How I’m still finding the balance between working part time and crafting my ultimate full-time freelance life.
Got a side hustle that lights you up way beyond the 9-5? Wanna turn it into a full time gig and work for yourself? Sounds dreamy doesn’t it? No boss hanging over you, watching the clock for what time you come in and out and no one telling you what to do or how to do.
The notion of working for yourself can come off as pretty glossy and glamorous and there can be a lofty portrayal of how easy it is to work for yourself is. We’re constantly bombarded with posts on Instagram and blogs on Pinterest exclaiming ‘How I made 6 figures in my first year of freelancing and how you can too’ or ‘How I automated my business so I can travel the world!’ Yes these things are possible of course, but these posts can be deceiving in how long it actually takes to achieve these goals and how much work (potentially years) have gone into getting them to that point.
As I’ve learned working part time as a freelancer, there can be a degree of underlying stress and anxiety that go along side it. Especially in the beginning when you are just establishing yourself and constantly spending time sourcing new clients. I’ve taken a much slower and steady approach to building my freelance clientele, as I’ve also had two kids in between. It hasn’t come easy and I’m still working at it. But keeping my day job part-time has taken off loads of financial pressure and enabled me to chip away slowly and mindfully, ultimately attracting the clients that are most suited to my style, work on the type of projects I want to do and build a curated portfolio.
I was lucky enough to be able to go down to part-time (3 days a week) after my maternity leave almost 6 months into the pandemic, when everyone was already well versed with pyjama pants at Zoom meetings! Working from home enabled me even more bits of free time to craft my design business – not only to work on projects but also on my process and promoting myself.
FINDING THE BALANCE
I think it’s important to be transparent and honest about our journeys in achieving our goals. I’m a big believer in divine timing. When things appear to have just ‘fallen into place’ for other designers, I have to remind myself that it’s the right timing for them and should be viewed as inspiration, not competition. I’m sure they’ve had big ups and downs too that haven’t made their highlight reel on the ‘gram.
Finding a balance is still something I’m working on (naturally as a Libra) as I still have big dreams to solely do design work full-time. This is where my unrelenting passion comes in as I have so much conviction that this will be my reality one day. Only when your heart is truly in it, can you find the energy to continually work away at something. I generally derive so much joy from creating and helping others’ dreams come to fruition that I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What I’ve garnered and gleaned from successful entrepreneurs before me (generally women I admire) is that their passion to pursue their dreams superseded any doubts that may have cropped up along the way, and that their desire to work for themselves was so strong, they just kept at it until eventually, everything came into place. Buuuuuut they had to start somewhere, just like all of us.
So keep that daydream alive girl, it’s in the works.