Drucker (2005) highlights that it is important to know, “not only what your strengths and weakness are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution” (p. 100). When you aware of all of these factors, you’re more likely to have a greater involvement in your business. Ganta supports this idea by stating, “Motivation levels within the workplace have a direct impact on employee productivity” (p. 221).
The more drive an employee has, the more successful their business is projected to be. Similarly, Lunenburg illustrates the importance of self-efficacy. Lunenburg (2011) states, “Self-efficacy influences the goals that employees choose for themselves” (p. 2). Individuals who possess high self-efficacy are more likely to set greater goals for themselves and their business. Sometimes it is difficult to set these personal goals when you’re in a competitive field.
According to Bierut, Drenttel, Heller & Holland (2012), “When it comes to aesthetic theory, designers today perceive themselves as originators, not followers, and most are loath to admit that they are influenced by much of anything other than their own inner creative resources” (p. 115). Graphic designers are able to express their creativity through their work given the motivation that their ideas are completely their own. This creativity motivates graphic designers to outshine their competitors.
As stated by Fetter, “Competition in its most general sense is rivalry to excel in some activity or to attain some specific end” (p. 93). This proves that competition has always been present in business. While graphic designers proclaim their designs are original, many designers are influence by others. This influential power and competitive nature are driving forces for business owners. Although conflict may be unavoidable with any job, being self-independent negates the struggle for power between employees.
Another challenge that self-employed graphic designers face is the instability of work. According to Carroll and Mosakowski (1987), “On the one hand, many new enterprises fail within a very short period of time (see Carroll, 1984), suggesting self-employment is unstable” (p. 576). This unpredictability is heightened when someone is not only their own boss, but also a freelancer. Freelancing is common in the graphic design industry as often times a company while hire out graphic designers for a specific job or look for the cheapest person to do the work.
Yoganarasimhan (2013) affirms, “freelance markets offer a low cost way for geographically distant players to trade, especially since there is an abundance of unemployed skilled workers in emerging economies (Indian subcontinent, Eastern Europe) that have low costs of living, and a healthy demand for skilled workers in developed countries, where local labor is expensive “(p. 861). This poses competition for graphic designers as they are in a constant struggle to surpass their opponents whilst still maintain their credibility and quality of work. This can also serve as an incentive for graphic designers as they want to be known as the best in the industry.
It can also be difficult for self-employed graphic designers to maintain motivation because of the long hours they have to work. Blanchflower (2004) analyzes the difficulty of being self-employed: “The self-employed work exceptionally long hours” and “The self-employed are especially likely to report that they find their work stressful” (p. 3). The pressure of working for yourself and being in charge of a business can impact your work. Although there is a pressure put on self to succeed, Blanchflower (2004) also suggests, “they appear to be satisfied in their lives, prefer work over leisure and feel they have free choice and control over their lives” (p. 5).
Free choice is significant in the freelance graphic design industry as designers are able to choose whom they want to work for given that consumers want to work with them. Self-employees are in control over their monetary situation as they are not limited to a fixed income. Jensen (2018) states, “General perception is that public employees enjoy salaries based on longevity regardless of performance, as well as generous fringe benefit packages, while private sector employees have limitless income potential if they work hard and aim straight for the top of the organization” (p. 94). Self-employees have to be self-motivated as the only person they can surpass is themselves.
Ultimately, it can be difficult for those in the freelance graphic design industry to motivate themselves. Douglas and Shepherd (2002), define entrepreneurs as “…persons who are ingenious and creative in finding ways to add to their own wealth, power, and prestige, Baumol was effectively suggesting that individuals choose to be entrepreneurs when or because their utility (from wealth, power, and prestige) is maximized by so doing” (p. 83-84). It is important for entrepreneurs to maintain self-motivation as their business relies on their effort and success. Entrepreneurs in the graphic design industry maintain self-motivation as they find power in being their own boss and being able to control their own success as well as manage their own time and money.