Growing Pains

Published in Geek Health by

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.