I'll tell you a little about my story,
I am from a small town in Venezuela called Santa Ana de Coro. I lived near a beautiful beach and in 2007 I graduated from university with a degree that has a very long name. I will tell you only that I specialized in Computer Education and that I did not know what to do with my degree after graduating--I asked many questions, including "How I am going to use this?"
A few months later I started working at my alma mater, teaching computer science to students and the use of elearning platforms to teachers. At the same time, I worked as a programmer for the university. Teaching helped me to learn how to focus my thoughts and express my ideas clearly, and I really enjoyed sharing my knowledge and helping students to develop their own styles and passions.
However, two years down the road I realized that I needed new challenges in my professional career, so I resigned and traveled to Argentina to discover other opportunities. I stayed in Buenos Aires for three months, and while I was on my trip I decided that I wanted to be a freelance web designer. But 10 years ago freelance work was uncommon in Venezeula and there were very few online resources that explained how to survive as an independent contractor.
My greatest obstacles were understanding freelance work itself, knowing where to start and what to start with, figuring out appropriate pricing, and most importantly--learning how to obtain clients. I taught myself the basics, committing many errors along the way in terms of organization, work-life balance, and finances.
When I began, I innocently thought it would be easy because I had all the necessities: a computer, my own website, an online portfolio, and a LinkedIn profile with a stellar introduction. Apparently, I needed a little bit more. But I kept repeating the phrase in my mind "I NEED TO LEARN MORE."
By 2013 I thought I had a website worthy of showing to the public and my website was nominated for the CSS Design Awards. The nomination blew my mind, and gave me confidence in the path I had chosen. In addition, clients from other countries (Russia, India, the USA, Panama, Mexico, etc.) began appearing. But I kept repeating to myself "I NEED TO LEARN MORE."
I invested countless hours in training myself: learning more codes, English, better time management, new tools, and new skills. My practice as a Frontend programmer improved immensely, but I wanted more.
A good friend of mine, who is also a graphic designer and the owner of a design agency, told me that I had an eye for design, so I decided to try my hand at the basics. In order to enhance my skills, I researched online and took online courses and tutorials. After many hours, days, and weeks of practice working with interface design I had found my passion!
But it is difficult to find a way to live while following your passion. The most important question I continuously asked myself was: would I design on a Sunday afternoon? My answer was and is, obviously, yes! If you want to spend your weekend designing or doing something that you like just for practice, entrepreneurship or work, then that is your passion.
If you read this, I have only one piece of advice for you: believe in yourself. When times are bad keep going, remember that the bad is the moment, not you!
Never give up and follow your passion until the end.