I’ve seen her work, so I knew that Sian Richardson is talented. Really talented. Sometimes with the type of talent this girl’s got going on, there’s also a certain kind of attitude that can go along with it. D’you know what I mean?
I want to be clear. Sian doesn’t have any of that attitude-iness going on at all. In fact, it’s pretty much the reverse. She’s unassuming, humble, open, enthusiastic, and well… just completely lovely!
I fucking love the philosophy Sian brings to her work: Do what you love. It sounds simple, and I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand million billion times before, but think about it. When you truly embody this mindset, balancing work and life becomes irrelevant.
To me, this philosophy and the way Sian wears it shows wisdom waaay beyond her years. By being her authentic whole self, she’s fulfilling her personal creative needs and building a successful business.
One of the ways Sian walks her do-what-you-love talk is by getting outside whenever she wants. Working at the beach, in cafes or at park benches means her creative spark plugs are constantly firing. And seriously, who wouldn’t want to work with a creative fuelling herself that way!
Lady, I know you’re gonna dig this one!
Tell us about your journey into entrepreneurship.
I was working in a 9-5er, and as I started to pick up more freelance work on the side it started to dawn on me that doing THAT kind of work full time would be a total dream to me. I’ve always hated being on someone else’s time and getting told what to do!
I started picking up more and more freelance, and tried to plan out a ‘perfect time’ to take the jump, but eventually I realized there’s never a perfect time, so I quit and went straight into full time freelance. That was almost exactly a year ago. There’s defo been some tough times, but every single one has been worth it since I have complete freedom over everything I do.
I feel like I’m still only at the beginning of all of this, but I’m so damn stoked with where I’m at so far. For the last year I’ve been working just one on one with my clients, but I’m going to be opening an online store soon too, so I’m excited for that!
What’s been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced establishing your business? How have you overcome this challenge?
Pricing is always a big one for any freelancer, at least when we start out. It was so damn hard working out how much to charge for things, and whether to do an hourly rate, or flat project rates… But its one of those things that you just have to work out yourself, over time. And it’s something that you have to be comfortable with.
For a while (when I first started freelancing, as a side gig from my 9-5) I was probably charging way less than I should have, but at the time it didn’t matter, I was still gaining experience, and I didn’t feel comfortable to put them up. But now I feel more confident in what I do, so my prices reflect that.
It really is something that you just have to suss out yourself, over time. After every single job you do, you’ll learn something about how long it took, or a change you could make in your quoting/agreement/pricing.
From where do you draw your inspiration?
Everything! Experiences, places, photos, people… just life really. I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration from photography lately. But then again I think I always have! To me being a creative means being able to see inspiration & beauty in the most random of things, so I really try to look at everything with open eyes.
What’s been your biggest success so far?
I don’t think I’ve had one huge success yet, but I just feel stoked overall with everyone I’ve worked with and what I’ve created so far.
Take us through your typical workday.
Well it depends how late I worked to what time I get up! haha. Depending on the weather + what projects I have on the go, I’d usually work at home/in my office for the morning and power through some emails + stuff. Then if its sunny I usually head out in the arvo and work in parks or cafes. Or just chill out and go for a walk + take some photos. I can’t stand sitting inside all the time, and I always get so pumped & inspired when I get outside and have things to look at other than a few walls. And then sometimes I’ll come back and work at night.
I don’t really have set hours that I work. I used to have a ‘no working past 9pm’ rule, but that went out the window pretty fast… I get inspired at all kinds of different times, so I just roll with it! I work when I’m inspired and I take breaks when I need some fresh air & space.
Imagine it’s 1999. What are you doing?
Oh man… Well apparently I was 14 in 99, so I guess I was still at intermediate school. haha. I would have been stoked to leave and go to college, although college doesn’t sound that exciting looking back… I just really wasn’t a fan of intermediate. And I was probably busting out to some Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears like there was no tomorrow. I used to like to think that I was related to Kevin from the Backstreet Boys, since he had the same last name as me. Good times.
Haha. You can find out more about Sian here.
Here’s your key take away hottie:
Getting outside and connecting with nature is something Sian really values, so she works outside whenever she wants. She’s built a business that fits what she’s about. So should you. Make your business totally your own. It’s a great way to make sure you love what you do.
Think about your most important values, and then think about how you can reflect them in every part of your business. Like to be well rested? Perhaps you should only book meetings in the afternoon so you can sleep late. Love collaboration? Perhaps you should rent a workspace from your local co-creative community. Is freedom your number one thing? Perhaps you should block out time every week to work on your own creative projects. Whatever your values are, create work systems that support them and soon you’ll be one of those yeah-I-love-what-I-do peeps too.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
- 01. Does your work embody the values most important to you?
- 02. If not, what’s one thing you can tweak to make it happen?