I read an article at the beginning of 2018 about how to have a ‘good creative year’ and the thing that resonated with me was a quote by Sarah Waiswa: ‘It’s easy to wait for the perfect time to leave your job, but fear will kill your dreams.’ I had freelance clients for a good few years while I was working in several different full time jobs and I loved working for them. I think it was a mixture of being at the forefront of the decision making, doing the design work, strategic thinking and the client liaison which made these jobs full-filling to me. However, I liked to ignore that niggling feeling inside that was telling me I should be doing that full time.
As with anything, if you ignore something it only gets bigger and after working in a Creative Management role I decided the time had come to take the plunge and really develop my own client work. I’d stopped freelancing whilst in this role and it wasn’t the right decision for me, I knew I missed it. I decided that 2018 was going to be the year so I landed myself a 3 day a week contract role and took the plunge.
I’d started writing this article before that contract role had ended (I still had the security of it’s regular, but smaller than I had been used to, wage). Luckily (or possibly through my hard work and determination) I’ve been too busy to finish it and now I find myself reflecting on the article again.
The contract role has finished and I am working for myself full time. First of all, I’ll say it feels great. It feels like the right thing for me and I sometimes wish I’d done it sooner because of this feeling, but the lessons I learnt whilst being employed and at times not very happy in those roles, have helped me out in the moments since. The moments where I wonder if I’ll have any money coming in in 3 months time or doubting whether I’m good enough to succeed.
See, the thing that stopped me was fear. Fear of failing, not earning enough, not knowing what to do. But I have since realised that there’s no such thing as failure (you’ll always learn something, even if it’s how not to do something!) you can always find out or learn what do to and if you’re good with money and are willing to put some hard work in, you’ll be fine.
And I’ve also learned since that that fear was slowly killing my creativity and passion for what I do. So on a quieter day when I actually have time to write this, I’m very happy I took the plunge, because sometimes when you decide to ‘just go for it’ like I did, it suddenly feels like you’re finally doing what you really want to be doing and doesn’t seem quite so scary anymore.
Oh, if you’re interested in reading the full article, you can find it over on 99u.