I support creative business owners in accomplishing their design dreams.
In September of 2021, I officially went full-time in my business! While this was an exciting step in my life, it took a while to feel “real.” I was also blown away by how many people in my community were interested in following my journey. Recently, I was catching up with a past client and he asked me some great questions about being a full-time entrepreneur. I figured that there’s probably more people just like him who have questions, so I decided to make a podcast episode sharing my experience so far! If you’re dreaming of going full-time, struggling with whether or not it’s time, or also navigating your first year of full-time – this episode is for you. I hope that hearing from my experience is helpful for you!
Before I was full-time, I was working as a business owner part-time and working a part-time job as a graphic designer and social media coordinator for a dental practice. I’d had that part-time job for 7 years, and am so grateful for the experience that it gave me. But it felt like I’d gotten to the point where if I wanted to grow as a designer and be able to make more income, I needed to let that job go.
Even though I hadn’t met the big annual revenue goal I hoped to in my business before I went full-time, I was already making more in my business than at that job. I hoped that if I had more time to focus on the business, it would grow to the level I needed.
Also, it’s important to mention here that my parents and I agreed that post-college I would live with them until I had everything in order to buy a house, fully support myself, etc. So while I have bills and obligations, I also have the freedom to build this business while knowing that I don’t have to worry about paying rent, which is a privilege that I don’t take lightly. If you’re married with kids, or a recent college grad who does have rent to pay, you may not be able to “quit your job cold turkey” like I did. So take what I’m saying with a grain of salt. You know your specific situation best.
I worried and prayed over going full-time for a while, but when it was time to take the leap, I just knew! I encourage you to “trust your gut” as well.
One thing that I’m learning to embrace with business is that everything ebbs and flows. It’s pretty hard to make the same exact amount of money every month. However, I use the Profit First System (check out episode 16 for more on this), which helps me to save more during busier months so that I have a “cushion” during slower months.
With Profit First, I also don’t pay myself all of the revenue that I make in a month. I have a set bi-weekly salary that I stick to (for the most part), no matter how much I make. So while my revenue hasn’t been the same every month, I’ve been able to pay myself consistently at or close to that base salary I set.
When the client I was catching up with asked this question, I immediately said yes! Honestly, my answer kind of surprised me because it’d been a difficult week. There’s so much that I still have to figure out, and every week (or sometimes every day) brings new challenges. I make mistakes, doubt myself, and things don’t always go how I hoped. But despite all the hard stuff, I’m so grateful for the clients I get to serve, the people I’ve met because of entrepreneurship, and the freedom that I have in terms of time, money, offerings, etc. I don’t regret going full-time so far – it felt like the right decision for me!
Once you hit a big goal like going full time, what’s next? This is a question that I’ve been trying to answer for the past few months. I have a lot of options, and it’s about focusing with intention on what to pursue next in my business. Also, I think it’s also okay to not always be pushing for bigger and better (if that’s not what you want).
This reminds me of the conversation I had with Lea Lester about self-improvement burnout. It’s so easy to feel like we always have to strive for more. But if we are doing this at the expense of our health and wellbeing, it can do more harm than good. (check out episode 5 for more on that!)
If you’re dreaming of going full-time or also navigating your first year full-time, here are a few other podcast episodes to listen to:
for fellow Designers
for the DIY-er
for growing Creatives