I shouldn't have been surprised to see former freelancers at MYOB in Nashville recently.
I ran into Greg Henry of Philadelphia-based, Push 10 Design Studios who was at a recent CFC, and Megan Mullaney of Frederick, MD-based, Think Baseline, each of which has an employee or two already. I'll be interviewing them soon for this blog to share their stories of growth).
After all, CFC is a business conference for creative freelancers and MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) is a business conference for owners of small design firms.
It's a natural progression to go from one to the other, for those who want to grow. (In fact, most of the owners I talked to, whether they'd grown to 6 people or 26, had started out as freelancers.)
Many freelancers just want to be freelancers and to them (perhaps to you) growth means earning more money but not necessarily adding employees or taking on jobs you can't complete yourself.
Other freelancers dream of running their own firm or agency and are trying to figure out how to get there. (At CFC 2013 in San Francisco, we'll have programming for both types of growth, so watch for that.)
I have also come across creative professionals who started out thinking they didn't want to add employees. But as the work started to flow in, they discovered that growing wasn't as bad or burdensome as they'd imagined. In fact, many have uncovered in themselves a different kind of creativity as they've grown their business.
Which one are you? Could you apply your creativity to business growth and even dealing with numbers? Is it a different kind of creativity?