004. 3 Ways to Get Through the Freelance Growing Pains



Don't panic.


That’s my main, and most valuable piece of advice. Don’t second guess yourself, you know you can do this, and you know that this is what you want. The first few months I went full time as a freelancer I was constantly worried, about money, about getting more clients, about spending too much time in sweatpants. And when I decided to take a breather and remember why I decided to do this I found my work getting better. Take the worry that you feel and put it into something that will progress your brand and ease your mind. If you are worried about gaining clients, research self marketing and send out some cold emails. Use your worry, own it and put it to work.



You’re not a designer anymore, but that’s okay!


You will definitely find your time split between a million different tasks and now you have so many more hats to wear rather than just ‘designer’. You may not have realised the extent of this before you started freelancing but you do now! You might be regretting this, you hate taxes (because you’re a sane human being), you’re not comfortable marketing yourself, and when do you even find time to design things that aren’t client work. But that’s okay! You’re working on the projects you wish you were when working your 9-5, and you have full creative control on what you produce, what projects you take on. I actually personally love all the admin of my studio, the marketing, the scheduling, even the emailing! So I was never too bogged down by all the new responsibilities, but if you have been just remember the feeling of completing a project you’re proud of and knowing that you were the powerhouse that produced the whole thing!



You don’t have to work from the moment you wake to the moment you sleep.


Now some of us are workaholics and others are not. Most designers I know are workaholics, I’m not sure I actually have any designer friends that have hobbies. I in particular am a workaholic in the morning, but after lunch I find it hard to get back to work. So I had to alter my schedule to counter this, I let myself have some time in the morning to get ready for the day and organise my personal life. I also push breakfast and lunch back as I know after that I’m not getting much meaningful work done, it’s usually just instagram at that point. What I’m saying is don’t feel guilty if you aren’t working, set yourself a schedule you approve of. Work when you are meant to be working, relax when you need to relax, and alter your schedule if you find it’s not working like you wanted to.


- Maisie MacDonald, Creative Director, Maisie Heather Studio.