Home Stretch

The Season for Change

Just as everyone is will be settling back into the groove with work or school, I will be preparing for the last quarter of the year. Although I am still learning about myself and my business, I can definitely say that this year has yielded a lot of growth. With a few months left to go, I am ecstatic to plan for a great finish.

In my last blog post, I was reflecting on my summer. I started quite anxious without work and prospects only to end with a renewed motivation and vital direction. The positive outlook has not dimmed with fall just ahead. In fact, I am moving towards some really great changes.

 

Work Updates

Firstly, this summer really put into perspective the risks of being a solopreneur - the risk of inconsistent income or loss. Although without consistent client work I had time to develop my personal brand, I did not make enough for the summer quarter. Therefore, I applied for part-time work. I remember how sensitive I was when my parents recommended that I get another job after my first few months of freelancing. I was so hurt because they did not believe in my abilities.

But I came to realize that it was coming from a realistic and caring place. With any business you need a capital sum and if you do not, you will easily find yourself in debt. Through the years, I have gained confidence in my skills and realized that my parents recommendation to find a steady income was for my own sake. Moreover, as a solopreneur, if not for loans or sponsorships, you carry a heavy financial responsibility for your business.

I had applied with an airline as a flight stewardess. I got pretty far with the interview process, but was let go before any initial training. Looking back, after weighing the schedule and demanding work, it was not for me. A friend of mine recommended that I apply at her work. I applied and got an interview. After the response from the airline, my got a call back from the retail store and was offered the job.

I can understand that I should not stray too far from my line of work, even if it is a part-time job. But something that I have missed about retail is working in a team and interacting with customers. My retail experience helped my gain confidence and connections the first time round. Having been passed by the flight attendant position, I cannot help but think that this new job may work in my favor. I have time to design and better my communication skills.

In other news, I have made some really great introductions with some new connections in my network. From there, a new project relationship has started. I am very excited to see where it goes. I have been commissioned to work on some poster designs with clients both the USA and Canada.

 

Wedding Sneakers

To complete my work updates, I just completed a crazy Wedding Sneaker project. A friend introduced my to the client. He wanted to deliver an amazing wedding gift for his cousin who was getting married. The project: customized wedding sneakers in customized boxes. I was initially in charge of designing stickers for the shoe boxes with designs and messages by the client. Little did I know that I would be taking on a co-manager position on the project.

The experience included: working with a shoe designer contracted for the project, organizing schedules and coordinating assets with the client, shopping for materials in Vancouver and delivering them in Langley, applying vinyl die-cut stickers and tying loose ends with last minute inquiries and edits.

It was an all-encompassing experience. Something that I never thought that I would take on. But even though I was asked to do things that may have not been in the job description, I was happy to see how I was assertive and resourceful. The process was not always straightforward, which required problem solving and team coordination and planning. But in the end, we were able to pull through! It was a great experience with a sweet bonus at the end.

 

Adding Salsa Flavor to the Mix

Another exciting piece of news is my enrollment to salsa classes in the city. I had an amazing time taking a boot camp class and practicing in the city with free social dancing events. The Latin music and culture is so inviting and rich. I enjoy dancing to the music. So I decided to take classes starting September.

We can too often lose touch with one another. Physical touch is an important aspect in our development as children. As adults, I do not think that changes. Therefore, when I first took part in social dances, I felt very awkward at first because I did not know the moves. But with your partner, you learn to become sensitive to their direction and build awareness to react in ways that match or compliment the other. It was an exhilarating experience.

I was learning more about myself, how I move and react with different partners of different levels and experience. It is interesting to me. Salsa dancing is fun and in a social setting, you can meet a lot of great people and start building relationships that can grow overtime.

 

Homecoming

2018 has been a great year so far. I can not believe that it will be coming to a close in a few months. There is still a lot of work to do to complete the year. There are things to look forward to and room for the unexpected. I hope that things continue to fall into place and that any new changes yield amazing results. There are some new seeds that are being planted. Here’s to a great homecoming of victories over challenges and growth in confidence and expertise. ■

Patricia Atienza