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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Being Self Employed and Freelance

I feel I have to get this out somewhere, over the past 18 months of running SBD and actually being self employed I've had so many people with the attitude that I sit around all day and have it easy.
I don't have a "real" job. I don't do much work.

I let it go most of the time because it just means that people don't understand the reality of what I do.

Being self employed is not the easy route. Being self employed and running a small business where you make every product yourself and do all the paperwork and dealing with customers and marketing yourself is not simple.
In fact on most days I can work more hours than the average employed person, I don't have weekends and holidays and I most definitely don't have a normal routine!
If work needs to be done then it needs to be done and most of my work includes a deadline.

I love running my little business, it's opened up so many opportunities for me and it's given me a chance to work with companies by designing logos or work for websites etc. I love the challenges I receive and all the work I get to do.
I actually enjoy all the advanced planning that needs to happen with this kind of business, I've been plotting Christmas since late April! I enjoy the packaging designs and creating each product by hand. I like being an independent business and I love the fact that each product I make is made completely by myself.

I love my job.

And it is a job.

I hate the stigma that goes with artists/illustrators and self employed people running craft businesses. I hate the fact that it gets classed as a fake job or a way of getting out of a real job. I hate how people think it's so easy.
All the people I know running small businesses work their arses off to earn their money. They have to work with people who can be rude and spiteful comparing handmade work to something that's been mass produced. People running a small creative businesse are paying the bills with the money they earn, they're keeping a roof over their families heads, putting food on the table, they are real people who work super hard for the money they earn and in this business the money isn't great because people believe it should be cheaper.

Being self employed doesn't make you better than anyone else but it sure as hell doesn't make you worse than anyone else.

I'm not meaning to sound like I'm ranting here because the people who support me are blooming brilliant. I've just seen so much negative lately towards people I know including myself and it's starting to grind on me.

I've heard so many nasty things about being self employed or running an art business like it's fake, like you're a lazy hippie and should get a real job.
The people saying this really don't understand that by running a small business you are taking on many real jobs at once!

But like I said, I'm not saying either side is better, it's a job and it puts food on the table, that's the base fact of it all. Yes, I love my job as I'm sure many other small business owners do but when it comes down to it we are doing it to survive, we're just lucky enough to be doing something we love.

It just winds me up when my job is seen as nothing, I don't make real money, I don't do real things, it's not worth anything. It makes me feel ashamed of myself...
It makes me doubt everything so much and lately I've dealt with a lot of bad stuff with my business and it really makes me feel like giving it all up. Like it's not really worth anything.

Okay maybe I'm ranting.

Using myself as an example, the fact is that I make people happy, I have many happy customers who tell their friends/family about me or who return themselves for more. I have a client base who return for their businesses, I have amazing reviews from a variety of people I've worked with from companies to private customers all saying good things.
I make good money from my work for someone whose business has only been going for 18 months! People know of me and people like my work.
And yet I allow simple minded, rude people to make me feel like I should give it up because it's not a real job.

It's insane.

So to all the other self employed awesome people running their own small businesses like troopers who put their heart and soul in to every product they make, the people who spend hours creating, the people who put so much care in to making everything perfect, who have insane hours trying to get everything done in time and so much more.
You are amazing and inspire me every day. You make me realise that I might not do what everyone believes to be perfect but I'm bloody brilliant at what I do and I shouldn't give up.
Nobody should give up on what they love and what they're good at.

I don't know why I felt like I needed to rant this, I guess everything has just been building up lately and I'm feeling like I need to stand up for myself and to stand up for other people in similar positions to myself.

Just remember, self employment and small business doesn't = waste of time and fake. It actually means extremely hard working and determined person.

Sorry for the rant, I guess it had to come out somewhere, normal business will resume soon I promise! Once I've gotten all these product descriptions and images ready...
If you managed to read this far then thank you.

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