Doing your first tax return can be like a squishy bunny.
It’s cute, it’s cuddly, it looks googly eyes at you and loves you. Ok, ok, maybe it’s not that cute.
But does your first tax return need to be the opposite? A dark, broody, nasty ‘thing’, waiting under your bed to crawl up the duvet and GET you in the middle of the night…
What is really going on here is fear of the unknown.
If you missed Part 1, click here to catch up.
Meet First-Time-Tax-Returner Natalia
I met Natalia at a networking event and have been a big admirer of her style and calm get-things-done personality ever since.
It’s one thing me talking about how it’s really ok, honest guv, but it would be much better if you heard Natalia’s experience of doing her first tax return, wouldn’t it?
At your service, here she is.
Hi Natalia, could you tell me a bit about yourself and why you started freelancing?
Of course! I’m an independent brand and PR consultant for really small businesses. I help you increase your status so you can charge more and live your dream lifestyle.
I have a corporate background spending 10 years in corporate communications and PR in Brussels and London working for big agencies and boutique consultancies. I worked with a variety of clients from high net worth individuals [Rosie: that will be us in a few years time, then], NGOs, big corporate clients and design companies.
In March I left my job to become a freelance consultant and coach for the self-employed. I love the freedom my new business gives me and the community of people I get to be part of.
Your job sounds like what most people aspire to. Why did you decide to leave?
Working in communications consulting was stressful because the environment was very fast paced. I felt burnt out and uninspired by not being able to choose clients and I began to look for ideas.
I was looking for something purposeful that would give me satisfaction from work that the corporate world could no longer offer me. I wanted to have the freedom to be in charge of my time and to choose who I work with.
That’s when I found myself being drawn to the entrepreneurial community. I started blogging while working and that helped to make connections and get the courage to take the next step to hand in my notice.
I love how you decided how you wanted your dream life to be and planned from there.
What stopped you leaving the corporate world earlier?
I wanted to build my life around the lifestyle I desired, not to re-create a job for myself without a fixed salary.
What stopped me leaving earlier was fear that I would not be able to sustain the same amount of income and it would be too financially complicated.
I didn’t know what I could offer, to whom and how much I could charge for it. The lack of clarity undermined my confidence.
Yes, fear of money management and what to do about tax is familiar to a lot of people wanting to escape a job and the corporate cage.
What action did you take to bridge the gap?
The number one factor that helped to shift my mindset and gain the courage to leave was to surround myself with people who have done it, and who were making money doing what they loved and believed in while travelling and enjoying life.
Getting to know these women through personal contacts and networking helped me to believe that it was possible for me too.
Another very important action I took was to give myself the support I needed.
I believe we are not meant to do these big leaps alone. Receiving high level support not only helps gain clarity how to create your own business offer and attract clients but it also raises your self-esteem and self-worth because by investing in yourself, you are recognising your own value. I worked with a career transformation coach who helped me to gain the clarity I required.
Working with you Rosie was also very helpful in giving me confidence to deal with tax and finance on my own, it was very empowering. [Rosie: Thank you 🙂 I’m delighted my support made such a difference)
When it was time for your first tax return, what felt most challenging?
The most challenging aspect doing my first tax return was making sure everything was correct.
There was this fear inside of me that I would make a mistake by putting a wrong number in or confusing categories, even though I had all the instructions. I kept going over and over my return many times before I had the courage to press send.
How did you get past your fear of making a mistake?
I got support.
I talked to women in my community who had done it before and knew what it felt like. You reassured me about the areas I felt less confident with – capital items, interest.
Receiving my tax refund made this experience worthwhile and I am very glad I chose to complete my return well ahead of the deadline.
How do you feel now about your money management and tax return?
I feel a lot more confident and calm about my money management and tax return.
Having done it once, I know what to expect. I have chosen, with your help, a system of keeping my financial records up to date that works for me and I feel ready and confident for my second year in business.
If you’d like to connect with Natalia, have a look at her blog.
It’s perfect for those grey days when you need inspiration as Natalia has lived her dream lifestyle from the day she quit her job (lots of travel, shoes and clothes with mindfulness, self-care and kick ass action tips).
Natalia is the expert to work with when you need support to achieve higher status enabling you to charge more and live your dream lifestyle. She’s based in London and works worldwide.
You can read Doing Your Tax Return – Part 1 here.