Pope Communications Brand

Ellen Pope is a freelance copywriter, marketing consultant and food magazine editor

You can contact Ellen on ellen@ell

This brand also features Chatting Food Magazine

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