Recently in my third year of graphic design, we have been learning about entrepreneurship, and what it takes to be successful at it. We also had three guest speakers come in to talk about their experiences as entrepreneurs; a free lance graphic designer, a free lance graduate from our program, and a graphic designer who started her own business offered us their stories, with all the ups and downs.
I learned a lot from what they had to say. Not necessarily all of them were out to be entrepreneurs from the start, and some of them just fell into it. I learned that it takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, and networking to really start off your business and to be successful at it. You have to be motivated and attentive when working with or searching for clients, and in order to learn and push yourself you sometimes end up over promising on projects. The guest speakers also opened my eyes to the realities of working with clients. One talked about how she had a project that “broke her as a designer” because the clients changed and belittled her work to the point of it not being something that reflected herself. This is a very real reality for graphic designers, since we are always designing for a client before ourselves. I also learned about the realities of networking in a new city, and how you have to really put yourself out there to meet new people and build your reputation and services up.
My entrepreneurship class has really made me think about whether or not it’s for me. I recently took a quiz about whether or not I am an entrepreneur at heart. I scored well on all the things like aptitude, but scored a little below average on motivation. This didn’t surprise me at all; I know I have good instincts and passion, but what really stops me from even considering entrepreneurship is my drive and motivation for it. I really do love graphic design and it is definitely the right career choice for me, I just don’t know if I have the entrepreneur passion for it. Since I am still figuring out what kind of designer I want to be, I would like a few years of experience in a design firm under my belt before I take on freelancing or starting up a business. If anything, I could see myself being more successful in a partnership with a few close colleagues or friends. I’ve always been good in teamwork, and I have more motivation to get things done working with like minded people who I trust.
Even if I never become my own entrepreneur, I appreciate the skills that I am learning from it. I hope with experience in the design industry, that maybe one day I will have the confidence and drive to take on a start up business or free lancing as my own brand.