So...What Do You Do All Day??
Since I announced that I was leaving my 'traditional' job at the end of 2017, I've gotten this question a few times. Anyone who's gone out on their own has probably gotten the same question from well meaning friends and family members. People are just plain curious about what work-life looks like when you're not doing it within the traditional 9-5 office setting.
What a lot of people don't know is that in addition to running the business designing and sewing all the clothing for KD, I also take clients for social media and business consulting. I started out building social media presences and developing new media marketing strategies for the companies that I worked for during and after college. It was sort of informal, since at the time it wasn't strictly necessary to have a Facebook page for your business, and Instagram hadn't really taken off yet. It was fun to help these companies build and grow using new media and connect with their communities in a new and exciting way. It gave me something to do during slow times at work, and gave me an excuse to make use of all those marketing classes I took.
I often find it's easier for me to market and strategize for other's businesses than my own. That can be frustrating at times (for me, when I'm trying to do things like keep up with this blog...) but I really get a rush out of working with new clients and all the possibilities ahead of them when they're ready to really dive into a new thing like blogging or Instagram for their business. It's exciting to show them all the new tools available to show off their hard work and connect more fully with their customers. What had once been written off as a time wasting fad for kids has become a powerful and ever-changing business tool. And even better than that, businesses are wiling to pay for people like me to help them make the most of these tools for their business.
So, what does an actual day look like combining all these things? It's a lot of client meetings, proposals, emails, and time in front of the computer. Then, I switch gears and get busy drafting patterns, sewing orders, planning photoshoots, marketing, or working (you guessed it...) at the computer on this blog or on KD's social media. Throw in lots of coffee, a sweat sesh at Ascend, and some puppy snuggles, and that's basically my typical day. All that sounds like rainbows and sunshine, but there's also always the less fun but still necessary parts of any business - dealing with issues that crop up, negotiating contracts, figuring out taxes and that nagging reminder that you're the only one responsible for the success of all that you're creating so you'd better hustle. But those parts are all very much worth it.
The best part of this side of what I do are the people I get to work with. I am definitely an introvert at heart and one of the things I love most about what I've created with KD is that I get to work alone, but it can be a little lonely sometimes. Consulting lets me get out a bit and meet some truly amazing people. Over the last few years of doing this I've been lucky enough to connect with an absolutely amazing network of entrepreneurs who show up each and every day for their businesses. Working with them and shining a light on all that they've created is one of the biggest perks of the job. Another amazing thing is that more often than not, the entrepreneurs I'm working with are women. Women who have given their all to create a business that speaks to them and their passions, and nothing is better than working with some badass empowered ladies who know how to get shit done.
It's all a bit of a cycle, I find that working with my clients and helping them grow and evolve their businesses gives me inspiration that I can put back into everything I started with KD. For the longest time I felt like I had to keep them separate. I felt like it was weird or off brand that I also have this consulting thing going for fear that other people might see both the consulting and KD as trivial side businesses while I'm between "real jobs". I think that's because until fairly recently, I was that person. I was telling myself that this as just a side gig that I did because it was fun, paid well, and let me use my brain and skills at something I actually felt passionate about until I reached some arbitrary milestone of success with the clothing line. Taking a step back, I realized that there's actually no problem with having both. Somehow I've managed to create not one, but two businesses I love. I get to be creative, make things with my own hands, and do it in a way I find empowering. I also get to connect with other entrepreneurs and help them show off what they're passionate about in an authentic and meaningful way. What's not to love?
If you want to learn more about working with me for social media or business consulting, click here!