Categories
General

My Goals for 2021

Advertisements

Every year from 2018 I go over my goals, and whether or not I managed to complete each one. This year will certainly be no different even though it’s been a very different year.

Last year’s goals

Clear £7k debt

This year gave me time to focus on my debts. My wife and I have only had one holiday this year. This has allowed us to pile on any left over money towards our credit cards and savings. I have now cleared my £7k debt, and we’re now working to clear my wife’s £8k (now £4k) debt.

Technically these debts are shared between us, but each debt is the total from our own credit cards. It has also allowed us to visualise what needs to go where.

Save at least £1,000 for a house

This one is amazing see because we have surpassed this saving. All together, we have £2,878.10 saved in a LISA account for a house. Part of this wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t read the book “Money: A User’s Guide”. That book has been worth every penny and is absolutely priceless.

Gain 100 subs on YouTube and Create at least 12 videos for my YouTube channels

I’ve decided to group these two together since they’re both YouTube related. I also didn’t achieve either of these goals. I know I would have gotten 100 subs easily if I just published some videos. However, I have not been in the right mindset this year. I constantly tried to push myself, but in the end, I couldn’t do it. Maybe next year, but it won’t be a goal.

Have at least 1 “date night” a month

Of course this one failed. We started off really well, and had some lovely date nights. However, due to the pandemic and lockdown we couldn’t see this one through. I would definitely like to try this one again when we’re certain the virus has gone.

Finish my course on Laravel

Another failed goal. I know failure isn’t a bad thing, and I don’t feel bad. However, this would have been really nice if I did succeed. I did rewrite my current posts for the latest major Laravel release, and released another post. Overall, I didn’t come anywhere near finishing and work was my biggest focus for this year.

Next year’s goals

  • Pay of my wife’s debt of £5k
  • Save £10k towards a house
  • Get 500 daily readers on this blog
  • Get 100 email subscribers on my development blog
  • Finish the free part of my development course

Enjoy reading this blog? Please consider subscribing using the form below.

50.5303542-3.5840034
Categories
General

Living with an unwell cat

Advertisements

This isn’t a cat with cat flu or a small infection. This is a life-debilitating illness which we have yet to find a conclusion for.

Some of you know that I have a cat named Holly, and she is really unwell. We’ve taken her to the vets many times, and they haven’t managed to diagnose the issue. This week, we had to take her to a specialist vet in Bristol as a last resort.

It’s been horrible, scary, and frustrating, to say the least. Every so often, she will take a horrible turn. Leading to little to no food being eaten, or barely drinking any fluids. We then have to take her to the vets where she stays overnight. They then manage to stabilise her to a point we can bring her back home. She then comes back rested and seemingly well, but she’s never 100%.

Varying her diet to keep her healthy

We have gone through various diets, starting with cheap meat and biscuit, to hypoallergenic biscuit, which worked for a very long time. No, we’re at a point where we have to water her dry biscuit to make it softer for her. However, this week, she doesn’t want to touch her watered-down biscuit. We’ve now found some high-quality meat that she seems to enjoy. This is good, but I start to wonder how long it will last before she gets put off her food again.

She has a few issues, first off, she throws up. It used to be quite regular and was one of the reasons we went from cheap food to hypo. That really did help in her younger years, but more recently, she’s throwing up again. We took her to the vets, and they prescribed her with pills that helps keep the acid at bay. Then, there’s her other issue… She really struggles to swallow food. We believe it’s because of the acid coming up and damaging her oesophagus, and it gradually got worse. This is why we’re now watering down her biscuit, to hopefully make it easier for her to swallow.

The vets in Bristol took so many tests and plenty of x-rays. Including blast x-rays which fire a load of x-rays while she’s eating to see the food’s journey. Sounds intriguing, and I hope I can see those x-rays at some point.

Endless amounts of medication

She has gone through a large amount of medication. She has pills which prevent her from vomiting. Also, she has pipettes to reduce inflammation in the oesophagus. However, it seems like we’re just fighting a losing battle, and it stresses both her and me out. She used to be able to take the pills in her treat sticks. Making this go down as easily as possible felt like a huge win. Until she stopped eating her treats altogether.

It’s crazy how clever she is. Recently, I placed the pill in her treat stick, and turn it upside down in the hopes she’ll eat it. However, she turns the stick over, sees the blue pill and then walks away. I’m very proud of her, but at the same time, it makes both our lives harder. I now have to restrain her and try to chuck the pill in. She tried to fight me, but it’s still for her best interest.

Hoping to fix her ailments

Hopefully, next week we will get some more conclusive results back and start a proper course of treatment. Of course, we won’t know for sure until that time, and it may still come back inconclusive. However, I’m remaining hopeful because she’s the best cat I’ve ever owned. We have cuddles almost daily, and she’s super social with me.

I will write a blog post about her next week, and hopefully, it will be much more positive. In the meantime, my wife set up a GoFundMe to help with the expensive vet costs. We’ve had some fantastic donations and shares. We’re grateful for every single one, and to everyone who wishes her well. You mean the world to us right now. Thank you.

Categories
General

Can anyone believe 2020 has nearly finished?

Advertisements

Honestly, I can’t. This year has been absolutely insane, and not just for me, but for everyone. We’ve all gone through a pandemic, lockdowns and plenty of protests and riots.

Remote work at it’s worst

From March I have been working from home and I’ve not stepped into the office since. It’s been nice not having to travel or stuck in traffic. However, at times, it has been frustrating. There are times when work would have benefitted from a few more eyes. There are also times where I would love to socialise with others. My wife has still been going into the office as her workplace requires her there. So here I am. Working alone. With my three cats to keep me company.

Protesting and rioting

Then there’s the protests and riots while going through a pandemic. So many countries are rightfully angry at their governments and leaders because they feel they aren’t being treated right. Black men and women have felt let down and betrayed by the very people who are supposed to protect them.

America’s current president

Donald Trump has lost the vote but refuses to leave his post. He acts like a baby when he loses. I think a lot of people will rejoice and cheer the day he moves out of the White House and Biden finally moves in.

Our mental health struggles

Mental health has also been a struggle for many including myself. I’ve had times where I thought the pandemic wasn’t affecting me, and I was moving forward in full force. However, this quickly fell flat, and although I did make some great progress, I also went through many days of doubt and anxiety.

Looking forward to 2021

Hopefully, the holidays and having days of celebration will help us all stay positive. I’m looking forward to tomorrow as it’s the first of December, and the first day I can open my coffee advent calendar.

I hope that anyone reading this finds joy in December, and has many things to look forward to next year. I for one hope we can go back to live gigs and really appreciate live arts once again.

Enjoy reading this blog? Please consider subscribing using the form below.

50.5304382-3.5840602
Categories
General

73 Things About Me

Advertisements

1. What is your usual Starbucks order?

I normally buy Costa, but I would say seasonal drinks are my goto. Especially ginger or cinnamon lattes. They are amazing.

2. What does your workstation look like right now?

This is what my home desk looks like. I take the red mechanical keyboard to work with me because it’s so good.

3. All time favourite food?

It used to be steak and chips, but since going vegan, I’ve gone for Mousakka Bowls, it’s just so tasty. ?

4. Favourite author?

I don’t read a lot a lot of fictional books and I’ve gotten into reading a lot of self-help books. Tim Ferriss has been great, as well as Dale Carnegie and Anthony Robbins are a few of my faves.

5. What do you think of open relationships?

If that’s what someone wants, and it works, then why not? However, I wouldn’t personally go for something like this, and believe I have found my “one”. We are married (3 years), and I wouldn’t change a thing.

6. What is your favourite video game?

I play so many games. However, my all-time favourite would be the Batman Arkham series. Mainly the first two, but Knight is pretty good. BoTW is also a great game, and it blew my mind. I’m also always jumping onto Destiny 2 whenever there are new updates.

7. Guilty pleasure treat?

Doughnuts, uuuuugggghhh I love doughnuts. I can literally eat a whole pack in one sitting.

8. Favourite movie?

Batman the Dark Knight trilogy (of course). Also, I have to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and Die Hard during the Christmas period.

9. Favourite book?

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss has so many great golden nuggets. The Chimp Paradox because it helped me understand my mind.

10. Twitter or Instagram?

Twitter, because I’ve made so many great connections. Instagram is still alien to me. I keep going back to it and retrying but quickly get bored.

11. Desktop or laptop?

Desktop, there’s no competition in my mind. Yes, a laptop is portable, but a desktop has MORE POWER!

12. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Believe in yourself.

13. What project are you working on right now?

Moving my blog from VueJS to WordPress (I’m back).

14. Favourite colour?

Green

15. Did you get good grades at school?

Ahahahaha I did not. Most were Ds and Es with one C in ICT. However, I believe I’ve come so far in life, and the grades haven’t had too much of an impact on my life.

16. Dream job?

To get paid and not have to work.

If I do have to work, then I would love to be able to write, film and make websites that are all my own projects, while being funded for them. Anything that can help others, and the environment.

17. Played any sports?

Yes, and I have found so much love for CrossFit. I honestly had no idea what it was until I saw people flipping some tyres, and thinking… “I want to do what they’re doing”. I’m still yet to flip a tyre though.

18. Do you have a degree?

I do not

19. Nationality?

British.

20. What is your favourite kind of blog post to do?

I do like to write very personal and relatable blog posts.

21. What do you like to collect?

Books and Games

22. Describe yourself in three words

Chilled, anxious, and I have so much love to give.

23. If you were a rapper what would your rapper name be?

Screw Loose

24. Who was the last person you DMed?

A friend named Jason, and how he managed to finally get himself a Series X.

25. What’s on the top of your wish list right now?

To save up for a deposit and get my wife and I our first home.

26. Hogwarts house?

If I remember correctly, then I think I am HufflePuff.

27. How many tattoos do you have?

Just one, and it’s a small tattoo on my shoulder. I got it done on third visit to Download Festival. It’s the Download Dog, and it didn’t hurt. Also, I’m very surprised it didn’t get infected as I got it done on the first day.

28. What are you most grateful for this year?

Still being in work when so many people are losing their jobs right now.

29. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?

Ordering food from Tam’s kitchen. Honestly, this month has been very stressful. Especially at work, so I’m really grateful for the little things this month.

30. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?

Having some “me” time with my wife.

31. What’s the best thing ever?

Cuddles with my cat, listening to music and watching endless amounts of TV with my wife.

32. Favourite season?

Summer for swimming weather. Autumn because of the colourful trees and perfect temperatures.

33. Favourite holiday?

What are holidays?

34. Which fictional character do you relate to most?

I want to say Bruce Wayne, but that wouldn’t be 100% true. It would probably be Columbus from ZombieLand. Full of anxiety, but manages find ways to keep surviving.

35. Do you like surprises?

I absolutely love surprises!

36. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had?

My wife surprised me on my birthday with a tandem skydive, and it was honestly the best thing I have ever done. She’s going to have a hard time to beat that to be honest.

37. What’s a surprise that made you cry?

When my mum bought me a goldfish. I was fairly young, and I think my other fish passed away so it was a great surprise.

38. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever given anyone?

I’m not the best at giving surprises, but I remember Valentine’s Day with my wife. This was before we were married, and I hid lots of bits in random places. We then took a trip to the beach with a picnic basket, and sat watching the sunset with some champagne, food and great company.

39. Do you like muffins?

Who doesn’t like muffins?!? They’re amazing, and there’s so many varieties, it would be hard to not like them.

40. Do you cook often?

Almost daily, and on the days I don’t we either microwave some frozen food I’ve cooked beforehand, or grab a takeaway from our favourite vegan restaurants.

41. What’s your favourite dessert?

Apple pie, apple crumble, or apple strudel. Can you tell I like apples?

42. Is there a dessert you don’t like?

I don’t think there is if I’m honest. I am a huge foody.

43. Cake or pie?

Pie, definitely pie.

44. What’s your least favourite food?

Before I went vegan, it would be fish and anything proper fishy. I didn’t mind cod or scampi, but salmon or bass was disgusting. Vegan wise, I don’t think I have a least favourite food, it’s all been amazing so far.

45. What’s your favourite condiment?

Barbecue or tomato sauce.

46. It’s 4am on a Saturday night, what would you eat?

Peanut butter and jam on toast.

47. If you could teach a college class what would it be called?

Hmm… it would be something about self-acceptance and kindness / inclusivity towards ourselves and others.

48. Best animated film?

Up and Lion King (the original) are my faves.

49. What has a guy/girl done or said to impress you?

Been honest with me and consistently being there through the hard times as well as the great times.

50. Best thing to do on a first date?

Anything, I’m very easily pleased.

51. Worst thing to do on a first date?

Being rude and hurtful, or trying to show off.

52. What’s the funniest pick up line a guy could use on a girl?

Hello, do you come here often?

53. Best comic book character?

Batman

54. What are three things that are always in your purse?

Keys, wallet and phone.

55. Favourite drink?

Coffee

56. If you could play a historical character who would it be?

Ragnar Lothbrock

57. Kittens or puppies?

Kittens. I have 3 cats which used to be 5, and I love every single one of them.

58. Favourite sushi roll?

Veggie

59. What kind of lipstick do you use?

Black

60. What kind of foundation do you use?

I do not

61. Blow dry or air dry?

Air dry as it’s more natural, and doesn’t damage your hair.

62. Who is your fashion icon?

I don’t do fashion.

63. Favourite Disney character?

If Disney now own the movie rights to Marvel, can I include a Marvel character? Then I would pick Captain America. Otherwise, I would pick Woody from Toy Story.

64. What are you doing tomorrow?

Working.

65. Movie you laughed the hardest through?

Most recently, I would say Holidate, that was a pretty funny movie.

66. Movie that made you cry?

Our Planet by David Attenborough. Seeing the animals being killed because of deforestation and our destructive behaviour really hit me. I really hope we can turn things around.

67. If you could sing a duet with someone who would it be?

My best buddy Joshua Doidge.

68. If your life was a song what would the title be?

Here’s to us by Halestorm.

69. What’s your favourite animal?

Cheetahs, I absolutely love them and would love to rescue them as my job. Also, red pandas are super cute.

70. Favourite illustrator?

I’ve never really thought about this to be honest.

71. Person you want to have coffee with?

Phil Sturgeon or Eric L Barnes would be two people I’d love to have a coffee with. I’ve known these guys on the internet for years, but never met them which is a shame.

72. What country do you wish to visit?

Sweden and Finland would be two I’d love to visit. Mostly because of the metal music scene there.

73. Best way to decompress?

Playing computer games, and binge watching TV with my wife.

Enjoy reading this blog? Please consider subscribing using the form below.

Categories
General

Dear readers, it’s been a while

Advertisements

Hello to anyone that visits my blog post, whether it’s your first time or your 100th. You all mean the so much to me, and I appreciate you taking the time to read any of my posts.

What’s happened in the last 5 months?

A lot has happened since my last blog post since it was posted 5 months ago.

We’ve had COVID-19 which is still in progress. We’ve had the black lives matter movement which I’m really in support of. And a lot of personal things have happened too.

What are my personal changes?

It’s now been over a year since I started contracting and my contract with the University of Exeter has been extended multiple times. This has given me a lot of confidence within myself and my coding has improved because of this.

My goal for creating 12 YouTube videos has unfortunately fallen behind as I haven’t created a single video this year. One a month should have been doable, but I’ve had so much on my mind that it’s taken a backseat.

I’ve cleared my £7k of credit card debt and I’m now working on clearing my wife’s £8k. Technically it’s both our debt, it’s just on her cards rather than mine because we’ve been switching between our cards to get 0% balances and now we don’t have an interest rate, we can focus without worry. Our overall debt at the beginning of this year was around £17k so we’ve more than halved it which is a great feeling.

COVID-19 has been a blessing for me and I know this isn’t the case for everyone. Working from home has been going really well and I’m saving a lot on petrol. I hope that when this eases, I’ll be able to work from home on a permanent basis. However, I’m well aware that others are struggling right now, the government has failed us and haven’t been supporting those that need it most which is a huge shame.

What are my thoughts on the rest of the world?

All key workers are struggling mentally and they will need a huge break if and when it’s possible for them. The campaigns to raise money for them has been tremendous and really restored some faith in humanity. However, a lot more needs to be done in order to support them further and the government should be held responsible for making this happen.

Now for the black lives matter campaign, most protests started out peaceful which has been fantastic to hear. That is until the police stepped in and brutally pushed protestors back, sprayed them in the face for no reason and even shot people with rubber bullets. There are times where it seemed necessary, but 99% of the time, it was complete police brutality.

I believe this is what also led to most riots, if we didn’t have this brutality, most people wouldn’t have been pushed to riot. Donald Trump has been a tragic president who still believes he’s some sort of God. He constantly spews the same rhetoric and it’s quite frankly getting boring. I wish he would just step down, but we know this won’t happen, so America needs to vote for change.

Similar things are happening in the UK where Boris is this bumbling idiot that keeps flip-flopping on his plans and his words. He’s a racist which we desperately need to vote out and we need to campaign for change.

Let’s hope that things can change and that we can end 2020 better than when we started. We’re all desperate to see our families and get back to some sort of normality. I believe that change for the better is happening. However, it’s still too slow and we need to speed things up and add pressure where we can.

Closing thoughts

If you enjoyed reading this, please feel free to follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page. I hope to speak to you again soon.

Categories
General

Changing up how I share with my community

Advertisements

Having a central place to communicate with my audience

Recently, I started a newsletter (which you can sign up to here). And I didn’t know what to do with it. So I wrote and posted to my blog once a week and released it on a Friday. I would then copy all of the content and post it straight to my newsletter ready for a 12:30 pm (GMT) schedule.

My recent thoughts have been, I would like to ramp up my blog posts and post more frequently. However, I don’t want to post all of my blog posts to my subscribers as this would be annoying. Instead, I will post more frequently to my blog post, and write summaries for each update in my weekly newsletter. Kinda like “This is what I have been up to in the past week”.

It will also have snippets of other things that I find interesting. Which could be a handful of tweets, video content from other creators, drawings and many other things. Hopefully, this will help bring in more people into the spotlight and help to cultivate my audience.


Having many interests can be a blessing and a curse.

I have many hobbies, interests, and things going on in my life, and I would hate to just focus on one thing. If I can somehow find a way to showcase all of these things and box them up into my weekly newsletter, then it would make me and hopefully my audience much happier.

Take, for instance, yesterday; I found out DC are releasing a ton of new movies and a couple of games for next year which I’m super excited about for next year. Also, I think it would be cool if I could share that excitement with my readers, but also have it bundled in with other bits just in case there are some aren’t so bothered.

I love what I do in the web development space, but I’m also a huge movie and gaming nerd. I love music and am quite open to any genre of music, from pop to classic, rock to dubstep. I’m very open to listening to new music. I like to workout and do CrossFit in the mornings, and I know not everyone is into that. However, if I could make it so it can catch someone who might be interested. And those not interested can find something else, then I think I’m onto a winner.

I believe life is one big experiment, and the fact I have a handful of subscribers right now means there is more room for experimentation and making mistakes. As Gary Vaynerchuck would say, you have to eat dirt until you get it right, and that’s what I’m going to do.


Conclusion

I hope you’re ready to join me on this new journey, and you can subscribe to my newsletter here. Which will allow you to like and comment on any of my previous newsletters. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll have more people communicating with each newsletter. To help control the future of what you would like to read.

Categories
General

Website migrated from VuePress to Gridsome posting from Forestry

Advertisements

Yesterday, I published my new website which has been created with Gridsome. I had to reformat my blog posts and add tags to each of them. I have 156 posts, so this was not an easy task, to say the least.

Now I’m writing my first blog post using Forestry, and with any luck, it will post to my repository and deploy to my site with no issues. That’s if I’ve set up the formatting correctly and everything else that comes with it.

I now have a newsletter which you can subscribe to using the form at the bottom of this post. Signing up is easy and it will make sure you never miss an update. However, if you’re more of an RSS person, then I have that too.

There are a few more things I would like to add to my website such as comments that aren’t by Disqus, social card metadata and an auto-generated sitemap. I should probably create a roadmap on my GH repository for you to keep an eye on.

That’s pretty much it for this one, and if you like the new update please let me know on my Twitter page.

Join the discussion here.

Categories
General

2020 – New Year – New Decade – New Goals

Advertisements

Looking back at 2019

Last year has been yet another big rollercoaster. I wanted to stay working at Lightfoot for another year, but it didn’t quite turn out as well as I had hoped. I started my own business to become a contractor, and my wife is still using pet-sitting as a side hustle.

Lightfoot, unfortunately, had money issues after missing out on sales targets. This left them with the horrible misfortune of letting employees go. I was one of them, but I managed to bounce back almost straight away. I started my own limited company and began contracting with the University of Exeter.

It’s been a scary, but eye-opening jump and I’m glad to be finally giving it a go after all my indecision over the years. I seem to be very much in profit and able to pay my taxes which is definitely a great step in the right direction.

My goals from last year

There were two goals I managed to meet last year and that was Be happier and have 0 panic attacks and Post more on my blog. Despite being made redundant last year, I managed to stay calm and not panic about my impending job loss. I did, however, have a feeling it was going to happen, and I think this is what helped me overcome any anxieties I may have had.

In January of last year, I decided to post every day for the month. I ended up surpassing this and posted for a good 3 – 4 months before slowing down. If I posted just every day in January, then I would have beaten my goal to post more. I won’t be doing the same again this year, but I will try to post as much as I can.

Here’s my list from last year…

  • Clear my £10k credit card debt
  • Go abroad for the first time ever
  • Raise more money for cancer and mental health
  • Stop being last in Crossfit competitions
  • Be happier and have 0 panic attacks
  • Help create an incredible business for my wife
  • Save for a house
  • Post more on my blog

Something unexpected happened

Partway through January, I decided I wanted to try and go vegan for economical reasons. I told my wife and she said she didn’t want to do it which was fine with me. After creating a few vegan meals and sharing some of them with her, she decided that it wasn’t all that bad and she wanted to join me on this journey.

We now cook vegan-based meals and we only ever eat meat/dairy if we go to a place that doesn’t offer any alternatives. I would like to be 100% vegan by the end of this year and that means cutting out all restaurants that don’t offer vegan alternatives.

Goals for this year

This year, I’ve chosen to have more actionable goals by putting a number on everything I do. That way I’ll know when I have achieved and even surpassed my goal. Last year, I wanted to pay off my £10k debt and due to things breaking and losing my job, I didn’t manage to get close. I now have just less than £7k left to clear which down by a decent 30%. I have also set aside £1,000 as an emergency fund in case anything breaks or I need something for work. This way, I won’t be dipping back into my credit cards.

  • Clear £7k debt
  • Save at least £1,000 for a house
  • Gain 100 subs on YouTube
  • Have at least 1 “date night” a month
  • Create at least 12 videos for my YouTube channels
  • Finish my course on Laravel
Categories
General

A Netlify Test

Advertisements

Last week I signed into my WordPress blog and found I had errors. These errors seemed to have occurred through my Neve theme which may have been caused by an upgrade somewhere along the lines. I tried to trace the errors back through my daily backups, but it seemed no matter what I did, I still had errors.

Because of this, and because it’s seemingly not my fault, I decided to move away from WordPress. I’m now using VuePress which is based on VueJS and generates markdown files into the correct HTML format. It’s not initially meant for blogging, which meant I had to tweak it a little, but I’m liking the change.

I hooked VuePress up to NetlifyCMS which gives me a nice editor. It will then create new branches on GitHub whenever I save an article, and once I hit publish, it will merge the PR into my master branch.

This is powerful and it means there will be less errors because of how static it is. I can update the packages myself and rollback to any previous changes if need be. Netlify also allows you to preview any branches which can be very powerful, especially if you made some huge changes and you’re not sure if they’ll deploy the way you’d like.

You can also A/B test your branches and see what UI changes work best for you. It’s an incredibly powerful system and I highly recommend it to anyone who thinking going to headless or static sites.

Categories
General

This month has been weird for me…

Advertisements

This month has been so weird for me. I walked into my workplace on the first of May to find out I’m being made redundant. Alongside a few colleagues due to targets not being hit. It didn’t shock me, and I wasn’t upset by this. I understood the company was hitting a rocky patch. However, I didn’t expect this to happen, especially at the time it did.

In fact, the funny thing is… I was actually looking for a new job a few weeks prior because I felt it was time to move on.

Although the situation was rubbish, the timing couldn’t have gone any better. During the meeting, I was told I’d be required to go home and not come back until the next meeting. I just picked up my things and left for home.

Once home. I started calling all my recruitment agents and letting them know my situation has changed, and need to find something asap.

That evening, I had a phone interview with the University of Exeter which went really well. So well, in fact, they offered me a job the next day.

Talk about moving fast…

I decided to accept the position which was, in fact, a contract web development position. With an initial 3-month contract with the possibility to be extended to 6 months. My agent said “Great, now you’ll just need to set up an LTD company”.

Wait. What?

I had absolutely no idea how to set up an LTD company, but I’ve always been tempted by contracting positions. I asked some friends, spoke to an accountant company who advised the direction through using an Umbrella Company and setting up my own company.

If I set up my own company, my take-home money is more. If I skip this company all together I would take a big risk, but have an even higher take-home. Call me greedy, but I decided to go alone. Of course, I’m not completely alone, I have connections, friends and family who have their own businesses and companies.

I can get their advice whenever I needed.Within a day, I managed to set up my company “Michael Brooks Developments LTD” and confirm with my agent that I would like to move forward. At first, my wife wasn’t happy with this idea, she felt like we would get ourselves into more shit and pay more taxes. However, we found out this wasn’t the case and we’ll actually be better off as long as I don’t fuck it up.

I’ve got business insurance, a laptop with needed dongles and software all sorted. PAYE and my company name and number are all done. I was ready to rock my new contract position.

Saying farewell

A week later, I went back to my old workplace to discuss what happens next. They could offer me some positions and give me redundancy pay. I notified them that I won’t be accepting any roles and I will be moving into contracting. They congratulated me and advised I hand in my notice.

This way, I would get 1-month pay and have my remaining redundancy pay which is an even bigger win. They let me go upstairs and say goodbye to all my colleagues. I was sad to say goodbye, but it felt right. There were no hardships, I got on with everyone there and I knew it was a business decision that they wouldn’t have taken lightly.

What’s happening now?

I’m now into my third week with the University of Exeter and things are going great. My work so far has been highly praised and we’re currently on target for project completion. My only concerns are getting paid and paying taxes at the correct times, but I’m sure my accountant will help me work all that out when the time comes.