Full Time to Freelancer to Employer in Weeks

  • tahlia.maynard@gmail.com
  • WORK

As always I have been busy. Busy, busy, busy. And I hate to use that word, as it’s a word that gets thrown around way too much. I actually don’t know how else to describe the last couple of months but it has been exhilarating nonetheless and I can’t wait to share with you what I have been up to.

So, let’s have a little catch up on the last few months shall we? Last time you heard from me I would have been working full time again (4 days a week) on the beautiful Sunny Coast for an incredible family business running an online store. It was great, I loved the team and what I was doing but something was missing. I tried to wrangle my feelings for a few months. I always get so frustrated with myself because I love new challenges but after a while I get bored or I long for change. I went to 13 schools as a kid and I think this constant change really did something to my DNA as an adult. I’m always looking for new things, new ideas and as it has it, new jobs. You should see my resume! This is why I think working for myself has always seemed like the perfect answer for me. Total flexibility.

I ummed and ahhed for a couple of weeks after Christmas and decided I’d wait until after Easter – maybe I’d ask to drop down to three days a week so I could help Cody grow his business – The Copywriters. I wasn’t sure how this chat would go down, but deep down I knew that wasn’t really going to fix this longing I had to work for myself again. One weekend in February I thought I would go back to doing my marketing freelancing work again. I’m in a Facebook group with other Aussie women business owners and so I thought I’d do a bit of a shout out with an offer. You know, just to test the water and gauge the price point and service offering. Well, I was BLOWN away with the response. I had over 40 women message me asking for more details, 6 of which committed then and there and about 3 wanted me to send invoices there way. I worked out that I only needed 7 businesses to sign up to replace my salary. I had enough interest from just one post that I went to work the next day and resigned. The whole day I was so nervous, I had built such a connection with this family and I felt so awful for leaving them. Over the next two weeks (serving my official notice) I continued to communicate with the women after work each day and secured enough work to comfortably walk away from my last day on the job. I hadn’t totally replaced the salary but knew I had to take that leap. Tell the universe that I was ready – you know that kind of lame thing.

Some enquiries vanished, some of the enquiries I later learned were from other marketers just sussing me out and some signed on the dotted line and deposits were paid. As the weeks went on I became less stressed about making sure we had enough money and more stressed about making sure I could handle to work I was promising my clients. Cody and I had a big chat (as we do) on one of our walks along the beach. We talked about the notion of changing our mindset from Tahlia the Freelancer to Tahlia the business owner. We decided that we needed to scale the business properly, set up processes, find our niche, work out our vision and make it happen.

I went to work in my local coffee shop (Cptn’s at Kings – go there if you get the chance) and nutted out the vision. I worked out what was helping me convert leads to sales was trust I was building with the women I was talking to. It was my experience in the beauty space (running our online gel-polish brand) as well as my experience in marketing – obviously. I morphed these things together to work out my niche, my vision and our goals.

Welcome to Tahlia Shorter Digital Marketing.

Yep, I now run an agency. I have an office space, have two casual staff members and an intern starting this week. I decided to name the agency after myself as a point of difference. There are soooooooo many agencies out there now with clever names and quirky branding but when I was talking to the women who wanted my assistance they LOVED the fact they were talking with the business owner, not a sales person. They LOVED the fact that they were talking to the person that was going to be the one doing the work on their business and they LOVED that every step of the way I was just at the other end of the phone to walk them through everything. This level of personalised service they were not getting anywhere else, and the fact that my name is on the business door means I am committing to making sure my team always does the best by our clients. My name isn’t going anywhere.

In a matter of about 6 weeks, I went from being full time employed, to a Freelancer to running an agency employing a team. Shifting my mindset from Freelancer to Business Owner was a little tricky as it meant always challenging myself to think bigger, think longer term and to aim higher. My brain is a little scattered at times but my goodness I have learned sooooo much and I know I will continue to do so as we grow. I am so excited about the business and how it actually links with The Freedom Project so nicely.

Some days I have absolutely no idea what to do and some nights I struggle going to sleep because of all of my ideas (for our clients and for ourselves) but it absolutely worth it. Getting out of bed in the morning has never been easier and while I am working harder and longer than ever, I have no doubt I made the right decision. I feel like everything I have done until this point in my career has led to this. A nice little reminder that Freedom is forever evolving depending on where you are on your journey and that no matter what everything happens the way it is supposed to.