Wow wee!! I made it!! ONE YEAR of being officially set up as a business owner! I can't believe how quickly the time has gone and how much I have learnt! Before getting into the nitty-gritty can I just sing a little and have a little dance!... [doing that now].
Ok so back to the real deal. One year ago today I was super nervous, worried, and a little stressed because I wasn't sure if starting a freelance design business is something for me...
...Will I be able to start a business?
...What if I don't have any clients?
...What if I fail?
...So many questions, so many hesitations! But one thing was for sure, I enjoy doing what I do and that is designing!
Armed with the passion for designing, I have worked on 6 branding project, which includes either a Squarespace website design and development or website design only, plus other material like business cards, PDF opt-ins, pricing matrixes, icons, iPhone app designs, and more!
Not all the projects have involved every element of design, but they have required a professional designer to create what was needed.
Related : 10 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Professional Designer
Today I want to share a few things. I want to share the top 3 things I have learnt running my own business, and I also want to share a free downloadable art print to celebrate my one year of being in business!
1 | Just start
I figured I can't let all these questions, concerns, and worries get the better of me. People are not expected to know it ALL when they start a business, but I have some knowledge and good experience to get me through the design side of things so that is deginately a bonus. I also have a degree in Business Information Systems (totally unrelated to Design I know!!), and so I have some experience with some elements of business, plus, my dad was a small business owner as is another close family member of mine so I have an avenue of support when I need.
I just needed to kerb those anxious feelings and START. To achieve anything you have to just start! You can then, as I also learnt, put systems and processes in place and learn from your experiences, but the only way to do anything is to just start!!
2 | Passion helps you push forward
Being passionate about design is something I feel quite strongly about. Being able to help others is also something I like to do and feel good about, so putting the two together was a no-brainer. At times, it has been difficult but knowing I could do this and pushing myself forward because this is something I want to do and achieve definitely helps. Design is something that has been such a big part of my career that I know I can't just "drop it". Plus being able to do something I love every day is awesome!! It's the best sense of accomplishment hearing great feedback from clients as well.
Being able to find the answers to all the questions and reservations has been a big thing, but because I am passionate I have forged my way through and learnt how to do those things, for example, I joined a select few Facebook groups, I've read a huge list of blog articles, and I have signed up to tools that have helped me keep on top of things. All these are learnings I would not have found if I did not have the passion for making it happen.
Related : 10 Tools I Use To Run My Creative Business
3 | Stress is....
... so many words, it's shitty, scary, and ultimately for me. snotty!! When I get stressed, everything seems to go haywire and on top of that I get ill. So I have learnt to deal with stress better. I have learnt to understand I am likely to get stressed but stopping and taking a step back really helps. I can't do everything all at the same time, it's not going to work, so standing back and evaluating the project/process/issue in hand and breaking it down into smaller manageable "things" helps.
It also helps to take a break!! Giving myself time to step away from designing and enjoy life, spend time with my family and friends, not only gives me a break but keeps me from getting stressed and gives me a fresh perspective when I do get back to designing. It's WIN-WIN situation all round!
Related - 10 Self-Care Steps You Should Be Making As A Side Hustler or Small Business Owner
So yes, the year has been busy, fun, stressful, and an experience. It's been so many things but most of all, it has been worth it!!
To celebrate my one year in business I wanted to share a couple of free downloadable art prints I have made!
Hope you like them.. and enjoy!!