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Going Independent: Real Life Has No Formula

I could write this post and claim to be an expert on going independent.

I’m talking about the art of breaking away from the 9 to 5, pursuing your creative urges and making it happen in spite of all the challenges that go along with freelancing, starting your own business or just chasing those entrepreneurial dreams.

I admit it.

I’m not an expert . . . on your situation that is. However, when it comes to my situation, I’m the one to talk to and I have a feeling that my situation is one that many of you can relate in one way or another.

You may remember when I told you how my world got flipped by a few life changing experiences. And while that was awesome . . . I soon found out that I wasn’t done.

As I write this, I’m still in the house-selling, topsy-turvy existence that inspired Freelancing in Freefall but now with an added time cost. Because my husband and I agreed that having a predictable income was best for this season in our lives, I decided to go back to work outside of the home.

That’s right. Back to work. But how is that still Independence?

The difference this time is that I refuse to do anything but what I love.

Your Independence May Look Different from Mine

 

We are all creatives trying to do what we love and make a living off of whatever that is. We all work hard doing it. With that said, some people figure out their groove a little faster than others. Some people have to go in a few different directions before they figure out what works.

Update January 2016: After going out and working for someone else, I had a crazy realization. For me, going independent wasn’t just about what I was doing, but who I was doing it for.

I was miserable working for someone else although I was still designing! Who knew!? I came back home, worked my tail off and now I’m able to JUST run my business with steady client work and income.


Realization #1: My Independence is Cemented in Design

Recently I started creating an online course that helps people fully brand their businesses.

I worked hard on this course so hard.

My best friend, byRegina, even helped me film a video to make everything look friendly and professional (she is good at that sort of thing).

As I’m working on my course, trying to maintain my blog and crank out an eBook that I started writing, I found myself on the verge of exploding.

Eventually I did find that as long as my “hustles” revolved around design, then they worked for me.

For instance, starting a “Design School” for entrepreneurs with courses focused on helping people create their own visuals. That’s awesome.

Or, opening a shop of my own with design templates and resources for the hard-working hustler. Love that too!

If I don't constantly connect what I'm doing for my business to what I love, then I lose motivation. Click To Tweet

Realization #2: Your Peace Should Determine Your Path

I’m used to juggling a lot. That’s my normal, but when I felt my peace slipping away, I had to figure out what was really happening.

That’s when I realized that even though the projects I took on were great and, honestly, would be helpful to my audience, they weren’t rooted in design. And because they were rooted in design, they drained me.

Once I paused the production of the course, reworked my portfolio and took on a few big branding projects, I felt like a new person.

Realization #3: Going Independent is Not Typically Done Independently

 

I have a friend who came to me recently discouraged because she started her business and it wasn’t taking off.

I had to remind her that it’s normal to struggle at first.

What’s not normal is for you to get an idea, develop everything around, and make money off of it immediately and anyone who tries to sell you on that is taking advantage of your situation.

Do what needs to be done for you. If that means getting a full time job until you can transition, then do that! Don’t let anyone make you feel like it’s not meant to be if it doesn’t happen quickly.


What has your journey as an independent looked like?

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3 Comments

  • I really like the honesty you’ve put in this post! I wish you to get to the point where you can go back at being independent again. As for The Independent itself, it looks fantastic! Like, the Vogue of blogging!! I love anything that is ad-free, not that I think people are forced to be biased but, I subscribed to 3 ad-free newspapers and, they are indeed better. Anyways, I can’t wait to have my copy! Good luck on all your projects!!

    • Brittany says:

      Lutetia! Thank you for your support. You know what’s interesting . . . after my husband and I made the decision for me to work outside of my business, I didn’t feel like I strayed too much because I was still doing what made me happy. It was so cool walking into a job and already knowing 95% of it on an expert level. If I had to go and do anything but design, I would be pretty miserable. Of course the preference is to be 100% independent and available at any moment for my kids, client meetings etc…but that season will come. I’m excited that my business and craft can flow with the needs of my lifestyle. Thank you for your support as always! You are amazing.

  • Maricel says:

    Totally agree! I’m doing this transition working part- time in the mornings and on my projects afternoons and weekends, is tough but who said it was going to be easy? anyway, love your site, all the best!

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