First of all, I just want to send a HUGE thanks to everyone who showed their faces on New Years Day to support me! You all mean the world to me, and while my online presence is just getting started (I've only been around online since the end of October 2014), I've already reaped so many rewards from it and met so many amazing people. So, thank you!
Yesterday was spent hustling in the morning to release my new eBook, get together my design giveaway, and edit mine and my friend's vlog like crazy! It was a whirlwind of a day! But I also took the time look at my business, where I've come from, how far I've gone, and what is in store for me (and you) in the future. So here's the blog post summing all of that up (or anyways most of it).
Finicky designs started officially back in 2012. While in college, I took several internships with local ministries which catapulted me into the ministry realm after graduation, and I've been there ever since (gratefully). Now, I didn't want to be a freelancer because I couldn't get a "real" design job and had to resort to freelancing. So I was a good girl (eh hem) and got my full-time, benefits included, in-house design job. Over the years, freelance business has been slowly trickling in on the side- but I wasn't pursuing it, or even really looking for it. The jobs just landed in my lap, and with one good recommendation to the next, I was generating more and more business.
Now, thankfully, I still love my in-house design job. But it's really the cause behind my in-house job that keeps me waking up every day at 5 am to drive into work. I work for a non-profit child sponsorship organization, so my design directly impacts those sweet little faces that are the picture of poverty. I know what I do every day furthers God's kingdom and changes lives. So, it's still worth it for me.
But... I also have a huge heart for startup businesses. It's TOUGH to start your own business nowadays. I mean, I get that the government gives you some tax breaks and it's easier to get a loan for your business than ever before... but I feel the sting of owning my own business every time I have to give nearly half of what I make to the government or tire endlessly into the night after working a 10 hour day just to see a project come to fruition. Now is not the time for me to rant about the struggles—but understand that I know what risks you're taking as an inspiring person that dreams BIG. Let me encourage you to keep dreaming—and don't let anything stop you.
Okay, so maybe I got a little bit off track.
Over the past two to three years, I've had the privilege of working with world changers who have decided to share their stories, realtors who wanted to rise above their stereotype, marketing specialists who needed a right-hand man for their design needs, teachers who decided to make a government regulation into something exciting for their local school districts, local non-profits who needed a designer that could tell their story, a small business snack company that wants to revolutionize the culture of giving, an entrepreneur who wants to share her knowledge of writing with an online community... the list goes on, and I feel so privileged to have been able to be an important part of their business development.
I really struggled with naming my business (but honestly, who doesn't?). So much rides on a name. Finicky designs became pretty clear to me after a few months of talking it over with clients and friends. I get it all of the time, "Oh, I couldn't tell that was off. Gosh, you pay attention to detail!" It might be true that half the time the errors I catch would go completely unnoticed to the untrained eye. But I just can't let anything fall through the cracks when it comes to the design work I do for my clients. I'm finicky, and I understand that "finicky" can often have a negative connotation. But hear me out—I'm finicky in the best way possible (no, really, try to believe me). I don't settle—I won't settle—until it's finished and finished right.
So this freelance business has started off of referrals and random calls. I haven't pursued finicky designs hardly at all! I don't go to networking events or call up friends or acquaintances and see if they need design work done. I just haven't pursued it. So this year, 2015, is the year that I'm going to actively pursue my freelance business, seek out those struggling small business owners that need their own brand to push them further, and develop an online community where I can share my expertise and knowledge in the field of graphic design.
I wanted to come up with a few very tangible goals for myself this year. It goes so far beyond numbers for me, but numbers make certain goals more attainable. It gives them a finish line. So I've come up with a few numbers that might seem a little hard-to-reach and challenging, but at the same time—motivating. It's the year of pursuing my passions, figuring out what I want from life, looking to God for direction more than I ever have before, and make authentic connections with like-minded people.
Oh, and that bit about "mentor young graphic designers?" I've got this big, crazy, scary dream and business idea that would directly impact those young designers-at-heart still in high school. So "mentor young graphic designers" is the first baby step I can think of to give myself. Hmmm, more on that later (maybe 2016?).
Once again, thank YOU for being a part of my crazy design world. Here's to 2015!