Morgan Haines is the brains behind a little creative®. She's a designer for heart-centered, yet sweary entrepreneurs and she helps good people do great things. (That's one hell of an elevator pitch, Morgan!).
She has just launched her new website and, I swear, I must've laughed out loud a half dozen times while reading it. To give you an idea of her sass & creativity, she's launching her site with a bang by doing a swear word scavenger hunt. It's reeeeally fun (assuming you're the swearing type).
Morgan is an excellent example of how to confidently use your personality in your business to attract your dreamiest of clients. Her entire brand POPs with personality.
Now, I'll let Morgan do the talking from here on out...
Tell us about your path to entrepreneurship.
Truth be told, I sorta got pushed into the deep end of it. I was a corporate desk jockey and fell victim to a series of people quitting, layoffs and a department which basically imploded.
I had recently watched two friends go through similar unemployment experiences and though I was scared, I felt optimistic about really making my next move intentional and something I wanted to do.
I freelanced here and there for about a year or so and the longer I did, the more I couldn’t imagine returning to a traditional 9 to 5. Shortly thereafter, I figured it was time to make it official and that’s when when a little creative® was born.
What do you wish you’d known when you were starting out?
I wasn’t a serial entrepreneur and had always worked for someone else. I didn’t have a lot of entrepreneurial role models growing up either, so I really had no idea what starting a business meant, other than creating a name for it and registering it with the city.
I wish there was a starter kit of sorts with how to keep track of clients, files, accounts, appointments, etc. basically, #allthethings. The actual creative design part is the easy stuff. It’s the ongoing admin, marketing and organizational piece of it that’s challenging. The working both ON and IN your business. It’s a constant work in progress.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
I’m not exactly sure where or when this advice was given but it’s to look at every question as an opportunity. An opportunity only for gain and not for loss. Some people refer to it as The Power of the Ask. Want something? Ask for it. Wonder something? Question it. Don’t know something? Request help.
If you’re honest and kind in the way you present your ask, you only stand to gain from making the request. What’s the worst that can happen — someone says ‘No’? Then you are in no different situation and no worse off than you were before you asked the question. No harm, no foul.
So my best advice to others is to ask questions. Lots of them.
Finish this sentence: Everything changed for me when...
In 2010, a friend of mine passed away. She was really young, really vibrant and really healthy and suddenly she was diagnosed with a rare cancer and gone within the course of 6 months. It rocked me. I had never experienced death or illness like that before and in an instant I realized what my parents had always been telling me about life being short was painfully true. None of us knows when our time will come. Could be tomorrow, could be next week. Hell, some of us might live to be a hundred. Because of that, it’s important to make the most of each and every day. Because really, each day is a gift.
This experience really changed my entire outlook on life. Since then, I try to do everything with purpose and intention and recognize that everyone has a story. Everyone has a struggle. Sometimes life is complicated and messy, but most of the time it’s because we make it that way. It should be more of a celebration. More fun.
What’s the Big Why behind your business?
I want to build deep, meaningful connections with people and help them live happier, richer, and more fulfilling lives. And not just in in their business. People are fascinating and each of them are so different. There are some really amazing people out there doing really great things and to be a part of their dreams, hopes, and successes, is really the reason I do what I do. To know that I’ve had a part — however small — in achieving those dreams and successes, that’s what it’s all about. Being able to create something visual that is a symbol of someone’s unique story, one that holds deep personal meaning for them, is incredibly fulfilling.
How important is being yourself & showing your personality for you as an entrepreneur?
It’s everything. I am my business and my business is me. I am a little creative. I want what I do to simply be part of who I am and how I life my life. I don’t want there to be a fine line between ‘work’ and ‘life’, but more of an effortless blend of the two. My sales and marketing focus has been more about building relationships with people rather than simply making a sale. I want business relationships to develop from personal ones and personal friendships to develop from business relationships.
What does the next 12 months have in store for you?
I’m super excited about what the next year holds. I’m working on several collaborations with Alison Monday of Tiny Blue Orange. We’re combining our quirky personalities and businesses to form little + tiny (I’m little, she’s tiny). We met on Twitter last year and became fast friends. For a while, we referred clients back and forth to one another and then one day decided we should team up and serve clients together. In addition to the comprehensive brand and website design services we’ll be offering together, we’re also developing a course to help those just getting started answer the persistent question of “Where/How Do I Find Clients?”.
I’ve also just recently signed on to help facilitate Freelancer’s Union local Spark events. I’m excited about connecting more with the local creative and freelance community. Working for yourself can be pretty isolating at times, so this will be a great opportunity to not only put on real clothes for a change, but meet some more local peeps.
Want to find out more about Morgan and her work? Head this way, my friend.