Ep. 183 Freelancing Simplified with Vicki Wallis

Escaping the 9 to 5 with vicki wallis

In this week’s podcast, Anna speaks to Vicki Wallis in the latest in her Escaping the 9 to 5 series.

Vicki worked in the corporate fashion world for 12 years. Although she loved the work, the hours were long and she lacked autonomy over both her schedule and her projects. She left to become a freelance activewear designer and now also helps others who are struggling to live the life they want while running their business via her new company, Freelancing Simplified.

Escaping the 9 to 5 with Vicki Wallis

Vicki, founder of Freelancing Simplified, helps freelance designers achieve life-work balance without sacrificing their income by implementing strategy and systems. 

She has been working as a freelance activewear designer for the past 6 years and now helps others who are struggling to live the life they want while running their freelance business. 

Before running her own business, I worked in the corporate fashion world for 12 years and was lucky to be able to work in several different countries. This gave her a taste for the work-travel lifestyle, which ultimately led to becoming a freelancer.

You can connect with Vicki on her website, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

Join the Outsiders Business Incubator A year-long business incubator for experienced corporate professionals who want to translate their skills and passions into a profitable and fulfilling business. onestepoutside.com/9to5

Freelancing Simplified

Anna Lundberg: Hello, everyone, and welcome back. So for this month’s Escaping the 9 to 5 interview, I’m here with Vicki Wallis. Vicki’s been in business for some years now. So I’m really interested in delving a little bit deeper into the newer challenge that maybe come with going a bit deeper into business and, obviously, perhaps your own personal goals shifting and so on. But first of all, massive welcome, Vicki. And why don’t you tell us briefly what you were doing before and what you’re doing now?

Vicki Wallis: Hey, and thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here, and yep. So I’m Vicki Wallis, founder of Freelancing Simplified, which helps freelance designers to essentially get life-work balance by implementing strategy and systems into their business. And that’s a fairly new business in the past year or so, which is running alongside my freelance design business, which is something I’ve been doing for six years, offering services to clients in the fashion industry, which was off the back of 12 years in the nine-to-five, which I’m glad that I escaped. It was a very stressful industry to work in and didn’t really allow much time for the things that were important to me: family, friends, that sort of thing. So, yeah, it’s been a long time in business, and things have definitely evolved over time, which I love, is kind of the challenge and one of the new… I love the newness in business, which is why I think it appealed to me so much.

Anna Lundberg: Yeah. And I love so many things already of what you just said. I love the business model. It’s one that I often recommend to clients and I have a few, as you say, of being the expert in doing something, delivering a service, but then also your more recent business of actually teaching that same audience in a way. So we’ll get into that in a moment, but that sounds amazing. And I love what you said about the life-work integration, as well, and the systems and structures and so on, because that’s something that’s close to my heart as well. So you’re in the fashion industry, did you say? Was that your nine-to-five?

Vicki Wallis: Yeah. So fashion industry. Yeah, fashion and marketing degree. Worked 12 years for fashion brands, usually big ones, getting lost in that kind of corporate cycle. And yeah, my specialism as a freelancer is with fashion design services. So working with brands, big and small, to not only create product, of course, designing product, but also making sure we look at profitability and manufacturing and that side of things as well.

Anna Lundberg: Amazing. If we go back to six years ago when you made that decision to take the leap, I like to talk about or I believe there are a set of reasons that push you out of that nine-to-five, but also that pull you towards something else. So for you, what were those push-and-pull reasons?

Vicki Wallis: I’d love to tell you that I was really smart about this and really strategic, but honestly, it was just one of those times in my life when I’d had enough. As I say, I’d been doing the same thing essentially for different companies, but the same kind of work for 12 years. And I was working 80, 90 hours a week. There were times when I couldn’t take annual leave for over a year, and I just got to that point where I was feeling really burned out. So it was really that that led me to think, “Okay, I’ve got a little bit of savings behind me. Not much, but enough to be like, okay, I just need to quit and move on to something else.” And yeah, unfortunately, there wasn’t much more strategy in it than that, other than being in this place of I cannot go on like this.

I mean, mental health was something that was talked about then, but certainly not to the extent that it was now. And kind of in hindsight, I was in that burned-out, not-able-to-function sort of place. So I’m glad that I did take that leap, although albeit from a, I guess, business and financial perspective, it wasn’t a smart move. But I think sometimes you do have to take that kind of step to protect yourself from that burnout and those potential health problems that come with that. So that was really where it came from. And I had always loved my job. It was never about the fact that I didn’t like the job itself. It was just the amount of hours and the pressure and so on that came with it. So trying to find a way then to kind of navigate this online world and offer these services digitally was a challenge at first, having not had any skills in that area, but yeah, definitely something that was a gamble that thankfully paid off.

Anna Lundberg: Yeah. And it’s funny, I didn’t have a strategy either. It’s okay, even though, of course, now we teach those strategies for people. But sometimes you just get to that point where enough is enough. And as you said, maybe physically and mentally, there was that point for you. But at the same time, I love to hear that you… It wasn’t that you hated the industry and you wanted to move away from that work. There were elements of that that you wanted to bring with you, but there are also many things that you didn’t want to bring with you, I suppose. So talk me through, I guess, how did you arrive at, how did you come up with delivering that service? And as you said, you felt there were actually gaps there in your skills, so what was the process of arriving at the business that you ended up with?

Vicki Wallis: It’s definitely something that’s evolved over time. It wasn’t like it all came together at the start. But sort of the initial starting point that I came across was thinking about myself when I’d first left university, having done a fashion-and-marketing degree, and then going into the world of business. And it essentially turned out my degree was quite useless. Funnily enough, I was talking to another fashion professional yesterday about this, and we were sharing notes on like, “Why did they teach us this stuff?” Because essentially they push the creative side and are really looking for people to kind of get those attention-grabbing, sort of headline like, “Wow, look at this design,” type thing.

But the problem was, when you then go into business, they’re not really that bothered about the creative side. It’s more like, so what is your lead time on production? What is your profit margin? What is the sell-through rate? And I’d be sat in interviews like, “What? What’s a sell-through rate?” because we’d not learned any of these things. So I kind of was thinking about the gaps that had been there in my own education, sorry, and how I had to kind of learn on the job and navigate through that.

So I started offering services that sort of bridged that gap between creativity, but also the strategy that came along with it. One of my jobs in the industry had been like a fashion buyer, which was very numbers based. So I kind of drew from that and tried to make it sound interesting. A lot of people getting into fashion don’t want to be doing numbers. They hate it. So I was trying to find a way of delivering that message of the numbers are actually really important as a fashion designer and trying to create this marriage of design but also of the business aspect because, without both, you can’t succeed in that industry. So that was really where I started with the services.

And over time, one of the bigger developments that I found was that people… It was more sort of startup, individual people that were coming to me rather than… I’d expected it to be people who were in an organisation already, and maybe that organisation was looking to train their staff. I’d kind of imagined that was the way it would go down. But actually, it was mostly individuals that came to me. So I sort of pivoted a little bit after I realised that.

Anna Lundberg: Well, that’s so interesting. As we said with the strategy, as much as you can have a strategy and a vision, actually, when you start putting out there, that’s when it takes on kind of a living and breathing energy. And that’s when you discover what resonates and who is actually coming to you, and it’s not a bad thing then to pivot. You’re sort of going with where the market is, I guess. In terms of the challenges of moving from, okay, I wanted to make this change, and then it sounds like you had a very good plan there. You saw a gap in the market and you developed it and so on. What were some of the challenges of making the transition, if you can cast your mind back to, I guess, five or six years ago?

Vicki Wallis: I guess, for me, the hardest transition from going from that nine-to-five to being my own boss was that marketing aspect because, although I had done that fashion marketing degree, it was promoting products, which is a tangible thing. Like, people need these things. Not always when it comes to fashion, but there’s often a need for, “Oh, I’m going to an event. I need an outfit for it,” that kind of mentality. So selling a service, to me, was quite a different perspective and a different thing to learn.

So there was definitely a big learning curve there. The way that you sort of position yourself and the way that you talk about your services was, I guess, the biggest thing that I had to learn. I mean, I love systems. I love organisations. So I never was one of those people who struggled with getting stuff done and getting distracted, because I do love what I do. I do love the system side of it too. So that part was okay, but it was more that struggle of getting people to view my website and then actually making bookings and sales. It was that aspect of it more so than just having the motivation and the get-up-and-go for it.

Anna Lundberg: Yeah. That’s great that you had that because, as you said, a lot of people don’t have that, and I think we also rebel against the structure. And suddenly, the days are stretching out ahead of us, and the freedom that we long for isn’t sort of a direct thing that you can get. You need a bit of the structure and systems in order to get that freedom. And in terms of then where you got the help, how were you able to overcome that challenge then when you first started? How did you… Yeah, a very steep learning curve, obviously, but how did you make that transition? Because for me, too, I was selling products, and then suddenly you’re selling services. But not just selling services, selling yourself in a way, which is a very different thing than having a whole team of sales people and to selling this amazing brand over there. It’s a very different mindset as well. So did you do any formal courses? Did you work with coaches? Did you read? Did you just do it?

Vicki Wallis: All the things, yeah. Yeah. I do love Pinterest, so if I’m searching for something, I tend to go through Pinterest to search for solutions, or YouTube, I suppose, rather than just head into Google, for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve used it so long and the algorithm kind of knows what I like at this point, but I always used to go there. So if there was something I was struggling with, I would head to Pinterest, type in, so in particular, how to sell client services, how to get website traffic, and all these kinds of things, and became an avid reader of a lot of different blogs, which then led to taking courses. One of the first courses, I think, I invested in was a Melyssa Gryphon course on Pinterest marketing, which is… And that’s kind of been a big strategy of mine from the start essentially and accounts for a huge percentage of my traffic.

And additionally, then I kind of started working with some mentors. So one, she’s amazing. Her name’s May Peck, but she doesn’t really do this kind of coaching anymore. She also pivoted, which, I guess, a lot of people do after so many years. But she was really, really helpful in helping me to understand how to kind of piece everything together. And she was from quite a technical web funnel-building sort of background. So it was helpful to hear about what a funnel was. I didn’t know what that was before I worked with her. And getting that kind of behind the scenes everything organised and having this sort of customer journey, this customer flow of the sequence of events that people needed to go through in order to… that know, like, and trust factor, all of that was brand new to me. That was something that she helped me with.

So I definitely… Even though I was on the tightest of budgets at the start because I essentially quit my job without a plan, I think it’s always worth it to do the investments where you need them because the Google article… Sorry. The blog posts I was reading and things, the YouTube videos, they were helpful to get you to a point. But I think from there, you do need either the step-by-step or somebody to look at your business and go… In my case, May looked at mine, and she said, “Wow, your website’s very confusing. You offer so much. I don’t even know where to start with it.” And just that one thing, when you know it… It’s really obvious when someone points it out. But if you don’t have anybody that you’re working with or who’s got kind of a step ahead of you to look at your work, it can be quite difficult to get unstuck, I think. So yeah, I’d definitely advise getting the outside help as and when you can.

Anna Lundberg: Yeah. Such an important step, isn’t it? But also, as you said, there is a lot you can learn. There’s almost too much information out there. I immersed myself and I remember, and I didn’t really know… I don’t even know if there were podcasts at the beginning, all these things that now have become second nature, and yet I had no idea. And at the beginning, you need to learn, and you need to do, and you can do so much yourself. And then ultimately, there does come a point where to actually get another level of results, you need to work with someone who can give you tailored support, even just a sounding board, someone who has a different perspective and potentially then teach you something specific, like Pinterest. Pinterest, it’s so funny to hear you say that because I don’t do that. I just use Pinterest for searching for cake recipes and things.

Vicki Wallis: Okay, yeah. It’s good for that too.

Anna Lundberg: So the algorithm probably isn’t quite as useful to me. But obviously, you being in the visual industry anyway, and the fact that you had that experience and then you went in to learn that and it’s driving your business. I did briefly dabble with it, and it’s sort of there for me, but it’s always interesting to hear. It’s that kind of shiny object, though, because then I hear, “Oh, I should be doing Pinterest.” So it’s always dangerous to hear, although really interesting to hear, the strategies that work for other people.

Vicki Wallis: Yeah. I mean, I think you’re right. With my industry, it is very visual. And I know that, as a designer in corporate, I would head into Pinterest to get design inspiration and colour palettes and all this sort of thing. So to me, it was natural that it was a good fit because I knew my target audience were hanging out there. And I think, honestly, any social media can work or any marketing strategy can work, but you’ve just got to make sure you’re meeting people where they’re at rather than sort of forcing them. I know at one time, everyone was talking about Facebook. So I tried Facebook, and my audience just didn’t hang out there. It was just becoming such a waste of time. So I pivoted to… I’m still doing Pinterest, but then Instagram as well, and it just made a lot more sense for me.

And that’s part of the problem when you are Googling and sort of trying to bootstrap everything because you’ll get, for instance, all this information as to how Facebook can work really well, but it’s just generic information. It’s not tailored to you, because it’s just that post out there. And I think that’s why the one-on-one help can be so powerful, for someone just to point out, “Well, actually Facebook’s not really good for your audience, is it?” and kind of go into those details and explain to you. I think piecing it together can be incredibly hard because, as you say, there’s such a volume of information. And just trying to decipher what’s good information, what’s bad, what’s relevant to you can take a lot more time than it’s worth, I think.

Anna Lundberg: Yeah. And it’s that. It takes so much time, but also it’s so easy to fall for, and I still get tempted. Something pops up in my feed saying, “This is the secret to all your problems.” You’re like, “Oh my gosh, they must know something I don’t know,” and you jump on it. And then they’re sort of forcing a particular model onto you, which, as you say, might not work for you. That’s the danger of those things. And I love that Pinterest obviously was something that you were using that you saw there was a need, and then you were able to choose a specific course for that. That’s such an effective way of doing it.

I mean, I always say with content… And content strategy was sort of my thing that I was doing back in my corporate day as well over the last few years. It’s, as you say, where the client’s active, but also where you enjoy spending your time. Some people say, “Oh, I hate Facebook.” Well, you don’t have to be on Facebook. That’s okay. So sort of the interaction, the intersection of what you enjoy and where your clients are. But take me through a little bit then a few years forwards, when you have now launched the second piece of your business. How did that come about? Yeah, that sounds really exciting. It sounds like a great way to sort of diversify. Talk me through that.

Vicki Wallis: Sure. So yeah, the newer business, so Freelancing Simplified, specifically for freelance designers. So in a lot of ways, it’s kind of totally separate from my freelance design business because of that target audience being different. One is people who have fashion products and produce fashion products. The other is freelance service providers. So in that sense, they are very different, which is why I keep them separate in terms of separate websites, social media accounts, and that sort of thing. But there is so much overlap, and it’s essentially what I’ve learned from what people are asking when it comes to their service providence and how I’ve responded to that, been able to make a success of that, and then being able to transfer that help onto other, not necessarily fashion designers, although, of course, I do help them, but essentially anybody who’s offering a design service.

Because I think, as we spoke about at the beginning, a lot of people are very qualified and amazing at their design job, but all the other pieces that they need to do, even sort of customer-service type pieces… And now being somebody who hires freelancers to help me with particular projects or for clients, some of the applications I get, I’m kind of shocked by the customer-service type response. And these things, I think it’s easy to think, “Well, how much does customer service matter? Why are these things important?” But they really are. So I was excited to be able to share that kind of insight with people and kind of explain, “Well, just being a good designer isn’t enough because there’s so many good designers.” So I was excited to kind of share what I knew in that sense.

But also, at the start of lockdown, I read this article from Vogue Business, which obviously Vogue in the fashion industry is quite a important publication that we read. And it was these statistics on how many freelance designers were feeling burned out and stressed and had been exploited. And I was really shocked to read it because, yes, it was hard at the start. But as I said, I just quit my job. I hadn’t got any clients lined up. So to me, it was hard from that perspective. But a lot of the things they were sharing had never happened to me. I couldn’t really understand why this was happening to them. So I started looking into it more and finding out that a lot of freelancers, for example, don’t have a contract, or they don’t have a project management system, or they don’t have these SOPs, standard operating procedures, that they use in their business and essentially just operate like an employee, just kind of waiting for someone to say, “Oh, do this, and then you need to do this.”

So yeah, I kind of went down this rabbit hole of research, speaking to loads of people about their freelance design experience and, I guess, found an opportunity to be able to help that industry as well and to really enjoy it, because I love doing it. And I can’t imagine going back to a full-time job or going back into an office, and I just really want other freelancers to experience that for themselves.

Anna Lundberg: That’s amazing. It’s such an important mission. As you say, it’s a shame. It’s so easy to see how it happens. You kind of re-create the same structures. And I’ve more and more recently… It’s easy to demonise the nine-to-five, but actually we bring it with us, don’t we? It’s sort of our own habits and mindset that creates it. So it’s so important to be able to break that and have the systems, the strategies, the boundaries, and so on. From your side of things, how have you found juggling the two? Do you have systems for managing your week, how many hours you spend on each one and so on? How have you found that to have the two businesses going on?

Vicki Wallis: Yeah, I mean, as I said earlier, I do love my systems. I do have everything out in my project management tool. I use ClickUp, which I can’t believe it’s free. It has so many good things. So I kind of map out. And one thing I would say for anyone who struggles with productivity… And especially if you are a creative, you tend to have like a million ideas going around. So I just kind of do this big brain dump of everything that I want to achieve in the business, everything that’s going through my mind, and then just pick one thing that’s that strategy that I’m working on for that time and really map out everything I need to do to either sort of release that service or that web page or whatever it is that I want to achieve as that end goal and have all the steps in there, and just make it manageable as well.

So I tend to do… I would say at the minute, it’s more like a 75% for Freelancing Simplified and then 25% on the design work and that business, purely because the design one, I don’t have to do so much because I already have established myself in that niche. I already have traffic coming, and I am very grateful that I don’t have to send pictures or anything like that anymore. The work comes to me, so it can be quite… I don’t want to say easy, but it is easier to do that. So I do have that kind of split.

One thing, and I think if you are working for yourself full time, you do have to be aware of your way of working and almost what your body and your mind needs because, at the start, I’d try and force myself into, oh, well, I used to work 8:00 till 6:00, so I should work 8:00 till 6:00 now and try and schedule everything out to the hour. Like, this is what I’m going to do this hour and this one and so on. And it just didn’t work for me because sometimes I was in a creative mood, so I should just do creative work. So I tend to have my goals set out for the week and then the month rather than day to day or hour to hour, and then do whatever I’m feeling most productive in at any given time. Sometimes I’m ready to write, so I’ll get my email list or my newsletters done and that sort of thing.

And I think that’s one of the benefits of being somebody who works for yourself or being a freelancer, because in your nine-to-five, if you’ve got a meeting to go to and you’ve got a deadline for it, you’ve got to be there and you’ve got to do it, whereas for us, we are the ones that are kind of running the show. And yeah, sometimes there’s going to be meetings that are a specific time, but in general, you can make that schedule work for whatever works for you.

Anna Lundberg: And it’s usually empowering, but also, I guess, a little bit intimidating because you have to create it yourself. But I love that sort of loose structure, and then within that, you can go with your energy and you can… Yeah, exactly, especially if it’s creative work versus sort of dreary admin and accounting and that kind of stuff, which also needs to get done, unfortunately. So that’s really helpful.

Vicki Wallis: Unfortunately.

Anna Lundberg: What would you say is the best part then? Now that you’ve been in business for a while and you’ve got these two things going on, what’s different to where you were seven years ago or so? What do you love about what you’re doing now?

Vicki Wallis: Well, the difference is just massive. I can’t even tell you. So yeah, like I said at the start, the fashion industry was very demanding. It was huge amounts of hours, never getting any overtime or any time back on holiday or holiday leave or anything like that. So that aspect’s been amazing. Being able to say, yes, the schedule’s flexible, but making sure that I get the time that I need to have downtime, get leave. I take a lot more vacation than I ever used to and that I would ever be able to if I was in the industry. And I would say that’s something that I’ve been quite intentional about, sort of designing my business in a way that allows me to travel, allows me to spend time with friends and family, because I felt like I missed out on so much during that 12 years in corporate, of birthday parties that I missed or events that I missed, get-togethers and all this sort of thing.

So that was very important to me to have that back. But also just, yes, there’s times when it’s stressful as a business owner, but in general, the stress is manageable, and it’s again on my terms. Like, I’m putting loads of effort in, and it’s me who gets that reward. Not like in corporate, where you put all your effort in maybe as an assistant or something. Especially when I was an assistant, this used to happen. I’d put all this work in. I’d create an amazing collection or all these ideas, and then my boss would just present them to her boss as her own ideas. So you don’t get that recognition and it just… And it is your job. I know I shouldn’t really feel bad about that, but it just felt like a disappointment.

So as at least now I’m… The bottom line is everything I do is my responsibility, be that good or bad. And I like that. I do think it’s important to take responsibility for what you’re doing. And on the flip side, if things are going well, I think it should be with the person who’s put the work in.

Anna Lundberg: Yeah, my goodness, so much. And it’s not silly at all. I mean, unfortunately, there’s such a big disconnect, isn’t there, between the work you’re doing, especially if you’re then working behind the scenes for somebody else and then you’re not really linked directly to the reward. And as you said, it does mean that you also have to take ownership of the negative stuff, but it’s also, again, empowering because we are the ones… Whenever I get stressed about a deadline, I realise that it’s a self-imposed deadline. It’s not like anybody’s going to go, “Oh, you haven’t done this.” It’s really for my own sake because I want to, and that’s really liberating. And then you can make the choice and say, “No, actually, the kids’ birthday party or I’m going to go on holiday or whatever,” which is really nice. And the freedom and autonomy and then the reward, as you said, that’s linked to actually seeing the amazing stuff you’ve done is amazing.

So you’ve already given us a little bit of advice, but what about somebody who… I guess if you can remember back to where you were and you weren’t quite sure… You know it’s not this that you want to do. You’re not quite sure how to get started. What advice might you give to somebody in your shoes sort of six, seven years ago, first of all?

Vicki Wallis: I’m sorry if anybody thinks this is too obvious, but honestly, my advice is just to start because I think I spent… And admittedly, like I say, my job I just quit and then had nothing. And I was trying really hard, but at the same time, I think… And I guess it came from a place of fear, but I would kind of wait and try and learn more before I just put that offer up on the internet or put that Instagram post up or whatever it was I was working on. And I overthought it. And I think it’s easy to do when you are stepping into something new and stepping into the unknown.

But the thing is, with those pivots that I made, I would never have thought of that on my own. I would never have got to that conclusion if I hadn’t put something out there and then people start communicating with me and saying, “Oh, actually, I would like help with this,” or commenting on a post, “Oh, this is good, but can you explain this more?” And just having that… It’s not perfect. I know we hear this a lot on the internet, “Done is better than perfect.” And I do really believe that. And as a recovering perfectionist, I can tell you it is worth just going for it and putting things out there, because you’re never going to have the feedback or the data or anything that you need to really succeed if you’ve not… You can’t be a winner first off. You’ve got to be able to listen to what people want and be able to adapt to what people need as well.

And even things like… I’ve got a customer at the minute who wants to know all about conversion rates. And I love that, because data’s so important for the business. But if you’ve not done anything and you are wanting to think about conversion rates before you’ve done anything, it’s not that helpful because some people would convert a much higher percentage than others. So it’s not that reliable. It’s much better if you just put something out there and then see what your conversion rate is and then work towards improving it, rather than just overthinking it essentially. So that would be my biggest tip, to just go for things and really keep track of the data, which I know for any creatives listening, it’s not interesting, but that’s really, really powerful in moving the business forward. So put things out there, track the data, and improve from there.

Anna Lundberg: Yeah. That is difficult for someone, as you say, creative. But all of us have been tracking data. But otherwise, as you say, how on earth do you know what’s going on? Otherwise, you have to sort of rely on very vague things out there. And it may be obvious advice, but also very difficult to do, I think, to overcome that barrier of, okay, I just need to start putting something out there and to see. And as you say, that perfectionism, and it’s really scary. So I hope that point lands with everyone listening because you’ll notice… I mean, I remember, again, I think, I guess 2013, I wrote my first blog post. I was so nervous getting published. And of course, nobody reads it, which is great news at the beginning. My mom, maybe. So it’s not like the world is suddenly going to pounce on you and tear you apart. In fact, you kind of have to swallow your pride and put aside your ego. Nobody really cares when you first start anyway, which is a good thing because then you can see, as you begin to have conversations, see what people are interested in and so on. And you can get better. You can build your confidence.

And I think confidence comes from doing stuff, doesn’t it, rather than sitting behind your computer hoping that you’re suddenly going to feel ready, because that moment won’t come. So I think that’s really powerful advice. Yes. And I hope people listen to that. It’s a consistent piece that we get in terms of just do it. But I think start small and listen and look at the data and so on is a really good message. Vicki, where can we find you? Obviously, you’ve got your two businesses. Where can we find you online? Where’s the best place to read more about what you do?

Vicki Wallis: Freelancing Simplified is where I’m hanging out most these days, which is on Instagram and, of course, Pinterest. And then the website is just freelancingsimplified.com, and yeah, there. On my Instagram channel especially, I’m sharing reels with tips for productivity, with systemizing, with getting clients and all that good stuff. So if anyone has any questions about what we talked about, I’m happy for you to send me a DM, and we can chat some more.

Anna Lundberg: Amazing. Super valuable. And I guess as the final question, what’s next for you? What are you working? What are you excited about in the coming months and the year to come?

Vicki Wallis: Yeah. I’m really excited about the Freelancing Simplified brand. So far. I’ve just been working with people one on one, but excited to kind of bring that into a group training situation so I can help more people and, yeah, really stop this cycle of freelancers feeling depressed and burned out. I really want people to be able to enjoy the freedom that it gives you as much as I do.

Anna Lundberg: I love that. Yeah. We definitely share that mission, and it’s totally possible, isn’t it? It’s just about making… I say it’s just. But it is about making the right choices, the strategy and the systems, and getting the support you need. So it sounds like an amazing resource, and great for you, as well, to be able to help more people with that group offering. So best of luck with that. I’m looking forward to seeing the next stage of your journey. Thanks so much, Vicki, for your time.

Vicki Wallis: Thank you, and thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Anna Lundberg: Thank you. Perfect. Thank you so much.

Work with Anna

Let us help you design a business and a life that gives you freedom from the 9 to 5. There are several options for how you can work with us. Choose the programme that’s right for you.

The Outsiders Business Incubator

A year-long business incubator for experienced corporate professionals who want to translate their skills and passions into a profitable and fulfilling business. onestepoutside.com/9to5

The Outsiders Business Accelerator

An ongoing mastermind for service-based business owners, freelancers and online entrepreneurs who are ready to achieve success on their own terms. onestepoutside.com/accelerate

The Outsiders Business Academy

A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5. onestepoutside.com/course

1:1 Coaching & Mentoring

If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring. onestepoutside.com/coaching

The Outsiders Business Incubator

A mentoring programme focused on implementation support and accountability to help you grow your expert business faster – without sacrificing your personal life to do so.


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Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how One Step Outside uses and protects any information that you give One Step Outside when you use this website (https://onestepoutside.com/).

One Step Outside is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

One Step Outside may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

What information we collect and why

We only ever collect the information that we need in order to serve you.

Generally, this just means collecting your first name and email address that you enter, for example, when you request a resource, register for a webinar, or submit a message via a contact form.

If you are a paying customer, we also collect your billing information including your last name and your postal address.


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymised string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Contact forms

We use Gravity Forms to allow you to contact us via the website. We will use the information you submit for the sole purpose of that specific form and will explicitly ask you to provide your consent to allow us to do so.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Advertising and Analytics


We use Google Analytics to track and optimise performance on this site as well as embedding video content from YouTube, and this means that your web browser automatically sends certain information to Google. This includes the URL of the page that you’re visiting and your IP address. Google may also set cookies on your browser or read cookies that are already there. Apps that use Google advertising services also share information with Google, such as the name of the app and a unique identifier for advertising.

Google uses the information shared by sites and apps to deliver our services, maintain and improve them, develop new services, measure the effectiveness of advertising, protect against fraud and abuse and personalise content and ads that you see on Google and on our partners’ sites and apps. See their Privacy Policy to learn more about how they process data for each of these purposes, and their Advertising page for more about Google ads, how your information is used in the context of advertising and how long Google stores this information.


We use the conversion tracking and custom audiences via the Facebook pixel on our website. This allows user behaviour to be tracked after they have been redirected to our website by clicking on a Facebook ad and enables us to measure the effectiveness of our Facebook ads. The data collected in this way is anonymous to us, i.e. we do not see the personal data of individual users. However, this data is stored and processed by Facebook, who may link this information to your Facebook account and also use it for its own promotional purposes, in accordance with Facebook’s Data Usage Policy https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/.

You can allow Facebook and its partners to place ads on and off Facebook. A cookie may also be stored on your computer for these purposes. You can revoke your permission directly on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences/?entry_product=ad_settings_screen. For more guidance on opting out you can also consult http://www.aboutads.info/choices.

Who we share your data with

We use a number of third parties to provide us with services which are necessary to run our business or to assist us with running our business and who process your information for us on our behalf. These include a hosting and email provider (Siteground), mailing list provider (GetResponse), and a payment provider (Stripe).

Your information will be shared with these service providers only where necessary to enable us to run our business.

How long we maintain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website, we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

The main reason for collecting this information is to be able to send you resources, updates and, sometimes, information and products and services, as well as for internal record keeping.

The rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

How we protect your data

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password that lets you access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential and we ask you not to share a password with anyone.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Links to other websites

Our website contains links to other websites. This privacy policy only applies to this website so once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review. Initially created on 18th November 2016, it was last updated on 23rd May 2018 to be compliant with GDPR.

Contact information

If you have any questions or concerns related to your privacy, you can get in touch here >>