Technically I have been a freelancer for almost a decade, but this very business, my baby and my joy, started about a year ago when I did b-school. Time flew by, let me tell you, and lots of things happened. Sometimes I feel dizzy from the amount of things that happen, I think its called growing pain. Here is a summary of how I made it happen, what I wish had been different and how it all worked out:
My initial “plan”
I really wanted to not freelance for corporations anymore and I sort of kinda wanted to help people start blogs and be happy. I maybeee wanted to do some life coaching and also share my experience with making DIY media and blogging. It was all very blurry, but I was full of enthusiasm.
My initial investments
When I started, I was knee deep in my overdraft. Not an ideal place to get creative! I shoestringed it for quiet a while, which was totally okay. I think learning to be really resourceful is a great thing and I also believe that its important to get to know all aspects of your own business before starting to hire out. At first, I only bought a premium WordPress theme for 49 USD, hosting and a domain. B-school with Marie Forleo was my first big investment which I paid in instalments (one of which bounced – awkward and humbling!).
How did I bridge the first few months financially?
I luckily still had some freelance translation and writing work which paid the bills, just about. I was also babysitting in Berlin for a family I had worked for as a teenager and my rent was super low, so that helped.
The hours I worked and the adventures I´ve had
I have worked many weekends and many late nights and I am not proud of it. Sometimes when I see more established entrepreneurs talk about their 70 hour work wonder what the point is? Why are we creating this freedom for ourselves to then work like crazy? I think on average in the first few months I probably worked 45 hours a week, but the massive difference to employment was that I did them in my own rhythm. I often took Mondays off, had spontanious mental health days, travelled loads and generally slept in often. There have been plenty of 60 hour work weeks, but there have also been lots of 25 hour work weeks. It now balances out and I am more mindful to play and rest more.
When I`ve started this business, I spent spring and summer in Berlin before getting cozy in Hamburg with Family in autumn. I travelled to London & Brighton in September, to Morocco for my beautiful birthday trip in November and to Italy in December. Christmas and the beginning of 2016 was spend in Hamburg, which was great and currently I am in Portugal for a few months. In the next few months I am planning trips to Hamburg, London and Hawaii. That`s probably one of the things that I am most grateful for – being able to travel as I wish.
The programs and trainings I did
My first one and also the most important one was definitely b-school (1995 USD). It was so scary to sign up, even the instalments were a massive stretch for me. But it gave me such a solid foundation, clarity on my goals and most importantly a really supportive community.
I am also doing Vanessa Sage´s priestess training (69 USD/month) which is a blessing in many ways. Its a beautiful group and a way to stay spiritually grounded through a lot of change.
In autumn I also signed up for the Lucky Bitch Bootcamp (then 895 USD) – a training on money and success mindset for women. Honestly, such a good investment! I was still totally undercharging and feeling a lot of working class pain, shame and guilt around money. The community really was what I needed to understand that I deserve to not work my ass off and just enjoy life.
Generally, I notice that course addiction is totally a thing amongst entrepreneurs and I want to be very mindful about what I invest in this year. I love self-development, but I think a lot of the time we already know and have most of what we need to make our dreams happen. Also, I think there is so much to learn from books and audio books and I shall make another post on my faves soon!
What I wish I had done differently
I wish I had known that I don`t need to have anyone`s permission or certificate to try new things and just give it a good go.
I also wish I had set up proper policies right from the start. Setting boundaries in a loving way was something I had to learn the hard way – I am now really committed to only work on projects that are fun and within my zone of genius and to not work late nights and weekends unless there is a real emergency. Keeping my mind in a happy, creative place is so much better for everyone involved.
Did I have a business coach?
Nah… I got quiet annoyed with constantly being targeted on Facebook and told that I can`t build a business without a coach or that there is a way to hit six figures in three months. I think working with a coach can be a great investment, but I just haven`t found one where the vibe is totally right for me and I also think that group coaching is totally a valid start and maybe all you need in the beginning.
I found that I sometimes felt a bit wobbly and alone in it all, so I made an effort to join entrepreneur groups with a cool, non-pushy vibe and I started my own as well which is very cozy. I also invested in “spiritual support” and had some readings with Vix as well as other cute woo woo stuff that helped me keep my eyes on the goal, which for me personally was better than business coaching.
What upgrades did I make?
I loved my old laptop to pieces, but last summer it was time for a new macbook pro with a proper retina display so I can actually *see* my designs properly, ha!
I also got a second hand DSLR with a flip screen to make videos with which has been massively helpful. Recently I upgraded from my free Mailchimp account to Ontraport which has made my life so much easier.
And, happy to say that I finally found the courage to delegate something, namely my email folder containing hundreds of receipts to be organised into a neat spread sheet for my tax return. Hurray! I also hired Lizzy to help me establish better systems and get organised so that I can save time and do more awesome stuff which was a truly brilliant investment.
For my baby heart, I hired Danette as a writing coach to help me write through all my feelings, process life and get super clear on my first book.
The big why and what`s next
Now that I have some more time to think and more experience, I feel so much clearer and happier than I have a year ago. I am building this business because I want to support a beautiful, soulful community of entrepreneurs in starting their own businesses and because I want to inspire others to live more liberated lives away from the rat race.
I want to work creatively on my own terms and measure success by how much fun I am having. I want to have time to write, read, nap and dream and generally live a life of service.
My next steps are building and launching the online awesomeness school with low cost courses for people who want to DIY. Other than that, I want to find more time to write for my other website DaydreamingWolves.com, travel to beautiful places and share green juice with people I love.