If you follow me on twitter, chances are you saw my announcement mid-March that I would be leaving Thermos to pursue my own business. It was a difficult decision: made after a lot of thought and planning. But I knew this was the right choice to make when the pieces started falling into place. So after working on my own for the past month, here are four observations on flying solo.
1) Freelancing has made me a better designer.
I think that as a creative professional, it is easy for us to fall into ruts. Whether we are comfortable in our situation, relying on particular design conventions, or just plain uninspired, it can be a struggle to remain constantly fresh and creative. This past month, I have felt energized about designing in a way I haven’t felt in years. And I think it shows in my work.
2) You have to love what you do.
I don’t think I could have started a business a year ago…or even have made this decision a few months before I did. Because back then, I didn’t want it enough. Fear can be a great motivator, but it can also hold us back. When what I had to gain outweighed the fear of what I could lose, then my path was clear.
3) You have to have a backup plan.
I am not the type to make rash decisions. And so, I planned. What would it take for this to work? How had other people made this transition successful? What would I need to do in case it fails? I didn’t write a business plan or even win a huge client before making the leap. But I did plan it out carefully…and am continuing to adjust that plan as this path carries me forward.
4) You’re only as strong as your network.
Making the switch would never have been possible if I hadn’t had such an amazing support base. I am thankful to have people in my life who have been there with great advice, encouraging words, and a listening ear as I have been planning this over the past several months. And if that weren’t a confidence boost in itself, finding clients in the most unexpected of places certainly has been. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.