It’s Been Three Years…

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…Since I quit my job and became self-employed! Three whole damn years, can you believe that, and guess what? I almost forgot! I won’t lie it’s been a struggle and I’m still nowhere near where I wanted to be but I’m still going. The last three years have been a learning curve and I have learnt so much. Some days I have just wanted to jack it in because I couldn’t see the point of struggling so hard or it was because I had no idea or clue what I was doing or where I wanted to go! Other days I’m like yeah this is the best and I’m a total boss! Freelance/self-employed life is a roller-coaster of emotions sometimes, like everything it’s full of highs and lows.

Every little sale or get a good feedback slowly erases away the self-doubt but every week of slow sales is a reminder not to get cocky and to keep at it! Not to give up if you fall at the first hurdle or even the second or third hurdle. They say behind every overnight success is at least five-ten years hard work most us won’t ever get to that level of success and will just get by day-to-day.  There will be many ‘failures’ a long the way. Some of them won’t even be failures just bad timing, trends come and go and the bat of an eyelid, blink and something new has taken over.

People will still think that you working for yourself is a doss, and that you pretty much free to drop everything and do stuff because hey working for yourself doesn’t mean you have a work schedule to keep at,  or they ask as an after thought (ie when you mention it) oh how’s that going for you than like they’re asking about the weather or even better, oh you’re still doing that then! or that your silly little craft fairs are not important (yes someone actually said that to me), or customer at markets who declare loudly that they could make this for far less, or customers requesting commissions declaring that there design is a big improvement on yours and expecting you to agree with them! And so on and so on, these are the things that keep you grounded and determined. Proving people wrong has always been my number one motivator.

Yes with freelancing comes a certain level of flexibility but you still have to haul ass to the post office regardless of the weather, there are no sick days, sick benefits or paid holidays. You do end up working longer hours and longer weeks but hey you’re leaving the dream so it doesn’t count, tell that to the bills that need paying.

Comparison is definitely the thief of joy, never compare your journey to anyone else’s, numbers are arbitrary, just because someone has 10,000 followers doesn’t always necessarily mean they are doing better than you, we live in a world where the number of likes seemingly make people look popular but at the end of the day it’s not a true indicator. people obsess over them for the wrong reasons, they paying attention to the wrong numbers,

This year I finally managed to settle on a path after much experimenting and somehow now have two shops to run. Two very different styles of shop which equally reflect my passions in life. Well I say two shops, I’m spending a lot of time setting up one with plans for another but obviously having to do everything myself means this is taking a little longer than I expected. I’m hoping to launch my handmade shop in time for my birthday. It seems kind of nice to start a new venture in a new decade.

I’m feeling a lot more settled, though being self-employed there is always the worry where the next sale/commission is coming from but I’m happy with where I’m at, I’m grateful I never gave up thanks to support of my customers and more so to my excellent cheerleader of a husband, reminding me that I can do this and I’m better at this than I think I am.

Everyday I learn something new and everyday I’m grateful I get to do this, some people have viewed my strong will and stubbornness as a negative but in this case it’s working to my advantage, and I guess that’s all that matters.