Anna Grunduls is an adult coloring illustrator at Anna Grunduls Design. She focuses on creating stationery and printed products that you can color in and use every day.
Vince Comfort: Hi Anna, so where are you from?
Anna Grunduls: I was born in the city of Warsaw, all the way in Poland and this is also where I grew up. During my design studies, I lived in Germany for a couple of years. Soon after returning to Poland, I started my first online business and I'm still running it over 3 years later.
Vince: Wow, that's awesome. Not many people get successful in their first business. Like for me, I started as a freelancer. Did you freelance at some point?
Anna: Yeah, I've been running Anna Grunduls Design for over 3 years, but I started freelancing much earlier than that. I did my first big freelancer job in 2015. I was asked by an Australian publisher to illustrate an adult coloring book. It is actually the job that sparked my interest in adult coloring illustration, but back then, I had no idea it will become the heart and soul of my own business one day.
Vince: That's so inspiring. So where do you get your clients from?
Anna: Running a handmade business, I get contacted daily about custom orders. I no longer take illustrating commissions because of time restraints, but I'd say Instagram is where most of my potential clients find me. If you're just starting out and your social media game isn't quite as strong yet, consider using websites like Freelancer.com or Upwork.com to fill your portfolio with real-life projects.
Vince: Very true, for a couple of years Freelancer.com was my big thing. Do you sometimes feel down, and unproductive?
Anna: Of course! I think there are two main reasons:
- Poor health – My body feels tired and it's sending me signals to stop working and focus on regenerating.
- Lack of inner motivation – In this case my mind is somewhere else and I can't focus on work. This one requires some honest soul searching from me.
Vince: What do you do when the body sends you that health signals?
Anna: If you think your lack of motivation comes from poor health – Observe what's happening with your body. Sometimes all it needs is a little rest, so let yourself sleep in for as long as you need. Sometimes it's all about a healthy diet and supplementation. Either way, when your health is poor, so is your productivity.
Vince: What about when it's a lack of inner motivation?
Anna: If you think your lack of motivation is purely psychological, what works best in my case is cleaning up the studio and taking a long, warm shower. Coming back with a fresh mind, into a fresh and clean workspace helps you kick off work and refocus and if there's a different, deeper reason, it will manifest itself during the “mindless” activities like shower or cleaning.
Vince: Do you listen to any motivational speakers?
Anna: My favorite motivational speaker is a social media guru, Gary Vaynerchuk. I'm not sure if “motivational speaker” is what he's aiming for, but his videos are all I need to get excited about working. He always reminds me why I started my own business and I'm grateful that I can make a living doing something I really love.
Vince: Me too 🙂 Gary is my guy. I think every solopreneur should follow him. I've listened to him so much that I always hear his voice in my head -like all the time.
To wrap this up, what advice would you give to the new freelancer or solopreneur just starting?
Anna: Don't try to please everyone. Know your strengths and passions and stick to what you enjoy doing. You chose to be a freelancer for a reason. Don't kill your mojo with projects you don't love doing. A corporate job can do that too and it even delivers the projects for you. If you're promoting services and putting work into winning clients, make sure that you actually love doing the work they need to be done.
Thank you so much Anna Grunduls for your time and sharing with us.
TAKEAWAY #1: Don't try to please everyone.
TAKEAWAY #2: Socialmedia is great to get clients but if your game is not good, start with freelance sites to build real-life projects.
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