Front Porch Moments: A Series of Not-So-Business Stories
#2: Quitting my 9-5
If you’re new to Front Porch Moments, it’s a series of not-so-business stories that feel like we’re just chattin’ on a front porch (preferably on a chilly autumn evening with a hot toddy, but I’ll let you paint your own picture).
WOW – I cannot believe it’s been one full year since quitting full-time Marketing position and transitioning to a self-employed brand and web designer.
As a creative (yet somewhat realistic) person, I’ve spent the majority of my life thinking that it would be almost entirely impossible for me to create a living by being a self-employed creative.
Well, I am so excited to say that I proved myself wrong.
Humble brag for a quick sec – my brand design career is flourishing. September 1st of last year, I started the journey that is self-employment. And let me tell you, it has been the hardest but most fruitful year of my entire life.
Where My Branding Design Career Started:
The year after I graduated college was one where I felt really, really lost. Some of my friends were getting married, others were already talking about popping out babies, and I was just interested in creating a budget where I could afford my $6 latte twice a week (update on that budget, it’s still goin’ strong).
I started working at an Insurance company just a week after I graduated college, and 6 months into working there I said to myself, “I cannot do this for the rest of my life”.
Facebook must have heard me, because an ad popped up for a “work online and travel the world” online course for graphic designers. I immediately purchased it and dove through the course. And in turn, I found this amazing graphic design side to me that was uncovered. I. freaken. loved. design.
Fast-forward a few months, I had met my (now) boyfriend, and the world was shutting down. With LOTS of free time, I decided to start Press and Palm. I can clearly remember the day I posted on a Facebook group that I was a “Graphic Designer” and wanted to offer some logos to photographers.
I charged $35 for my first logo.
As soon as I realized I could make some extra money from this endeavor, I got to work – I created a website and started social media pages. I gave it the old college try, and ended up realizing how much I adored working with clients in this capacity.
And then, May 2021 rolled around. I was getting really burnt out from my corporate job and wedding photography business on the weekends. I wanted to continue building my design business but felt like I didn’t have the time I needed in a day to continue nurturing what I loved doing.
My solution? I quit my corporate job in August 2021 of last year, and went full-time in my graphic design freelance business on September 1st, 2021.
And to this day, it was the best decision I could have made for myself. I walked out those corporate doors and have not looked back (although I do miss having coworkers to joke around with).
Opportunities I’ve had over the last year:
-Going to Italy for a week just for a vacation + photography workshop
-Taking multiple vacations and not having to be worried about PTO
-Taking Friday’s off, or Tuesdays, or Wednesdays, or anytime that I need a break
-Continuing to educate myself and refine my brand/web design skills
-Working with primarily female-led creative brands (a dream of mine!!)
-Launched over 10 brands + websites since I quit my job!!
-Hired a business coach (shoutout to Morgan Northway)
-Implemented brand and website intensives into my service offerings
Here are some things I’ve learned over the last year as a self-employed brand/web designer that have drastically impacted both my personal and professional lives:
Just because it is your emergency, does not mean it is MY emergency.
Self-affirmations are crucial, repeat them twice a day OUT LOUD.
You are not above going to counseling. Please talk to a therapist.
Never ever ever ever stop educating yourself.
Ask yourself: “Would I hire myself to do my job?” Be really honest with yourself when you answer.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading my word vomit of a blog post. I truly could not have made it through this last year if not for an amazing support system and clients that throw a whole heck of a lot of trust in me. My brand design career is something that I hold so closely to my heart, and I cannot wait until the Now enjoy some sneak peeks of the beauty that has been this last year of my life!