Get RealPosted on: Apr 03, 2015
I’m living the dream – I’m a freelance Graphic Designer. I’ve wanted to say that ever since I graduated from uni almost a decade ago. Except that this isn’t a dream, this is the real world. And making dreams work in the real world requires a lot of admin (funnily enough, I have exactly the kind of relentlessly humdrum dreams that do feature a lot of admin…they are far too pedestrian for my taste).
Anyone that’s ever started their own business or taken the plunge into self-employment will know that it takes years of planning to get to this point. Two years ago I started a private pension in the anticipation/hope of becoming my own boss one day. Around the same time I started saving my ass off to build up a safety net of money (AKA the ‘I’d Really Rather Not Lose The House Fund’). More recently I’ve set up Professional Indemnity insurance for myself and have been researching the pros and cons of setting up a limited company (that’s a blog post for another day). And it goes without saying that I’ve been steadily building up a client base too.
Because it’s not enough to say ‘I want to be…’, you have to think about the practical steps required to make that dream a reality, as unromantic as that may sound. To quote from the excellent Design is a Job book that I recently reviewed, you are not doing design, you are selling design, with all the responsibility and obligations that entails.
Not that I’m trying to overstate the challenges of my situation, far from it. I love what I do and I’m also really enjoying the ‘sensible’ side of this creative endeavour. I’m an information junkie, and learning about things like business development and bookkeeping is just more knowledge to add to my stash.
And I have to say, since starting this journey (and it is only the start) my respect and admiration for anyone that has built a business from scratch has increased tenfold. I'll let you know how my journey goes...