One of the greatest things about working for yourself is that you can do whatever the hell you want. Want to take Fridays off or have a pint of beer before starting that new design? Go for it. You make the choices, and you can change your mind whenever you see fit.
Many creatives go out on their own because they want to make the choices. They want more control and freedom over their life.
But after a while, they get stuck in a rut and stop adapting. They stop changing. They become like the company they hated working for to begin with.
They marry their ideas.
Let’s take web designers as an example. In particular, let’s call our web designer Oliver. Oliver starts out by building himself an agency site, telling everyone about his website-building service.
Then Ollie does some reading and learns that he should pick a specific niche to target. So off he goes to start building websites for real estate agents. Business is going well!
One day, along comes a client that is not a real estate agent but a teacher. She wants to create a website to help high school students learn complex math. Since Ollie is now in a slump he decides to take on the project.
A few weeks later the website launches! It comes out amazing. The client is over the moon.
Ollie looks back and realizes this is the most fun he has had working on a project for a while. The client was amazing; the project was fun and challenging; and he actually enjoyed being creative.
But, oh well. He is the guy that builds websites for real estate agents. His entire brand is built around that.
Play the Card
This is when you need to play the “I work for myself” card. You make the decisions, you wear all the hats. If this math website was the most fun you have had in awhile, you should do more like it.
The sad truth is, though, most creatives are too scared to change. They get worried that they can’t adapt once they find their niche.
But you can.
What my web designer friend Oliver should do is re-brand his site or, perhaps, even make a new one targeting educators specifically. He should find where these educators are hanging out and reach out to them, see if they need any website help.
He should adapt.
Always be ready to change course
It is important when working for yourself to be ready to change course. Being a solopreneur gives you the ability to turn on a dime while others are turning on frisbees. It is one of your advantages, so use it!
If something new is working well, look into it. Find out why it is working and if it could be working better than what you are currently doing.
By being “lean and mean” you have the ability to change quickly, so don’t be afraid. Don’t marry your ideas, because marriage is forever and ideas can change.