Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Life Beyond Retail: Taking the Leap of Faith into Freelance Pt. 2

This article is a continuation of "Life Beyond Retail: Taking the Leap of Faith into Freelance". If you haven’t already, give it a read!

The idea of being a full time freelancer - making your own schedule, working for yourself - is pretty yummy and enticing...but also pretty scary! It's a big transition involving a lot of preparation and a leap of faith, but big rewards come from big risks. Last time we addressed first changing your mind about how to approach this leap:

#1. Forget about the “Safety Net”, it does NOT exist.
#2. The scarcity of jobs is not out there, it’s in your head.
What else can you do to set yourself up powerfully? So glad you asked!

#3. Be a responsible risk taker; ready yourself for the jump
Remember when I told you that there is no safety net? Well...there isn’t. However there are a few steps you can take in order to set yourself up for a successful leap into the freelance world. Begin by preparing yourself for potential road bumps and obstacles by taking action while you're still in your current job. For example:
  1. Setting Yourself up Financially: This is by far the biggest concern for most, however it does not need to be debilitating to your process of transition. Creating a system where you are backed up financially could be a great way to be responsible while still taking your leap. For example, opening a savings account and putting away even a small amount of money from every paycheck is an option. This account's only purpose is to put funds away that could go towards bills or a health insurance fund. Make a commitment to yourself that you will not touch this savings account no matter what. In fact, pretend that it’s not even there. One of the biggest concerns going freelance is losing your health insurance. There is insurance available for freelancers, however it does cost money monthly. Unless you are planning to marry someone in the near future that already has health insurance, you are going to need a plan to pay for that. The hardest part of putting money away for something like this is staying committed to the savings account. If it’s that important to you to be your own boss, you can absolutely do it if you put your mind to it.
  2. Networking and Being on Top of Mind: Those of you who are "wall flowers" and really do not like talking about yourself or what you are doing... frankly...if you want to take this leap, you will need to GET OVER THAT. Really making sure you are out there in the community and letting people know what you are up to with confidence is going to have you be on the "top of people's minds" when considering people for work. Part of going freelance may include you freelancing for the brand you are currently working for or other brands. The only way you are going to find out what is available is by talking to people and getting them excited for you taking this leap - not necessarily coming from a place of desperation, but from a place of exciting possibilities. Put yourself in situations where you are going to meet other people in the industry such as trade shows, pro socials, seminars and workshops. Introduce yourself and connect to other people who are in the industry who do what you would like to be doing.
  3. Keeping up with Your Education: People want the artist who is the most up to date on trends, techniques, and products. Making sure you take every opportunity to advance in your craft will keep you abreast of all these things. Even as someone who has been in the industry for over 15 years, I still think there are a multitude of things I could learn to expand both my business and my artistry. Keeping in the know about what is current in your industry is only going to make you more desirable as an expert in your field. So make sure that in the process of leaving your current job, you are putting aside time and money for seminars and workshops that will expand your artistry and your knowledge as to how to build a business. Also, make sure your marketing material is underway to present yourself as a freelance makeup artist which leads us to our next valuable step...
#4. Be ready before you’re ready: The Quantum Leap Effect
Presenting yourself as the person who you are striving to be calls you to actually be that person right now. The concept of “Quantum Leap” is seeing yourself and acting as though you are in the position you are striving to be in the future. So if you were an actual freelance makeup artist right now, you would have a website, business cards, a portfolio and you would be building your business. Sometimes people get stuck on the steps they need to take in order to be validated as a fully functioning freelance artist. However, if you act as though you are already there, all the actions you would take would be launching you forward into the direction you wish to be going. Some people call it “fake it till you make it.” I just call it “be ready before you’re ready.” (a genius tagline I adopted from the amazing Marie Forleo). So while you’re still employed at your day job, start taking steps to build a portfolio. Start researching the best options to create a business card, the best options for building a website. Even if you don’t have images ready or enough money to hire a designer, there are ways to create an online presence inexpensively or even for free. If you are already networking and talking to people about what you are up to, you will be able to find other photographers, hair stylists and wardrobe stylists to help you build this portfolio. Just to be clear ”be ready before you’re ready” does not mean acting or pretending to be something that you are not, it means being who you were always meant to be and being confident about that.

#5. Hold yourself accountable, do your best and don’t give up.
There is no perfect way to do this process. I, for one, am still figuring out new ways to do things better every day. Along this rollercoaster ride you are going to have amazing breakthroughs and also “failures”. However if you look at your "failures" as just challenges that we all go through and learn from, those challenges will turn you into the best business owner you can possibly be. Creating a strong group of support around me over the last decade has not only made my business more successful but has held me accountable for all the things that I have said I am going to do. Being a business person who works in integrity starts with being your word to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, including business owners, but what sets a successful business owner apart from the ones who are not so successful is the accountability they have not only to others but to themselves. So as hard as this journey may be its important to not give up, and know that doing this alone is not the answer. Whereas it may sound cheesy to build or join a support group of like minded entrepreneurs like yourself, for me it is the number one key to my success. If I did not have my Body of Artists, TPG Pro, and my Leadership community families, I could not do what I do. Being a part of these groups calls me up to be the person that I not only was meant to be, but am inspired to be. It also reminds me that if I give up, I am denying so many others of the gifts I was meant to give.

So in conclusion, if you walk away from this article feeling more empowered to make the jump, and actually might take some action towards that goal, then I could not be more happy. And if you are still wavering...well, I saw this great post on Facebook via a colleague that may help you out:

I could not have said it better myself. Good luck to all of you and be sure to read the interview articles of Jessica Padilla and Angela Lynn-Ware who have already started out on this journey. You will find a lot to relate to and even more to be inspired by.


  1. Awesome article, very inspiring! Thanks for writing this!

  2. THANK YOU. It's like you were reading my mind and is what I needed to see in writing!!