Everything happens for a reason, right?
In 2001, I was nineteen years old with a young baby. I did not have a college degree or a high school diploma. I was in and out of a job trying to find a babysitter but no one will watch my child so I started teaching myself how to design and build websites.
Learning to code became second nature to me and I was using Adobe Photoshop 7 at the time to create images that people were falling in love with. That was when I started Soul Stylez Creation. I became a freelancer because I needed the money and even though the struggle of making very little when I first started, the freedom to be with my son without having to deal with having a sitter was priceless.
Financial freedom and setting your own schedule is the luxury that comes with the territory but remember, never lose sight of work or your goals. It is tempting to put off projects and forget about it, but who will pay the bills?
Here are some mistakes I made when I first started:
My worst enemy. I was so good at what I do that I kept telling myself, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Tomorrow turns into the next day. The next week. Then the deadline approaches and I am a few hours in. I would rush through the assignment and even if it was good. It was not great. I can see the rush in my work and my final draft became a reflection of the work I am presenting to the public. I want my job to be superb and I want it to be memorable. That’s when I realize that I should always put my best foot forward and give my clients who I am. With the work they ask for, they will get me with it. My humor. My charm. My wit. I want them to walk away thinking, “This girl is the best.” That’s how everyone should approach any work that lands on their desk.
The Best Tools Are Free
I learned this the hard way after spending so much money on software that I always thought will keep me motivated. The same software is available free online and available on any smartphone.
If you cannot afford a photoshop tool to get you started, this is a great alternative. The best part about it is, it is free. Here is a video that I created a while back on what I use Photopea for that might help.
Here is another editing tool that can help you create images and social media art for free. If you are an author, you can also use this tool to create your book cover. If you cannot find the images you are looking for, you can search Unsplash.
This is free for any PC user and anyone who has a Microsoft account. You can use this to create writing templates, save your work, and edit your writing. Along with OneNote comes your online Microsoft words and affiliates such as Excel, Power point, and one drive to save your work. All you need is a free outlook account and the Internet.
Google Drive has the same tools as your Microsoft account. You will need to have a Gmail account to access this, which I am sure everyone has one.
You can use this program to edit your work and the best part is, there is a free account that allows you to check up to 500 words. If you write a lot and do not want to copy and paste 500 words every time you are editing, you can go pro. Follow the link to sign up.
There are no Bad Ideas
If you have a thought, write it down. That one thought maybe your big break. Even if you won’t use it at the moment, put it away and remind yourself to go over it. I cannot tell you how many times I forgot to write something down and years later, it became a big product or movie making millions. That goes to show that no idea is an original idea. It is all about who will get it to the finish line first.
This is the worst one, and I am sure everyone can relate. Balancing your work and personal life. It was very hard at first, especially if you are in a relationship. When you are starting off and you want to get your foot wet, sometimes it comes with a price. You are hustling to get your website up and promoting it day and night or you are taking up jobs for free or in exchange for promotion. People in your life might not understand it at all, and you will get people telling you to quit what you are doing and get a real job. If this is something that you are passionate about, look at it like it is a real job and the surrounding people will also have to understand it. Not everyone will and it will lead you down a road that you might regret.
Well, those are the mistakes I made when I started off. If you had this same issue when you started or are encountering this, let me know how you are dealing with it? Let’s share some stories.