“Along the way in life there are always obstacles and how you overcome them is what defines you.”

When I was young I thought the whole world included only my area, my friends, and my family. Years later I learned the truth about how truly vast this wondrous planet is. It is the source of my greatest inspirations, the cause of some of my worst pains, and yet it is why I strive to be the best designer I can.

Along the way in life there are always obstacles and how you overcome them is what defines you. I used to work as a junior graphic designer and thought that I might not be able to expand my experience in design. I was afraid that I will stuck at the “safe state”.  While it provided a good training experience, and I recommend people start there, it’s not something I want anymore. Though, it isn’t an easy transition to working for yourself as a freelancer.

One time when I was at a Design Seminar with Stefan Sagmeister as the keynote speaker, I asked him one simple question:

“How did you do it?”

I was surprised on hearing his explanation which actually didn’t explain anything at all. He then shared some of his design experience where he had to be very persistent to one client, one brand, one design concept for over 3 years. There were more other design experience he told us at the seminar that left me thinking and questioning my self:

“How am I going to do it?”

I soon realized that I should start somewhere. I wasn’t prepared on whatever going to come, whatever going to happen if I fail, what’s my back up plan, there were none. All I know is that I’m passionate about design and I know that I have the power and the ability to create beautiful design. And since the design environment in the third world country I lived didn’t live up to my standard, I established my design career somewhere in Europe.

If you’re thinking of going freelance and build everything from scratch on your own, be careful. The life of becoming a freelance designer for the first few years is very challenging. You have to prepare yourself for the worse, work harder on getting your name out, and network with people. This last part could be the vital part of business life as freelancer. The more people from other businesses you know and network with, the more people would keep your contact and passes your referral. I learn this the hard way, you might be surprise of how the referral works.

Through some help from the love of my life, I’ve grown to love socializing while tying it into a lead generation event for my business. From this I’ve gotten some of my favorite long standing clients. The types of clients you get to know face to face end up having the most trust in my design work, the friendliest work environments and of course, the best payouts.

The big thing I want to convey to people is that this progression and growth takes time. As they say, the world wasn’t make in a day, neither were our skills. True mastery takes time, passion, failure and growth and learning from that failure. So, where do/did you start?