Everyone becomes self-employed for different reasons, and has a unique story to tell about how they got there. Rita Prata is a marketing and design professional from Portugal, and her business is off to an amazing start! We recently caught up with Rita about her self-employed business, how she came to do what she does now, and her top tips for those starting out on their own journey.
What’s your business called, and what is it all about?
‘Rita Prata – Marketing & Design’. I’m self-employed, I work with several businesses in very different ways. I love all things arty and that inspires me to do a lot of things differently. I’m a designer so I try to input all the creativity I see every day into my work. I try to inspire the customers and challenge them, and it’s not easy since I moved from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, to the north of the country where the people, and businesses, are very conservative. But it has paid off. People trust my sense of taste and style, and my experience. I also love marketing and consulting, so I include that in my portfolio of things that I do. I’ve been a freelancer for a couple of months, and it’s been scary and challenging but also exciting to have my own voice and a variety of things to do. I love this and hope I can do it forever. I also love to write as my first college degree is journalism, so I’m sorry if this is long – I can’t help it!
Tell us about your background before you began the business. What motivated you to change direction?
I moved to another city two years ago, a very Catholic city in the north of the country. I had two jobs, and things were different from what I used to know. There was a lack of respect of some sorts, and I got depressed because of work here in Braga – it’s a long story. So I decided to stop for a while and make a plan for myself. I have a lot of experience in design, communication, marketing, event planning, and copywriting. I love photography, and creativity. So I decided that maybe it was time to start something on my own. I was, and still am, afraid that things can’t hold up. Freelance is not as stable as a 9 to 6 job, but so far it’s the best decision I’ve made.
What has been your proudest moment in business so far?
This one. I was always afraid of going solo, going freelance. Afraid that no one would work with me, since I’m in a new town, and that my own experience might not count in the era of the ‘cheap is always the first choice and not the best work’. So I’m proud to have taken the leap of faith. It’s been very rewarding. Small steps. But good ones.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned since starting your business?
That everything takes its time, and to never give up. People are waiting, so always give your best.
How do you stay organised? Any tips or tools?
As I work from home it’s not that easy, but I created a space that is my office and even if I’m not leaving the house that day, I make sure before going into the office that I get dressed and put makeup on just like any other day. I have scheduled my meals and breaks with alarms on my smartphone. And a planner so I can keep track of all the work I have ahead every day.
Would you say you have a healthy work life balance? If yes, what do you do to maintain this, and if no, what would you change?
I think it’s in the middle. It’s the beginning, so I’m still trying to balance everything. Working on weekends sometimes is a must, when I should be doing other things, but it’s getting there.
What do you have planned for your business and what are the next steps towards your goal?
I want to be referenced for what I do in this town first, so I can then be referenced in the digital world. I’m working on it, always trying to improve my work, to learn what’s new, and what the new tools are to help me and my customers improve their business. And also be an educator, someone who shares my knowledge.
You can find out more about Rita’s business and follow her journey on her Instagram page.