Money

honesty & change: taking freelancing to the next step

by lizzie & isaiah on August 29, 2011 · 17 comments

Nothing will kick your ass in gear to learn more about time management than when you land a boatload of clients at once. We have a lot of personal projects on our plate – such as redesign this mess that you’re looking at right now and get a business license and new cards and there are 100 things we need to do to have a stronger freelancing business. At the moment, we’re just making it work remembering that client deadlines are sacred and our work, unfortunately, has to come second.

The reason we let ctrlP die a horribly long, slow and miserable death was because we kept getting clients from Etsy and it was money. We’ve never really been ones to turn down money when we’re in a tight spot, even if it comes with a horrible bitchy client at the end of the string.

Part of growing our freelance business and lifestyle is giving Isaiah a job that will pay bills and keep his portfolio and skills up-to-date and “warm” while he’s in school. (Guys, can I just say that I’m dying to share some of his recent drawings and paintings? That’s coming soon.)

The other part is our ultimate desire to be autonomous and work together. We don’t want to be those crazy entrepreneurs with a million ideas and no action … or 100 small ventures – a blog, another blog, a stationery shop, a graphic freelance business, a writing freelance business, a graphic design blog and oh. my. gah. are you as tired as I am? I don’t want to fail. I never want to fail. But you can’t succeed at everything you try and your best bet to move forward successfully sometimes – at least ours, at the moment, is to either a) pick one thing that you’re excellent at and continue working and learning and getting better at that one thing or b) find a way to infuse a few of the things you love and are good at together in a way that works.

We’re still trying to figure out which path we’re taking. All we know is that we can’t continue with ad hoc business for very long. It’s difficult to keep everything straight, to find clients you like and to keep recurring clients when you’re operating in a fly-by-night manner. When you stay up until 4 a.m. on Saturday nights to finish client projects, you’re bound to let something fall eventually and you don’t have enough energy to seek out new, bigger & better client-fish and your relationship can be strained from lack of sleep and energy.

I was talking with my dad this weekend about how I never know where I want to go and I wish things were clearer. I am naturally geared to be extremely career-oriented. I think about work far too often and I am concerned with people’s perception of me at work and my opportunities for advancement to the point of fault. I was worried I wasn’t “playing the game” well enough and that I would be overlooked at work and I was freaking out that we weren’t charging enough for freelance work and oh my gah, dad, I don’t even have a business license yet. 

My dad has always “gotten me.” He told me that Isaiah and I have something a lot of people don’t get the chance to have. (My dad’s a big fan of Isaiah’s and has always said he gets it and that Isaiah knows me far better than anyone else). He told me I would be a fool to overlook that for something I don’t even care about. He told me not to play the game.

You need to just go to work. Work your ass off while you’re there. Then relax. Spend time with your best friend and work on the weekends together toward your dream. If that ever gets to be too much for your relationship or ever threatens to tear you apart, just drop it. But you don’t want your whole life to be wrapped up in your job or a million “goals,” do you? 

I didn’t. I don’t.

From here, we’re excited about the possibilities, but we’re taking slow, deliberate steps to make sure we don’t wind up with another set-up-at-midnight-Etsy-shop with little to no planning or forethought.

What about you guys? What dreams/goals do you have that you’re working toward? Are you working slowly or trying to get it done as soon as possible? Do you have a reason for doing it that way? Tell me all about it. I’m dying to know.

Photo: Melissa Textor’s graphite drawings, yes graphite, found on Erin Loechner’s Design for Mankind

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worth saving for: new space

by lizzie & isaiah on January 10, 2011 · 35 comments

We’ve been aching for a new space. We spent two days cleaning our apartment. Two. Toothbrush on baseboards…grout – the whole works. Maybe other people clean this way far more often and it’s way less impressive than I think it is.

Anyways. We live in one of those cheap apartments that they just gut when a newcomer moves in rather than clean the cheaply textured walls and bottom-grade carpeting they’ve been so generous to choose. We’ve been peeking at houses. I know, I know, what the hell is an unemployed couple checking out houses for? And to that I say, let us dream, damnit…let us dream.

Chicago has beckoned us lately and we’ve been hoping someday will be the right day to move back to the city for a couple of years. I’ve always loved lofts and apartments…and that, matched with my hatred for lawn care seems to make a perfect match for a delightful(ly expensive) loft apartment.

We’ve been hardcore watching money lately and it’s shed some light on our obsession with “smalls.” We love small decor buys and always hope that they’ll make a difference in our apartment’s style…but really, it just clutters everything up. (Four bags on their way to Goodwill clutter-style). We love modern and sleek but warm with pops of color and electicity (it’s a word).

For your, and our, inspiration to save our money from the smalls dealers of the world and make some substantial changes toward a quality and minimalistic style.

exposed beam modern and sleek apartment design

salvador dali apartment decor inspiration

antique modern apartment decor and design

black and white kitchen inspiration modern and sleek

modern and sleek black and white office desk design and decor

white and colorful eclectic apartment decoration inspiration

black and white fireplace apartment decor and design inspiration

kitchen crate design and decor inspiration

apartment inspiration on love your way wedding and design blog

Basically, we want to streamline. Our apartment right now has two rooms. Not bedrooms…just rooms. There is no place to streamline…except to take bags to the mission, which we’ve done. But for our next place…we’re just dreaming. Did I mention that the place below is for sale, fully furnished in our city…and a ridiculously low (but still out of our reach at the moment) price? Well, it is.

perfect loft apartment dallas

We’re saving up for things worth saving for. No more frames or lamps and bullshit decor items…We want a downpayment and enough for a few great starter pieces of furniture.

Any tips on saving for a house? (Besides get a job…because we know that one)

All images found via Pinterest from: 1) ImgSpark 2) Cup of Jo 3) ImgSpark 4) Merry Mishap 5) Decorology 6) Decorology 7) The Kid Collective 8) ElleChina 9) Fuck Yeah Lovely Rooms


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