So exactly one month ago today, I left my day job and started working for myself full time (well almost, read more about my transition from day job to dream job). It’s probably been the fastest month of my entire life. The saying that ‘when you are doing what you love, time flies’ is certainly true. That’s not to say that I didn’t love my previous job because I did. The people were amazing and the days flew by there too but they are going even quicker now.
This means I am really having to structure my days as before I know it, it’s 4.30pm and I need to start thinking about shutting down and getting ready to pick up my son from nursery.
I wanted to share with you today some of the things I have been doing during my first month as a freelance designer and also some of the lessons I’ve learnt.
What I’ve been doing
I’d wanted to rebrand for so long but when you are juggling a day job, client projects and family life, it’s just impossible to find the time. However, when I found out that I was being made redundant, it really gave me the push I needed to complete my rebrand so my evenings during my last month of full time employment were spent getting everything ready for my rebrand.
I launched my new look towards the end of my first week of freelancing and have been making small tweaks here and there but overall, I’m really happy with the way my brand looks. I still have some changes I want to make, mainly improving the user journey further and also improving the copy so I plan to work on these changes this month.
This has been my main focus this month and where the majority of my time has been spent. When working my day job, it was so hard to market myself properly and work on client projects so I found it was a constant circle of client work – marketing – client work – marketing.
Want to put together a marketing strategy for your business? Sign up to my FREE 5-day Marketing Strategy e-course by clicking the image below.
I’ve implemented many new marketing methods into my business including Tailwind for Pinterest, Active Campaign for email marketing and also really upped my blogging game. I’ve also created a free marketing strategy e-course which you can find out more about my clicking the image above and I’ve started including content upgrades in my blog posts.
I’ve been lucky enough to work on a few client projects this month both for new and existing clients and have also launched the new brand and website for Fleur & Fig, a wedding styling company based in the UK.
Lessons I’ve learnt
This has been the toughest lesson learned this month. Whilst I have a few client projects in the works at the moment, I still have capacity to book more and to reach my goal of booking out three months in advance. It’s even harder when friends and family ask how I’m doing and how business is going and I start to feel a little defensive, even though I know it’s not meant harmfully. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s my first full month as a freelance designer and that I have to be patient. As long as I am putting in the work and ensuring my name is getting out there, I know I will attract my dream clients eventually.
Both in the work I am doing but also in my schedule. I’m lucky in that I have to get up to take my son to nursery two days a week and to my mums one day a week so I have three days where I get up, get dressed and leave the house before starting work. I think if I didn’t have to do this, I would find it so much harder to not work in my pyjamas all day and I’d probably end up in front of the telly too.
Mondays tend to be a mix of work and family time and then I work regularly Tuesday – Thursday from 9am – 4.30pm. Fridays have always been my day off with my son and as I don’t have childcare on this day, I’ve stuck with this schedule.
I’ve also tried hard not to work too much in the evenings but when my computer is in such easy access and I have work that I want or need to do, the temptation is sometimes too great.
Invest in your business
Whilst I don’t have a huge pot of money to invest in my business right now, I have made the decision to invest in some essential things in my business such as Tailwind, Active Campaign and a monthly membership to PersuitHQ, a membership community and training center for entrepreneurs run my Melyssa Griffin. These are all elements that I believe will help me grow my business and move it forwards.
I hope you’ve found this insight into my first month as a full time entrepreneur useful. Are you currently at a similar stage? Or have you just finished your first 6 months or year as a full time entrepreneur? I’d love to hear from you!