Being your own boss is a very tempting idea. All that flexibility to organise your own working hours and make the decisions. But is it enough to have an idea and take a risk? Sometimes starting your own business isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. But creative freedom redeems everything. Today I wanted to share my story and how I made it to where I am now. Maybe this will become an inspiration to take the real actions for yourself?
After graduating from Vilnius art academy, I had the only dream: to be a doll artist. Nevertheless I was too scared and unprepared to do it on my own. I thought I could start by working in theatre, but after a few plays as a set designer, I knew that it isn’t for me. Theatre life was too crowded, as a scenographer I was constantly compelled to argue with stage workers, to prove my concepts to the director and so on. Being an introvert person, I like to work alone so it was too hard to keep up with theatrical rules. That being said I still needed the money, so I started to look for job.
My first job was as a shopkeeper at handmade gifts and craft supplies store. Even if this position didn’t require a lot of effort, I still learned a lot in there. My daily tasks were to communicate with customers, packing gifts and literally sell art works. Didn’t see it then, but I think it was brilliant real life experience and I’m doing this everyday now but with my own art. Although it looks like an easy job, it wasn’t easy at all. I was working twelve hours a day, 4 days per week and when I had a day off, I spent that time to work on my dolls. With my doll artist career in a perspective I worked as hard as I could. But at that time I didn’t have a plan how to reach my dream and that was enormous mistake. There was some sales and custom orders but it was so unsteady that I couldn’t make a living from it. So after eight months I felt that I exhausted all possibilities there. It was time to move on. But now with a different approach.
I started to look for a job with better salary and more convenient working hours. This time it was a regular job from 9 to 5. I designed adverts, sales banners, flyers and other dull stuff. At first I was exited, because it was an easy job and there was a decent amount of time to work on dolls. However the challenge-free workplace and monotonous tasks started to hibernate my brain. I begun to feel like I’m waisting time here. More and more I caught myself thinking about being full time doll artist. Constantly growing dissatisfaction with my current life pushed me to take a step forward.
I set goals what I needed to achieve and sticked to the plan. The most crucial part was a business strategy. I scrutinised every detail: audience needs, sources of incomes, advertising methods and so forth. On that account, after a year I left my day job with some savings and plunge myself into an exciting uncertainty.
I think that constant frustration on my previous workplaces, encouraged me to take everything into my own hands. All those struggles taught me to recognise my work as a career, not a hobby and take it seriously. After all, being your own boss is just a phrase. There is even more hard work, long hours, and responsibilities than ever. But creative freedom, no limits and your own accomplishments are so worth it!