Up until January 2017 I was a Marketing Director at a national retail support group… I decided to hit the reset button, take the plunge and set up on my own! It was obviously a big decision, stepping away from a ‘secure’ full-time role to something unknown but if I’d learnt anything from the previous twelve months it was that sometimes you have to be comfortable with uncertainty!

I had no idea what to expect in setting up on my own, all I knew was that I was incredibly unhappy in the role I was in and it had changed me into a version of myself that I didn’t want to be. I’ve spent the last year working from home helping people with new logo designs, websites, email marketing, clothing and even an IP telephone installation – I am immensely more happy and so pleased I made the decision to set up on my own.

I imagine most people when making a life changing decision such as this, take their time to think about the implications and reasons why or why not to do it and maybe I should’ve done that. But in November 2016 I did exactly the opposite – I had the thought and I just did it!

For those of you who have read about me, know that the decision to go it alone came about after an unplanned sequence of events got me thinking about what was important to me and what made me happy – that paired with the time to watch a lot of Mel Robbins on YouTube made me realise I could make it happen! I’m passionate about design and creativity and knew my skills could help people at the same time as doing what I love – a win/win – so I decided to set up on my own.

Because I didn’t really overthink the benefits of working for myself – or think about them at all – some have caught me by surprise… today I had the chance to reflect and thought I’d share the things I’m happiest with the most for anyone who is considering setting up on their own. Also I guess it’s a way of reaffirming to myself that I made the right decision a year ago  – daring to ‘make it happen’.

I’m More Creative… Over the years I’d worked my way up into a senior position and I was spending more time writing emails, preparing reports, talking strategies and doing admin than doing the creative things I wanted to. I was seriously challenged everyday but it was a time challenge not a creative one and the consequence was that I was playing safe – I was creating work that I knew I could complete in the two hour slot I had before a meeting, not the best thing for a creative person.

Now I work for myself I’m able to break away from the project I’m working on to spend an hour or so each day working on an entirely new design idea or concept – I’m now creating things that I think will look great and be effective rather than them staying ideas or quick undeveloped sketches. This helps so much in the creation of initial ideas for clients as I tend to have concepts already drafted that I can work up to final designs.

Change is Exciting… Embracing change can be challenging, especially if someone else is forcing that change on you but now I’m the one making the changes and developing opportunities for my business it’s really exciting. I’ve worked on some things that I never thought I’d have been able to and am relishing the change and variety to my workflow – there’s also some exciting new projects being launched in the next couple of months and those who are subscribed to my email newsletter will be the first to hear about them.

I’m More Flexible… It probably goes without saying, but the advantage of working for yourself is the ability to be flexible.  I have a routine I’m up at 7:30 every day and am always at my desk by 9am but if the sun’s shining I know I can take advantage and start work a bit later in the day.

I’m Healthier… Gone are the days when breakfast was a cereal bar (if I was lucky) and lunch was regularly skipped or whatever I could grab before going into meeting – Now I start each day with a proper breakfast and a good cup of coffee whilst I look through my to do list for the day.

I Have a Work Life Balance… In the past, weekend’s always seemed to be for food shopping, gardening, DIY, etc. and worrying about what deadlines I had in the week ahead! Now I’m able to enjoy the weekends doing fun stuff with my wife, friends and family.

I’ve really enjoyed the first year ‘on my own’ and I’m excited about the year ahead whatever it may bring, thanks for all your support.

Posted on 01/02/2018 by Ben Young