Saying goodbye to the freelance life

Have you considered ending your freelance life and returning to be an employee? It can appear a hard decision, but should it be?  Freelancing isn’t for everyone; your circumstances can change, and new challenges can appear.

I have freelanced for over 7 years. Most of the time I have combined freelance research and consultancy work with other paid, often part time employment and so would describe myself as a true multi-hyphen; freelance consultant – part time lecturer –  PhD researcher.

If you don’t know what that is, I recommend reading Emma Gannon’s ‘The Multi-Hyphen Method’

Whilst it can take some juggling, the multi-hyphen life suited me and allowed me to have more flexibility to be at home when the kids were little. It also enabled me to dip in and out of different areas of work that I love.

But more recently I started to find the juggle overwhelming.

I am bad at saying no to work and commitments and so found myself with too much work and not enough time to complete that and maintain a happy home life. 

Realising something had to change, I booked in a few sessions with a business coach who was recommended to me. I don’t think I am a very easy person to coach but I was surprised at how useful the sessions were at helping me to reflect and prioritise what I wanted from work. Well I will rephrase that – what I wanted from life.

It became clear that the things that I value most are my family, holidays, keeping fit and healthy. Money and career are lower down the list of priorities and so work in whatever form I choose to undertake it needs to fit in with the more important stuff. But increasingly (and I am sure this will sound familiar) I was finding work overtook those family times. Missing the harvest assembly because I needed to be at a client meeting. Taking reports away on holiday to  work on. Maintaining social media accounts on the increasingly rarer date nights.

I needed to establish some clearer work life boundaries and juggling a multi-hyphen career alongside busy family life was losing its appeal.

So, with the help of the coach, I re-evaluated and took the decision to apply for (and I am pleased to say be offered) a full-time lectureship post in a great local university. It is early days but for me, this time in my life, this feels the right move to make.  I take with me to my post so many skills from freelancing and a multi-hyphen career and who knows I may return again to more freelancing again in the future.

What have I lost?

Some of the flexibility: I am lucky in that it’s not a rigid 9-5 Monday to Friday kind of job but I am adjusting to full time hours for one employer.

Some of the excitement: who doesn’t love the buzz of putting together a great proposal, being successful and being awarded the work?

Less autonomy – I am now a part of a huge organisation and with that come more bureaucracy.

What have I gained?

  • Part of a team – on the flip side, I now have colleagues! Freelancing can be isolating so being part of something bigger feels good.
  • Clearer boundary between work and home – and a big part of that is having an office to go to that isn’t the room next to my bedroom!
  • Regular income – and there’s definitely something to be said for that

So, if freelancing doesn’t feel like it is working for you, re-evaluate what are your goals, values and circumstances?  Freelancing certainly isn’t for everyone and it doesn’t have to be your final career move.

Freelance learnings from September

Can you remember your summer holiday or has that relaxed, sunny feeling faded?  I know, it doesn’t feel long since we were talking about getting back into the working routine post the summer and yet the actual summer feels so long ago!

How to press the re-start button

Hopefully by now you are all back into your usual work routines.  It can take some doing after taking time off or having the children around which often means operating on a reduced workload which all affect your usual routine.  It’s all about pressing that re-start button and 1 -refreshing your goals, 2- finding your motivators, 3 – reconnecting with clients and 4 – re-establishing a routine.  It’s not just after summer though when we can find ourselves lacking focus and motivation or just feeling that it’s hard to work and we also need to press the re-start.  So remember,  implement the four-step process and before long you will be back on it.

 Rewarding yourself

Like a new school term, many of us have started new contracts this last month.  It’s an exciting time as well as busy.  Ensuring all the systems are in place so that your work with your client commences in the most positive way and allows you to achieve the client brief within timescales.  

Securing a new contract for me meant a little reward.  Amongst all the busyness don’t lose sight of your achievements.  A coach once encouraged me to treat myself to a reward periodically, recognising my efforts.  At first it felt odd buying myself something but soon I saw the value of rewarding myself and how this supports motivation as well as building positivity towards what you are doing and have achieved.  After all freelancers aren’t in a working world of bonuses and appraisals so it is even more important to take personal responsibility for your own rewards.

Working together

Being your own boss, working under your own direction, can be a key benefit of freelancing.  However, over the years I have also found so much benefit from coming together with other freelancers to deliver contracts.

I have just started a contract with three other freelancers.  I love this as much as my solo work.  I get the opportunity to work on a larger contract and be exposed to different work that normally as a sole trader I wouldn’t have the skills or capacity to deliver.  The co-worker support is also great and I learn so much from the skills and experience of my freelancer colleagues.  If your work allows, explore opportunities for joint delivery with other freelancers, it is a great way to learn and develop your freelance offer.

What is October going to bring?  For Freelance Fundamentals we have lots of great plans to increase our reach, share skills and knowledge, and provide greater support to the freelancing community.  Watch out this month for some guest blogs from some other great freelancers who have kindly agreed to share their skills and knowledge with you.

Back to School

Getting back in the flow

Is it just me or despite completing my school years some twenty plus years ago, those habits of living by the school year still runs deep?  That feeling of the summer fading like the tan and September being a new start. The need for new goals and, of course, new stationary!  What also comes with that though is finding refreshed motivation to work. Although I have kept work ticking over during the summer, going on holiday and having children around the house has meant that my focus and output hasn’t been at its usual level. So how can we energise that motivation and focus?

I usually try and avoid client work on the first day back.  However, an urgent piece of work that landed in my inbox less than 24 hours after stepping off the plane meant that I had to quickly get back out of holiday mode and park any jet lag for a few days. However, once it was out of the way I meandered around my work without any strong focus so now with September, and a new school term, here are my tips I use to re-gain some much needed focus.

Tidy space, tidy mind

First my workspace, email, files all have a bit of a tidy up.  It could feel a bit like colouring in your school timetable (remember those days?!) when you should be getting on with real work but honestly a clear workspace is so good for the mind.  Starting afresh knowing where everything is means you’re less likely to get distracted at your busy periods by trying to find things.

Review those goals and pick up some quick wins

You may have some goals that you set yourself earlier in the year.  Revisit them.  Are they still fit for purpose? What actions do you need to put in place to deliver them?  Add the actions to a planning list.

If you haven’t goals, what are your aspirations for the next month, three months, six months, year?  They can be a mixture of simple as well as larger goals. I often find that during the time away from work, perhaps after reading a book or having time to reflect, that I come back buzzing with new ideas about how I want to develop and change my world!  Now is a good time while they are fresh and before everyday routines start consuming your mind to jot these down so that they aren’t lost.  Even if they aren’t immediate goals its good to keep them somewhere for revisiting at a later stage,

Now work through the actions that you need to undertake to make the goals a reality.  Little, achievable steps with some realistic timescales.

Place your goals and actions in a place where they will motivate you and you will revisit them.  You can even go to town on them using all that new term stationary!!

From the goals take just a couple of actions that you will commit to delivering this week.  This will be the start of your ‘to do’ list and give you some focus for this week.

Review your contracts

Tick off and add to your work list.  Be realistic about what you will achieve this week and add these to your goals/actions for the week.  There is nothing wrong with easing yourself back in gently and focusing on the easy actions first.  There is something very motivating about achieving actions and ticking them off your list even if they are small. A diminishing list with lots of completion ticks is highly motivating to keep going with the more difficult actions.

Open the in-box when you are ready

Most of us keep a check on the email even when we aren’t officially working so I suspect most of you will be like me and we can feel slightly smug that it won’t be the challenge of returning to an inbox of hundreds of emails that our non-freelance working friends have after they return from leave. However, I do still tend to put an out-of-office on and so will choose a time when I feel ready to start filtering through the messages and start to re-connect with clients.  I usually send a ‘Hey, I’m back’ email to clients and use it as a way to reach out to some of my other contacts who I haven’t been in touch for a while.  Never miss a marketing opportunity!

Pin up those photos

Finally, change that screen saver, put up those holiday pictures.  Nothing wrong with reminiscing and refocusing the mind when you look at a couple of great holiday pictures to remember the great time you had and give some motivation to work towards the next one. 

Back to your routine

Good luck with the new term, we all know that once you find your routine you will be fine.  Once you’ve done the easing back in you need to start back to the daily routine that works for you – time blocking, exercise, visiting a co-working space, listening to podcasts, etc.  and before you know it will be half term! 

Saying Yes

There has been quite a bit of chat recently about saying no to work. Having a set of principles in place which define whether you take on a piece of work – the big questions include:

  • Will it be profitable?
  • Will you enjoy it?
  • Does it play to your skills?
  • Do you have the capacity to deliver?
  • Will you be able to work with the client?

These are all the considerations that I am sure influence whether you decide to take accept a contract. Then can come the task of having the confidence to say no!  But what about sometimes saying yes and accepting a contract, despite it not meeting your criteria and having reservations?!

Over my years of consultancy I have learnt the value of sometimes saying YES to work despite all of the above including feeling massively out of my comfort zone, perhaps feeling I haven’t got the necessary skills, knowing that as a result it may take me more time than I have available and that capacity will be tight. When no is the loudest voice in my head why did I say yes, and what were the benefits of this?

I am guilty that there have been times when I have accepted work just because I didn’t want to say no, but more often than not I have said yes because I was interested in the work despite knowing it may not my skill area or because it provided a new opportunity to work with a new client.  It’s not an easy or safe path though, but sometimes testing new roads and taking risks is worth the fear!

Never regretted saying yes to contracts, there are always positive takeaways

Sometimes saying yes can be harder than saying no to work! You have all these doubts about your ability and confidence to deliver the work or frightened by the risks that things could go wrong but saying yes despite all these doubts and lack of confidence can be the absolute right thing to do for your business and your skill set.  To date I have never regretted saying yes as there are always some positives that I can take away from the contract, no matter how hard it may have been!

Opportunity to grow skills and work portfolio

Without saying ‘yes’ to work at those times I should have said ‘no’ I wouldn’t have grown my skills and in turn my portfolio of work.  My offer has developed and diversified over the years partly due to saying yes.  Don’t get me wrong it is never easy to say yes when there are alarms bells mostly around confidence to be able deliver, but by saying ‘yes’ I have developed my skills and been able to work across a wider area of work. Imposter syndrome can certainly raise itself and a level of anxiety that can be uncomfortable but at the end of the contract there is so much satisfaction and learning that outweighs this. You may even find that you have a skill or interest in an area of work previously unknown. You will also now be able to access a new client base.

Don’t let imposter syndrome stop you

So next time reflect before saying no when you think a contract might be too hard or that you haven’t the skills don’t immediately jump to say no and pass the work on.  You can do this and it is an opportunity for you to develop your skills and client base after all …..

  • The client has confidence in you to deliver the work so you need to have the confidence in yourself. 
  • Recognise the transferable skills that you bring and that can be used.
  • Do your research. Invest in the time to develop your knowledge and skills to do the job required
  • Acknowledge the risks and look at how you might be about to plan and mitigate them
  • You may have fears. It may be hard and be out of your comfort zone but so was starting work as a freelancer and you managed that so there is no reason why you cannot continue to develop.
  • Go on, give it a go, your network of freelancers will support you!


Stress Awareness: Be Kind to Yourself

Running your own business is stressful there’s no getting away from that; finding clients, securing work, juggling multiple projects, trying to get paid on time. Add to that you’re often doing this on your own and frequently in and around school hours, I am getting stressed just writing about it! But keeping our stress levels in check is key to being happy and productive.

We’ve asked for your advice on this and have read around the topic and there’s no shortage of guidance out there. 

A common theme is structure. One of the bonuses of being freelance is you don’t have your working life structured by the traditions of being in the office from 9 to 5 but I still have a general routine that helps me to organise my day. On a school day for example, I have a pattern of working 9 til 3pm. I have learnt that I am at my most creative in the morning and so I plan those jobs in before lunch leaving the afternoon for more routine tasks. I might log on again for an hour in the evening to do some admin and plan out the next day. Others have told us about their love of lists to structure and organise their time – I too love a list!

Another common suggestion for being stress aware is building in regular exercise. Now I am no gym bunny but if I don’t get outdoors for a break at least once a day I find I am more stressed and less productive. I didn’t always appreciate this and have often tethered myself to my desk for hour after hour trying to clear a mountain of work. I would go to bed stressed and feeling sluggish. So now whether it’s the walk to and from school, a lunchtime stroll with the dog or a jog around the park I always try and get out every day. I have time to reflect, and so always feel better, energised, less stressed and more productive. 

Being freelance can be a lonely experience. You are the one accountable for it all and at times it can be isolating. But there a lots of groups and networks out there to keep you connected to like-minded people both virtually and in person. Our aim for Freelance Fundamentals is to be that support and network so when you next feeling overwhelmed by it all drop us a message. A problem shared, as they say, is a problem halved. 

How do you cope when a contract goes wrong?

Ever had one of those weeks when a contract goes wrong?  Your confidence has taken a punch, you feel like walking away; throwing blame; feel like you’ve let yourself or your client down; you have thoughts of even starting a job search for an employed role that doesn’t hold the same level of responsibility; and just generally feel like running away from the pressures that come with contracts and freelancing?  Sound familiar?  Well, you are not alone!

I am sure that most freelancers have experienced a contract that hasn’t gone to plan.   It may be that despite your best intentions, planning and hard work, the outputs and outcomes of the contract weren’t achieved, or that it’s ‘just’ been one of those contracts with a catalogue of obstacles and difficulties.  

So, what went wrong and how are you supposed to deal with it when it happens?

Sometimes despite your best planning events happen which are completely out of your hands.  You feel that your proposal and contract were clear; planned thoroughly; you assessed the risks and planned for different approaches; you set aside enough time and resources to deliver; your communication plan with the client was robust; and you had the skills to undertake the work.  Or did you?

You might feel battered and bruised by the experience but it is really important to learn from this.  To coin Kelly Clarkson ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ and so as hard it is, it’s so important to take a critical objective eye over what went wrong.


Review what went wrong and what you can take from this.  This isn’t about apportioning blame on others but thinking about what you can learn from what was in your control.  Considerations should include thinking through –

  • Were your proposal and contract clear and fit for purpose?
  • Did you plan the work thoroughly?
  • Was there a clear assessment/consideration of the risks and were these appropriately mitigated against?
  • Did you keep communication channels open and transparent?
  • Did you allocate the right amount of time and resource to deliver the work?
  • How could your work output have been improved?

These are just some prompts but there is so much value in forensically (as painful as it might be) reviewing what went wrong and what learning you can take from this.

Accept responsibility

Once you have pinpointed what went wrong, your part to play in that, and the learning that you can take from this, then accept some responsibility for this!  It’s very easy to pass mistakes off as being down to not having a great client (and there may be elements that are) but I would be surprised if there isn’t still learning and responsibility that you can take from this – even if it is that you should have been clearer or communicated better with the client.

Accepting responsibility can also extend to sharing that learning with the client.  Any client will be far more receptive to you if you don’t just state what went wrong but also share your reflections with them. We are only human and mistakes happen and by taking some responsibility from those mistakes and suggesting how this could be remedied in the future will show you have taken the situation seriously and have provided a solution for the future.

Seek support and move on

We all need someone to talk to, especially another freelancer who will understand your situation and can provide support.  Reach out; use the freelancer networks! There will always be someone willing to provide that needed buddy support.  So many times, we (Kate and Nicola) have provided a sympathetic ear for each other and provided the needed support to remember that it was a one-off event and that you still have the skills and capabilities to continue to deliver your freelance career.

Boy, does your confidence take a kicking though when things go wrong.  Pulling yourself up from this knockback and reinstating some belief in yourself and your work will definitely take some effort.  That’s where drawing upon support comes in and remembering what you have and can achieve.  Nobody is perfect and we will all make mistakes, accept them and move to a positive mindset of seeing the experience as learning.  Mistakes and obstacles have been faced but you will be more resilient and stronger going forward.

Planning for the summer break

The schools round here are out for summer at the end of this week and so today I am planning how to keep things ticking along with my work life whilst I have to manage the six weeks holiday. 

Freelancing is often a juggling exercise – planning, organisation are the very back bone to an effective freelancer.  

I often think that as freelancers we are swan like – appearing to glide across the waters whilst underneath we are paddling away!

We have become adept to the competing demands of freelancing and life generally.  Ensuring that each client feels like they are your only client, being able to respond quickly and flexibly to their communications and requests, deliver the commissioned work to a high standard and within timeframe. This alone takes some organisation and planning without the added pressures of homelife, school holidays or additional careers.

So how do we cope and keep the ‘I’m on top of it’ glide across the water?

We are only human and often have to pull ourselves into check to remember that whilst we bring a set of skills as freelancers we have the same 24 hours as others, probably decided to go freelance as we wanted more flexibility or work/life balance, and we can’t be an expert in every area of business delivery.

This is where the need for good planning, organisation and routine come in!  Over the years we have tested out various apps, used on-line and paper-based day planners, and even back in the day filling in a Filofax diary!! Post it notes, to do lists through to more detailed time-blocking schedules. Some people do this planning on Sunday in preparation for the week ahead, others on a project by project basis or annual planning that is then broken down into a schedule of tasks.  Whichever works for you is good but the end goal is about having a routine of organisation and planning.

It was only really when starting to develop Freelance Fundamentals that I started to rethink about what I do in terms of organisation and planning.  Over the last 13 years it has become that much part of a routine for me that it now forms an integral element of my business function and I don’t see it as ‘yet another task that isn’t income generating’.  For me overall strategy planning which is broken down to smaller deliverables, to do lists, some time-blocking – all undertaken weekly and regularly reviewed and updated during the week is my approach is my model that works.  We are project managers of our businesses – another skill you can add to your CV!


What do you want to achieve but also how do you want to feel?

Mission.  Goals.  Aims. Outcomes.  Actions.  Review.                                 

These are all words and processes that are embedded in my consultancy freelance work with clients.  Whether it be writing a funding application, reviewing or developing a service or programme of work.  There isn’t a day when I don’t touch upon these in my freelance work.  Once reviewed or set I ensure that there are appropriate systems in place to regularly monitor, review, evaluate – in effect hold them to account.  Makes sense, but do we all follow this for our freelancing businesses?  Not the small weekly actions or ‘to do’ lists but actual goals and aims about what we want our business to work towards?

We’ve discussed and thoughts have been shared about goals, having them in sight and accountability systems on our Twitter posts.  Some of you develop annual goals similar to New Year Resolutions and others have weekly goal setting.  Whichever works for you is good, just as long as you have them.  Simply you can’t achieve them if you don’t set them and you can’t achieve them if you don’t implement. But unlike New Year resolutions which have a failure rate of about 80% how can we ensure that we deliver on these goals when we, as freelancers, drive our own motivation; don’t have colleagues, a manager or committee holding us to account for delivering them; and the day to day work and income generation overrides available time to reflect, develop and review your freelance goals.

Many of these goals and New Year resolutions don’t work because they aren’t realistic and there are no mechanisms in place should they not be achieved.  These are some of our thoughts for consideration when developing goals

Be clear on what are your values.  Whilst passion doesn’t pay your bills, be clear about what is your vision for your freelancing business.  Not just about what you want it or the goals to achieve but also about how you want to feel as a result!  I’m sure you all gave this some thought when you started out.  Thinking about what drives you helps with thinking about the goals you want to achieve.  For many of us this is less about money but about what we want to achieve and feel either for ourselves (flexibility, more balanced, less stressed, etc.) or for our clients (support a range of behaviours or values, make a difference to their business, service users, etc.)  Don’t overlook that setting goals which revolve around your own wellbeing are just as important as those about the health of your business.

There are of course wider goals that you may wish to achieve whether they are around a particular product, service, financial income generation targets, client growth or your own growth as a freelancer/business owner.  Therefore, make sure that the goals you set are important to you, after all if they are you will be motivated to want to achieve them.

Be realistic though.  We all love to feel that we can change the world or at least the bit of the world we live in but we have to be realistic about the hours we have in our day and how much of that we assign to our work.  Break down the steps that are needed to achieving those goals.  By breaking them down into actions and timescales allows you to keep it manageable and makes those big goals more realistic.

Identify how you are going to reward yourself when you achieve a goal.  By both having something to aim towards but also by celebrating your achievement will help with the motivation to achieve the goal and future goals thereafter!  It took me a long time to share and celebrate successes and not feel guilty for rewarding myself but honestly it really is a motivator!

Keep a check on how you are achieving against them.  What internally can you do to keep a check such as build into your diary regular reviews, having a visible chart that you update?  Also what external checks can you build into this – accountability through support groups, having a mentor or coach.

Be flexible– the best laid plans and all that!  There can be setbacks, other priorities can take over, circumstances change and so too sometimes do your goals.  That’s fine.  Just review, refine and try and keep moving forward.  It’s not always about achievements but also sometimes about how it makes you feel!

Our Freelance Story 3rd May

Once upon a time…

I’m joking, I’m not sure that there is such a thing as a freelance story.  There is YOUR freelance story and MY freelance story but I would be surprised if they are the same!

The month of May is ‘Tell a Story Month’ and without exception we will all have a story about what led us to become Freelancers and the successes and challenges we face along the way.  Kate and I started freelancing at similar time but our stories and motivations were different.  Of course, there are as freelancers commonalities in our experiences and challenges that we have faced from tendering, pricing, securing work, working with multiple clients, motivation, learning juggling all the other roles to deliver a business of finance, admin, legals, etc. etc.  A list that I am sure that other freelancers can relate to?

Freelance networks (not just Freelance Fundamentals of course, but also other ones geared to specific sectors of freelancing) are brilliant for sharing and learning the stories of others in approaching these challenges as you can bet that even if you haven’t trod that path before then another freelancer has and they have experience you can tap into.

Despite thirteen years of freelancing, we are still learning and these networks are helping us identify areas of our work or delivery that we can develop.  A word of caution however –

‘Don’t get sidetracked into developing or adopting a new practice just because there is some noise from fellow freelancers about it!’

It is unproductive to spend time adopting new practices that aren’t going to help you achieve your goals.  Take the experience and learning which works for you and your aims.

In my freelance role I often work with organisations to improve their services, drawing on evidence from elsewhere but recognising that no two services are the same and that this evidence has to be tailored to suit the particular service and outcomes they are trying to achieve.  Often clients feel that their service needs to incorporate a particular function or process just because it is being pushed politically or because their competitors have that service.  We can also be in danger of this as freelancers.

So, our feelings this Friday are to

  • Celebrate your own unique freelance story
  • Use the networks to share and learn from the experience of others
  • Keep your eye on YOUR goal, taking the learning and implementing what will be productive for YOU to achieve them.
  • Don’t suffer from ‘FOMO’ or ‘Keeping up with Jones’ – be confident in YOUR story and DON’T COMPARE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS TO OTHERS

Let Us Smile 17th May 2019

A week of mixed emotions as my heart has been full of happiness and sadness this week.  My social media feeds have been full with Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 this week.  I have been moved and admired that fellow freelancers and others have shared their own personal experiences of mental health as well as the pathways they have taken to manage their mental health.  Their sharing will not only help raise awareness of mental health illnesses but also helps in understanding that you are not alone in your anxieties, it shouldn’t be a taboo subject and that self help and support from professionals can help.

I am fortunate that I don’t have my own personal story to tell about experiencing a mental health illness.  I am certainly not a professional in this field but reading the recounts shared raised some thoughts with me –

The need to acknowledge and support what others are going through – Whilst I haven’t personally suffered from a mental health illness my daughter has suffered from anxiety.  The journey with my daughter trying to understand her triggers, feelings and respond has taught me several things.  This came back to the forefront of my mind this week reading those shared on social media.   It is the need to understand the illness, empathise and provide support where possible.  We may not be professionals in this field (and in cases professional help may be required) but what we can do is not belittle or dismiss those feelings, listen without judgement and let them share how they are feeling.

The need to understand how you keep your mental state healthy – We may not be suffering from a mental illness, but what can we do to reduce the risks of that happening.  There are many things which are out of our control which can affect our mental health.  However equally there are many things that are in our control, that we can influence to ensure that we care for the health of our mind just like we would our physical health.  Be aware of those triggers that give you a negative mindset or make you feel less positive or low about your life or self.   Be equally aware of what makes you feel good, positive and in good mental health.  Routinely build these into your day and recognise the triggers of when you need to seek support or put in place one of your positive mental health actions!  It is not selfish to build in time for yourself.  It is fundamental.  You are your most valuable asset.  Invest in yourself and look after your mental health.

Finally, I am a HUGE believer in smiling!  I smile a lot! So I wasn’t surprised that I read that researchers have found that smiling helps reduce the body’s response to stress and lower heart rate, blood pressure and leads to longevity. But there shouldn’t be a reason to smile, just do it!  Hopefully my smile will be infectious and I will pass it onto you…

Smiling Is Infectious
Author Unknown

Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!