I have been a freelance web designer for a decade now. When I was 15 I met a woman who really liked a site I had done for a video game and she asked me to develop her web site. I was paid $20 an hour and designed what I feel is still one of my very best sites, one of those examples of great that you base all your future success on. My communication wasn’t great, I was a bit flakey, but hey, I was 15!
Since Image Freedom formed last year, we’ve grown very quickly, and I am often amazed at the decisions I made just six months back, or only three months back. My priorities have changed so much, sometimes even day by day. There was a time when I scrambled for clients, in a constant panic trying to keep food on the table and thanks to the work back then it set us up for the major players we’ve been working with in 2010. I am very grateful, and very proud.
What I think is catching up with me lately, is the growing pains. I was responding to an e-mail today from a time when my communication wasn’t what it is today, and repairing and clarifying a relationship from very early on in our business. I had to remind myself how unsure I probably was when I created the scope for that project, how unsure I was as to exactly what to include, or what to promise. It was very humbling to be reminded that while I write big ticket proposals now, several pages long, I was practically begging for business not long ago at all.
My assistant laughed while I talked about this e-mail, she told me it was growing pains and I needed to go through this because I wasn’t the business man I used to be, I’m a lot smarter and coming from a lesser place to where I am now is going to leave some marks. The perfectionist in me wants to make sure everyone is satisfied 100% of the time, but when you set unrealistic expectations that becomes nearly impossible. Can’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
Every day I try to be the best businessman I can be, the best optimizer, the best friend, the best family member, etc. These growing pains have really been taking their tole, and I’ve finally come to a place where I can clear my slate and take a few days to reset the board because the pieces have changed. I’m not a pawn anymore, but I’m far from the King.
I’m excited to see where the pieces fall in all of this, because I’m not the man I was at 15 designing web sites for fun, and I’m not the business man I was just six months ago when I really got serious about my business. Growing pains will come and go, but as hard as they can be, they’re proof I’m moving in the right direction and that is a pretty slick idea.