Phew. I've been wanting to write this post for a while now and I've had no clue how to start. My greatest fear with this is that I'll come off as a know it all or as someone who knows nothing. Well let's start with the basics: I know some things and I'd love to have a platform to relay those things to you. I don't know if you know this about me, but I got thrown into freelancing and everything I've learned I learned from the internet or friends that were willing to tell me their stories. Let's back it up a little bit with my own.
In 2013 I graduated from college with a degree in Advertising and Marketing. The world was full of possibilities and I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do with my life but I knew I could do anything. Armed with a couple of dreams (one day working for myself, maybe?) and what I knew I was good with (using my iPhone!) I began gradually gaining social media clients. I did small time consulting and managing 20 accounts for 5 different clients at one point. Things were crazy, and I knew that I was going to burn out fast if I was working everyday of every week.
Fast forward to 2014-- I'm still managing social media and it's fine. In my book fine is my enemy. What's the point in fine? It's almost better to be bad or good because at least you have a clear trajectory of where to go. I was in a rut and I consulted my darling, darling husband and he told me that he thought I might be a good photographer because I seemed really happy with a camera in front of my face. I told him he was crazy. He wasn't. We ordered my camera in January and I began to shoot anything and everything I could. For a year I balanced a retail job, social media clients, a part time gig as the community manager of the coolest coworking space ever, and a person who took photos. I refused to call myself a photographer. That was far too scary, right? Wrong. Around March I took the plunge, bought my website and started signing my emails photographer. That, to me, was one of the hardest parts of this whole shebang, actually saying it out loud to people.
In 2015 I began a new life with Tucker in Austin, Texas. We landed here on January 2nd having left everything we knew well and loved dearly behind on the East Coast. My thought for Austin was that I'd just go ahead and try to find a job community managing something, or go back to an exciting life (really, not sarcastic) of working retail. It takes a while to land a job in a new city, so in the meantime I was still snapping photos and working at the coolest shop in Austin making candles. I began reaching out to people because I desperately needed friends and when they'd ask me what I did I would sort of stutter through the facts: unemployed/candle maker/photographer/social media manager? I wasn't all too sure of what I was these days. Eventually this explanation to this earth angel landed me a gig shooting the most incredible retreat ever: Texas Style Council. I met so many people and after that I had a steady stream of work. About three months passed and it was July when I realized that this was my full time job now, if I wanted it to be.
I'm telling you this story because I feel like it's very easy to assume that everyone goes about going freelance the same way. They make a plan, they save a bunch of money, and they go for it. That's not how I did it, even though I desperately wish I would have and could have. I'm telling you this because I think whether we planned for this or not we can all succeed.
It is now 2016. I've been working for myself for just over a year now and generating my own income. Saying this out loud feels like the coolest thing in the whole world, but also the most vulnerable because it means I'll have to admit I don't have it all together. I really don't. I'm definitely figuring it out and I want to share that with you because maybe you're figuring it out too.
So this is my story! I'd love to hear yours and I'd love to know what you want to know about? I solemnly swear that if I don't know, I'll find out for us. Comment below and be sure to leave your website. We're all in this together!