My husband and I once had an interesting debate when we were just getting to know one another. By the time we were happily married for a few years and had our little girl all happily packed off to junior school, we returned to this debate once more. At that time, my husband was well on his way towards starting up his own business at home. Today, he runs his own studio downtown. I was still enjoying my false sense of security that comes from working for a big firm for a great number of years.
While I was sitting cozily behind my desk all those years, my husband was building his first website. He made time to build one for me as well, but unfortunately, I did not have time, heart or desire to spend promoting myself this way. I have since learned that it is necessary to have a rigorous and well-organized program in place whereby you utilize the best online marketing skills being taught to work from home internet-based girls like me.
I am a modest designer of sorts. I purposely down-scaled my work schedules so that I need not wear myself out any longer. This was how it used to be at the agency where I used to work. There were always last-minute deadlines, overtime work, many times over weekends where I would miss my husband and child terribly. I have the advantage that our household is benefiting from two, freelance income streams.
While my husband remains the main breadwinner at this stage, I can focus more on creating more quality in my work as a graphic designer. This has pleasingly led to a few, high-paying projects where I get to spend more time on creating commercial works of art than is usually allowed on average. One of our dearest ex-colleague is now catering for a living. She always loved to cook and after her divorce and spell in rehab, she gave up her job as well, she turned all her attention to making a fulltime living from the catering business.
Before I forget, I need to return to that interesting debate we had on more than one occasion. I argued that we should keep our personal and business lives separate. I must admit that I am rather reserved and value my privacy. But my husband had a different view of this. He wanted his clients to know the personal him. After all, he wanted clients to know and appreciate how artists think and what they endure, even at the best of times.
I’m not a show-boater and neither is my husband. Quite frankly, I hate to be telling my husband that I told you so. His personal touch doesn’t seem to have worked the way he wanted. He hasn’t managed to attract the niche business he has been after for many moons. But he’s a patient man. If I’m not mistaken, he’s already tweaking his next set of moves on his PC. His workstation at home is directly adjacent to mine.
We love spending time together and it can be heartbreaking when we are forced to spend many hours apart from each other due to client and work commitments. Oh, alright, Jon, I’m heart-felt in asking you to forgive me for my abrasiveness in the warm approach you wanted to take with your business. When I think a little longer about this, I think he really is on to something. Let me round this post off by expanding on this theorem.
It is all about improving the quality of one’s life. I already made inroads to doing just that myself. I work shorter hours than I ever did at the agency. The very small basket of clients I am dealing with are an absolute pleasure to service. While they are knowledgeable and discerning in their views, they have the utmost patience when they hear the proverbial words of the erratic and sometimes eccentric artist begging; please give me more time.
And invariably, because they enjoy the work that I deliver, not always happy to do it, they give me more time to work on their projects, even paying me in advance for it.