Taking The Leap: 6 Months In

Akvile DeFazio
April 20th, 2015
Akvile DeFazio

Time sure flies, doesn’t it? It feels as though I just began freelancing full time yesterday, and here we are now, six months later. As I write that, it truly sets in. I’ve often thought about how much time has passed since November, but writing it out makes it real. These last six month have been nothing short of fulfilling work related bliss. During Steve Jobs’ frequently quoted Stanford commencement address back in 2005, he spoke words that have resonated with me since; don’t settle until you are doing what you love. I’ve made it this far and I am excited to see what the next half of the year has in store.

I recall with great detail, each week of the first month that I began to work for myself. The first week, I was overflowing with excitement and drive. I yearned to get my hands back into PPC accounts to build them out and work with a variety of clients from a range of industries. Week two then came around and reality set in. I realized I had a lot to learn as I felt slightly set back in my PPC skills after not being in the trenches for some time. A lot had changed. New advertising placements, fresh features, targeting options, and Excel hacks for efficiency that I previously had not known or found uses for. Months prior to that, many industry friends often mentioned “imposter syndrome” in conversation and I didn’t full understand what that was until my third week in. I remember feeling overwhelmed, panicked even, yet oddly calm, thinking, “what am I doing?”, “do I even know what I’m doing?”, “can I support myself on this?”, AH! All natural feelings, later I learned. Then by week four, relief set in as I found my groove, and it’s been one hell of an amazing ride since. I’ve learned more in these six months than I’ve learned in a long time. I felt like I was making a positive impact for clients, I had the responsibility and authority to make changes and recommendations to reach their goals, had a full work load, was learning something new each day; be it marketing, advertising, finance, or business development, and throughout the ebbs and flows and long hours some days, I haven’t felt more alive, passionate, and present. I was always a driven scholar and employee, giving 110%, even at times where I felt my work went unnoticed, however, that never deterred me from giving my all. After all, hard work, forever pays. I thought I had peaked in my drive abilities, but with freelancing and how rewarding it has been, a new level has been reached. Does it keep getting better and better? According to Steve Jobs, it most definitely does and I can get behind that.

One of my favorite aspects of freelancing in the digital marketing space is that each day is different. It keeps you on your toes, boredom is not in your vernacular, and working with a wide variety of businesses is exhilarating. There are so many innovative brands out there that more people should know about, and as a marketer, it’s amazing to have such opportunities to work with them and to help build something beautiful. This (and fresh brewed coffee) are what draw me to work online each day.

Aside from continuously optimizing for all aspects of life contentment, I can say with certainty that I would not be where I am today in my career if it weren’t for the incredible people in my life and the stars aligning. I can’t even begin to describe in words how incredibly grateful and fortunate I am. Zane, you’ve been there to cheer me on each and every day. From challenging days where I had hurdles to overcome, to successful days that called for celebration, you’ve been my soundboard and biggest fan. To my family and friends, thank you so much for believing in me, providing perspective, and for giving me purpose. Pam, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank you enough for not only being an incredibly good friend, but for also being a phenomenal mentor. Your time, patience, knowledge, advice, and guidance is invaluable. And Susan, you are my PPC efficiency boosting hero. Thank you for your time, enthusiasm, help, and mentorship. You, my friends, are all incredible and rare gems.

Albeit still relatively new, this freelancing business is just getting started and I will nourish it to my best ability. Life after all, is only as good as you make it. Don’t let obstacles deter you from your passions and if that phone is ringing, answer it. Do what makes you happy.


Comments (4)

Darin "Doc" Berntson

Darin "Doc" Berntson (4/28/2015)

Congratulations, Akvile!

So thrilled to hear things are moving in the right direction for you.

Keep up the awesome work!


    Akvile Harlow

    Akvile Harlow (4/28/2015)

    Thank you so much for the kind words and for reading, Doc! How've you been? I hope life has been treating you well since I last saw you.

Darin "Doc" Berntson

Darin "Doc" Berntson (4/28/2015)

You betcha! I have been doing well, thanks. Like you, I am in startup mode, so I related well to your post. Business is finally moving in the right direction. Maybe we can work together in some fashion someday? Hard work pays off, so let's raise glasses to our success! Cheers!

    Akvile Harlow

    Akvile Harlow (5/14/2015)

    Glad to hear you've been well and congrats on taking the leap, yourself! Cheers and keep on rockin' it, Doc. :)

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