It’s been 2 years since I started working full time for myself.
Cookie is only a few months old but it’s been two years to the day since I took the huge step to start working for myself full time.
Taking that leap of faith, leaving behind the guaranteed salary and no longer have the comfort of having holiday pay. The thought of it still scares me a little bit, but in a good way.
Leaving the job I had been in for 6 years was the biggest push out of my comfort zone that I have ever had in my life. Even more so than going to university or anything else I had done before. It was (and still is) a complete unknown, I didn’t know if it would just end up with me going back to my old work with my tail between my legs or whether it’d take off and it sets me up for the rest of my life. But in all honesty, the unknown has always excited me and it what gets me out of bed in the morning, it motivates me and gives me a challenge to always try to better myself.
I’m not going to lie and say that it has been a none stop fun adventure since leaving my full-time job because it just hasn’t been. That’s not to mention the year before I left where I worked most evenings and week doing design work as a side hustle. Since leaving my full-time job it’s been 2 years of learning so much about business as well as myself. I wish I could tell myself when I was first starting out that you really shouldn’t care about what other people think. When I first started my design business the biggest ‘mistake’ I made was renting a big office and kitting it out as if I had a team of 4 people. It cost a small fortune and if I’m completely honest with myself, it was purely for vanity to look bigger than I actually was. I always managed to refrain from getting big items such as a company car or leasing unnecessary computer kit but just having the office was enough to sink the ship – luckily after months of emails and phone calls, I was able to get rid of it!
Sitting in a big empty office every day, I quickly realised how lonely it is working on my own. The long days and issues that can only be sorted by you make it incredibly isolating. I think it definitely takes a certain type of person to run their own business, you quickly have to develop the skill to suppress that negative voice that just wants to scream… ‘we’re doomed!’ or ‘but what will they think?!’
Working on the day to day design projects highlighted to me how competitive the market is. My reluctance to play the ‘how low will your prices go’ game made me realise I would have to change what I do. I’d reached the point where the majority of my work was literally just clicking the mouse where te click wants it clicked and the creativity just fizzled out. Plus, deep down I knew my heart I wanted to create a product that I could brand and sell myself instead of doing the artwork for other people. With 8 years experience in the print industry, it was obvious I had to start up a print business, but sell print the way I wish I could buy it as a designer. This led to the creation of Cookie aka the side hustle to the side hustle!
I do still spin the two plates of Cookie and my other design business while Cookie is still starting up. It does still present itself with another set of problems and having to priorities which works needs to be done first. However, by starting the new business I’ve used the lessons learnt from my original business and it has bubbled up a genuine love for what I do. I wake up every day ready to start creating and I’m always left feeling that I wish I could spend more time on it.
It’s definitely been a hard few years with constant changes. Having to swallow my pride, not caring about what people think and just putting myself out there. I love it and I hope it carries on growing! I know there is still a lot of work and long days are still in front of me, but I’m excited for the next two years. If you’ve made it to the end of this post I’m looking forward to you being part of it too!
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this, it means the world! If you have any comments please let me know. Thank you for your time and see you next time! Bye!
by Rob Moore
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