Newsletter Genie was… well, somebody else’s problem. (I heard quite a lot about that problem, all of it from the man to whom I had described, in detail, exactly what would happen if I left. He appeared to be surprised that I’d been right.)
What to do next was my problem.
I still had most of my clients (though my partner had managed to ensure the loss of our best-paying one). I still had all of my freelancers. I didn’t have the website – but I did have the system I’d cobbled together from nothing after the Drupal hack, and with a little (or, more probably, a lot) more work it would do the job.
I didn’t – at first – have an email distribution system, either: the old one was dead. But a replacement was already being written, and I knew it would be up and running fairly soon. (The first proper run threw up a couple of entertaining bugs – my copy email arrived addressed to ‘Dear Susan’ – but they were quickly sorted. And the client in the case thanked me when I ‘fessed up, and worked out a suitably entertaining way of dealing with the issue…)
So that was when Mill House Media was born.
I did the work – with huge amounts of help from some very talented people. And as a result I was able to keep my freelance work going for another eight years. (Just…)
It was irritating to go through the branding exercise all over again, but thanks to Tim Maulden at Virtue Design it was also relatively painless. I’d chosen the name because we’d been living in Old Mill House since 1991, and I’d always felt the name – from a business point of view – added genuine value to the property. Tim took that as his inspiration and duly produced an ‘MHM’ logo inspired by the somewhat unusual design of the house.
Cutting a (very) long story short, the end was sad but almost inevitable. We had a good innings, but made a significant loss during the pandemic. (That was countered, I’m happy to say, by a profit the following year.) Then my diagnosis of terminal cancer effectively put a full stop on my working life in August 2022. I’m retaining some aspects of the business to assist the work I do for local groups and charities, but my agenda now is to gradually close down all my operations (including the web hosting I do on the side) so no one is inconvenienced if the worst happens to me.
I really can’t complain. I’ve run a freelance business for 40 years, and – frankly – I’ve had a ball. I’ve met so many fascinating people, visited so many fascinating places, and told so many fascinating stories over the years – and I can’t imagine I’d have had the same variety of work (and play) in any other way.
So – if you’re reading this and you’ve worked with me – or been one of my clients – THANK YOU. It’s been amazing. And you can keep up with what I’m doing now on my new website at www.battlingbowelcancer.org