My 5 habits to help get more done

Getting things done
Quite often I get asked, “How are you able to get so much done with your time?”

I, more often than not, feel very overwhelmed with everything on my to-do list, yet, I somehow manage to accomplish what needs to get done. Some minor tasks do fall through the cracks, and unfortunately many of my own ideas get put on the backburner, but, I do manage to get things done.

So how do I get everything done?

Let me elaborate; here are my five habits that help me get more done with my time. [Read more...]

The financial struggles of being a freelance graphic designer

In 2011 I left my part-time job to freelance full-time. I was fresh out of college, still living with my parents, and could barely keep over $500 in my bank account. I had yet to find my voice or really establish myself as a freelancer.

I continued to struggle with finding client work. I had no idea where to start looking, who to reach out to, or even how to reach out to someone and ask for work in the first place. When it comes to money it’s a scary thing – especially if the odds aren’t in your favor (e.g. you’re already out living on your own or have a family to provide for.)

As you can see, I’m still here freelancing full-time – three years later. I stuck with it.

When all odds were against me I persevered through the struggles. I’ve jumped many hurdles, made many mistakes, yet I never gave up. Why? Because I enjoy doing what I do so much and would never want to go back to working a dead-end job. [Read more...]

5 Things I do when client work is running low

When client work is running low
It’s a terrible feeling for any freelancer to run low on client work – or even worse – to run out of work entirely.

To help ensure this never happens I try to stay on top of my workload, and recognize when projects are starting to come to an end so I can begin to prospect for new work. There are many things you can do to get your name out there, but for me, there are five specific tasks I like to accomplish when work runs low to generate new leads. [Read more...]

Starting over – How I rebranded and took my freelancing to the next level

Starting over
I haven’t always worked for myself. After leaving my part-time job working in the print department of an office supply store I helped build a small collective team of freelancers. We were all new at working for ourselves, so we teamed up to pull in projects and to run the new business together.

After a year of working together, opportunities came up for some of the other team members, and as a result we had to go our separate ways. I was grateful to learn what I had in that year, but without much warning and now no team to depend on, I was left to pick up the pieces. From that point on I knew I had to become my own boss rather than go back to the dreaded retail job.

In order to pick myself back up, I had to be clear about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to get there. I had to start over. [Read more...]

Using Trello to Organize Your Freelance Business

I’ve never been the most organized of people. I tend to do things in the moment and get sidetracked easily. Sometimes I’m in the zone and I’ll get a lot done but lag behind at other times. When I fell into freelance design, I knew it was time to get serious about organizing my business, processes, and ways of working.

I used a service called Trello for years while working at various software companies. It was helpful for managing customer interactions, projects in progress, ideas, and goals for the future. I’ve since taken this structure and applied it to my design business.

My system of organization doesn’t follow a particular methodology, but is rather a combination of GTD (“Getting Things Done”), Scrum, and Kanban. I hope you can pick from what I have to share and apply it to how you organize your freelance business. [Read more...]