How I started my own design business
I can’t say I always wanted to be an business owner, or entrepreneur, or solopreneur or mompreneur. Or whatever other redundant term is the latest craze. I actually enjoy working in a studio environment and I absolutely love the connectedness that comes with having co-workers or teammates.
There is something irreplaceable in being a part of a team of creatives - something that sparks great and innovative ideas (I’ve found a few mastermind groups that come close, but no cigar).
But there I was, in another difficult work situation. One that started affecting my mental health and triggering a frightening amount of anxiety. And this was my dream job. The one I really wanted and craved and I was so excited to find they had an opening that I ignored all the red flags leading up to my employment.
The next move was to freelancing. It was a tough sell by my family but really important for my happiness. So I made the switch, after lots of math, research and viability planning (can you tell I love organisation and systems?).
I took any and every job that came my way and used it as a launch pad to freelance for another year, gaining traction with each project. Increasing my fees; learning from mistakes - like defining the scope of work before signing a contract; and devouring every.single.resource on running a creative business and being an entrepreneur I could get my hands on.
And then in October 2015, I finally made the switch. I incorporated a business whose name took me months to come up with (I am not naturally good with words). I set out a services menu and learned SquareSpace and I was open for business.
And all of a sudden I was a business owner. Not a freelancer. Not a designer. I was running a business. How very scary!
I learnt fast that working as a designer was far removed from running a design studio and I became a little bit more forgiving of my previous employers. Well, not the one who gave me anxiety issues. But understanding what it takes to keep a business running and profitable gave me a greater sense of their struggles.
Suddenly you have to keep up with so much more than excelling in your industry. You have to have a basic understanding of bookkeeping and account managing. You should know how to schedule projects and manage the traffic running through your studio. You need at least entry-level abilities in marketing.
And you mostly need an intense drive to learn and listen and adapt and grow.
And you also need to be okay with having a cry every now and again (this can’t just be me?).
I’m going to be launching an online course made just for you wonderful freelancers and incidental business owners. Designed specifically to guide you through each and every stage of the journey. Designed to give you the tools you need to reach your own version of success, define your goals and actually reach them.
So if you’re looking to grow your freelance business (or are even in the planning stages of making the leap), sign up below to find out more! I can’t wait to dish all the details of the modules, templates and super actionable content you’ll have access to.
In the meantime, if there’s anything specific you want to see included, anything you really struggle with as a freelancer, shoot me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know! As I said, this course is made especially for you, so don’t be shy to have your say.