It certainly doesn’t feel like it, but Wednesday 21st April marks one whole year of working for myself. Its been quite an experience and one that I’m really enjoying. In this post I’ll look at some of what I’ve learnt.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I’ve definitely been suprised (and overwhelmed in some cases!) by the amount of inquiries I’ve received over the past year. So with that in mind I’d like to thank all the lovely people and companies I’ve had the pleasure of working with on some really great projects. I’m also really chuffed that several of those people and companies have chosen to come back to me time and again for more design work. I can see how repeat business is extremely beneficial for any business. However, being rushed off your feet does have its down sides, although don’t get me wrong I definitely prefer being busy over twiddling my thumbs! What I’m trying to get at here is that when lots of inquiries are coming through your inbox it’s tempting at first to take everything on. Over the year I’ve been working solo I’ve learnt that to produce quality work I should only take on X number of projects per month. I’m not sure that I’ve got this nailed 100% yet, but I’m getting there.

Sense Of Accomplishment

I’d really recommend working for yourself and creating a business. There are so many hats to wear and there’s so much to learn, but overall its so much more enjoyable that working for someone else. Even the niggling little tasks that you’d hate doing at your previous job, you find yourself enjoying that little bit more. Because, at the end of the day you know its for you and your business is going to benefit.

Time To Myself

This has been by far the trickiest thing to get right. When you work from home its so hard to switch off at 5pm. I always find myself trying to relax and thinking ‘What if I just get that done now – that will free up some time tomorrow.’ or just checking my emails on my iPhone – big mistake, especially before bed!. To help switch off its been helpful for me to really push a few of the hobbies that I was already enjoying before working for myself. These things now ensure that I get away from my computer pretty much every night.

Thinking About Going Freelance? – My Advice

If you want to go freelance / be self employed, then here are a few pieces of advice I’d offer;

  • Be prepared to work hard
  • Ensure you’ve got a few clients and projects under your belt before you start
  • Say ‘No’ if you really can’t squeeze that piece of work in tomorrow
  • Don’t forget your passion – for me this is design, and its so important devote time to feeling inspired and energized about that passion
  • Be confident in your abilities

Here’s To Another Year!

Fingers crossed next year is going to be bigger and better and I’m excited by what could come from another year in business. Thats the great thing about it – who knows?

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