Since I was a kid… freedom was my biggest value. Even though I didn’t even know what a value was….I knew that ‘free’ is what I wanted to be. Travel the word, doing what I want and deciding for myself.
I was a little rebel, always in on the hunt for adventure and really hated school. Not because I don’t like learning but because I felt like I was stuck and couldn’t breath in between those four walls. Everyday the same thing over and over again. Staying in line, all wearing the same uniform, doing what they tell you to do. Only to prepare you for a life and a job where it would kind of be the same.
Some people are very happy with a normal life where they have security. That’s great and I wish I was the same. Would make things much easier but… I wasn’t born to stay in line and follow the crowed.
While I was sitting in that class room I was always dreaming of a life where I could travel without a return date, being my own boss, follow my heart and do something I absolutely love. I would have never thought that this dream would already come true in my early twenties.
How It All Started
5 years ago, I left Belgium for good. I was 20 years old and had almost finished my bachelor’s degree in Management and Communication (Yes, I was an early-bird).
I lived in many places around the world like Costa Rica, Australia, Bali and Barcelona. Doing many different jobs like surf shop manager, barista, travel agent, party organiser, flight attendant,… I was traveling a lot but nothing really gave me the freedom I wanted. It was kind of like hopping from one thing to the other and feeling very lost. Until I moved back to Barcelona and became a freelancer.
Discovering Your Skills
I bought a big whiteboard, sat down and brainstormed the night away. Writing down the things I’m good at, which skills I need to improve, what I love doing and making a plan of how the outcome of this big puzzle could lead me towards having some cash flow.
Photography, online marketing & graphic design where the things I really loved. I followed some extra online courses to improve my skills and started hiring clients. Some of the services I offered and still do is content creation, social media management, consulting, graphic design,… in other words helping to grow businesses online. Something you can do from any location while deciding your own working hours.
Curious? Have a look at my mom’s website (it’s in Dutch) who set up her dog training online business with my guidance and is now making lots of extra income.
In the meantime my own instagram has grown and become more successful. I’ve started to do collaborations with brands, selling digital products like my Lightroom presets, blogging,… I also had the luck to do a big trip around the world with a company as an ambassador for female entrepreneurship. Attending some of the most important business events and conferences in the world.
The Struggles Along The Way
It definitely didn’t go as smooth as it looks. Putting yourself out there just like that is quite intimidating in the beginning. You have to overcome some personal struggles and fail a couple of times before reaching good results or feeling comfortable in your skin.
My personal biggest struggle was finding focus. Which is also the key to success. Find one thing you love doing and get really good at it. But… I loved doing so many things and this big world of options it was so hard to fit the puzzle together. Which made me feel so so lost in the beginning. Also read: ‘Why it’s okay to feel lost’’.
Other struggles that pops up are: ‘Am I good enough?’ or ‘Can I really do this?’. It’s a challenge to not compare yourself to others and get heaps insecure. Especially when you are working in the field of social media. The thing is that there will always be people doing the same thing or be better than you. Everyone needs time to grow and you never know the struggle behind other people’s success. Whatever you do… Just believe in yourself, keep going and always stay true to yourself.
Getting Knowledge and Finding Support
If you want to start your own business yourself, the first thing you need is knowledge. Good to know is that you don’t need a fancy degree if you want to start something on your own. Even though I have a degree, everything I do now is self-thought. When I was in college social media barely existed. Almost everything I do now is self-thought, learned on the internet or by experience. There are many great courses online and support groups to find on the internet.
Become part of a facebook group or find a mentor with experience that can give you tips and guide you along the way. Also working in a coworking space really pushed me. Everyone around you is working on projects and often when you are struggling with something there is someone around that can help you.
Building Confidence and Growing Your Network
Little by little my confidence was growing, I met inspiring people and built my business. Another golden tip it’s to grow your network. Knowing the right people is so valuable to get new collaborations, find more clients, stay up to date of the latest trends,… How to grow your network? Go to networking events, work at a coworking space, connect with people on social media,…
What I do and how I can make a living from anywhere in the world is one of the questions that people ask me the most. I hope this article brought some clarity and inspired you if you are dreaming of starting your own business as well.
What is your dream? What are you struggling with? Or how did you overcome your struggles? Let’s inspire each other and let me know in the comments below.