Monday, 28 February 2011

Homeworking: Time Lord? You must be joking!

Freelance journalist James Pringle reflects on the homeworking lifestyle

Continuing our series of homeworking tales, I'm pleased to post a contribution from James Pringle, whom I used to work for when he was at IPC. He left London and the rat race and is now working from home in scenic Kent.

 
"After three decades of full-time jobs, I should be delighted to be master of my own time – but, several years down the freelance track, I am still not quite used to it. I still get up at 6.10, but now it’s to drive my wife Mary to the station for her long commute from our new home on the coast. I am at my desk from 8.30 going on 9.00, I take half an hour for lunch, then work till anywhere between 5.45 and 7.00 before preparing the dinner and hurrying off to collect Mary from the station.

There is an old saying that work expands to fill the time available. That easily happens for freelancers, but having a partner makes it harder to let the work spill over into late nights and joyless weekends. Instead, I am pretty much locked into an office routine from Monday to Friday. There is no danger of becoming addicted to daytime TV or switching off the work mentality and thinking I am on holiday. Instead there is a nagging feeling that if I am not actually at my desk preparing articles, or sub-editing in a client’s office, I should be doing more to drum up business.

Some freelances tell me that, as we do not get paid holidays, we should at least enjoy our free time, but I haven’t quite got my head round that one. And it’s hard not apologise for being unable to have a detailed conversation when a client rings on the mobile while I am having a haircut.

Phones are as much of a bugbear as they are in offices. Often at home I come tottering out of the cloakroom, with trousers around my ankles, to answer a call before voicemail kicks in on the fourth ring. I grab the business line extension in the kitchen and the caller will be someone I have been trying to speak to for a week or more. Eager to nail the interview at last, I stand there taking notes on scraps of shopping list paper – if one of these charity junk mail free pens will actually work.

Sometimes I have to see people face to face for in-depth features. Then there are those meetings with prospective clients – just when I thought job interviews were a thing of the past. But first, with my train time perilously close, I will be standing in the kitchen, trouserless again, urgently ironing my slacks. A quick straighten of the tie and I’m off – to meet people who almost invariably will be wearing teeshirts and jeans.

There are plenty of advantages to working at home. Nobody complains about the classical CDs that accompany me at my desk. There are no distractions, no office politics and nobody to pinch my stapler. Conversely there is no one to chat to and take my mind off problems. I hesitate to phone friends at work just for a chat, but emailing is always an option.

Would I go back to a staff job? Probably not, but homeworking calls for a disciplined approach. You have to manage your time effectively to get work done and to go out on foot for some exercise. Most important of all, you are working near your kitchen and you really must limit your intake of biscuits and chocolate."

To view James's work, visit www.jpeditorial.co.uk.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Parenting and homeworking

Why homeworking works for parents
In November 2010 I told my story about how I became a homeworker. Since then I have been continuing to feature blog posts about balancing parenting and work. I even had my very own (unofficial) homeworking blog carnival, which attracted entries from female and male parents (sourced from professional forums and BMB).
This year I pledged to recycle-reuse more and to campaign (in my small way) for homeworking, with the slogan Homeworking can save families and the planet (read one mum's story here). I have also tried to initiate conversations in LinkedIn about the need for UK employers to exit the Dark Ages and believe that some jobs can be done from home using remote technology. One of my rants won me a ticket for the TedxGranta conference, which was about how ideas (and women) can change the world.

I have received negative responses from potential UK employers (and agencies that target freelancers) so far, so aside freelance writing I copywrite for a foreign agency, which allows me to work from home. I also do indexing for a publisher. I have a lot of experience as proofreader but the competition is huge so I rarely bother to find any job in that department.

Working from home and being a parent
How do you do that? There are frequent discussions about this on Mumsnet in the freelance chat area. If you have a baby that has naps during the day, it's easier, but what if your child doesn't nap at all at daytime? Some mums use partial childcare through nurseries and preschools, others need full childcare and might consider a childminder for more flexibility... I didn't have childcare till preschool and my daughter was never a good, reliable 'napper', so in the first years it was mostly voluntary work (NCT newsletters) with a bit of paid work when I could fit it in, such as product reviews, teaching Italian, the odd feature, proofreading, etc. I used to work early in the morning or when she went to bed and at weekends. If my partner was around and could look after her, then I'd work weekdays.

Then I landed a bit copywriting job in December 2009 and, luckily, it was during the Xmas holidays. So I used most of the holiday period to work, while my partner was around. I had Xmas and the 26th off, the rest of the time I worked around eight-nine hours a day to meet the deadline. More work followed, but my partner got very busy so it started to be a big juggling act, as I was still volunteering for various charities. The work volume was still OK, but it got really busy when my daughter started preschool in September. She was only doing 15 hours till November when I paid for extra hours so she could be in from 8.40 till 3.10 one day a week. I couldn't have any more slots as it's a busy preschool and I'm reluctant to go the private way, so it has been manic, especially since I like to volunteer now and then at her preschool. 

Basically if I have a big job I get up early (sometimes I am foiled by my daughter waking up though) and work when she is gone to bed. During the day I work through her preschool hours and manage some hours while she is around by giving her activities such as painting, playdough, anything that will keep her busy for half an hour or so. I have learnt to work through interruptions (games, snacks and occasional TV noise). 

I take advantage of any free time my partner has to do my work and volunteering, and work a few hours every weekend. But I'm happy because I'm raising my child, having some social time with her (outside preschool hours we go out to groups and a music class, plus playdates) and contribute to the family's finances. I have to be very organised and give up a lot of 'me time' but it has been worth it. I don't miss working in an office one bit as I'm in touch with so many people through forums and we have virtual watercooler moments.... So if you are thinking of heading this way or you'd like to support my small campaign, please leave a comment and I will be happy to feature your story and even plug your business!

I will post on why it's great for employers in the near future...

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

TedxGranta Cambridge conference part 3

This is my last blog post on TedxGranta Cambridge conference. After a delicious lunch, we went back to the theatre for the last session, called Take Action.

This included:
  • a video of Sally Osberg, president of the Skoll Foundation on inspirational women past and present, which carried a quote by J. Campbell: Heroism is a matter of integrity. Among the inspirational women mentioned by Osberg was Ann Cotton, who was a speaker on the day (see below).
  •  a speech by Ann Cotton, the founder of Camfed, a charity that educates girls in Africa. Education can make a huge difference to these girls' lives: "When you educate a girl in Africa, everything changes. She’ll be three times less likely to get HIV/AIDS, earn 25 percent more income and have a smaller, healthier family." 
  • a video by the founders of Babble, a US parenting website that  spares no punches and doesn't sugarcoat the overwhelming experience of having a baby. There might be highs but there are lows, too...
  • a speech by John Wroe from Momentum Arts, which organised the Street Child World Cup, a friendly sports-meet-arts event in South Africa. They are getting ready for Brazil World Cup 2014, so do contact this charity if you want to be involved!
  • a speech by Nicky Webb of Artichoke, a creative company responsible for incredibly inventive art events, such as the Sultan's Elephant, which, regrettably I missed! She also mentioned Antony Gormley's One & Other (2009), which involved 2,400 people from all over the UK. Each participant occupied the empty Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square for an hour.
Despite a few technical glitches, it was a perfect day. I walked on air all the way home, despite the damp and cold night.

    Saturday, 19 February 2011

    TedxGranta conference part 2

    Have you ever experienced discussing a job with an eager, potential client, only for them to backpedal when they realise you want to work from home? I have and it’s so frustrating. My partner thinks there is an issue of trust or possibly they would love to hire somebody for the job but they can’t, so the inhouse freelancer is the best their budget can allow! 


    But back to the Cambridge TEDxGranta conference, where freethinking and bold ideas were not frowned upon! To recap, we had Session one with some amazing speakers and videos, a short conversation break (a bit too short as I was having fun talking to other attendees) then we went back to tiered seats to hear more inspiring, if not revolutionary ideas. I followed the advice given and sat near somebody different, so there was a mini-conversation before it all started again. The theme of the session was Let go and the contributions included:
    • world-breaking ocean rower S. Outen  talked about her experience of rowing across the Indian Ocean in 124 days, including the highs and lows. She didn't gloss over the two Fs (failure and fear) and was quite modest about her achievements, which was endearing and made me hope I could do it one day (my sarcastic side gleefully whispered: "Dream on, you are not in your 20s and the closest you will ever come to rowing is hiring a punt"). Still, I wrote down her ABC: A for attitude, B for belief and C for courage. Which was very fitting because I need courage, something I discussed with the woman I was sitting close to when I requested a picture of the Lion from The Wizard of Oz. If you wonder how fairytales come into play, click here
    • a video of J. Blakeley  on how social media can dispel gender myths. Research shows that women dominate social media, which is surprising to hear, but thinking about it, I can see it’s not. Women tend to communicate more than men and the internet is a great tool for those who feel isolated or want to chat to like-minded individuals – I can think of groups like Mummy Bloggers, a website like Mumsnet and professional organisations and networks like Women in Publishing, Women in journalism and Women in Technology, which sponsored two free places at TED (thanks!). Social media is also proving that the use of demographic data for marketing and advertising campaigns is old hat. On the aptly named World Wide Web, age, sex and even nationality are irrelevant - what joins people are interests. Blakeley mentioned the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which boasts fans of all ages and walks of life. Yet, if you do a market research survey, you are still classed by age, income, which newspapers or magazine you read... So getting to know what people love and dig is the key to digital marketing, not stale aggregates!
    •  a talk by Anne Miller, a successful female inventor, whose message was: Give creativity a chance when you need change. It is historically true that in times of economic troubles, the totalitarian approach surfaces in politics - history can tell us that and what is happening today too. Creativity can be a valid alternative but not it’s just about thinking outside the box (that trite business-speak expression), as it requires: a clarity of purpose, structures for partnership and freedom, and democratised creativity. In three words, the aim is to be purposeful, involving and fun! What really resonated with me is the bit where Anne mentioned the importance of balancing individuality and conformity, which is something I have grappled with all my life. People have labelled me as mad, weird and eccentric.
    • Halla Thomadottir talked about her experience of founding a financial company in financially-challenged Iceland with a colleague to inject feminine values in finance. She acknowledged that the reason her company is doing well is because it’s based on Risk Awareness, Straight Talking, Emotional Capital and Profit with Principles. She argued that women are not better than men or viceversa, they are different and we should celebrate this diversity and use it in a business context, which could do with more balance!
    • a talk by Ian Price, a business psychologist who argues against the cult of busyness. In corporate culture, employees at all levels (but especially executives) are expected to work all the time, even at weekends. It all boils down to: you look busy, you look important. Another factor is the availability of addictive remote technology that doesn’t allow you to switch off and have time for reflection and relaxation. It seems our brain rewards activity with a release of dopamine, which makes me a dopamine fiend, as I cannot switch off. If you are interested in the medical aspect of this, click here.  So that’s why drugs never attracted me as a teenager, I had my own stash! I do love keeping busy but my motives are not those advocated by Ian Price, for me being busy is feeling useful and alive, so it could be work, crafting, volunteering or reading a book. I have depressive tendencies and I have finally located the source of them, it’s not being busy! Which explains a lot about my teenage unhappiness - in hindsight it was due to living in a small place where my ideas and ambitions were stifled. And that’s why I was buried in books, it was the only way to escape! So now I know I need to keep busy. Volunteering must be one of the best ways as there is no better reward than supporting people and being involved in your community. So overall, I understand the message here, but it’s not for me! Being busy is necessary for a homeworker like me – if I were working in an office I wouldn’t like having to work overtime - in my modest experience it’s either because the workload is not well organised or the company is understaffed, which are both really frustrating. Homeworking enables me to see my daughter, volunteer for good causes, work, follow my hobbies and be happy! Of course there might be a time when I have to go back working inhouse, but I will surely stay freelance! Only a truly flexible working pattern can tempt me again to join the corporate ranks.
    • a video on the culture of availability by R. Gleeson, who talked about antisocial phone tricks.  I hate mobile phones so I didn't learn to text at speed. I touch-type so the keyboard is my friend, not itsy-bitty phone buttons. I have a basic mobile phone with no internet. I don’t know why I hate phones so much, I inherited this from my dad, I just dislike phones, which is ironic since I started my career in market research (of the phone variety) and then went into journalism. I am OK on the phone, I just don’t like it and would rather type an email any day! But then I tell myself I’m a writer, if I were a compulsive chatter, I’d be a salesperson. So down with phones and up with the net!
    • Rowan Harvey brought woman suffrage into the 21st century with her talk about women and politics, supported by intriguing facts and figures. Amazingly, Rwanda has more female MPs than the UK! Rowan believes that women are more motivated by single issues while men want to make a contribution to society in general, so they are more attracted to politics where you deal with multiple issues. This rings true, I know of many women who volunteer to improve services in their area and who are always up for fighting cutbacks in family services or education. On March 8 it’s the 100th anniversary of Women’s Day and I agree with Rowan, we need to make more of this day in this country! Click here to see my blog post about last year’s women’s day in Cambridge. 
    • a video of P. Jagessar Chaffer on her movie Toxic Baby, which is about the pesticides and other poisons we pass on to the next generations. What made it really poignant is that Penelope was pregnant and I was sitting next to a pregnant lady, who was shifting uneasily in her seat. My daughter is four so my pregnancy is not too far away - I shared her unease. All these poisons that contaminate our food and water cause anomalies, birth defects and increase risks of scary conditions such as autism, asthma, leukemia and even affect male fertility. When we saw pictures of male frogs acquiring female attributes because of water contamination, the men in the audience were shifting uneasily in their seat too.
    • a talk by Anne DobrĂ©e on seed funds - how a small initial investment grew into 700 millions of follow-up funding. I’m no financial whizz, but it was quite interesting to follow. I’m not equipped to comment further but it was truly inspirational. Yet investment in companies and organisations has been down at rock bottom, which makes me wonder: How are we going to get out of this economy crisis? Cutbacks and tightening our belt are safe measures but don't necessarily foster enterprise.
    • a video by J. Williams on redefining the concept of Peace. She won the Nobel Peace Prize for her battle to eradicate landmines and empowers women to fight violence, injustice and inequality. The talk ended with the rousing message of “Get off your butt and volunteer”. Indeed, hear, hear! And if you want to volunteer for a local parenting charity, get in touch with me...
    • a talk by J. Rubin from RAND about crime and how we can deal with it using creative thinking and techniques from other disciplines. I really enjoyed witnessing how the techniques for monitoring red and grey squirrels can help find traces of illicit markets, such as drug trafficking.
    • a video on the meaning of procrastination by J. Kelly. I am not a procrastinator per se as a reaction to procrastinating parents, but I did find a procrastinating streak in me. I love watering plants, I jump from idea to idea, I interrupt work to check emails and I overcomplicate things. So procrastination is not only about watching daytime TV, playing computer Solitaire, burying your head in the sand and hoping your problems will go away or daydreaming...
    The second session over, we trooped towards the toilets and then upstairs. As expected there was no queue for the men’s toilet. This is not only because women were in the majority. My partner, who has been to the venue many times, says the Moller conference centre is more geared for male attendee - the men’s toilet has urinals, so it's a quick business if you are male. As there were only two cubicles in the women’s toilet on each level, I can see why there were queues on the day. 

    Eventually I made it upstairs and had interesting chats over delicious and diverse food offerings. I cannot fault the Moller for catering, there was a rather yummy king prawn curry and tasty bean salad, not to forget the chocolate cake. There was a comedy moment when somebody briefly mistook me for a member of the catering staff while I was picking up a tea mug... my fault I suppose for wearing a white shirt and a black waistcoat! The other 'funny' (and very English) thing was that at coffee breaks everybody initially queued to use the same urns and coffee jugs by the door, which was silly as there were more urns across the table standing unused until people realised it was OK to jump the queue. 

    I know these are minor points but not having a quick access to toilet and refreshments cut into the time I wanted to use for conversation and networking. I met a few women I had spoken to earlier on but made an effort to talk to other attendees (men and women) and sound them on homeworking or simply asking them what they did. Some occupations were less conventional than others. Due to my journo background (I worked for consumer publications, trade journals, you name it), I tend to be interested in anything so it was an eye opener to see so many different professions represented at the conference. Stay tuned for my last blog about the third session!

    Wednesday, 16 February 2011

    Homeworker's day out - TedxGranta - Part One

    I usually work from home wearing my not-a-yummy-mummy clothes and chatting to colleagues through professional online forums, so when I won a place at TEDxGranta, I was thrilled at the chance of getting out, networking and finding out how ideas and creativity can change the world. As a creative I'm all for it and there was even a bit of technology thrown in! So I fished out some suitable clothes from the back of my wardrobe, entrusted my toddler to my partner and trotted off on my high-heeled boots towards Churchill College. I live close to it so it was a pleasant walk down leafy roads (less pleasant at the end of the day when it was dark and wet).


    A quick glance at the programme suggested that the ideas had  far-reaching consequences in terms of tackling poverty, environmental damage and even political ideologies, so the idea I submitted to win the place paled in comparison. In a nutshell, my idea is to promote homeworking as it can save families and the planet (think of carbon savings).  I know, it sounds corny but I know lots of parents who want to work from home to be with their children. Those who managed had to overhaul their career and jump through hoops (you can read some stories here) and taking a big paycut in many instances. Personally, working from home is the only way I can volunteer for my various charities, look after my daughter when she is not at preschool and earn money. I'm not asking for the moon, but it has been hard as employers' mindset are still stuck in the Industrial Age when workers needed to be seen attending to their machines (I am being kind here, I did mention Dark Ages in a LinkedIn discussion). I know some jobs cannot be done from home, but my old job would have been perfect for a homeworker - I was spending hours staring at a screen with limited interaction. So why not doing it from home? Because most media companies want the freelancer to go inhouse even if the freelancer doesn't have a 'team role' and doesn't attend meetings. But enough of this and let's go back to TEDxGranta's Cambridge conference.


    I was so inspired I took several pages of notes. It was very intense and I have material for several blog posts, so expect more in the coming days! The conference was structured in three sessions with conversation breaks. Session 1 was about New Angles, which included:
    • a video of H. Rosling carrying the intriguing message "If you have a democracy, people will vote for washing machines" (a great speech exposing the hypocrisy of green campaigners and our patronising attitude towards developing countries)
    • an empowering live speech by J. Barnes on why we need to take control of our medical history and records
    • a video of C. Breazel on personal robots (we all loved the furry one and I daydreamed of a mummy robot reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears to my little girl three times in a row without blinking)
    • D. Lynas on arts as creative recycling (a theme very close to my heart) and extraordinary projects, like the walking house
    • a video of L. Donnelly on changing the world using humour, something I resort to when supporting stressed mums at breastfeeding clinics
    • a live speech by J. Tillotson on how fashion combined with technology can foster wellbeing (I'd call it aromafashiontherapy)
    • a video called So What Does It All Mean, about the progression of  information technology and communications (the Fatboy Slim tune is quite catchy) and
    • a video of T. Porter, A Call to Men (I love the man box concept and I'm glad my partner has been around so much to help me raise our little girl).
    Then there was a conversation break. I rushed to the toilet to avoid queues and went upstairs to start networking. As this was my second professional networking event in the past two years, I was a bit nervous but having had a chat with a few friendly women before the first session started, it was less nerve racking. I did stick to my usual strategy... find somebody on their own and engage them in a conversation. I didn't have a particular agenda, I just wanted to sound people out on homeworking and throughout the day I got a few opinions on it, mostly positive and, surprisingly (from a consultant), one firmly and vehemently against. Yes, I know, not all jobs can be done from home but writing and proofing can be done from home and I hope that UK businesses will realise this (I'm mostly exporting my services abroad at the moment). Tune in for the next two sessions... I promise I won't mention homeworking unless it's relevant!

    Thursday, 10 February 2011

    Testing, testing... what's on this month

    This month I am testing Boots Super Dry Nappies and Boots Swim Nappies (for baby/toddler) and a range of moisturisers (for mums). Expect some frank reviews in the next weeks! Thanks to the PRs who sent the samples. Products have been specially commissioned for their affordability and good reputation... let's see if they work for us!


    I have started a small campaign to support homeworking and already received a few great stories from mums and dads. Read them here, here and here. If you want to read my own story, click here.

    Monday, 7 February 2011

    Homeworking saves families & the planet

    After having told my story of how I became a homeworker on my blog and Business Plus Baby, plus running a homeworking carnival, I have been reading feelgood stories of how parents manage to reconcile childcare with work commitments. It is a pity that homeworking is considered unsuitable for many occupations - we have the technology for remote working and it's kind to the planet (think of all the carbon savings you can make as there is no commuting, no need for an office, fancy clothes, lower childcare costs, etc...), and it's family friendly too! So I am delighted to feature a guest blogger who turned her back to a lucrative career to stay at home with her daughter and still make an income. With my NCT newsletter editor's hat on, I know this company as traders tend to advertise in newsletters and often have stands at baby shows or sales. But here is Jocelyn's story...

    Jocelyn and her daughter
    "Coming to the end of my maternity leave, I knew that I didn't want to return to my career in financial services, wanting to stay at home with my daughter. However, I also needed an income, with the potential to become a good long term income, and a challenge to keep my brain ticking and keep 'me' and not just 'mommy'! I hadn't heard of Phoenix trading, so when I saw an advert for traders, I sent off for a pack, having always liked buying cards and stationery. The start-up costs looked low, the company looked ethical and the product samples were fab, so I thought, 'Why not?' and within a week I was trading."
     
    How to become a self-employed trader
    Within the welcome pack, there are a couple of flyers about taxation, and the legalities of running your own business, and it was just a case of logging onto the HMRC website as directed, filling in a few boxes and I was registered with the tax office. Phoenix includes an insurance policy for traders, you have a free website where you can complete a little info about yourself for your customers, the business kit has hints and tips to start off, brochures and order forms to make initial sales, and I bought a discounted starter pack of stock that I sold within my first month of trading.

    Work commitments - playtime included!
    Phoenix has no targets, so I do as little or as much as I can each week. A couple of weeks ago, my daughter had an evil cold, meaning very little sleep for either of us, so I just put work on the back burner and picked it up again the next week. It's become part of every day life for us, balancing work and fun. I sell regularly at playgroups, which is nice and informal so my daughter comes along and has a play while my cards are available to buy. Once a week we go for a walk where I do a brochure drop, which we then pick up (along with the dog and the husband!) at the weekend together. It makes us get out for some fresh air, gets the dog out for a walk and I earn some money along the way. When we're out and about anywhere, I always have brochures and a few cards with me, as you never know who you might bump into. I also do coffee mornings, and again, normally take my daughter, and I enjoy having a table at fairs and fundraisers. My card baskets are becoming popular, which is one of my easiest ways to sell, as I just leave a basket of cards, brochures and order forms with a friend or in a workplace and then go back to collect a few days later - very family-friendly working, as I'm selling while playing elsewhere! A couple of days a week, during nap times, I'll get brochure drops ready, put orders together and prepare baskets, and then while watching TV of an evening, I sometimes sit stickering my stationery and folding my gift wrap - you don't even notice you're doing it!
     

    Be your own boss
    Even though you are an independent trader, you're not answerable to anyone else, and your money's most definitely your own, but you do still feel part of a team. Head office sends out monthly newsletters, which I always look forward to reading, they run all day trader training meetings twice a year, which are free to attend, and you are in touch with your sponsor, the person who signed you up, either through email, phone calls or informal local trader meetings - a chance for a chat and cake! These things all add up to make a real difference, as you can share ideas with each other, or sometimes just buoy each other up if you're having a frustrating day. 

    About the company and why I'm blogging about it
    "As a direct selling, independent card publishing house, Phoenix Trading has sold in excess of 100 million cards. It donates a substantial amount of its profits to charity and has given over £1million to charities to date. Phoenix Trading does not sell its products through conventional retail outlets; instead it markets an exclusive range of cards and stationery through its international team of over 11,000 worldwide Independent Phoenix Traders. Its direct approach offers exceptional value for money without compromising on the quality of the product and design."

    I'm blogging about this for several reasons. Yes, it'd be great to direct a few people to my shop and receive a few orders. And yes, it'd be lovely to welcome some of you to my team of traders! Most importantly, though, I want to let people know that this option exists - if they don't want to leave their children in nurseries or with childminders, but still want or need a business for themselves. I appreciated finding out about it, as it's genuinely changed the direction of my life and I now get to spend time watching my daughter grow while enjoying developing my own business. 
     
    What is network marketing? (Plus useful links)
    Direct selling, network marketing, or whatever you like to call it, works, but you really do get out what you put in. There are lots of different companies like this out there, so my biggest piece of advice would be to choose products that you can be enthusiastic about. Then look into the company, chat to others that are traders with them now, find out about commissions, team structures, targets etc... and then go for it!

    If you'd like to follow my path, you can find my shop and more information here, and there's more about becoming a Phoenix trader here. But feel free to contact me if you've got any questions or would like to receive a free information pack. 
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Statutory notice (aka, don't be fooled by claims that you can make millions through selling part-time and/or with no effort)
    Do not be misled by claims that high earnings are easily achieved. It is illegal for a promoter or a participant in a trading scheme to persuade anyone to make a payment by promising benefits from getting others to join a scheme.