There comes a time when there is need for change.
I don’t know how I let this monster take over my life.
Is it shocking that I’m calling the business that I built and toiled at for 4 years a monster?
That’s what I view it as these days. I never intended to spend so many years of my life being a web and graphic designer. It was something I was pretty dang good at, not something I that I loved.
I didn’t (and don’t) stay up at night reading graphic design blogs or web development blogs, I would rather tear my eyeballs out. Instead, I’m usually found perusing branding and business sites, food blogs and photography & travel stories.
How it began
When I left my position at a flash development company back in 2007, I told myself: “I will never be a web designer ever again.”
However, no marketing positions became available at the time and the responsibility of paying the bills reared its ugly head, I started taking on any freelance web or graphic design projects I could get my hands on.
Things snowballed from there and eventually I had a decent-sized client base, filled with start up ventures and even a Fortune 500 company. I would’ve had to be crazy to walk away from projects that allowed me to work 20-30 billable hours a week and still pay the bills.
Burn-out: there’s only so much a person can put into a passionless business before they just can’t do it anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed working on certain projects with certain clients. I have been blessed with great friendships and learned so much from running a design business. I wouldn’t trade the experience and lessons learned for anything in the world.
But, I have had to come to terms with the fears that have been holding me back, and realizing the reasons why moving on will be better for me in the long run.
Fear that holds me back
1. Lack of income – short term decrease
2. Public image – What will people think? Especially my clients?
3. Will the new idea succeed? – Venturing into “The Unknown” is always a scary thing.
4. Does this mean I have failed? – No! I have gained and learned so much. Infinitely more than I would have at a traditional 9 to 5 job.
After making this list, it became apparent to me that the fears that have been lurking in my mind really aren’t that intimidating, and that the pros (in this case) really outweigh the cons.
How my life will improve
1. Focus on what I really want to do.
2. Be less depressed.
3. Do something I am really good at and love doing.
I will be devoting my time and energy to:
1. Food & lifestyle photography: Both commercial and editorial.
2. Branding and Marketing consulting: New and existing companies that are in need of branding and/or marketing strategies.
3. Writing & blogging:
- On this blog, in addition to the posts, I will start to write more about branding, marketing and entrepreneurship.
- At my food blog: Stories of Southern cooking, Asian recipes and travel inspirations. With a goal of starting to write a memoir-type cookbook in the next year.
4. Product line launch: more on this coming in the next few months.
Maybe the big question for some of you reading this is “So, what’s going to happen to dotdot interactive? Are you quitting immediately? What do I do if I need someone to make an update to my website?”
Well, I will still be doing some web & graphic design work through the end of September, with a strict focus on the food & lifestyle industries. I will also start to be highly selective of what clients I agree to work with, making sure that we are a good fit for each other.
The due date of Baby Crane will coincide with the end of design and development work as my “full-time” job. Of course, I have already been scaling back on projects that I take on in the meantime and spending more time working on the above four items.
So, cheers to the future!
I don’t know what lies ahead, but I am darn excited to get started and see what I will make of it.