Be Your Own Boss….Be Your Own Client!
If you’re going to be your own boss, you should also be your own client!
Even though I have plenty experience in what I do, I am a brand-new business. Starting from the ground up I have the opportunity to not only showcase my skills though my own website, but also to show (and grow) my skills when it comes to my choices for branding. Taking myself on as a client has been a lot harder than I originally thought it would be, and here are a few reasons why…
I am a slave to my creativity
Having myself as a client means I can do whatever I like as long as I like it, but I like a lot of things! How do I hone in on the one things that showcases who I am and what my business is all about! At one point I even wanted to put a unicorn in my logo! (a friend advised me not to, and I am grateful.) Working creatively for myself has been a bit manic. Mainly because I understand how important business branding is, and I really wanted something that was totally me. It consumed my waking thoughts, until finally and unexpectedly things started to fall into place. I didn’t go full on unicorn, but I do have a horse in my logo…but why!? When I thought of the name of my business, The Web Whisperer, all I could think about was the horse whisperer. I thought by incorporating that imagery into my logo would help others understand what The Web Whisperer means. Also, when I was in my teens I lived on the outskirts of Houston, TX and we had a few horses.
Once the logo started to come together, I though I would like nice, calming natural colours for my brand. I wanted nice soft colours that were like whispers. There are a few techniques that I use to choose colours, and I think I might have chopped and changed colours about 1000 times until I was happy. It was totally a case of, I am not sure what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it. The majority of the people I have worked for in the past were exactly the same way, sure there were those who knew exactly what they wanted, but they had already been though this painstaking process on their own. I understand how it feels to want to get things just right.
I am hard on myself
When I have a submit proofs to my clients and I get a , “that-a-girl” I am not going to lie; I get a little buzz. Nothing makes me happier as a business owner than to get a pat on the back from a happy client. However, when you work with yourself as the client, you don’t really get that. This drove me to a state that was beyond perfectionism. “Have I got this CSS the way I want it, or should I move it over a few more pixels?”. I realised that if I spent any more time sweating this small little things that on the whole didn’t really matter, I wouldn’t have any time to do work or look for REAL clients. It also put me in a frozen state where I couldn’t really move my business forward, I dug deep and I realised what was causing this mania. The longer I spent designing my brand, the longer I could go on imagining what my business could be rather than face the reality of how hard I needed to work to get there.
It was that realisation that made me actually start treating myself as a client. I still have the voice in the back of my head telling me to fuss over the smallest of detail. What I have done to combat this being a problem, was to sit down and write a brief (like I make the first few times I meet with a client), and STICK TO THE PLAN. Any deviation from that plan and I know I need to get back on track.
I Will Never be Finished
There’s something amazing about finishing a project for a client, but my business IS my project for myself. As long as I am in business (which I hope will be for a really long time) I will never be finished. Sure, projects within the business will be complete, but new ones will constantly be popping up all the time. Treating my business like I would any other client means I can schedule all of the things I need to do to grow my business. It also makes my hyper-vigilant about my own business goals, and a detailed road map prepared with a Business Strategist lets me set small goals to complete each day. I get the feeling of completing stuff, and I get to see how these little things go a long way in growing my business.
Would I Recommend It?
If you have a skill and you feel you have the time, I would say to anyone do the work yourself. However, there really has to be rhyme and reason to what you are doing. The only way to keep on track is to treat yourself as a client. Pencil yourself in to your diary. If you find you keep putting yourself off to do other more important things, maybe it’s time to get another professional in to help you.
I highly recommend coming up with at least a 3 month plan for your business. Come up with clear goals and plan your work out to achieve them. Working with a Business Strategist is well worth the money when it comes to this step.
If you’re going to be your own boss? Doesn’t it make sense that you should also be your own client?