The Year of Like, Realising Stuff

I never, ever thought of quitting my job - it’s not that I didn’t think it was impossible, it quite literally never came to mind but when things started to align, my plans started to get bigger and deadlines tighter - as a soul-sucking job which I hadn’t encountered like this in all my years of retail, I had a shock to the system (of my work closing) and I took the opportunity, as well as the help. And here I am - a year out of retail and working for myself. So, I took some time to gather my thoughts and realised there were more things I was surprised by then I expected…


THE FIRST 6 MONTHS

How? How where the first 6 months the easiest - now I look back I realised it was a blur, I started my first 6 months off with a coach and it was a total blessing. It kept me ahead of my own game and running fast, I was working on big plans that would pay of in the future (hopefully

KNOWING YOUR LIMITS

Coming from a person of detail and self professed “over-creator” - it took me quite a few projects and stressful moments before the words of my mum finally sunk in “only you know how far you want to take it”. Having big plans is great but knowing when to refine ideas is more important than taking that original plan as far as possible. Work smart.

 

WAVES

Then came the waves - come christmas time, after some amazing work I saw everyone around me rushing to finish their work before the end of year - but not me? I didn’t even sell anything in christmas. The second thoughts started creeping in - by the time I had decided to push forward, it was new year and without realising until after it past, I was riding my first wave. Waves are fucking great, but they are waves - and something incredibly important I realised was, waves come back - when I felt like I was drowning, there’s more than likely a wave coming for me. I just had to hold tight.

IT’S NOT JUST YOU

Creativity has bought me more than just work and drawing pieces - it’s bought me the closest creative and supportive circle I could ever imagined possible. It’s all well and good getting support but giving support to people and bringing them closer has made a huge impact on my entire - everything. Taking care of each other with unquestionable support is priceless - and if I’m the average of the five people I spend the most time with… being supported and supporting those people close to me has made me more driven, positive, calm, balanced and grateful.

WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS

Yes, a well known quote but after seeing tell tale signs of focusing on negatives and positives - living in the drive and passion and enjoy it rather than stressing and being upset about something fucking up is SO important for not only your business but your mental health. Focus on your plans, rather than tough emails, lost jobs or comparison.

KNOWING YOUR WORTH 

Just like learning how to price your prints for the first time, putting a price on your time and skill for commissions is just as hard. Especially when you have all different levels of customers coming through - from large companies to “I don’t have much of a budget” clients. Remember as hard as it may be to keep the balance of catering to people AND you - you have a skill, people are coming to you for something special. 

MAKING BANK

I think “taking the leap” comes with a few misconceptions - the main one being that you’re only source of income is your skill. And sometimes, that’s just not feasible. Making bank is an important part of the process - because that’s your main aim, living off your passion, but being aware of your finances is crucial - take care of yourself and your finances so that you can actually enjoy your decision as much as possible, rather than stressing HARD about it not working. Look at what will make you money when your passion isn’t bringing it in, be smart about it and be resourceful. 

ASKING FOR HELP

Taking big leaps has made me more resourceful than ever - you don’t know everything, no one expects you to and the best part is everyone in the industry has been on a similar path and for most, making the most of putting yourself out there and asking for help is strength - not a sign of weakness. It shows initiative and drive and will more than likely help in building relationships.

- THINGS CHANGE - 

The biggest and more recent new lesson for me came out of a mix of personal changes and more big leaps - I made a decision for a big project early this year which more than likely changed the course of my year and whatever is ahead of that and in turn for the last 3-4 months, my focused adjusted to a big project AND my own work - which is also where “what you focus on expands came through” as this project started gaining momentum, my own work started slowing down a bit. In that time my personal life started changing which also bought in the money and waves aspect - it’s insane how everything connects, both of these big changes in my year helped me understand that things change - and adapting and growing again is a strength and I will roll with what happens for now - due to my personal changes I may go back into working retail when the right opportunity comes up BUT if my big project is as successful as it is in my head, I may not need to, for now I’ve just made a more clear effort to focus on balance, for my project and own work.

Please always feel free to share unexpected lessons you've learnt along the way - for anytime in your career.

Enjoy x