Reflecting on Year One

Studio — August 22nd, 2016

Exactly one year ago, I was starting my first week of working for myself, fully committing to starting my own design studio and taking charge of my time, income, and future.

Was I ready to leave my full-time job? Probably not. My dad told me to wait five more years, but I couldn’t ignore the tug at my heart to start my business. I was tired of reading about it and following others who were living my dream—I needed to start doing. My voice wavered and I fought back tears as I turned in my two weeks notice, afraid of what my boss would think, but utterly relieved as I walked back to my desk.

Since then, I have worked with 17 clients on various projects from branding and logo design to websites and wedding invitations. And I just recently returned from a summer of working with Faculty, my favorite graphic design studio in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The past year has taught me a lot—and I know that phrase is overused, but it’s true. Most of the things I’ve learned are the hard lessons in life, the facts we resist to claim about ourselves. If I’m being honest, my self-discipline is weaker than I would like it to be. My natural inclination is to choose the easier way first—by procrastinating on the difficult, creative work because it feels good to cross off the simple admin tasks. And setting my own schedule has led to encouragement of my night owl tendencies, when I could definitely be more strict in that area.

Overall, in this season of my life and my business, the lesson I’m continuously reminded of is this: anything worth having will not come easily. Reaching a breath-taking view at the top of a mountain will require an arduous, six-hour-long hike. Becoming healthy and fit means that I have to sweat. And running a profitable business looks like following through, delivering a great experience, and doing the work each and every day.

Setting dreamy goals and envisioning an idyllic future is the fun part; but doing the hard work is what gets us there.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

As I move forward and plan for another year, dreaming up how I want Pine to grow, first, I want to thank all of you for choosing to follow my story. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to follow my dreams of running my own design studio. Thank you for believing in me and supporting me. I look forward to the challenges and lessons to come, and the opportunity to serve other entrepreneurs through design. I truly believe that good design can make our lives happier and simpler.

As a way to say thank you and to celebrate one year of business, all new clients will receive 25% off! If you’ve outgrown Squarespace and are ready to spread your roots with a custom WordPress or Shopify website, send me an email. Or if you’ve been waiting to invest in branding, now is the perfect opportunity.

(Details: 25% discount is available to clients who sign a proposal and pay their deposit by September 1st, 2016.)