Since quitting my agency job last month to pursue the self employed world I’ve gotten more than a few emails asking for tips and advice on what I did in order to prepare myself to freelance full-time. With some long work nights and pep talks to myself and realizing that there would never be a perfect moment I built up the courage to finally make the leap. Here are some things I did to get ready:
→ Built up my savings + simplified.
I love shopping and eating out as much as the next girl but wanting to quit my day job forced me to really buckle down and start saving money. I started making saving a priority. I cut out all of the unneccesary monthly subsciptions, started waxing my own eyebrows, sold my car, stopped shopping and brought my lunch to work which also lead me to lose a few pounds in the process. I signed up with Mint so I could see where all of my money was going and by the time I quit my job I had 4 months worth of income saved up.
→ Defining failure.
A lot of what kept me from making the leap for so long were internal thoughts I’d have about myself and my work. I was so afraid of failing that I stayed within my comfort zone and didn’t take any chances. I had to ask myself what failure meant. For me, failure meant not being able to pay my bills and having to find another job. Which in the long run isn’t actually that bad. But when I gave my notice a coworker told me that I’d hate freelancing so much that I’d end up asking for my job back. That was enough motivation to kick my butt into high gear and make it so I’d never have to go back. I started writing out what I’d do so I would never have to get another job in the corporate world and from this stemmed a bunch of great ideas for creating different streams of income for myself.
→ Reaching out.
After I gave my notice I reached out to past clients + friends to let them know I’d be working for myself. This opened the door for returning clients to come back with some work that they wanted me to do for them and for friends to spread the word. I also reached out to some other designers and asked for advice which made me feel so confident about my decision. I love how supportive everyone has been and am extremely grateful for the friends I’ve made through blogging and the internet.
→ Got organized.
I’ve been freelancing for a few years now but knew that if I wanted to run my own business I needed to start taking myself more seriously. I had awhile between the day I gave notice and my final day so this allowed me to finish out current projects and start working with some new clients. I finished my website design that I had been staring at for so long and finally passed it off to be developed. I made sure all of my clients were current and up to date with their invoices. I started reading up on what I needed to do to prepare myself for dreaded tax season + started saving all of my business related receipts. And I even opened up two new accounts with my bank. One for business and then a savings account for all of my tax money to go into.
There’s still a lot on the business end that I need to figure out but I’m almost a month into working for myself and I love it so much. Stay tuned, I’ll be posting some monthly updates so you can follow along on the ups and downs of my freelance journey.
I currently have a few openings for freelance work so if you think we’d be a great fit, get in touch!
I truly loved reading this! I so appreciate you sharing your journey and I can’t wait to read more as you go along. Cheers to you making the leap!
Thanks so much for sharing!! I love reading about how designers take that gutsy leap, and the transition that occurs right after. Looking forward to your monthly updates, and of course the new web design 🙂
this is SO good. Thank you so much. I’m in the process of finding clients and figuring out the whole freelance business. It’s scary but posts like these make me realize it’s possible!
Thanky you so much for this, its very inspiring. My husband and I have done the same, working for ourselves. It has been a journey for the last 6 months, and somedays I feel like if I am really cut out for this, but its stories like your own that lets me know many of us have the same fears…but its not enough to give up. When we cry, or get scared its not for us to give up, but rather to keep going!
Keep writing these posts and I’ll keep reading them, love it! And congrats again!
I wish you so much luck and success! it takes a lot of discipline and courage to follow your heart. its inspiring to see someone going for it! You’ve shared some really good tips, especially about reaching out. what’s been your number way of bringing in customers/clients?
Its always been a dream of mine to completely work for myself as well. not being able to pay my pills is the scariest thing about taking the plunge and the only thing truly holding me back from doing that. Right now I’m working a full time job and running a vintage shop / mini design design studio in my spare time but hopefully i’ll be able to make the leap at some point as well! I hope you post more posts like this in your journey, God knows we can ALL use all the help and advice we can get!