August 1, 2013
So by now most of you have probably guessed from the little hints I’ve been giving that some professional change is afoot! Here’s the scoop on this big, exciting (and kind of scary) decision and how it came to be.
A few months ago, my boss + owner of The Creative Parasol, Lauren, told me that there was a probable move to Shanghai in her near future (amazing, right??). Her husband Joe has been offered a really incredible job opportunity and they decided to pursue it. So over the past month or so we’ve slowly shut down the shop and started bringing things to a close—today will be my last day of going into the studio. Which feels crazy! I’m sad to say goodbye. Lauren and I have worked together in the same room, nearly every weekday since March of last year—you can imagine how close we’ve gotten:) Without Lauren I wouldn’t have made the switch to doing full time creative work and from that switch wouldn’t have experienced all of the wonderful things that have come with it or met so many of the amazing people that I have over the last year.
So, over the past few months I’ve thought a lot about what this shift means—should I try and find another full time-ish job? If so, where? Who hires people like me and who would I want to work for? Alternately, am I ready to go out on my own? Do I have the clientele, the skills, the wherewithal that it takes to run a good, effective small business?
I was stressing about this big time. I talked to everyone I know: Adam, my mom, a couple of close friends, the mailman, our neighbor’s chicken who hangs out in our backyard. I was nervous about making this transition and I knew that whatever I did, I wanted it to be purposeful and intentional. I wanted to do something because I wanted it, not because I felt like I was out of options or what was expected of me. It’s been a very self-reflective few months of really asking myself what my talents are and what they aren’t (ugh, hated that part) and trying to be very honest with myself about my professional abilities, limitations, desires and ambitions. My mind kept reeling: what am I really good at? Where do I want to be in five years and how do I start getting there?
I feel like I tried a million ways to work this out—but, as it so often does, it sort of worked itself out (hopefully—I think—I’m knocking on wood as I type this). In the last couple of months I’ve gotten a few emails from people I love and trust telling me about great businesses, in line with my own, who could use some of my skills part time on a regular basis. For those of you who don’t work freelance or know someone who does, this is pretty much essential for every single freelancer starting out. You have to have a steady client (or two or three) that depends on you and who you can depend on each month for work and pay. Otherwise you’re living on the edge big time. And I’m not really into that:)
I’m still working out all the details on my regular jobs and nailing a few things down, but I’m feeling good, capable and confident about it all. A welcomed relief from the uncertainty and self-doubt of the past several weeks where I was really struggling with my next move. Thanks to each of you for your support and kindness during this big transition. I can’t count the number of sweet comments and enthusiastic referrals I’ve gotten over the last few weeks and it means the world to me. Going out on my own still feels a little scary, but a lot less so knowing y’all have my back.
Oh and there might be some really good/big changes coming to Grown-up Shoes too! Lots and lots going on over here that I can’t wait to share with you.
Thanks for sticking with me.