Checking in: One year of self-employment

My last day as someone else’s employee was almost exactly a year ago – March 31, 2016.

On that day, I wrote a long piece about quitting, which I did only after months of stewing and dreaming and preparing. I wrote about our friends that didn’t get to see 30, I wrote about the decision to build my dream or someone else’s, I wrote about seeing results from hard work and about how I value relaxing with my husband at the end of the day.

A year into this, I figured it was time report back. The short story is things are going well. Not for one second of one day have I even questioned my decision.

I love numbers and metrics so I decided to collect some for you as a quick look into my new life of being my own boss.

All numbers are April 2016-March 2017.

  • Paintings sold: 78 or 1.5 per week (I sold 18 in the 12 months before. Feeling pretty good about this).
  • Clients that bought more than one painting: 12
  • Commissions completed: 15
  • Shows and events: 10
  • Instagram follower growth: 130%
  • Freelance/consulting hours worked: 428
  • Freelance and consulting clients: 10
    • Marketing consulting for law firms, design studios and professional photographers.
    • Freelance work on projects for Kennedy Space Center, Home Depot, Chef Paul Prudhomme/Magic Seasoning Blends and Aerotek, the country’s largest staffing firm, contracted through ad agencies in North Carolina and New Orleans.
  • Five-mile runs: Let’s just say I didn’t run that far once in the year leading up to quitting, but went on a five-mile run, a three-mile run and lifted weights every week this fall (I’m a cold weather runner).
  • Evenings reclaimed: Almost all of them. I used to paint or do some kind of art business work nearly every weeknight evening. Now, I put down the brushes by 5 or 6 almost every night and mostly stay away from my computer.
  • Hip hop dance class attendance: High
  • Thursday night trivia attendance: High
  • Hours spent watching TV on the couch with my main squeeze: 100s
  • New recipes tried: Countless. Here and here are two of my favorites.
  • Week-long trips home to see immediate and extended family: 3
  • International trips (much easier now since I previously had fewer vacation days than my husband): 2 (Cuba and France)
  • New U.S. cities explored with friends: 2 (Asheville and Milwaukee)

And last, hugs to everyone cheering me on and buying my work: Endless. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for enabling this dream. It has been nothing short of magic.

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