Tuesday, February 19, 2013

THOUGHTS ON GOING FULL-TIME FREELANCE

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!!


27 comments:

  1. Love this, best of luck! You'll be great!

    xo Jessica
    www.mystylevita.com

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  2. This is so exciting!

    Things that help me work at home: starting my day with exercise and then getting dressed, having a office space that I love, reminding myself to work out of the house (coffee shops, library, the gelato place by my house), turning my work email off my phone during non work hours, working shorter but more productive hours during the slow season and not feeling guilty about it (those are the months I can spend more time on relationships, what a blessing), and my husband will go into work late every once in a while to spend the morning with me which usually sets up a different tone for my day, I like it :)
    Oh, and every so often I try to have a non technology work day, just books, music, sketch book, journal, visit new places, take pictures for myself not work, I find this really helps with my creativity. I usually make lots of lists of things to do and get new ideas!

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    1. Love the idea of a non-technology work day!! Thanks for the tips!! :)

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  3. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED FOR YOU!

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  4. Best wishes on your new journey!! I'm not a designer but hearing your determination and goals is so motivating for my own blog just as a presence in the blogosphere. You need to be consistent, dedicated, and overall motivated. =) Thank you for the wise words and good luck!! =)

    Ergo - Blog

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  5. this is so exciting!! and it sounds like you've got things planned out well. and those resources are great. i find it so motivating and encouraging reading those articles, helping to get everything figured out. I think that i'm going to jump into my handmade business full-time in about a month, and its so scary, but also sooo exciting!
    good luck!

    -katie

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    1. So exciting!! Best wishes to you in your new upcoming journey! :)

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  6. Definitely all things to keep in mind. I would love to become a freelancer at some point but I know it's far away from now. My blog is still in baby stages. I am working hard to get it really going though! I hope one day I can say goodbye to 9-5s and bad part time jobs to do what I love full-time :)

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  7. hi! i read your blog constantly but rarely comment but I am so impressed by your foray into this! I currently work a TON too on the blog, shop and my day job, but I have yet to make the leap--- it's pretty scary. Looking forward to seeing what you share!

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  8. Congratulations on your first day full time! Stories like yours inspire me, so thanks so much for sharing it with us! Can't wait to read your suggested blogs for freelancers too... Happy Tuesday!

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  9. Congratulations on finally being able to fully pursue your dreams! I'm excited for you, and excited to watch you grow! Best of luck. <3

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  10. Looks like you need to update your personal description at the top left! Best of luck to you!!

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    1. SO true!!! Thanks for the reminder. :)

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  11. excited for you! congrats on taking this step.

    Valentina
    Valentina Duracinsky

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  12. i just finished reading my so-called freelance life - it was a fantastic resource, and has given me tons of great ideas and motivation! best of luck on your new quest :).

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  13. Livin' the dream, girly. Congrats!

    ~Lauren at inbetweenidols.blogspot.com

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  14. CoNGrAtULaTiONs!! looking forward to everything you'll be sharing here. good luck and lots of peace!

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  15. I'm so happily excited for you, Savannah! These ideas and plans seem perfectly suited for the jump you're taking. As a far-away dedicated follower, I must say I'm proud of you for following this dream!
    xo

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  16. I'm so excited for you! I work full time from home, as well. I'm a handbag designer for my company Gilly Lynn and I also own an online vintage shop, The Brass Giraffe.

    I couldn't agree more about the importance of a schedule. The illusion of free time can be very alluring. An afternoon coffee with friends, trip to the grocery store, and an hour in Target, can all lead to a very non-productive work day. Set hours can help to create a balance between work and play. I can also attest to the fact that it can be very hard to walk away from the at-home chores that will be staring you in the face all day. It's really nice to be able to throw in a load of laundry while I work, but often times it leads to straightening up, some light cleaning, reorganizing the bathroom, etc. By the time I finish up, it's already 3pm and I still have studio work to do. It's all about the balance. If you can get that down, you'll have a blast! Good luck and I can't wait to keep reading about your adventures on the blog!

    --Amanda
    www.allgussiedup.com

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  17. Congratulations and I wish you both the best of luck, Savannah! I'm looking forward for more entries regarding your shift to being a full-time freelancer. I'm sure a lot of people will be interested how you and Jon have managed a successful business. :)

    Kisty
    The Style Mermaid

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  18. Wow, Savannah! That is huge. So excited for you and I know that you are going to be amazing. Truly!

    Ashley

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  19. Congratulations and best of luck!
    I have worked from home for 12 years and I totally agree on the getting ready part, while it is fun to work in pjs on occasion, I am more productive and more confident when I am "dressed"

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  20. How exciting! Going full-time was one of the best things you'll ever do, I guarantee it! Your blog and business are going to blossom into something beautiful :)

    xoxo
    Nat

    modernbuttercup.blogspot.com

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  21. Love this! I've been struggling lately on balancing my writing/blog with my everyday life...it feels like I am always working and I need more balance. Great tips and a great read! Btw, found you through SBS:)

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  22. Very cool! Inspiring and would like to see if you are interested in coming to Bloomie's to look at our new French vendors: Sandro, Maje, Zadig & Voltaire, Gerard Darel. Having some bloggers in to show best "Music Festival" spring looks on 3/21 also! Send me yr email.

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  23. So crazy I'm literally in the exact same boat right now!! Quite my full-time job a couple months ago and am trying to build a client base and manage my time working from home. Discovered your blog via SBS - happy to connect, your site is adorable! :)

    xo
    Kristin
    www.LivingInColorPrint.com

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  24. I was SO excited to read this as I am working part-time as a freelance writer and working my way to full-time. I was inspired! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I found your blog through SBS and so happy to be your newest follower!
    :) Rebecca
    www.caravansonnet.com

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