“Owning It”

A Life Less Bullshit‘s essay on “Fill In The Blank: I’m Not a “Real” ____” spoke to me, as I feel like I just took a major step in “owning it”. In a few days, my business will celebrate its second birthday. That’s 2 years of doing this crazy thing that, even though I kind of fell into it with a surprising minimum of planning and a whole hell of a lot of “If I don’t do this now, I never will, so F it, might as well try”, has been successful far beyond what I expected.
And yet, even though I’ve been a full time (well, maybe not full time but somehow 30+hours-a-week doesn’t feel like part time) graphic designer for two years, the tag line for this blog might be the first time I’ve claimed that identity as an identity.
That’s the problem with a career you fall into – at some point it becomes your reality without you noticing. That’s the problem with anything you fall into, really – reality dosen’t write handy-dandy notification memos that state “this is your job title, this is your niche in life, here are the things you are allowed to do and can do”… but more importantly, it doesn’t write memos that state “this is what you can’t do” so that’s ok too.
So. It’s time to claim that identity. No more “I’m not really a graphic designer, I just have a part time gig that keeps me in spending money and keeps my brain from leaking out my ears while the World’s Most Adorable Toddler watches Sesame Street.”
No, I have customers that seek me out. I have customers that think I’m made of awesome sauce. I have more work than I can actually do in the time I have allotted to work (right now I have no free time and I need to fix that balance thing, but as I don’t want to put WMAT in full-time daycare, it is what it is.) And if I *did* take this thing full-time I’d be making more than I made while “gainfully employed”. So yes, this is real.
On that front, it is time to upgrade to “real” tools. Remember how I said “a minimum of planning”? One of the consequences of the “minimum” was that I bought a new computer 3-4 months before I started the business… but it was meant to be a toy, not a tool. Let’s just say that 11″ Macbook Airs are NOT meant to be used to the degree this one has been. (It really does NOT like heavy-duty Illustrator work, needless to say). Which is why there’s a refurb 15″ Macbook Retina on its way to me – due to arrive Thursday. (I’m ridiculously Mac loyal, but even I can’t justify paying full price on that one…)
So. I have the tools. I have the attitude. I think this year, the sky’s the limit for The Brand Box…