I earned about £9500. I paid £450 income tax. No skives or evasions. That's just the way it was.
You could see that something was starting to happen though. My income was almost exactly double in the 28 days of February 2013 than it had been in the 31 days of October 2012. If the upturn had happened 6 months earlier, we might not have lost the house.
The graph below shows income from May 2012 to March 2013. The blue at the top is May 2012, and the graph reads clockwise from there. It does not show outgoings, and is therefore not a graph of profit. I left out April of both years because they are truncated, as the tax cutoff falls on the 6th rather than the 1st.
As you can see, the last two months make up over a quarter of the 11 months shown.
I'm currently working around 43-45 hours a week, not including time spent between jobs. I'm out of the house for 12-14 hours a day, six days a week. The vast majority of my actual paid work is at the full rate. I no longer have to give it away on the cheap through things like groupon and what have you.
One of my pupils works for a firm of accountants. She does a lot of driving instructors accounts, and she reckons a whole load of them are earning a lot less than £9500. I can believe that. That was one of my best ever years. The coming tax year (which ends in April this year) might well see my income double. Well almost anyway. All doing a job where I'm my own boss, doing it on my own terms. I do the first 2 hours for £10, then it's full price all the way. The vast majority of those that take the introductory offer go on to take a full course with me.
I'm not being boastful. I'm counting my blessings. The reason the upturn occurred is because of the work of someone else. The reason I met that someone else is because I made a good impression on his fiancee.
I play backgammon. It's a game that involves both skill and luck. The best players (amongst whom I will never feature) know the principles and statistical favourites for any given position. They play to maximise their luck, while doing what they can to limit the options of their opponent.
It feels like this is going on here. Sort of. I'm not directly trying to put the competition at a disadvantage, although if I'm getting a bigger share of a finite pot of clients, it surely follows that some other poor instructor somewhere is now struggling to put food on the table. But I've taken my remit, and stretched it into all sorts of unlikely areas, such as comedy, psychology, philosophy, and information technology. I'm hoping in the future to include phlebotomy, chiurgy, sociology and apathy.
My understanding of teaching is that it is in part at least to provide a space in which the pupil can work stuff out for themselves. Sometimes I tell them what to do. More often, I ask leading questions that force them to follow a logical path. Both approaches have their place.
This being TheWholeDamnWorld, I couldn't go through a whole post like this without referring to Google Earth.
Since moving to the caravan, we get our broadband from BT. That means I can use their network of hotspots. This is bloody useful. I can get the laptop out, and if we're somewhere near a hotspot, we can get onto the internet. From there, we can take a look at some situation or other, that my pupil has struggled with, while stationary, and under no pressure. The streetview part of things is particularly useful in this respect.
Point is though, I've ended up with a whole slew of advantages, and when the dice rolls went my way, I was in a position to capitalise.
driving lessons in North Wirral? learn to drive in Hoylake? driving instructor in Birkenhead?