This week I’m celebrating my first year working as a Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant. However, this is not the first time I’ve worked for myself doing what I enjoy. The first time I worked for myself was a few years back when I left a cushy and secure job to venture into something risky and challenging with my mother. My mother and I introduced a high-end fashion label into Australia. You can read about that fashion business we owned and managed here.
Fast-forward to 2016 and things are different. I’m wiser and more experienced. However, have once again taken the plunge to work for me. I decided to do this after carefully analysing the risks and viability of my new initiative. I’m fortunate also to have a partner who supports my ideas and encourages to do things that I love and enjoy. My new business involves helping small to mid-sized businesses improve their online presence and performance.
The rewards are many. Financially I’m making nearly as much as I did while working as an employee for other companies. In terms of time, I have more time to do the work I love and to do other equally important things such as working out four times a week. I don’t plan on ever giving up this extra time I’ve invested into a healthier lifestyle. This new situation has changed my body and my mind and has increased my levels of energy, enthusiasm and contentment in life. It has also provided me with a greater sense of stimulation to be more creative.
I’m also on a steep learning curve and am always being challenged. I always remind others if they stop learning and cease to be challenged it’s time to move on. Since I started my new business, I’m a happier person and have a high level of satisfaction and achievement than ever before.
When I’m not working with my clients (or trying to find new ones), I work on designing and creating new jewellery which I sell to unique boutiques in Australia and overseas. I now have an agent in Victoria and am looking forward to expanding into other markets.
Below are some things I’ve learnt after successfully being able to work for myself this past year, and they include:
- Don’t be over confident, stay humble and embrace the everyday challenges.
- Be a smarter networker. Don’t waste time with meet-ups or events if they’re not strategic or relevant enough for you. Remember your time is now more precious than ever before.
- Respect your connections. If you connect with someone, respect them, listen to what they have to offer and make an effort to keep in touch.
- Be yourself. Don’t pretend you have been doing this for a long time. Be honest and tell people the hardship, the stresses and anxiety of having to work and fight for that next client.
- Don’t over promise. At the beginning to get clients on board you may promise things you can’t fulfil because you think this is what the client wants to hear. However, make sure to be genuine and honest and only promise what you can deliver.
- Love life and give every day your best. You’ll have some down days, everyone does, but don’t forget you can get out any time of the day and take a walk, grab a coffee and relax.
- Keep a balance. It’s easy to work longer hours when you do what you love so make sure to keep that balance from day one.
- Every day is different, and there is no routine. If you’re someone who likes routine and stability and is not a leader, I wouldn’t recommend stepping outside your comfort zone and working for yourself.