Pushing through and giving back. Young Freelancer of the Year 2018, Harvey Morton reflects back on his entrepreneurial journey.
We continue our catch up with Harvey and learn about how he managed to get over the hurdles of starting up to now mentoring others. He shares some great tips for new freelancers and we also find out what the best thing about winning the Awards was for him. Don’t forget to apply for the Awards yourself if you feel called to after learning about Harvey’s journey. The deadline is today, but the application should not take you too long and you will be entering with a chance to win up to £5000.
“Since winning, I've been able to use the award as a springboard to help others move into freelancing”
How has the Award helped you on your self-employed journey?
If someone had said to me when I started secondary school aged 11, that in 2018, I'd be named Young Freelancer of the Year in a national competition, I would never have believed them. My journey to get to where I am today has been really tough, but I've learnt that if you keep on persisting and working hard, you can achieve anything. The best thing about winning the award is that now I have the Young Freelancer of the Year title, it's given me the confidence I needed to take my business to the next level. Since winning, I've been able to use the award as a springboard to help others move into freelancing - I've been doing lots more public speaking and the title has helped me to raise my profile.
I'm at a stage on my self-employed journey where I'm really proud of the brand I've created, and, it's taken me a long time to get here. I get to work with so many lovely clients, and, the last year has been a whirlwind! Now, I'm at a stage where I want to continue raising awareness around the challenges and rewards that come with being self-employed, if I can carry on using my experience to positively influence others, I'd feel really content.
@ Nisha Haq Photography
You started your business at such a young age what kind of support did you get when you started, did that affect how it evolved?
I started my business through a school enterprise, teams entering the competition got £25 to start up a business (which isn't a lot at all) and the teams who are most successful over two school terms can win a variety of prizes.
It was strange to have an experience of being self-employed at such a young age and lots of teachers at my school and sixth form said I'd never be able to keep running my freelance business alongside my GCSEs and A-Levels, but I managed to do it (even though I had to sacrifice all of my free-time and seeing friends and family). It felt so good to prove them all wrong!
Since I started my business in 2013, it's evolved and changed massively. I've gone from offering IT support to now offering four core services (social media management, website design, influencer marketing and media production. I've also offered services over the years which haven't quite worked for me (either they've not taken off, or I've found I just don't enjoy doing them). It's all been a huge learning curve and a lot of my skills are self-taught through YouTube and online courses. I've also completed various work placements which has allowed me to find out what I enjoy, and gain the experience I need to offer services professionally through my freelance business.
@ Harvey Morton Digital
What has been your biggest lesson as a freelancer to date?
I've learnt so many lessons and made so many mistakes over the last five and a half years working as a freelancer. There are a couple which stands out to me though:
- Not everyone you meet along the way will be nice, and, some people won't be happy about your successes, so, make sure you block out any negativity as soon as you notice it!
- Always trust your gut feeling because it's usually right!
- Building good relationships will help you massively when building your freelance business. A simple thank you goes a long way too, so if you're networking, always follow-up with those you've met and keep in touch.
- Not everyone will always like what you're doing, and that's okay! If you believe in yourself, you're halfway there - you'll not always be everyone's cup of tea.
What advice would you give to other young freelancers just starting out?
Don't let anybody ever tell you that you're not good enough, because that's not true at all. If you work hard, and, you're passionate about your business, it will pay off in the end and you will succeed!
And it doesn't end there! We are lucky to have worked with Harvey since National Freelancers Day 2018, with him joining us to speak at various events and also revamping our Modern Work magazine website.
We are proud to be able to continue a conversation with past winners and finalists, following along on their inspiring journeys is what makes us so passionate about the potential in the IPSE Awards!
There are different categories to apply for: Young Freelancer of the Year, Freelancer of the Year, Freelance Project of the Year and New to Freelancing. So pick and choose the one that works best for you right now, who knows, by next year you might be applying for another one of our great awards.