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5 Very SMART Tips & Tools That Helped Velinda Go Freelance, Start A Company And Grow Her Team – A Serious MUST-READ

As an alumn of the EHD team who ventured out into the freelance world at the end of 2019 and started growing my team (from me to 6) beginning the following year, my old friends reached out asking if I’d want to do a post on ‘how to be a freelancer’. And while I was crazy flattered by their confidence, I’m still chuckling at the thought that I ‘know’ anything yet. Does anyone self-employed or running a startup ever feel they do? Does imposter syndrome go away? Do the freelancer-fears and nighttime panics eventually subside? Just starting year three, I can tell you it has all gotten a lot better. And since I have 1000% found tools along the way to implement that being the case, I’m happy to share. I don’t ‘know’, but here are:

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: inside the design process – how much it really costs to work with a designer

Now, since this process is consistently one of discovery, I’ll owe it to you to report back if any of these early methods eventually land us on our bums. After all, I’m 2 years and 1 month old now. I’ve just started walking and may need a diaper change now and then. Or maybe I’m in preschool starting to count? Can I speak yet? Never mind, I know nothing about children… except that they need durable textiles, rounded edges, and lot of creativity, color, and whimsy in their design worlds (*Inserted Free Ad: Hire VHD for kids’ playroom and bedroom virtual designs!).

lead designers: grace de asis &  julie rose for vhd | styled by emily edith bowser | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the 3 best ways to save $$$ on your kitchen reno (+ our ehd alumns’ first reveal as a new boutique team)

You’re a freelancer, you’re busy. I know! So, Let’s get started… Wait… But where to do so? We’ve never done this before. Agggghhh… HELP! 

Exactly. While most of these tips are in no particular order, this first one, in my book, should be numero uno:

1. Get Help

There are layers to the types of help you’ll need as you start and grow. Not all can be done in the beginning. But some can.

Layer A:

One thing I am SO glad I did early (and I mean before filling out S Corp paperwork or setting up a site)… was talk to people who already had experience doing what I was hoping to do myself. The kicker here is to realize that time is valuable. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend/mentor in the field (as I did in Emily Henderson), I’m sure a lunch or call would be welcome. But if not, don’t expect strangers to dedicate their time for free; offer to pay for a consultation with someone you respect (or find someone who already offers such a thing in your field). $100-300 for an hour of your average professional’s time is a fair price to expect/offer from what I’ve experienced. Don’t get ripped off. 

Now, if you’re going to break this rule I just made up about paying for consultation time, be really concise with your ask when you reach out to a stranger. Think: ‘what could someone answer in 15 seconds that would send me in a direction (ie. I was wondering:  Did you like the school you went to/would you recommend your program? What software do you use most?). Perhaps you’ll discover someone is really generous and this opens a further conversation, but starting with overwhelming questions (ie. Can I pick your brain? Can you tell me how you started your company?) isn’t respecting the value of time and may not get a response. Be concise and specific instead.

Speaking of specific, I have a really easy suggestion for interior design firm startups out there: Carly Waters. She offers hour-long consultations. Doing two of these may be the wisest thing I did in the beginning. While I learned SO much about design from Emily, the company she runs is entirely different from the one I was starting, so I needed additional help. Carly Waters couldn’t have been more generous, intelligent, or resourceful. Several of the tips/tools I’m passing along are ones she shared with me. Thank you, Carly!

who me? needing help?

Layer B:

Find your ‘external team’. Maybe you can’t afford to hire yet, but do you really want to spend all of your time learning how to be a bookkeeper & lawyer… Or take on potentially great financial risk by making mistakes out of pure ignorance? Before I did my interior design program, I got a bachelors in business. Pretending I recall more than the 4% I actually do about economics, let me give you this piece of knowledge (that actually stuck). It’s more cost-effective to specialize than to have a team of ‘jack of all trades’. Hire specialists. You focus on what you’re good at and hire the best you can afford to handle things such as:

  • Legal Paperwork – I used Rocket Lawyer because that’s what my money could buy.
  • Bookkeeping – Found through a friend’s recommendation. Love her.
  • Taxes – Another friend recommendation. I’d marry him if either of us were straight.
  • Logo & Web Design – I haven’t afforded this yet and have lost much time and many tears stumbling through myself.
  • Photographer – I was lucky to have great project photos thanks to years of working with EHD alumn Sara Tramp. But even if you make a site yourself, you MUST have professional pictures in pretty much any field. It. matters.
  • Specialist Support for Something You’re Just Not Good At Yourself – For me, this is social media. I am so grateful for the ideas, reminders, and scheduling/programming my freelance team, Good Things Done Right provides. They do in minutes what would take me days. It’s not my skill set. It’s definitely theirs.

Finding recommended/qualified people to fill these roles is a game-changer. This is your ‘outside team’. You could even consider hiring a virtual assistant early on to help as well (after all, it’s just you right now and you may be busy crying in the shower). Just know you’ll have to train a virtual assistant and have specific tasks for them to handle, so get organized. 

Layer C:

Find your inside team. I have limited tips here as I had pure luck in this arena (getting to work hire my friends from EHD), but my talented team has made every project and step toward growth/improvement possible. I need them. Those I’ve hired outside of my EHD collaborators, I found a few different ways:

  • “We’re Hiring” – social media announcement
  • Word of mouth recommendations from other designers
  • Hiring Sites: Business of Home & Zip Recruiter (We aren’t hiring at the moment, but anyone know of others?)

Other than lucking out, my tip for ‘team building’ would be to understand the team is getting a ‘newbie’ experience and are taking some additional risk coming aboard an unestablished company. As they’re being patient with you, be so in return. 

And here is the bit you ‘real pros’ may just want to skip to avoid skin crawls. I’m totally making up my own team policies, being as generous/flexible as I can possibly afford to be. Having trustworthy employees makes this possible, at least so far. As a recent employee and reader of articles on Covid-caused changes to the way we work, I know this is an employee’s market. My team is top-notch and could go anywhere they want. Shhhhh…. My secret mission is to manipulate them into wanting to stay with me until the day they die. How:

julie rose | me! | grace de asis
  • Paying competitively (I’d rather have 1 person paid well doing a great job on my team than 3 people paid poorly, growing bitter and bumbling tasks)
  • Offer every PTO/Holiday pay I can afford (and forgive, within reason, additional days taken off)
  • Consider ‘full time with benefits’ as 30 hour weeks (with the option to work up to 40)
  • Cover health insurance 
  • Work from home
  • Flexible work hours
  • Encouraging travel (I signed my team up for Scott’s Cheap Flights)… after all, we can mostly work from anywhere!

(Pros should probably skip this paragraph too) How to know when to hire? I’ve decided when to hire the first couple of years based on some loose-at-best projections of client flows and an employee cost calculator spreadsheet that I paid $10 for online. My patient team was far too slammed at the end of year one and there have been a couple of times since I’ve been nervous someone on my team of 6 may be empty-handed, but this past year proved our size is sustainable for now and I have much more insight moving forward if we need to grow again. A few things that helped:

  • Hiring freelancers or part-time employees first then building to full-time as projects build.
  • Paying hourly vs salary, having employees log time (which is common in our field for billing clients) – this enabled the flexibility described above while making sure I didn’t take a loss if employees weren’t working. It also helps make sure I can predict which of their hours are client-billed and what tasks belong to the VHD bill, without VHD picking up any difference… allowing me to afford more benefits to the team!

2. Make Your Website Your Assistant (And Automate!)

the vhd website

Want an almost free team member? Get your website working hard for you. I’m not talking about what you probably already know: make sure your site looks professional, reflects your voice, shows off your brand, etc. I mean, pretend your website works at a desk, picks up a phone, answers questions, and takes down numbers.

Not every field will find this easy to do, but putting the ‘A’s to the most common ‘Q’s we receive on our site, along with adding information on what to expect through our process where our pricing stands has saved us hundreds of admin-level hours. This means we are designing instead of answering the calls and emails of non-clients. 

Beyond that, if we find ourselves repeating emails or information to multiple clients, we create an email template, collecting them in a shared spreadsheet and each programming them into Gmail via Google’s email template feature to adapt as needed.

Want to go a step further in saving admin time? If you have services or goods to sell, there are software resources that will allow you to automate your entire lead capture/client intake/package purchase, questionnaire process, and more! We use Dubsado and this automation is what gave me the idea for our E-Design process. By honing our process step by step, automating what we could within the communication process and cutting out most admin time it takes to onboard clients, our process became more ‘affordable’ and our team ‘reachable’ from anywhere. It took some time to learn the software, but it has proven worth knowing myself so I can adapt as we learn and continue to carve the details of our client communication.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: sara’s house: a long narrow floorplan design agony + the design process part i

3. Keep Your Overhead Low

Ob-Vi-Ous-Ly. “No Sh#!, Velinda”. I’m not trying to repeat Business 101 here, so I thought I’d just do a brief rundown of some of where I balanced ‘Save vs Splurge’ in my own start-up process. This is a balance we love to ride in our designs too!

My Start-Up ‘Saves’

Website – It’s not award-winning and I’d love to upgrade when I can afford a pro, but I opted to go SquareSpace/Wix – style and handle this element myself. It took time upfront, but I can easily make changes.

Rent/Mortgage – It’s worth noting my overhead was exceptionally low upon starting up since I began January 2020 (laugh-cries welcome) and was promptly working from home like the rest of the world. Not that I had office plans as it was just me at the time, but Covid restrictions certainly forced a lot of us to find creative ways of working as a team… a plus for majorly reducing overhead. Do we need that office? 

Software & Supplies – My first year, I bought my most expensive software during Black Friday at 50% off. I also bought the 3D scanner we use for scanning sites second-hand from another designer. She was upgrading, so I got a deal on the ‘old version’ that works just fine and has been great for learning whether or not I need it (I do!). 

I still haven’t forked up for a new, fancy computer since going freelance. The Mac laptop that got me through my design program is serving just fine and instead of getting a pricey Apple home setup (my initial instinct) for the large screen I knew I needed (it’s harder to see designs details on a laptop), I instead bought a well-reviewed $350 27” Dell screen (another Black Friday deal) and a $30 cable to make this PC equipment compatible with my MacBook Pro.

My Start-Up ‘Splurges’

design by julie rose for vhd | styled by emily bowser | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: julie’s first lead design with vhd – a Primary bath reveal + tips on how to easily blend classic & contemporary styles

Photos – If you can’t tell, I’m a huge proponent of making sure you professionally photograph your work. I was lucky enough to already have beautiful images of projects I worked on with EHD (and Emily was gracious enough to let me use them, something I know from my design program isn’t always the case with a firm). But as we rolled out reveals in the first year, I splurged on high quality. This included renting props and hiring the stylist necessary to make productions run smoothly and image compositions curated. Give the photos all you got… this is what will last after all your hard work, become your social content and have clients deciding whether or not to trust you.

Help – We covered this, but quality help is worth investing in.

from: ehd design team advice: what to know before Starting design school

Time & Tools –

The first year and a half was more ‘all-consuming’ than desired by any standard, but without a lot of money to invest and knowing I wanted it to be ‘good’, time was what I had to sacrifice in the famous trifecta (ie: You can’t have good, fast and cheap… pick two). I couldn’t go fast (more on that soon).

When it came to taking the time to learn, plan and get organized, I splurged. While I abide by hiring specialists over trying to know & handle everything yourself, there will be apps, software, and tools worth researching/learning to make life far easier as you move forward. And if I could say I did any single thing ‘right’ (besides finding the right inner & outer team), it’d easily be getting organized. 

from: ehd design team advice: what to know before Starting design school

The thought was to make the ‘newness’ of being, well, brand new an opportunity. There were no messes to have to ‘clean up’ or unfiled closets to have to sort yet…  if I was careful now about the ‘rules’ of where everything lived and how the ‘steps’ worked when it was just me, I hoped it would become something I could more easily explain and hand over as the team grew. That has worked! Now a team of 6, we all know where to find project questionnaires/inspiration, measurements, and emailed concerns provided by clients and visual boards throughout our process without having to ask. We can look at a spreadsheet and know what step of the process a project is in and how much time remaining is estimated (this has helped with project flow too). I’m proud of the efficiency of our team’s process/organization and while it has adapted as we’ve learned, the seeds were planted from the start, taking a lot of initial time, but sparing so much of the same down the road… along with many headaches.

4. Think As Your Client While Thinking About Your Client

Yes, figure out your target market, think about how to find clients and such… but in the beginning, you don’t have a single client to ask ‘did you like this… did this work?’ So… you roleplay. While you’re worrying about getting clients, pretend to be said client… “What would I want?” 

For me, especially when working virtually, the answer was:

  • A clear understanding of what to expect and how the process works
  • Visual examples of past projects to earn my faith
  • Quick communication
  • An opportunity to make sure my aesthetic, ideas, and needs were fully understood
  • Individualism within my design (nothing ‘copy & pasted’)
  • Fair pricing
via velinda hellen design

I set up our process based on these ideas then started testing. Let’s be very clear, I was all the while worried about whether or not I would have clients. But early on, I was also turning clients away! Counter-intuitive, I realize, but I wasn’t sure if the process worked yet. I needed to go slow. I needed to test. I will always have a fondness and gratitude for my very earliest clients who taught me.

Now that I had a few clients going through the experience  that I hoped was working, I could simply ask, “did this work?” If it makes any sense at all in your field… DO IT! From day one, I had a ‘follow up questionnaire’, which was short with a blend of easy ‘yes/no’ questions and ‘free response’ space. My god, has it been helpful for improving. Clients give us genius ideas! What’s more, I ask on that questionnaire whether or not I can use their feedback on social media/as a public testimonial. Most say ‘yes’. This means I don’t have to go back to clients later begging for marketing material. Win-win-win.

I can’t exactly say where you’ll find clients in your specific industry, but one mindset shift that has been helpful to make on our team is ‘forward thinking’ clients. At first, if we were ‘full’ of projects, we were taking a waitlist and opened/closed projects monthly…. But that meant closing projects monthly too. Which meant shutting the door on clients. Not great.

Now, we’ve been working on more of a rolling system, with time frames that we adapt on our site. This way, we can book projects up to three months in advance. It seems to be a better flow on our end and also means shutting down fewer clients along the way. Finding the right project load was like hitting puberty’s awkward stage at every level of our team’s growth. But we’ve now grown our first mustache and learned how to kiss without getting our braces stuck. I hope we’ve grown into our foreheads for good! (Turns out, I’m far more familiar with puberty than infants/toddlers).

5. Free the Freelancer In You

Imposter syndrome and overwhelm can be powerful, but there’s so much combative power to be found in getting to carve things out for yourself; find your own measure of success, set your own time, and hold your own boundaries….

Even early on, I tried to balance the very public information of ‘I’m a startup’ with the guarantee, ‘you’ll be safe with me’. This was not a promise of not making a mistake, but I knew that while I couldn’t trust myself to know everything upfront, I could trust myself to handle any arising issue with integrity and aim to always make things right. That goes a long way. 

I would rather take a loss than defend a mistake done on our part and I’ve found being really upfront about intentions versus taking the stance of said defensiveness is immensely helpful.

Example: (Your version of something like this…) “My aim for this call is to work together to find a fair solution and I owe you an apology for contributing to this frustration…”.

It’s okay to admit you’re wrong or have missed something, even if the client isn’t 100% ‘right’.

You will make mistakes (Going slow and researching will help prevent these… but early on they can be expensive to correct). I find handling these misses with character will go a long way in a world of big-business capitalism and narcissistic greed.

Still, you can say ‘no’. Even when you’re ‘fresh’, it’s okay to steer your clients back to your process and it’s fine to set up boundaries within what to expect. Overcommitting or getting bullied won’t do anyone any favors and sometimes, a client may just not be the right fit. Your client is trusting you, so trust yourself. And when you don’t know, ‘yes’ doesn’t have to be the answer.

Example: (Something like…) “Let me consider that and get back to you in XXX days/hours” is a great way of buying time while you navigate getting familiar with… well, navigating.

But onto the HUGE perks of freelance. You get to make this up. Yes, there are standard business hours to consider. Yes, we are trained to ‘earn’ for validation. Yes, you will have to forego fun/need to have self-discipline to succeed… but what is succeeding, really? YOU get to decide… not your boss/company.

via velinda hellen design

A freelancer’s freedom to set their own schedule is widely spoken about, but I’ve found even more ‘adventure’ in deciding what the aim, in general, is as an individual and team. Of course, doing cool sh$! with projects and making sure our clients are consistently happy is key, but… then what? Is it building flexibility around travel, showing up for events, and resting when you’re sick? (for us, yes). Is it making a fine living by working shorter weeks vs maximizing annual profit? (for us, yes). Is it more time with family, scheduled days to find new inspiration or learning one new software/skill a year? Yes, yes, yes. The global community may not report you to Forbes for such ‘successes’, but you have won according to you… and you decide when and what to celebrate. So don’t forget to celebrate the ‘small things’. I’m convinced that’s what matters most anyway. And surround yourself with people who will celebrate as well.

Shall we quickly wrap this up? You’re busy and your time is valuable. I’ll leave you by sending my best wishes for success and kudos for being so bold! It’s scary, but pretty soon you’ll be looking back on your days as a (2-month-old?) who’s dropping cereal and ungracefully climbing your playpen walls and say, ‘that was worth it!’ 

Opening Photo Credits: Lead Designers: Grace De Asis &  Julie Rose for VHD | Styled by Emily Edith Bowser | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: The 3 Best Ways To SAVE $$$ On Your Kitchen Reno (+ Our EHD Alumns’ First Reveal As a New Boutique Team)

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HerselfInDublin
3 months ago

Wow, fantastic post, thank-you Vellinda.
Wishing you ongoing and ever-increasing (but not overwhelming!) success.

Beth
3 months ago

Loved this! And love hearing your voice on the blog again.

Sarah
3 months ago

Really enjoyed this post. Best of luck to you as you continue to grow your business. I loved your thoughts on success.

Alden Fletcher
3 months ago

Loved this post! As a startup designer, it’s so helpful to read about other business’ tips in the industry. As a follow up post, I’d be curious to read about the most helpful software for a designer… I’m trying to balance what programs it is worth subscribing to(Ivy, dubsado, skethup…) while trying to keep my monthly expenses down.

Ally
3 months ago

What a pleasure to read. I’m not looking to start a business but enjoyed this from start to finish. Very impressed with your outlook on being an employer (providing benefits and a 30-hour week, etc.) — seems likely to inspire a lot of loyalty, creativity and hard work from your team. If only more companies in the US took this approach!

Vera
3 months ago
Reply to  Ally

Perfectly said Ally!
Velinda congrats and thank you so much for writing such a helpful and engaging post. This is the type of post that will be read and re-read by many over the years.
Thank you EHD for publishing this!

Kj
3 months ago

Amazing info. Fun (and funny) to read. Enjoyed it even though I am not lookiing to start a business.

Roberta Davis
3 months ago

You’ve really done well! Congratulations and much future success! I’m not in business (I’m retired) but it is very generous of you to share your learnings and wisdom!

Louise P-G
3 months ago

I adored this post Velinda! Bookmarked to keep re-reading. Inspiring & Informative, thank you. I’m a self employed fine jeweller. So not the same field but this was all very applicable.

3 months ago

We work with tons of new interior designers in the UK, as a relatively new business ourselves it’s so important to keep the human element there and not view everyone as a faceless company and understand the individual(s) behind it, then you really can operate on the same level as your customers/suppliers.
Joe
The Brick Tile Company

Christy
3 months ago

I LOVE the standard of 30 hours / week = full time! If you’re working with hardworking, efficient people, most jobs can be done in this time, and it really reflects realistic hours for parents too. I hope more companies follow this!

Kari
3 months ago

Such a great article! Thanks for the insight – I enjoyed it even thought I’m not in this position.

3 months ago

Loved this, Velinda! As a solo-preneur, I’ve learned over time to surround myself with trusted team members (even if they aren’t full-time employees). They are gold. I consider my brander/logo person part of this distributed team: Braid Creative (since you mentioned not finding one yet). They are pricey and were on my wish list for years; 1000 percent worth it. Here’s what they created for me (but their work also spans diverse clients, including folks like Brene Brown!): https://www.danaleighlyons.com/ (P.S., “Can I pick your brain?” = “Can you work for free even though we’ve never met and I don’t value your time enough to actually pay you?” Drives me bonkers 😉

🥰 Rusty
3 months ago

I hear ya, Dana.

Cate
3 months ago

Great post! I can also say that working with Velinda and VHD so far has been fantastic. I started with a quick consult on art size and placement, and I’m in the early stages of a full e-design project for my bedroom. The VHD team has been professional, communicative, and all-around great.

🥰 Rusty
3 months ago
Reply to  Cate

Yaaay!🤗

3 months ago

Great, and timely to me as it looks like 2022 is going to have some unexpected twists and turns.

Michelle
3 months ago

Loved this! Thanks for sharing your process/wisdom/growing pains!

Emily
3 months ago

Re 30 hours a week, I’ve found that its much easier to do with remote work, since its so much more efficient. In the office your work time has to be contiguous, and there’s lots of chit chat and waiting for meetings to start without being able to work while you wait. And you need to physically meet with partners. At home, when I’m working, I’m working, and I can do it when I am most efficient and focused too.

T.
3 months ago

I second never asking someone if you can “pick their brain” or “jump on a quick call”. That tells me everything about the quality of what that person is looking for, and I don’t do it. Most of the time, if you book a consultation hour, you will end up with much more time, and the ability to email a quick question later.

I’ve been running my own consulting firms for a few decades now, and I will tell you that there is absolutely no reason beyond ego to have a fancy office. I used to have weekly team meetings at a local restaurant that had a private room. We would buy lunch for everybody, be in there for 3 hours, they were happy, we were happy, and it cost SO much less than a full month lease. There are so many ways to meet professionally with clients, employees, vendors, that you don’t need to commit to that expense. Ever.

Vera
3 months ago
Reply to  T.

Whoa – weekly lunch meeting – what a great idea! As an employee I would SO enjoy this. And I bet the restaurent was happy to have this consistent business. What a win-win-win!

JenMS
3 months ago

What great timing on this post! Thanks so much for sharing these hard-earned nuggets of wisdom!

Cris S.
3 months ago

This was so helpful – I’ll be sharing it with several people I know who are starting small businesses. As always, Velinda, you are smart and generous. Please keep us up to date and I hope we get to see more of your completed projects!

🥰 Rusty
3 months ago

Velinda, you’ve got this! 😀 You really have. To do hard things and succeed, in a pandemic, is an indicator of your passion, perseverance and talent! To surround yourselves with team members who are friends = magic (same as EHD). When I ran my consultancy and people said “I judt wanna pick your brsins for a minute…” I taught myself to redpond with a smile and say in a friendly way, “Haha, there’s an hourly rate for that.” It shut it down fast, but remarkably, ended up with short contracts where they paid to “pick my brains” = win-win.😏 I just want to put this out there. You mentioned low budget for webpage/IT design. I did a massive project that required a parallel interactive web component. I have zero skills in that area, but knew the basic plan of what I wanted as an end product. I mapped it put on A3 as a storyboard and got a meeting with the course coordinator at the local uni. Once he was on board, I worked with the top 2 students from the relevant course and they did it as a final year real-life work experience project!! It was quotable work for… Read more »

Nora
3 months ago

Thank you so much for this post! I’m in another field, but these are really helpful tips for starting up a new project/initiative/organization generally – your comments on the different layers to ‘getting help’ were especially insightful. This is a great resource.

Lon
3 months ago

You mention getting your bachelor’s in business. How did you get your design credentials? Was it through a master’s program, or a design certificate program? Curious, as I also got an undergrad in business but always wish I had gone into design.

Cyndi J
3 months ago
Reply to  Lon

I don’t know if this link will work but look for the link/caption under one of the photos. Velinda mentioned the program she did. ehd design team advice: what to know before Starting design school

SarahT
3 months ago

I LOVE reading Velinda’s smart, warm, inspiring posts and hearing what this talented group of former EHDers are doing. Thank you!

Reanna
3 months ago

So appreciate all the great information in this post!

3 months ago

This is such a helpful post! I am working towards starting a home staging and styling business and these tips are so good!

Caity Quinn
3 months ago

So awesome Velinda!! I honestly wish I had the skills and qualifications to join your team, it seems like a dream job/place to work!

Janell
3 months ago

Informative and humble, what a great post! I have a newish side-hustle and can relate in a small way regarding outsourcing bits of my business (books and taxes), paying the pros to teach me, saving costs with research and DIY (website, SEO, social media), and delaying other pieces that would be great, but nonessential (logo, nice equipment). Once it was pointed out to me that rarely is a person good at all things and that allowing ourselves to lean into our strengths can have beautiful consequences, I felt liberated to hire help where I struggled.
The more I learn about Velinda, the more excited I am to support her and her team! I am looking forward to seeing what beauty you will bring into my home. <3

3 months ago

Loved this post, and I also love seeing peeks of how generous Emily has been with her own platform and success (and photos!) as her alumns go forth and conquer. Very clear that y’all have a beautiful “a rising tide lifts all boats” mindset in your community, and that is VERY cool and admirable.

Jeffrey C
3 months ago

Excellent advice. I’m in a different field (organizational development, facilitation, and speaking) but I’d add a few tips others might find helpful: (1) Join and get involved in appropriate state or national associations. It builds relationships, as well as lets others learn about you and see your gifts in action. (2) Share your knowledge. I still get work today from articles I published years ago in either trade publications or on my blog. (3) Make sure to talk with your accountant about tax-advantaged investment and payroll strategies. I lost out on several years of self-employed 401K contributions because I failed to do so.

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