Well, I guess if I had to sum up this month, I would say: This is the month that reality hit.
Sometimes when I tell people about what I’m doing, they make this worried face and tell me that they hope it works out. This isn’t the reaction that I might have hoped for, but what I am learning is that I don’t know where life is going to take me. What I do know is that right now, living where I live, this is the way for me to be the kind of designer I want to be. In a year, I could move and get a job at a firm, or I could do this forever, or I could quit and start my own ice cream shop, I have no idea. All I know is that right now, this is the best choice for me.
That being said, this month I realized that this is going to take a lot of work, and not the fun kind. When you are starting from scratch, it’s easy to think that things are just blowing up for you (in a good way) because you’re going from no work to some work. But for me at least, I’m realizing that things take much more time than I think to build up and actually take effect.
I’m not just talking about getting work, I’m also talking about experience.I love to design, and I can always do better. I feel like I’m working hard, but I don’t have a lot to show for it. I know there are things that I still need to learn, but I don’t know how to get the experience. I see my peers, and what they are doing, and I feel like I fall short. I feel isolated, and I wonder if I should just try to work at an agency again, and take the path that most people recommend.
Half the battle is just self confidence. I may wish I was better, but the only way to get there is to work harder. There are things that are real blows to the ego, like clients not wanting to pay (more on that later), but I have to know my own worth. I may feel frustrated and scared half the time, and wonder if people are right, maybe I should have gotten a ‘real’ job and learned that way, but if I show up every day, and do my best (like a girl scout) I will be okay. It’s hard on my own, but my successes are so much sweeter. And I truly believe that this will not be such an unconventional path a couple years from now. When I graduated, a lot of my peers seemed to view freelancing as a failure, like, you couldn’t get a real job so you have to freelance, but they were wrong. School is over, but I’m getting more of an education than I ever have.
It’s also amazing how quickly the months go by. I can’t believe it’s been this long, and I look at my goal list and realize that some of these things will not be accomplished in a single month, no matter how much I might try.
My Goals for Month 2: + Relaunch Etsy shop with new products and a new gameplan. I did it!
+ Actually redesign my website. I‘m still working on this one, but I’m further along than I was last month.
+ Finish some client work and get the whole invoicing/billing thing all smoothed out. I definitely got structure in place, but I think it’s going to take some time – and projects – to get it ‘finalized’.
+ Talk to an accountant. (My, that sounds responsible) Nope!
+ Come up with a work flow that allows me to be accessible AND productive. This is something else that I don’t think will be conquered in a single month. I have been feeling much more productive, I will say.
+ Get office organized.
+ Get out of the office more! I totally did!
My Goals for Month 3
+ Finish website redesign. See, the problem is, I am my own client from hell. I don’t like anything, but I can’t tell myself why I don’t like it, or what I do like. I’m flaky, I’m emotional, and I’m not very nice sometimes.
+ Talk to an accountant?
+ Document and showcase some of the projects that I have completed recently.
+ Get dressed in the mornings.
I’m keeping it simple this month, because I want to actually accomplish everything on the list. And because I know that website redesign is going to be a bear.
My Freelance Life: