Bonnie at Going Home to Roost recently tagged us in her new series, ‘What I wish I would have known starting out‘. Her letter to her younger self is so filled with thoughtful advice and tenderness. When she asked us we froze, there is so much we are still learning all the time, but Michelle and I put together some of our top bits of advice and no, we don’t always listen to ourselves even now, it is a process and sometimes we just have to get back up and brush ourselves off and start over again. Hey, that’s not bad advice right there!
Allow yourself to explore, explore, explore!
Not everything you have an interest in needs to turn into commerce! Have a hobby for the sake of having a hobby, something that is your personal escape.
It’s okay to have a 9-5 job, allow yourself the freedom to explore a creative passion/outlet while you have an income, it’s much less stressful and taxing to try to start a business when their is an income flow.
If you are going to have a business partner make sure that your skills compliment each other. Ie. if you are terrible at finances your partner should have this skill set.
The minute you know you want to have a family someday (talking to you 20 year old sellf), start saving at that moment-put away $20 here, $5 there, etc. If you don’t have a family you can use all that cash to travel around the world and if you do you’ll have enough saved to hire a night nurse when you come home from the hospital to ask all those zillion of questions to and allow you to get some much needed sleep!
It’s okay to fail.And it’s okay to make the same mistake a few times before you actually learn from it. Believe me, you will eventually learn from it.
Don’t allow other people to crush your spirit. It’s okay to keep your dreams to yourself if you feel sharing them with an Eeyore will bring you down or make you doubt your ambition.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Feel free to get inspired by all the amazing creativity around, let it fuel your own, let it make your work even better. If so and so is buying a house in Bermuda and is 10 years younger than you, congratulate them and work smarter. Did you even want a house in Bermuda anyway? Focus on what you want, not what other people are getting.
You don’t have to do it alone. There are other people out there who approach life/work/creativity the same way you do AND they are interested in the same things as you-GO FIND THEM!
Just because you are a freelancer-doesn’t mean you have to do EVERYTHING yourself. Outsource, leverage the skills of others.
Pick up a camera and start shooting!
Quit tensing your shoulders and hunching over your laptop.
It’s okay to learn as you go. You don’t have to know all the answers before jumping in.
Look for collaboration opportunities to broaden your network.
Don’t let copy cats crush your spirit! Keeping moving and keep creating (you haven’t run out of ideas yet!)
TRISTAN & MICHELLE:
If you don’t have the cash, BARTER + TRADE! You can learn new skills, make new friends/allies, acquire new to you assets.
Find a mentor/mentors either in person or individuals you just admire and would like to model your career/or yourself after. Ie. Being honest like Abe, a Bon Vivant like Maira Kalman or the baker down the street that makes the world’s most delicious pastries.
We could probably could go on for days, we are filled to the brim with advice and missteps we have taken, but we think we will stop here for now. Please visit Bonnie’s site to read what others are sharing!