Doing Business as a Designer: When You Start Giving Away Your Hats

Posted on July 8, 2010


As freelancers or business owners, obviously we play multiple roles such sales, marketing, administration, customer service, accountant, programmer, developer, and designer.

But one day, you’re going to make a strong push to get more business or to handle a higher-than-average consistent workload. So what type of people would you hire?

Someone who you could command and control?


Someone who wants to make a difference?

Interestingly enough, I have had my fair share of command-and-control employee stories. I’ve made hiring mistakes that were purely my fault.

But why did I hire them in the first place?

It’s because I wanted complete control over my company’s direction and growth. In essence it was complete micromanaging and it was eating up my time and energy. I finally realized that this is the wrong way to run a business.

To make the lesson burn into my head even more, I remembered that I had conducted my business like a former employer. With this realization everything had come to a full circle.

Today, I hire people who can think for themselves. These are individuals who own the position and the related responsibilities. My employees are so passionate about what they do and defend their decisions should I challenge them. Although I don’t grant 100% autonomy, they’re close to it. They know the consequences and they may fail but that’s ok; it’s the nature of business.


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