- In August, I learned I have ADHD. This has been a HUGE challenge all my life but even MORE helpful to learn more about what ADHD and how it’s affecting me and how it makes me a super creative, enthusiastic, and details oriented person (when I like the work). I have applied these traits to my work with clients. They especially LOVE the ideas I generate on how to better a process or project they’re having me work on.
- I learned SO MUCH about my WORTH. But I learned when it’s OK to work for free if it’s something I CREATE, VOLUNTEER to do because of a cause I believe in, or it’s something I LOVE, vs not accepting jobs that just didn’t feel good in my body. I learned to say NO and to say YES when it’s right for me.
- I realized it’s OK to NOT want to freelance full time, to run a business with subcontractors, or even freelance at all sometimes! You are STILL an entrepreneur and still a business owner! One of the biggest takeaways I’ve learned over the past calendar year (I joined the course in January 2019 and was LLC’d by March 2019) is that it’s OK to be wherever you are in the process of building your business. It’s OK to stop and reevaluate what you REALLY want. Like a job! I am currently seeking a full-time role and will still freelance. But I think there’s a lot to be gained from full-time employment at an established company. I want to learn some best practices of larger, more established organizations. (I’m targeting the role of customer success manager if anyone’s interested).
- I DO NOT like getting paid by the hour. It’s like I’m allergic to it now! Even though I HAVE accepted some admin clients after saying I ONLY want to do creative work (which takes a lot out of you to be honest, if you’re not inspired at that moment and there’s a deadline looming), I STILL am charging by the project, week, or month. It’s way more flexible, but I still track my time with Toggl for my records.
- More than anything I think I have had to really overcome imposter syndrome and demon voices in my head telling me I suck. Seriously! Believing those voices stopped me from going after things I might have been good at.
- One major bonus insight: The seeds I have planted by putting in HOURS of work on my marketing materials like my portfolio and thinking about my pricing HAS paid off. I may not even use them with every client, but to have them there to refer to or to send off to a client and only having to make just make a few tweaks, is GOLD. I have even used some of these materials for employee job applications. My point is, it may feel like you’re wasting time, especially if you can’t afford to outsource some task to someone, but DO THE WORK! These are seeds you’re planting now that WILL pay off in the end! Think: reviews, recommendations, referrals, the RELIEF of knowing you don’t have to start from scratch.
- And the final insight: A business runs on systems and lives on SALES. In the freelance world, your pitch is your ask. In the job world, submitting an application is like that initial contact with a prospect for them to eventually buy what you’re selling. If you ain’t askin’, you ain’t sellin. And I allowed so much fear to stop me from doing the very thing that gets you a solid YES, I’ll hire you at the price you want – the ASK.
I’m not afraid of asking anymore. Idealist I am, I’m wanting the best of both worlds. Running a business is a lot of work to do full time and to rely on it for your full time salary. I know I’m still not at the point where I want to focus on marketing every day and client acquisition…sales. It’s a numbers game. And I don’t have the team to support reaching the amount of people I would need to get the amount and quality of projects I want.
Plus, I think of a job as my “BIG CLIENT’ in a way. The companies I’m targeting for work offer high salaries, flexible work hours and location, mostly in the tech space. They have roles that call in several of my gifts and will challenge me to grow my leadership, business, and technical acumen. So it might feel closer to contract work than working as an employee ever has before, because I simply wasn’t aware that jobs like this existed.
I don’t see my standstill in moving forward in my business as a setback and I don’t see going for a job by the end of the quarter as giving up. Rather, I see it all as another step in my journey towards financial stability and mastery, two big goals for the year.
Hit me up on Facebook and IG @starsworldsolutions to talk more about all of this.
Enjoy and stay super positive (And turn off the news!) during COVID.