My last blog post was in December of 2016, where I talked about being six months into running this, my company, Bloomsbury Digital.
So. Well. Now then. Well. Ooph. Well.
I talked about all the amazing things I’d got to work on in six months. I mentioned a podcasting product, and that’s kind of the reason for me writing this now.
Over the next year, I’ll likely be winding down Bloomsbury Digital, to focus on Podiant. This post comes only a few days before this new company – which was officially birthed in December 2017 – is due to send me my first paycheque. It’s been an arduous road with a lot of bumps in it, but it’s starting to look like Podiant might be where I can hang my professional hat (if all goes well, for the foreseeable future).
I was so busy last year, recording more audiobooks, rebuilding one of the sites I mentioned in my 2016 post, hosting the second series of my radio show and the “successful” podcast (which eventually fizzled away)and working on super-secret freelance projects – one of them podcast-related – and speaking at a conference, that I never got the chance to write an update, or really take stock.
Bloomsbury Digital is the most successful thing I’ve done. I say “is” rather than “was” because it still continues, for one thing as the incubator for Podiant. It’s clothed me, fed me and my cats and given me the chance to learn new skills, see more of my family and even discover new hobbies. It took me to Florence and New York last year, and Berlin this year. It put me in the Audible store and even gave me enough free time to release an EP of original music!
There are still customers on Bloomsbury’s books, so nothing’s going to change immediately. It’s also still paying some bills that will eventually move over to Podiant, once it’s a little more stable.
The road ahead is not well-lit. With freelance work, I was always happy for the big jobs, and then thinking about how to land the next one. With a product business – the kind of business I’ve dreamed of running since I left university – you can’t make more money by working longer hours. You get the set amount that your customers pay you each month. You need a lot more of them and you have to keep each of them happy (or at least, not furious at you), but arguably it takes more work to get them, because they’re people, not companies, and a tenner a month is a significant outlay.
Every month I look at the books and go “well, this one’s a fluke; next month the numbers won’t be so good”. One month that’ll definitely be true, but for now, there’s money in the bank, revenue is ahead of projections, and I have all my working time to dedicate to delighting my customers and building an awesome product.
I’m ready for the challenge.