Here it is! Today is my first official day as a full-time business owner and freelancer. :) Ever since Jon and I made the decision two months ago, we've been preparing for the transition and working on what that would look like for our family as well as having lots of conversation with Jenny about how that would look for our business. It's hard to believe this day is actually here. This has been a huge dream and goal of mine since I can remember and it's so exciting to be in this place, free to do what I love!
As I have been preparing for this transition, I wanted to share some of the things I've done and goals I've set during this time. For those of you that are full-time seasoned freelancers and business owners, I would LOVE to hear any helpful advice you might have! Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. :)
1. Budgeting - One aspect of this transition that will directly affect our family is the shift in our budget. Instead of depending on a consistent income from both Jon and me, we now only have one consistent income and an income we hope will build consistency, but will most likely fluctuate through the course of this year. Fortunately, we are able to live off of what Jon brings in. However, I have some whopping student loans left that we are working our arses off to get done paying. We've made A LOT of exciting progress in our debt over the past two years and we are seeing the finish line on the horizon. When I was working my 9-5 job, most, if not all, of my paycheck was being thrown at our student loans. Now that things are changing, we've decided to tighten up our budget and continue throwing everything I bring in at our loans with a goal of contributing a certain range each month. One thing that has REALLY helped working towards this adjustment was right after we made the decision that I would quit my job, we decided to live off of our new budget immediately and save the extra so we could create some cushion room and get used to how things would look for the rest of the year.
2. Scheduling - I've heard that it's really important to set boundaries for yourself as a business owner because the perception can often be that I all the sudden have lots of free time. In order to set boundaries for myself and for others, I've created a very thorough schedule for each week. I've set aside specific planning time, email time, blogging time, and lots of design time to work on projects. This will not only help me be realistic about what I can and can't take on, but will also help me stay focused on the tasks I need to complete that day. I've also made sure to include time in my day for exercise, lunch breaks, and personal development time so I'm keeping myself healthy, inspired and not sitting on my behind the entire day!
3. Get Ready! - This is a big goal for me. In the past, with my 9-5 job, I've been able to work from home now and then. I would find myself scrunging around the house with baggy pj's and messy hair. Day one felt fun and exciting, but by the second or third day of slumpin' I began feeling completely uninspired, tired, and unmotivated. No bueno! Taking the time to get ready in the morning; shower, get dressed, put some make-up on, do my hair...can make all the difference in how I feel that day and how productive I am. My goal is to get ready every morning with ONE jammy day each week. Tuesdays are pajama day...although I DID decided to get fully ready today, mostly because I wanted to impress my co-workers on the first day. ;)
4. Take Back the Night! - Before quitting my 9-5 job, I would work 32-40 hours each week at my desk job, come home, and then work most nights and weekends on Maiedae. I made sure to dedicate Wednesday to Jon for date night and Sundays for rest and family time...but most likely every other night and weekend (unless we were traveling) was dedicated to Maiedae work. While I LOVE what I do with Maiedae and never really felt like I was working...I'm ready to "take back the night" and give myself more set work hours and open up more time for new projects, hobbies, friend//family time and husband time!! I'm so excited to give myself some time back and maybe work on some home decorating or set coffee dates with friends! Whoohoo!
Those are some of my main goals and thoughts on going through this transition. I'm excited to see what I will learn through this new adventure, what will shift and the "best practices" I will glean. Again, if you have any advice or great resources, please feel free to share! In the meantime, here are a couple of my favorite "freelancer" resources for creatives:
B L O G S
* Be Free, Lance - Breanna Rose
* Advice Column - DesignLoveFest
* Biz Ladies - Design*Sponge
* Alt Blog - Alt Summit
B O O K S
* My So-Called Freelance Life - Michelle Goodman (currently reading)
* The Boss of You - Lauren Bacon & Emira Mears
Hope you have a wonderful day!!