Running your own business from the ground up wasn’t an easy task. It takes a village to make something out of nothing. There have definitely been many challenges I’ve faced over the past 6 years that I have definitely grown from that I wouldn’t have experienced if I stuck the path of an average desk job. I keep asking myself would I go back to 2013 and tell myself to do a regular 9 to 5 job and shlep my way to DC? Honestly… no. I don’t feel I would be as happy doing a job that I felt confined to rather than having the ability to meet new people of different mindsets and find ways to help them professionally. It’s definitely helped me get out of my comfort zone for the most part.
I wouldn’t have been able to learn new aspects including the basics of running a business, how to do accounting for a business and for yourself, my own taxes (for better or for worse), teaching my skills to other professionals when it comes to Social Media & Adobe programs, and to meet so many people to help out there business in one way or another. It’s hard to quantify that value in a physical means but the experience I gained by going to Startup Weekends, Hack-a-thons and other Tech events has been invaluable.
Finding a way to have your business gain profit and have some clash flow come in while looking for bigger projects was a challenge to find over time but eventually things accumulated to help support the business. Through several contracts I’ve had the chance to learn more about SEO, WCAG Compliance, Social Media Ads, GIFs, Google Adwords, WordPress tools, Sketch App, how to use LESS files, and a lot more. Those opportunities to learn are not to be forgotten. The more tools I obtain the more I’m able to as a designer help clients in new ways than just creating a nice brand package or a simple website.
If I were to give anyone any quick advice it would definitely be the late night hours you spend on in the beginning are definitely worth the effort. Its always good to play the long game when networking to find the clients that want to work with you, not just ones that you want to work with. It’s a relationship between the two of client and business, the opportunity has to present itself. Learn to give yourself some downtime and space to recuperate. It’s never good to burnout yourself. Take a couple days or an afternoon to recharge your batteries. Set boundaries for yourself, you can’t run your business 24/7 by yourself.
I’m thankful for all of those who helped my business grow along the way, from all the networking I did with FredXChange (and being a board member), to all the great projects I have got to work on thanks to my amazing clients, and to working at CoWorkFXBG everyday to have a place to work other than at home. I look forward to hopefully another successful 2020 with new clients and projects that challenge me creatively.