As I figure out this whole freelance thing, I’m noticing the dire need and value of “plan B”. You would think that because you are working for yourself, that you’d have complete control of how your day is going to flow, but….WRONG!! Haha. For the most part, you have a lot of freedom and control of your day to day routine, but whenever you throw another variable into the mix (any client), there are bound to be hiccups and roadblocks that you never expected.
Of course, you set out and start each project with super high expectations, guidlines, timelines, shared goals, etc, but no matter how much planning you put into things…sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. I’m learning that happens more often than not, and so it’s always nice to have a plan B or even a plan C in place, just so you can still have a productive day.
More recently, whenever a client project has a hiccup and I’m put on “hold” mode, I pick up a project that on my home “to-do” list. That way I’m still feeling productive and things are getting done. This week’s hiccups were filled with repainting my fireplace and buying/planting a bunch of plants on my front stoop.
I’m curious…How do you handle a botched schedule, a unexpected hiccup, or worse…a cancelled project? Tell me!
I came across this really great article called “What to do…” It’s a really great article that gives you an actionable plan/strategy to try out when you are feeling overwhelmed by the tasks on your to do list. You can read more about it HERE on the site called Build a Little Biz.
So when you are feeling overwhelmed:
1. Start with the tasks that will make you money
2. Do one thing a day to get the job done
3. Do one more thing a day to fuel your spark.
I’ve been trying it out and I think it’s working. It’s really nice to start your day knocking out the money maker because you’ll feel like it was a successful day no mater what else happens. Give it a try and I’d love to hear if it works for you too. :)
I recently got a comment from a Veda House reader that made me feel really good about the work I’ve been putting into this space and how I’ve been shaping my brand. I was flattered and humbled.
“I’ve been following you for a few months now and I gotta say that I love your style. I think more then loving your style I love how consistent it is. Like, I totally know what kind of things you are attracted to and it’s great seeing different elements from fashion to nature, photography, design and styling come together so carefully curated on this blog. Although it’s consistent it’s definitely not boring! I feel like I am still very much trying to find “my style” as I am still attracted to so many different things. A little jealous but also very exciting about how your blog is consistently growing and reflecting YOU.”
This got me thinking that about how I’ve been able to establish my style, because like this reader…I love a bunch of different styles, colors, themes, and artists. I struggled with this very idea (and blogged about it here), but recently had a breakthrough.
As a designer/artist you don’t have to define your entire craft on ONE thing. You’re creative and you pull inspiration from everything. My advice (and realization) is that you don’t have to SHARE everything you like. You need to decide what you want people to know you for and how you want people to read into your brand. If you’re a minimalist, don’t post about intricate collages. If you’re a photographer, don’t post about logo design. You have the ability to craft what you want people to know about you. Kind of exciting right?
How do you define your style? Have you had any hurdles along the way?
*pendant light –> here
So I’ve been doing this freelance full time thing for almost three months now. Somehow I’ve managed to provide myself with a full week’s paycheck each week, a paycheck that is more than I was making at my 9-5 job. The whole thing seems unbelievable to me, especially since I’ve managed to create a work day that I love.
I’ve continued to keep track of some of the perks & pits that I’ve experienced along the way so far, 3 months in.
- Sitting outside on the stoop, smack dab in the middle of the workday…drinking wine with a best friend
- Changing your daily plans…whenever you feel like it. Not inspired enough to blog, just switch gears.
- Regaining my nights and weekends. I’ve stayed strong and kept my word…No working (if at all possible) on nights and weekends.
- Now that I have more time to schedule each day as I wish, my inbox is almost always at zero by the end of the day.
- Sitting on my couch with laptop at 3:00 in the afternoon, with the sun pouring in the windows, the windows wide open, the ceiling fan on, and the birds chirping. Best work environment ever!!
- I’ve become obsessed with my Swiffer. Since I work in my living room, every time my floor get AT ALL dirty…I Swiffer.
- Being too lazy to get dressed. I told myself I wasn’t going to fall into this habit of jammy-wearing all day long, but the truth is…I have. Boo!
- I’m still having a really hard time remembering to each lunch, but I am getting better at eating leftovers
- You know that moment when every client you have “active” at the moment decides to email you needing something…yeah, that stinks.
- Not having taxes automatically taken out from each payment is ONE BIG TEASE. so mean.
So at month 3, the perks are still outweighing the pits. I can’t imagine ever going back to a 9-5 office job, ever and I can’t believe I waited so long to make the leap. Silly me.
Last week I took on an impromptu freelance project where I got to play around with watercolors and patterns. It was a job that I normally wouldn’t have taken on, but there was something about the process that I was drawn too, so I jumped in. Two days later the project was due and the result are piles of watercolor paper and water marks all over the place. Haha.
I’ll be able to share the project soon, but until then…here are some fun scraps.
Hello there! Hope everyone is have an amazing Friday and that you have something planned for the weekend! Usually I share some notable links with you on Fridays, but today I wanted to share a notable photographer with you, Katie Newburn. Katie is an amazing food photographer living in San Francisco. She’s been busy growing her body of work for a few years now and thought it was time to grow her brand image as well.
Katie and I have been in contact and working together for many months now. Our goal was to look at the logo she already had and make some refinements to it. We also wanted to explore other ways a logo or icon could be used for her brand. An example of this might be an icon for an email signature, a watercolor icon to be used as a graphic element on a business card, or even a watermark to be placed on top of her photos. The end result is a cohesive brand mark that can be used across many elements.
We’re also working to organize a large body of work and showcase the images in a designed and professional printed portfolio. The process has taken longer than expected because we’re trying to source the best printer for the job, but non the less…it’s all pretty exciting.
If you need help with branding for your business, shoot me an email!
I stumbled upon this podcast/video at the perfect time. I was feeling the morning blues of being uninspired and naturally…I was blaming myself for being uninspired. I kept asking myself..”I have a dream job, why can’t I just pull it together?” I came across this TED talk with Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat.Pray.Love) and she just blew me away. So much that I listened to it twice (she kind of talks fast too).
She does a really good job at examining the creative process and performance expectations. She has also developed a unique way of dealing with the constant pressure of needing to be successful…she calls this solution “the disembodied creative spirit”. Here’s my takeaways from the talk.
- Is is right that you are afraid of what you were put on this earth to do? Afraid of not succeeding. Afraid of never being able to succeed again.
- Creative are naturally a little bit “undone”, but why do we have to be linked to suffering?
- We need protection from the results of our work
- Consider a separation, yet collaboration with your creative “self” instead of being so dependent on it.
Listen to more here–>
More Podcast reviews here: Embrace Failure, Chat with Pinterest Founder, Learning to Balance with Joy and Naomi, Becoming Your Brand, Being More Present with Your Business, Surrounding Yourself with Art, Usefully Losing Control Of Your Brand
Today I’m sharing a little sneak peek of the new Veda House rebranding. It’s taken me quite a while to develop a look I was really happy with. I wanted an overall look and feel that was a contrast of light and dark, a contrast of thick and thin, contrast of subtle and bold.
I’ve discovered through this whole process that my personality and what I’m drawn to seems to be on either end of the scale. Its either really graphic and minimalistic…or its natural and moody. I needed a way to visually show the contrast.
A full blog launch will be happening in the coming weeks (as soon as I finish the new Veda House logo) as well a fun new project I’m calling “Studio Hours”.
Stay tuned. I’m pretty excited over here ;)
Hey guys. If you have 5-10 minutes, I’ve got a really thought provoking podcast for you today. Tim Leberecht talks about how brands try to tightly control their reputation, but he presents the idea that maybe losing some control could be extremely useful for building your brand reputation. The whole 5 min is jam-packed with examples of WHY this might work, but it got me thinking
Podcast Takeaways: (questions I’m now asking myself)
- Is your brand what other people say about you when you are not in the room?
- Should I give my clients and blog readers more control of my brand? (more collaborations?)
- How can I gain trust without using predictable behavior?
- How could I infuse an element of surprise into my brand?
I highly recommend listening…super quick and powerful, little speech.
More Podcast reviews here: Embrace Failure, Chat with Pinterest Founder, Learning to Balance with Joy and Naomi, Becoming Your Brand, Being More Present with Your Business, Surrounding Yourself with Art
As a young designer, you start to learn quickly what your limits are and how those limits are quickly reached. Over time you get a better understanding of how to manage your time and how to keep yourself from exploding from being over worked. I think it’s completely natural to want to take on ALL the projects that come your way and I’m not sure you fully understand your limits until you’ve been pushed to them, over and over again.
After 3.5 years work experience since graduating design school, I feel I am JUST now getting a good grip on this concept of being over-worked and the idea that I have limits. With the experience that I’ve gained in those 3.5 years, I can now say that I can spot the warning signs of being over worked. I can (for the most part), tell people NO…even though the project will most likely be awesome. I’ve also learned that I don’t have to take on all the projects that come through my email. I’ve learned that both myself and my clients benefit from me only taking on projects I’m extremely passionate about. I’ve learned that it’s not about the money for me. I’ve learned that my nights and weekend are for me and my family….all things I didn’t really understand until just now.
Are you struggling because you continually over commit yourself to your work? If so…STOP…haha. I know. Easier said than done. Experiment with passing up some jobs, taking the evenings for yourself, and working only when passionate. I’d love to hear about how you guys have worked through this idea of “over-working”.
Here’s another great post about the glorificaton of “busy”. Thanks Eva.
Above photo: Annaleena Leino
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