It’s 3am and I can’t sleep. I’ve just binged-watch the entire series of Girl Boss on Netflix, and can’t stop thinking about how strange and magical business is. You start with an idea, a dream, passion, an empty notebook, and you run with it, jumping over obstacles, tackling problems, and hoping to God that someone beyond your mum believes in your vision, and that you’ll be able to pay rent on time. You put your every drop of energy into something that is, essentially, intangible and you don’t stop – not for weekends, anniversaries or sleep – until things start moving. Self-belief: it’s what it all comes down to.

I started About Time in my bedroom, with two pieces of information. The first, that I wanted to work for myself, because I couldn’t keep getting fired. The second, that I believed that time is the most precious commodity we have, and that if I couldn’t find the lifestyle guide I needed for navigating the city, then I would have to create it. The rest I figured out along the way.

And, so, we grew. From one writer to ten, twenty, fifty, to a hundred, across the globe, and we grew in reach, from a handful of readers to hundreds, and, eventually, thousands, daily. Day by day, feature by feature, trip by trip, email by email, until one day, I could look back and think ‘boy, what a ride’. No-one starts with the knowledge they need for starting a business – some of it is luck, some of is advice, the rest is pure sweat.

These things don’t happen always happen quickly; don’t believe what you hear, overnight success isn’t what you want. I’m pretty happy with over-year success they days, if I’m honest. But don’t let fear stop you from trying – allow yourself to learn is on the job – throw yourself into that baptism of fire. I think if more young women were encouraged to start businesses at schools and universities, given guidance of accountancy and business models, spreadsheets and invoices, everyone would benefit. Just start something. Whatever it is that keeps you up at night, or makes you wake up in the middle of the night, breathless with excitement, follow it, chase it, name it, see where it takes you.

Business is like having a baby, I think. It needs to be loved and nurtured, listened to and, eventually, one day, starts to give back the love you put in. Alicia and I often refer to About Time as our lovechild – when we started, it was an infant, barely knowing itself, looking for attention, and then it grew, to a troublesome two-year old, who started to know its own power, which kept breaking and crashing, demanding increasingly expensive servers and things you didn’t even know existed, licensing fees, special software and fancy plugins, and, then, at once, we realised it – and we – needed to grow up, to take things to the next levels. Five months, far too many almond milk lattes and a million FaceTime meetings across the globe later, and finally, we’re here: About Time 3.0.

So, what’s changed, you ask. Well, we’ve introduced a brand new homepage layout, so you can find the content you’re looking for quicker, whether that’s food, style or travel. We’ve added an interactive navigation bar, with a more image-led style to help you navigate the site better, as well as a new Editor’s Picks section to find our favourite weekly features easily. On the features, you’ll find clickable author bios, so if you really like a feature by a certain writer, you can discover more of their work quicker. Everything’s running a little quicker, and you’ll find our mobile site friendlier than ever, because smartphones are the future, right?

The real question, when we sat down to design About Time 3.0, was to ask ourselves what we had actually learnt in the process of creating the site – how had we changed? Turns out, there’s an awful lot that running your own digital content business teaches you, from how to grow a social media following, to how to create content that audiences love, or how to create the perfect PR pitch for your brand, which is why we’re proud to announce the launch of About Time Agency. Our in-house creative agency offers everything from bespoke consultancy to masterclasses, editorial creation to social media management – you can find out more about our creative services here, we’d love to hear from you.

We hope you enjoy reading About Time as much as we love writing features. It’s been a mad rollercoaster these past few months where we’ve tweaked and changed the new site far too many times to count. But this is the beauty of start-ups: it’s your vision, your project, your destiny. All I can say is thank you – for supporting, for reading, for caring, it means more than us than I can say. We may be a small team, but we are mighty. Here’s to About Time 3.0.

Jels x