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Real talk about 2023

graphic designer at computer working

Before we begin, I want to state I am quite a positive person but with a lot of the ‘my perfect life’ and ‘I earn 10k every month’ all over social media, I thought we should start the year with a look at real life with some real talk.


2023 was, for the most part, actually really good for me but it wasn’t all smelling like roses. Let’s talk about it.


I started the year on a business high, things were going great! Then came the cost of living hell. It wasn’t just day-to-day people that it screwed over. It also affected businesses and in turn came the drop off of design work. Now, I’m not sure if I've already divulged this information: I suffer from anxiety from time to time so you can imagine my reaction. After much panicking and peeling myself off the ceiling I realised three things:


  1. I need contracts that suit me and my terms - not my client’s terms.

  2. Everything is fine and I need to chill.

  3. I need to increase my pricing.


Another thing I admit to doing too much of is work. I was knocking my pan in trying to spin all the plates. You’re probably reading this and thinking ‘yes, you are self employed!’ and you would be right. For me being self employed wasn’t just about doing my own thing but to give myself a better life balance. Less stress. More time to look after my family.

What was actually happening was I worked too much, got exhausted (we’ll talk about this in a second) and ended up suffering for days in bed. 


Just to add some extra flavour to things I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Yes I have sore joints, yes I’m on life long medication but it’s the exhaustion that pains me the most. So basically what happens if i’m too busy or running about daft, my body gives me a reality check. The only way I can describe it is that it's like having the flu. I just need to rest and that sometimes means in bed for a couple of days. Not quite the work life balance I’m after.


I knew I needed to change things as this wasn’t sustainable.


In April I joined BNI (a business networking group) but for a while I wasn’t sure I made the right decision. However, I met some amazing business owners that have turned around how I view my business, reminding me why I do what I do and how I can improve my life. It’s brought along amazing collaborations with fellow creatives too not to mention some extra income for my investment.


I completed the RBS Start Up For Success course which opened my eyes to some basics I hadn’t even looked at before: Financials; mindset and my pitch. All of which was totally free and brought me so much knowledge.


I got myself an accountant and a business coach too. Both of which made me see that what I want to achieve is totally doable.


I’ve set myself some pretty big goals for 2024. I have business friends who are literally reaching for the stars so I am following suit and plan to take over the world. Ok maybe not the world, but I have stated I’m going to become a millionaire… Ok, ok, I’ll settle for some nice holidays!


In my personal life I need to look after myself better. Your health is your wealth and I’m not going to be able to achieve my goals if I'm suffering. Not just in body but in my mindset too. I’m 110% confident in my abilities as a designer (just not in how percentages work) and know I’m great at my job but there is always room for improvement.


I’m excited for 2024 and I know none of it is easy but I’ve never felt more confident and prepared than I do now. Join me next time so we can talk about my other hobby - procrastination and my new coffee machine! It’s a belter.


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