“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)
As I sat down to write this post I poured a cup of tea. The tea bag had the above quote on it, I thought it was a great way to begin this last post in my series of 10 Lessons Learned in 20 years as a self-employed Graphic Designer.
When I began my business in 1992, I wasn’t looking for success, I was looking for survival. We needed additional income as we were a typical family of four. I’m an expert at pinching pennies, doing without and even gardening, but we were still short at the end of each month. I applied for a few jobs and even went to an interview but I had few marketable skills and very little experience for typical entry level positions. Plus I really wanted to be home with my kids!
I did have curiosity, calligraphy skills and artistic talent, not to mention DETERMINATION. I would never have said I was BRAVE! But God is gracious to us that we CAN’T see the future – it’s so much better to take life one day at a time. If I knew all the hurdles I would have to jump over back in 1992, I might never have started this entrepreneurial adventure – but I did and I have successfully developed a profitable business.
I laugh as I remember some of the new skills I acquired:
- Learning the basics of a computer at the LIBRARY (no Google yet)
- Attending a conference in Florida on programming (and a very little on design). They were speaking a WHOLE new and different language!!
- The fun of cold calling and networking in a new area.
- Diving into new technology, from my first Gateway 386 machine to my iPhone – you just have to figure it out!
I love the freedom I have by being self-employed. It has provided the second income we needed and given me the additional benefit of laughing at some of my fears. I thank God that I live in America where we can work hard to create our own success – whatever success means to you.