First freelance retrospective

Photo by Jane Palash on Unsplash

As we come to the end of the year, I’m doing a retrospective on my freelance business Creative Product Consulting. What worked well and what are my priorities to work on in 2019?

What worked?

  • I did! Probably the biggest fear of any freelancer is being out of work for too long. I was pleased to get stuck into my first project, a brand new challenge working for a startup. I’ve learned a lot and now feel confident advising others on this way of working.
  • The freedom to expand my horizons. I started with a view to working in UX and Product Development. I’ve also taken a magazine writing course, written a number of articles and a column. There has been enough flexibility to vary my schedule in order to be more creative.
  • Integrating with teams. As I worked in my previous role for several years, I wondered how quickly I’d be able to integrate with new teams and build relationships. I’m happy to say it felt very natural and rewarding to collaborate with others in product, design and marketing roles.
  • Work-Life balance. I’m aware of the risk of burnout these days so I monitored stress throughout the year and took steps to mitigate it. I took time out and recuperated, rather than giving in to the temptation to over-work. As ever, that’s a work in progress.

What would I like to improve?

  • Planning. I read a lot about the importance of goals and forecasting. But I also found that freelance projects can be unpredictable and it’s not always clear when you need to line up the next one. So for next year, I’ll be working on creating a pipeline and planning my time.
  • Marketing. It’s important to clearly describe and brand your services. I’ve deliberately left some room to evolve mine as I go. I aim to spend more energy packaging and promoting the business in future, drawing on help from specialists to keep the consistency and results happening.
  • Network and support. I’ve found working from home useful at times. I practiced and improved how I work with remote development teams. But I’ve had lonely times where not seeing people face-to-face got me down. Building my network is essential. I’m going to set up regular meetings in 2019 to keep in touch and ensure the human angle is there.

Overall, it’s been a wonderful time professionally. The change to freelance (aka career pivot) has unlocked a new set of skills for me. I’m looking forward to my next project.

What does 2019 look like for you? If you are interested in working together, please drop me a line. Let’s get those meetings booked!