We touched on it briefly in our article about the essential tools you need to become a web designer, but an important part of becoming a designer is making sure you have the right mindset in order to be successful, and this doesn’t just apply to web design but working for yourself in general. Many people envision working for themselves and see it as an amazing opportunity to create their own hours, work from anywhere, and spend their time doing what they love to do – creating websites. All of these things can be ture and being self employed can be extremely rewarding, however, the issue is that everything comes with a cost and many do not realize how much work and time it takes to really establish yourself and bring that ideal life to reality.
If you are already put off and a little discouraged then honestly save yourself some time and don’t plan on being self employed. Now that doesn’t mean we are saying don’t become a web designer. It is by all means can be a great secondary source of income, and if you do it on the side with your other job taking priority a lot of the stress goes away. You will still have to do all of the things someone who is self employed is doing, but you won’t have the stress of not knowing if any money is coming in this month or not. I discuss this in more detail in some of the other paid courses but this is actually what I suggest doing when you first start out. However, regardless if you are just trying to make some extra money, or establish your own business, the mindset you need to have is the same. You have to be ambitious, outgoing, willing to be rejected (a lot!), motivated, adaptable, and willing to do a lot of things that you do not want to do.
When it comes to working for yourself, especially when starting out, actually finding clients to work for is the hardest part. From the clients perspective why would they want to hire you. You are new and inexperienced, and even if you don’t think it shows, if you have never sold anything to anyone before, they can definitely tell. This is why you need to be so mentally resilient. Even if you have a killer portfolio, which if you have no clients you don’t, you still need to get in front of someone to try to sell them, and you actually have to be good at selling it to them. Now there are several tactics to accomplish this that I cover in other courses but even still, no matter what courses you take or how outgoing you are, you are new and unless you have worked in sales before, you are going to be bad at it. That is just the way it is. The people who are good at sales started out being bad at sales. It’s a learn by doing kind of thing and there is no way around it. Plan on dedicating just as much to marketing and sales as you do for actual design and twice as much when you are just starting out. But don’t worry, it becomes more fun the better you get, and eventually you will get good, or at least decent, at it.
Beyond being just resilient and the capability to get constantly rejected, you also need to be very motivated and adaptable, especially if you plan on eventually working for yourself. If you are self employed the benefit is you get to make your own work hours, however the downside to that is you have to make your own work hours. You actually have to make yourself get up and work even though no one is actually making you do it. Add to that the fact that any time you are not working is money you are not making and now not only do you run the risk of not accomplishing anything, but also the risk of becoming completely consumed by your work and burning out. Though it is probably better to be the latter if we are being honest. Beyond that, you have to be generally interested in learning new things and capable of learning them quickly. Clients are constantly changing what they wan’t you to do and every problem is a little different. You need to be confident that you can provide the solution that they are looking for and that may mean learning some new things on the fly. After all the client usually doesn’t care how it gets done, just that it gets done and it’s within budget.
In closing, there are a lot of benefits to becoming a web designer and working for yourself, and I will do my best to teach you a lot of the skills and things you need to know like how market and land clients, how to build your portfolio, and even what to charge. But in the end it is up to you to make it happen. There is no replacement for hard work. You have to really want to do it. There will always be times where you think about quitting and that you will never become successful at it, but it’s the people who still keep grinding despite that that actually do.