Freelance Freak Outs!

One of my best friends, who I met in art school is setting out on the adventure to become a freelance illustrator. She invited me out for some dinner and drinks last week to get some advice and ask a few questions. She had some concerns about finances, legalees, and marketing — the stuff that even after 2 years of steady full time freelancing I freak out about from time to time.

She took notes on the links i spouted out and the random tidbits. “Seattle requires a city business license, in addition to your state license.” …We headed back to my house and I showed her my simple book keeping system and handed down to her my copy of the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook.

She seems to be going about this venture in a very smart way. She has saved up a nest egg, she is doing her research and is arranging with her boss to keep on schedule part time so that she has a steady cash flow with time left to build her business up. So it struck me was when she expressed how terrified she was. I understand, I’m terrified sometimes. Being in business for yourself can be scary, I don’t think that EVER goes away.

But isn’t regret even scarier? Maybe you will be a successful freelancer, maybe you will make a living doing what you love on your own terms, maybe you will find out it’s not right for you… the only way to know – is to try. “Well… what’s the worst that could happen?” I asked her. “You lose some money, you have to go back to working full time. …that’s not so bad.” Her expression changed and a smile started to peak through the terror that was on her face. “Yea. …yea! You’re right!”

So I was a little bummed that I missed out on going rollerskating with her yesterday (neither of us had even attempted to put on a pair of skates since adolescence!) But it gave me a big smile when I logged into Facebook today to see this inspirational and absolutely adorable status update from her…

“if I can rollerskate, I can illustrate!”

Kendal Tull Esterbrook, LubDub Art

What do you get freaked out over in your career and how do you calm yourself down about it?


  1. Very true and very timely. If no one ever took a chance, no one would ever: go to college, change careers, have a child, get married, buy a house, buy a car, travel to a new place, learn a new skill…you get my drift.

  2. I tend to freak out over little things. For instance today was especially stressful because I was expecting a call from a prospective client who happens to host a podcast I admire. I was also buried under a mound of work and I just had to get away from my desk and out the house. I took a walk with my SO, got dinner, stopped in at a coffee shop then came home and took care of business.

    I find taking a few minutes for myself and revisiting whatever is freaking me out later helps me regain my sanity.

Comments are closed.