Dashing through the hectic pile of exciting creative projects I’m involved in, it’s tricky sometimes to take a moment to step back, reflect and take a breath. Having operated as a business for 5 years seems like a good enough excuse to do just so.

5 years ago in May 2011 I stepped into this fascinating, challenging and creative world of running my own modest little freelance design firm. In that half decade I’ve learned huge spoonfuls of stuff about both operating a business as well as stacks about my personal creative journey, which sounds like hipster gibberish speak, but I promise isn’t.

Both business wise and creatively the challenges come thick and fast. It’s true to say even after 5 years, the practical proper running of the “company” is something I find both tricky and not overly good fun. I’m getting better, more organised and a little less stressed by it all. May that progression continue!

On the creative front the challenges are more enjoyable but no less difficult. Being a freelancer has opened up the types of job I take on. My previous role gave me lots of aspects to work on, from web and print to exhibition and video work, but it was all contained within a single focussed business application.

I discovered perhaps a little too slowly that my time was my most valuable asset. The output of my work easily surpassed the “budget” providers in both quality and quantity. Attempting to challenge that sector of the market was fruitless. I’m still discovering my place within the market, I suspect that will be an ongoing job, but I’m getting better at it and generally I’m getting more satisfied with the projects I’m undertaking and proud of the work I’m putting together.

There’s certainly a satisfaction with a job well done and despite not updating the site enough to showcase it, my most recent work is my most pleasing (I will get it up soon).

So for this year at least, 5 is the magic number and it’s with massive gratitude and thanks to all my customers, past and present who have contributed to the past five years and helped to make my little enterprise the thing it is today. And naturally it’s with excitement I look to the next 5 years and where it’ll take me!