Four months ago, after graduating from University, I started pouring my all into my design company. I secured contracts with a multitude of small companies and built my portfolio gradually on a roughly built website. Two months ago, I started working with marketing firms and quit my corporate part time job at RBC Capital Markets to take my business full time. One month ago, I released my professional website. I’m in no means successful, I’m not even close. But I’m so happy in my work. And I thought I’d share a taste of what that’s like.
Anyone that knows me well knows that I was always a rebel. I hate the ordinary, the mundane and boredom. But I had big dreams, a lot of hope and love within me that I’d find my way in the world somehow.
Is money the objective? The indicator of success? All I’ve ever wanted was enough to get by and travel anywhere on a whim. But my second month in operation, I made more than I had in two years at my corporate part time job. The day I quit was that freedom I had always craved and I felt so alive.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” — Mark Twain
I believe that everyone has their skills that differentiates them from the pack. But it takes an unique courage, willpower and hustle to take it to a worthwhile level. I’ve collected ounces of wisdom here and there from conversations with my multitude and large range of clients, many of whom have been extremely generous in providing their expertise and have contributed significantly to me becoming more confident in business practices.
Some days I don’t think I can do it, because there will always be difficult, unethical and untrustworthy clients. The worst is when they make you feel so small, underestimating you because of your age, your gender, whatever it is. The boss of a large firm I worked with told me something simple but extremely profound to my business practice development — just say no. It seems like common sense, but reaching the point where you have the power to choose who provides your pay check… is empowering. Another client who was an experienced business consultant also told me, rise yourself above — exemplify legitimacy, prove trustworthiness with your work and it will speak for itself.
The thing I’ve learned about client acquisition is that it’s always going to be easier to work with someone who’s looking for you. As in, unwanted hard sells, networking and mass advertising… will never be as effective as someone who requires your services and sees value in your work. The best of opportunities I’ve acquired, I’ve applied to people searching or they’ve responded to my ad.
Stability? I don’t know the meaning of the word. I have no accurate idea of what I could be making the next month. I get up at 11 AM some mornings and have three consecutive meetings the next. I work eight hours one day and not at all for three days. I love it. The unpredictability makes every new opportunity that much more exciting and fulfilling.
But at the end of the day, every penny I earned is a product of hustle and honest passion. My clients are often impressed with my speed of delivery, but the answer to this is simple — I love the work, so I’m excited for the majority of my projects. Passion is powerful. I honestly just can’t wait to sit back down at my desk and actualize all the ideas popping into my head.
Find what you love. Have the courage to do it. Trust me, it’s so worth it!