What does freedom mean to you? For me, it's always meant being freelance, and being able to work how, and where I want to. Because of this, I was inspired to curate a training aimed at wellbeing professionals, guiding them towards this freedom - check out Found and read on for what I recommend as the building blocks for preparing to take that leap…
I’ve been freelance now for 3 years, and it’s been the most fulfilling time of my whole career. I’ve travelled all over the world whilst working with truly inspiring people in the wellbeing sector, at the same time training as a yoga teacher and finding constant synergy between my personal and work life. I don't sit around sipping green juices on sunloungers, I work hard, but now I wake up every day excited to work, and that to me means freedom. If that sounds good to you, read on for how I got here…
I have so many talented friends that are budding entrepreneurs, with great ideas about businesses, or a desire to break out on their own and work for themselves, but the majority of them have the same fear – what if I fail?
The truth is, leaving the security of a monthly pay cheque and knowing what you'll be doing every day between 9 and 5 is scary. But to get anything in life that's worth having, we have to be able to overcome some fear.
What I learnt in the year prior to me quitting my job, and the year following, inspired to create the Found experience, so I wanted to share a few ways in which you can overcome that fear of failure, by setting strong foundations to support you into finally taking the leap.
If you already have your dream, my advice here is for that moment when you've really had enough, you've driven yourself, and your friends and family crazy by constantly talking about it, and you've decided it's now or never. So you're teetering on the edge of asking your boss for 'that meeting', what next?
1 – Get Saving
As soon as I decided to quit my job, I made sure I had enough money in the bank to support me for 6 months. You don't want to start your business already worrying about paying your bills, you want to be focusing on making it happen. Taking money worries out of the equation helps soften the blow of saying goodbye to that monthly pay cheque, and gives you time to build up a healthy cash flow.
2 – Get Organised
I set up a very basic spreadsheet to show my projected expenses and income, which I still use today. If I keep it up to date, I can see my cash flow over the upcoming 3 months, and I also use this document to keep track of work bookings and potential leads. That way, I know when I'm in a good position to invest in something new, or if I need to be on the look out for new clients. This offers peace of mind, but it's also a great motivator to see your potential earnings and can help you plan for the future.
3 – Get The Word Out
I was amazed by how many people I already knew that need help from a designer, and my first year was pretty much solely supported by working with friends, family and ex-colleagues. Make a list of everyone you know that will be interested in your new venture, and choose a way to tell them that feels right for you - maybe that's via email, you could hold a launch event or just start asking if people want to meet for coffee to hear about your idea. Word of mouth is an amazing way to build up your workflow, and best of all, it's FREE! By talking about your idea out loud, you'll make it real – now there's really no going back!
4 – Get Friendly
I invest lots of my time in connecting with other people in my shoes. Being a freelancer can be challenging – mostly because you don't have someone on the desk next to you to vent about the bad days, and celebrate the good. Speaking to other people that are on the same journey, or even better, have already been there, will give you invaluable insight during your first year. I make sure I speak to fellow freelancers regularly, and when I can set up co-work days where we can work next to each other. These connections have made such a huge difference to me, and realising the importance of having a like-minded network around me was a huge inspiration for Found.
5 – Get Creative
When I did finally hand my notice in, I also presented my boss with a proposal for taking me on as a freelancer. I wanted to move on because I'd outgrown the role, but I was still happy to work on the more senior tasks on an hourly rate, so my proposal outlined how he could get more efficiency out of having me in the office 2 days, than paying me a full-time salary. When he saw my arguments for it, he realised it was a great idea, so I started my freelance life already set up with 2 days work a week, doing only the work I really enjoyed. If you're able to ease yourself into your new work life by creating something new out of your existing situation, it can help you make that transition smooth.
6 – Get Found!
When I reached that 'now or never' point, I spent the next 6 months preparing for leaving my job, and funnily enough, you'll note that Found kicks off in just over 6 months...so ask yourself, is it now or never for you?
There is NO greater feeling than walking out of the office for the last time, and heading into a new life of full of potential. I hope these key ideas will help you find the courage to face those fears head on, and finally pack up your desk and leave that 9-5 for good.
If you do, then there's no better way to get started, than to sign up for Found. See you in Bali :)