Before finishing up design school, I was under the naive impression that I would graduate and design all day long at my dream job. Well, that didn’t happen and I’m actually grateful for it. WAIT WHAT? Yup. Grateful. When I began freelancing, there was a lot of networking, emailing, blogging and long days. I longed to design MORE and work on projects that I was passionate about. As time went on and I developed a consistent client base, I designed a little more, yes, but it wasn’t ever what I imagined while in school. The picture I painted then involved waking up, designing beautiful things all day, and then wrapping it up. Bam, done.
Contrary to whatever little old me thought, I only design for about THREE hours per day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but I would say that’s a good average! The truth is, many people don’t realize how many hours per day are devoted to “business stuff” before jumping into freelance. I surely didn’t. When you are your own boss, many hats are worn – some of which you will feel totally unqualified for at first. The secret, though, is that you are not alone. We’re all just moving forward trying to figure things out as we go. It’s a constant process and evolution of learning + adapting!
SO, what will you be doing beyond designing?? Well, you’ll manage. From emails to customer service, to answering questions and keeping things fresh on social media, it’s all a huge part of keeping things together. My advice for you is to embrace all of the hats. That is, try new things and conquer that new social media platform you’ve been shying away from. Network. Say hello. And if you ever feel that something just isn’t for you – simply find a solution that you can roll with. Whether it’s hiring a little extra help or changing things up for the better, you have the power to carve your own path.
While my three hours of designing may be different ( less or more ) from others, that’s okay! I did a little survey on this topic last week on twitter and saw a vast variety of answers from you all. It’s interesting to see how different we all structure our day and figure out what is best for ourselves. Define and do, there is no right way.