How Running A Self-Employed Business Destroyed My life (And How to Overcome it)

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How I Started Freelance 
It all begun in early 2009 when I was working in my first job and as my responsibility is to ensure web projects are done timely, I was exposed to managing freelancers from all over the world.

There is this particular guy (whom is my best friend now) caught my attention. He’s not like any ordinary freelancers that prioritize high pay, but he builds relationships with every client and ensure client is happy in every end of assignment. And among all the freelancers that I dealt with, he’s the only freelancer with 5 stars feedback.

After knowing him personally as a friend, I got inspired to try out freelancing because I see something in him. It’s not about the short term money gained, but how to build strong relationships with clients and turning freelance career into something very solid.

Balance between climbing corporate ladder and freelance career
It kinda satisfy my crave in digital marketing industry when I got the chance to deal with different verticals. From 9-5 I’m a Digital Marketing Consultant for an international gaming startup, and in the evening I’m actually consulting some mobile apps company from the US. It was a fulfilling career as I got the chance to gain more experiences and amplify my learning curve within a very short time.

It was an interesting journey but tough! I basically worked for 14-15 hours a day but I never complaint about it. Or probably not yet!

My guts lead me to full time freelancer and how it ruin my career
I was doing so well, that my freelance career seems very promising. I had 3 stable clients that pays me well and my freelance business had grew bigger than I could imagined and I decided its the right time to focus on my freelance career. Most people would do that and I’m trusting my guts this is the right choice.
I was doing fairly well, campaigns were successful and clients are happy. However things start to changed when I had to make an emergency trip back to Borneo due to family matter and during my few days stay there, I wasn’t able to find stable internet connection and so happen that my client needed to get an urgent updates.

He was so frustrated that he ended our contract and by the time when I got internet back, I was so demotivated and devastated to learnt my lesson the hard way. I ponder hard about this and I realized I did it all wrong.

Inspiration to start new again
I recalled this piece of advise from my older peers few years ago, that I should build my own team as consulting is a business and you need to learn how to build a solid team. I’m was a bit reluctant about this as I had bad experience partnering with wrong person. It’s either I should just let go of my past and start to trust people again, or going back to the same path and pray for no emergencies would occurred.
I think there is the power to the positive mindset and faith. I’ve been staying positive all the time and trying to connect with more people, despite that I actually just lost a big client and if I don’t do something about it, I would be in deep financial crisis.

I should say I’m a blessed person despite the downfall, I met this guy over a catch up session with my friend. He’s very passionate in digital marketing and we share a lot of similarity and experience.

Its not very often I came across such person in my circles, and I thought this might be the good chance to pitch him about my idea and see how we can form a solid team. It turns out that this guy shared the same vision as me, and I swear both of us was so excited talking about building our own team.

He’s my cofounder right now and we make extremely good progress within a month, with several big clients and even better, my previous clients got back to us and offer more jobs. We are expanding our team now to assist us on the demands.

This changed my perceptions towards working as freelance. Sometimes it takes more than your own talent and skills to succeed. You need a team to share the burden and cover each other and if this works well together, your journey would be more meaningful and not just about the profit.