The Highs & Lows of Self-Employment From a Solopreneur’s Perspective

So much has happened in this year alone it’s hard to believe that it’s been only 12 months since I took a very big, frightening leap and became a fully-fledged freelancer.

This month (November) marked my first-year anniversary as a solopreneur/freelancer. All I can say is wow, what a year it’s been. So much has happened in this year alone it’s hard to believe that it’s been only 12 months since I took a very big, frightening leap and became a fully-fledged freelancer. Since last September, I’ve started my own business, became a father and have since worked harder than I think I’ve ever worked in my life up to this point – all highs. I think most people would agree this past year has had it’s highs and lows (not just talking about the stock market). For me it certainly has, but I’m a the glass is half full kinda guy. Here’s a short year in review from Scott Creative:

Relationship Building

It’s not so much about growing the list of people and businesses comprising my address book, but meeting the interesting, determined business owners and professionals that have an interest in growing their business.

Probably the most successful thing that’s happened this year has come about through my ability to build on my past relationships while forging new ones: I think they call that networking. It’s not so much about growing the list of people and businesses comprising my address book, but meeting the interesting, determined business owners and professionals that have an interest in growing their business and recognize the opportunities that working with a creative professional such as myself can afford them. The continual, steady work provided by many of these business owners and professionals – who are now clients of mine – has kept me busy this past year; a number of direct mail/marketing pieces for Ironwood Golf & Country Club, multiple website design contracts for Whettstone Business Solutions (Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, the Indian Center and Carson Wealth Management), an ongoing brochure project for Design Associates, Inc., as well as the opportunity to act as lead designer for one of the most progressive magazines in O-town: Food & Spirits Magazine. This past August, I had the opportunity to meet with a wonderful woman, Tonya Ward of Energy Rescue: a small non-profit with some big potential. This new working relationship has come to fruition over the past few months and I’m so glad to have the opportunity to be working with an organization with so much potential.

Building On the Future

Earlier this year I joined the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, which I have to say is one of the greatest investments I’ve made in my business thus far.

While I have many past relationships to thank for my ability to move onward with Scott Creative, I’ve sometimes downplayed or have been just too damn busy to remember how important it is to get out there, meet people and market the design services I’m able to offer a wide range of clients – primarily small business owners. That’s not to say I haven’t gotten around though: earlier this year I joined the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, which I have to say is one of the greatest investments I’ve made in my business thus far. The number of networking and educational opportunities supported by the chamber and offered monthly to their members is staggering: they have kept my calendar full week to week. Maybe I haven’t attended all the events that I wish I would have, but I’m glad that I was able to attend the ones I did. Meeting other local business-owners and professionals in the community has been a great experience, creating relationships that I’m sure will just continue to grow.
As I’m working on this blog now, the new, revised Scott Creative ‘Marketing Machine’ is underway as well. I’ll be releasing a newsletter each month that sheds light on pressing design-related questions, design world news, etc. for my clients and those that I’ve met along the way. If you’d like to sign up, shoot me an email and I’ll add you to the list: scottcreativedesign@gmail.com. The Scott Creative website will also be up in the following month as well, so make sure to check that out here: http://www.scottcreativedesign.com. This is all being done in an effort to increase my visibility and make it easier for clients and prospects alike to understand what Scott Creative is all about: giving the small business owner an edge in this competitive marketplace by enhancing their visual communications: in short, making your business look good for your clients and prospects.

Getting Over My Mistakes

I’m still trying to find my ‘center’: that sense of balance that should come naturally when a business is doing well.

While I like to say that overall it’s been a successful year, that’s not to say it hasn’t been one without a few speed bumps and road blocks – ones that I, as a business owner, put up. I’m still trying to find my ‘center’: that sense of balance that should come naturally when a business is doing well. I often find myself going though extremes of very productive weeks, only to follow them with very very slow weeks… and I know it’s my own doing. While it’s easy to blame it on outside forces in this economic climate that we’re treading through right now, it’s been an eye-opening experience in identifying what I’ve done that’s worked as well as what I haven’t done to grow my business.

Wrap It Up
In summary, yes – things have been tough, but there’s been plenty of bright spots this year to make this freefall into freelancing worth all the effort. And while we start closing out 2009 (I think I just threw up a little bit), I’m excited to see what 2010 has in store for all of us.

Family Business Entertainment Interviews Scott Creative

I was recently interviewed by Family Business Entertainment, an online site focusing on young entrepreneurs. Being a relatively new business, it was a great experience for me. The interview offered a chance for me to answer some really interesting questions, including what it’s like to be running a design studio in this difficult economic climate, the advantages & downfalls of working for myself, and others as well.

If you’d like to learn more about me personally, more about what I do, and the role creative professionals play in the business world, check out my interview! A big ‘thank-you’ to the FBE staff for giving me the opportunity.