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This narrative is based on a composite of hypothetical scenarios graphic designers may encounter.
Freedom to follow my passion and work on what I want, with whom I want.
That was my main objective when I left my job at a big Chicago ad agency to launch my own business as a freelance graphic designer. It’s the feel-good story you yourself might relate to in one way or another. But along the way there were some hurdles I hadn’t considered when I left my corporate career.
I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I built a great client portfolio with a lot of repeat customers. Many of these customers also happened to be friends, so our working style always tended to be loose— a quick phone call, short emails, and sometimes even communicating on a project over texts. It worked for me, and my clients always appreciated how quickly I could turn things around. I had been able to develop a system that worked well with my customers and was proud to call myself a “success.” I thought that’s how it would always be. I was wrong.
Because of my “success,” the design director at a huge national food company contacted me on LinkedIn to design a new cereal brand’s logo. It was by far my largest and most lucrative client, but before I knew it I was making revision after tweak after edit and taking numerous calls “after hours.” However, my efforts to make the alterations quickly to try to impress the client, and hopefully create opportunities for additional business, completely backfired – so much so that he threatened to sue me over the logo. He said my “fast-paced,” careless working style and “unprofessional” way of doing business over the phone allowed too much feedback to fall through the cracks. I had no idea this was coming.
Do Your Homework
After a lot of research, I discovered professional liability insurance. After reading more and more about it, I was shocked I hadn’t considered the importance of not only protecting my reputation, but also my livelihood (Oh, I know how: I thought I was invincible and nothing bad would ever happen to me).