My work as an independent creator for hire started at age 14 (circa 2000) with my first client website. At 19, while still in college, I hired my roommate Mark as my first employee. And at 20 I went full time.
After a few years in the school of hard knocks, I was growing tired of doing my best for clients and still just earning enough money to get by. Mark and I started reading books on business management and marketing, thinking hard and looking for ways to do better. We hired a coach. We developed a strategic plan and processes. And we grew the business from less than $50k in sales to a quarter million and a team of 5.
I was thrilled! Who could ask for more? I was working with wonderful people, doing work I was proud of, for clients who were grateful to have found us, all while earning a respectable living. We had learned a lot, worked hard and it was paying off.
But then things came to a screeching halt. With a strong sales pipeline, all our leads seemed to put on the brakes and go cold.
We’d been through troughs before though. “We’ll pull through,” I thought.
But we didn’t. Instead, I had to let everyone go. I had to say goodbye to friends. And with a family to support, I took a 9-5 (and was grateful for it).
So after 5 consecutive years as an independent creator, I spent 3 years at a very successful sales and logistics company, first as a designer, then director, then Vice President. It gave me time to understand where I went wrong, what was right and to regain some confidence. (And to see clearly that the corporate world would never be for me.)
And so I left my 9-5 and began again. But I determined to do one thing differently this time, above all else. I would never again trust “word of mouth” and a large sales pipe to keep the bills paid.
Delivering great work, managing projects well and taking good care of clients helped us achieve a certain degree of success. Our bucket wasn’t leaky anymore. But without a predictable way to fill the bucket, I’d continue to see big swings in income.
So I’ve embarked on a journey to learn to teach well, to give more to more people than I ever have. For it is in giving that we receive.
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” – King Solomon
“Write. Write passionately about something regardless of whether you feel like you’re qualified. Write consistently and passionately.” – Cameron Moll
“… what you believe in, you can teach. And teaching is the “killer app” for a newer, more ethical approach to marketing.” – Kathy Sierra