Even thinking about it, sounds crazy. I’ve been freelancing for 3 years now. Well, unofficially it rounds up to four, but on that first year i may have worked on 3 projects tops. So, i’ve been participating to quite a few interviews lately, and i always get the same question at the end – if i have any advice to give to the ones starting now. And boy, do i have! There have been a lot of TFL’s here, 56 in fact, so this seemed like a great opportunity to wrap up a few things.
Having to talk with so many different people, you will yourself dealing with all kinds of different characters. Rule number one, be kind and polite, no matter what. If there were more kind people, the world would be a happier place. So as a professional and as a great human being, make the difference and be polite. It’s more likely that you will gain inner peace and won’t get easily affected by others tempers.
Never feel safe with what you know, and never rest. Learn one new thing per week, expand your skills and style and always keep evolving. The world is moving on and so should you. Travel more, go out more, experience more. By doing more, you will have more inspiration and creative ideas.
WORK WITH LOVE
This one, is rule number two and most important. Whatever you do, do it with love. Don’t follow trends – although be aware of them – and always create with what makes your heart happy. Whether that seems silly, or crazy, go with your what your gut says and have passion.
KNOW YOUR WORTH
Work with respect to yourself, your mind and body and don’t let anyone put you down. Know what you worth and pat yourself in the back. You’re doing a great job and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
WHEN YOU FALL, LEARN HOW TO GET UP
Designer’s blues must be a real thing, and i know i get them all the time. All my insecurities kick in, filling how i’m not good enough, or skilled enough and that i don’t do enough. You can’t avoid these downs, they’ll happen often and that’s ok. The great thing is knowing how to pull yourself together and move on. Two things work for me, focusing on the things that i want to achieve and pampering myself. The first is the most difficult, but always works. Once i face my goals, i say to myself; today is tough, but we’ve got tomorrow, i allow myself a day to feel crappy and get all those emotions out, but i get back stronger the next day. If that doesn’t work, go to a spa or take a bath and clean yourself up. Change those pyjamas too.
This is something i avoid like hell. If you’re not strong enough to sit, admire and observe, stop those nasty thoughts “she’s / he’s better than me and i’ll never become successful” right away, and start thinking about that chocolate in the cabinet. We all know the don’t compare yourself with people, because we’re all different, we have different experiences and circumstances, but some it’s not easy to avoid. You wish you were more, but by comparing yourself won’t get you there.
Seriously love this one. Although i’m not an observant person when it comes to life itself, i’ve became observant when it comes to design. Once you start observing more details and putting thought into this and that, you’ll be able to learn yourself more things and evolve your skills.
KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO
This one is a toughie. Wether you’re a push over or simply polite, you need to toughen up. Sometimes clients may take advantage of you, or simply projects are just not for you. By respectfully declining or politely saying no, you will avoid situations you would wish you wouldn’t have been. Simple as that.
Organise the hell out of everything. Your schedule, your clients, your email, your calendar, your projects and your files. Freelance life is not as easy as it sounds. It can be a whole great mess if you’re not organised enough and know your way around of things in your life.
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF
Last and favourite one. Whatever you do and however you do it, just stay true to who you are. Don’t create something because it’s popular or because it’s trendy. Create something because you feel connected to it. Remember your roots and passions, and that’s what’s gonna make you successful.