The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

Leaving the BBC and going freelance

– July 28th, 2006 –

Emma and I have just returned from a celebratory meal from our favourite little place in Cowbridge, which is about ten minutes drive from our house. The reason? Well, you may have guessed from the title of the post, but this morning I handed in my resignation from the BBC. The 25th August will be my last day. On returning from Portugal, the 7th of September will be my first day trading as Mark Boulton Design LLP.

Excited? I can barely contain myself.

I started working for the BBC nearly four years ago. On the whole, I’ve enjoyed my time there. Coming from an agency background, working client-side took a lot of adjusting, but on the whole, it’s been incredibly rewarding. I’ve grown both professionally and personally but over the past couple of years it’s become clear BBC New Media and I are on a different career paths and it’s time to take advantage of the opportunities that are presenting themselves to me on an almost daily basis. I can’t do that and continue to be a BBC employee.

Over the past eighteen months, I’ve been doing projects on the side (some pretty big projects as well as this site), and it’s been incredibly difficult to juggle that commitment and a full-time job. I’ve been doing 50-60 hour weeks for over twelve months now and something’s got to give.

What’s in a name?

As I mentioned, from the 7th of September I’ll be trading as Mark Boulton Design LLP (the LLP stands for Limited Liability Partnership, which basically means the company will be a legal entity and all that that entails). I pondered long and hard about what to call my new business. Initially I’ll be freelancing, but the plan is to grow to the workload (hopefully!). Anyway, after talking to friends, family and colleagues, it became clear that I was the brand. Why associate myself with another brand and try and build that when I already have a profile of sorts on which to build rather than starting afresh.

The Plan

Well, I’ve decorated the spare room! This is now my office, complete with apple-green wall, proper furniture and, yes, new carpet. Now I know this doesn’t make a good business, but I’m starting as I mean to go on. Trying to separate work from home. The hope, like I said, is to move into a small studio in the near future to really get that separation. Yes, I’m scared to death. I think it’s natural, but also a good thing. I’m sure it will make me work hard to make this a success.

Need a freelancer?

Do you work for an agency who needs an experienced freelance designer? Are you a business who needs a brand or website designing, or a company who wants to work on a project together? If so, then I’d love to hear from you.

A blow by blow account

Now everything is out in the open, I’m planning on documenting the journey. Not just for my benefit, but maybe for those who, like me, are about to take the leap.

Filed in: business, personal.

Further reading