What do you do for a living, and why did you make the jump to self-employment?
I'm a Creative Director and Designer who creates logos, graphic tees, websites and branding for brands, musicians, and small businesses. Prior to working for myself, I spent a decade managing design teams at EXPRESS, Abercrombie & Fitch, and HOMAGE.
Working in retail can take it's toll on you personally and professionally. Ultimately, I decided that working for myself rather than for a brand would be healthier and more rewarding for me and my family.
What’s a big challenge you’ve had with running your own business, and how did you overcome it?
One of my biggest challenges has been working in the present and prepping for future work. I wish I could just sit down each day and design without worrying about emails, hustling for new work, or invoices (I hate telling people how much something is going to cost). That being said the thrill of not knowing what's coming and what you may get to work on can be exciting. I'm not sure I'll ever overcome it, but I'm getting more comfortable with it.
What advice would you give to those who are just starting out on the journey of running their own businesses?
Know your goals and the market you are entering. Do you want money, work-life balance, to love what you do, or fame? Whichever it is, if you're a designer or if you're selling a product make sure you have what it takes. In my experience, the people who succeed are very driven or have an idea that there is a high demand for. Ideally, you have both. Ask people around you for their thoughts on it. I love music and can play a few instruments, but I know better than to say: "I'm gonna quit my job and start a music career." That's what hobbies are for.
Where would you like your business to be three years from now?
Honestly, I'd be very happy still sitting in my home office designing with my kids running around the house all day. In regards to work, I'd really enjoy being at a point where people are coming to me for work more than me seeking it out. A consistent flow of work with great clients allowing me to work on bigger and more exciting projects would be awesome.
What quality, habit, or decision has contributed to the success of your business?
I'm obsessive when it comes to what I do for a living. Whether it was for another company or on my own I can't "mail something in." I care, and care passionately about getting something to look great. I think when you put that into something for yourself and ultimately a client it breeds success.