Taming My Fears The First Year Of Freelance – The Story Of My 5 Patrons
A year ago I was spinning in my office chair, counting down the days until the very end of my full time job. When I think about it now... yup, I still get the shivers.
Shortly after I logged-off from my corporate e-mail account, I became a freelancer. A freelance illustrator to be precise. In the first month I drew a few figures, whom I started calling my patrons.
Why would one need patrons?
Let me tell you their story.................
I am enough, I am okay.
I am diligent, dedicated, well organised, talented and smart. Yet every now and then I do feel like a massive failure. Guess who's busy with clients' work? Everyone else! Who has waaay more followers on instagram? Everyone else! Whose illustrations just got published? You got it right- everyone else's but mine!
Take a deep breath, girl. You are okay, you'll get there. You've came so far already. Have some faith in yourself, you're okay.
You said I can't… so watch my back!
You'll hear "you can't" a lot. What's more- you're going to think it many times as well. Fear (yours or...your mum's) is there to protect you. But usually magic is outside of your comfort zone. So dream big, dive deep and when you're too scared to press "enter"..close your eyes and do it. Fortune favours the bold, baby!
They are your gang. They're here to protect you from hateful comments, bad reviews, self doubt. Don't you worry, they will always have your back!
Take some time off
If I asked you to name 5 pros of freelancing, "freedom" would be on the list, right? I don't want to scare you but your job might actually become your obsession and the biggest addiction. Especially when everything is brand new, exciting and you want to try out ...every marketing tool you've ever heard of.
I get it, I've been there. But time off is equally important. It's when your brain charges its batteries.
Let yourself be “healthily lazy”, and mark "me time" in red in your calendar if you need too. The world won't collapse without you having a perfect newsletter template, I promise.
Put fresh ideas into your head
I became a freelance illustrator because drawing is what I love doing and talking about the most. And I know I'm damn good at it. But it's not the only thing my job is about: There is a lot of marketing, networking, accounting, logistics, administration…a one girl band basically. And there is always something that can be improved, changed, re-designed. As said before-there are many people who are way ahead of you, so learn from them. Learn, play, test and improve your business.
To be perfectly honest, my main task every day is emotion management. After all everything is up to me, which can sometimes feel lonely. That's what the patrons are here for. Cheerleaders when you get a deal, supporters when you're down.