It all began four years ago on my first trip to Asia. I found an $800 ticket to Bali on Scott's Cheap flights. Couldn't resist! I had lost my corporate sales job and was blowing through my 401k trying to figure out me next career move. While in Bali I thought "Man, it would be cool if my next career allows for a full month vacation in Bali, paid." I know what you're thinking. Why not just move to Bali and take vacations back to rainy Portland, OR for 1 month or year...or were you? Well, as you guessed, my next thought brought me to the conclusion that I would move to SE Asia and work from a laptop. It all sounded so easy in Tim Ferris's best selling book "The Four Hour Work Week".
Three years later, $30k in student debt, losing my house through a series of irresponsible decisions, there I am in Hanoi, Vietnam, not Bali. But just as happy. And with a website that has my design portfolio, drone videos/photos, travel photos, and a print shop for my fine art photography. And I'm applying for jobs with no luck! Two reasons, I hadn't finished my degree and I was focused on too many things, few of which were freelance design related. When I meet people and they ask "what do you do?" I respond with a 7-10 minute explanation of travel photography, hopes of managing a series of luxury B&B's, graphic design, and oh yeah - I've been drawing for 35 years.
As I finish my degree (and run out of scholarship money, loans, and financial aid) the panic sets in. I'm in debt, I have no income, and I've lost, sold, or given away most of my material wealth. What to do. I stumbled upon the following article https://www.honeybook.com/risingtide/how-to-optimize-your-portfolio-site-for-massive-client-conversions. This helped me see that my website has only a few purposes and shouldn't be for everyone...it's not a shopping mall.
This was huge for me because there is so much to learn, especially having started my design career on UpWork instead of working at an agency or corporation. It was the real "School of Hard Knocks" and I would learn the hard way most of what I know now. Going this route has made me stronger and more resilient as I face the on going supply of challenges that comes with a rewarding career as a freelance designer and solopreneur.
If you are thinking of freelancing and have questions or you need some design help to start the business of your dreams, Please don't hesitate to send me an email.
Thank you for reading,