Freelance to Business Owner

About Design Chit Chat

Welcome to Design Chit Chat, an initiative powered by Design Monks, where creativity meets conversation. Hosted by our co-founders, Atiqur Rahaman and Abdullah Al Noman, this series is more than just a design talk show. It’s a melting pot of ideas and insights covering a wide range of topics, including design, development, entrepreneurship, marketing, and content writing. Thanks to Design Monks for such an interesting and informative initiative.

Every Friday at 9 PM Bangladesh time, we bring together industry experts, visionary leaders, and creative minds to share their journeys, experiences, and knowledge. Our goal is to inspire, educate, and connect our community with the latest trends and timeless wisdom in various fields along with Tech. Whether you’re a newbie entrepreneur, a professional designer, a tech enthusiast, or someone passionate about creative content, Design Chit Chat has something valuable for you and your specific industry.

Catch all our episodes live on the Design Monks Facebook and LinkedIn pages. These sessions are not just interviews but interactive platforms where we exchange ideas with you and each other, questions are answered, and new perspectives are gained through in-depth discussion. Follow and like Design Monks on Facebook and LinkedIn to join our vibrant community and stay updated on our latest episodes.

 

TL;DR: 🔥 Join our exciting episode of Design Chit Chat, where we will discuss Imrul’s journey "From Freelance to Business Owner''! Hosted by Atiqur Rahaman and Abdullah Al Noman, co-founders of Design Monks, this week's episode is a powerhouse of inspiration for both tech enthusiasts and people from the general field. Explore the transformation from freelancing to establishing a successful business, with real-life insights from Imrul Kayes, CEO of “Taqwah.” and discover the secrets behind succeeding in UI/UX design, entrepreneurship, marketing, and much more. Don't skip any part of this thrilling session, as we will talk about the roadmap to turning freelance dreams into booming business realities just like Imrul. You can watch it live on Design Monks' Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and get ready to be inspired!

Note: The conversation featured in this blog was recorded live on Friday, 27 October 2023, at 9:00 PM. It has been slightly modified for this format to keep it engaging and concise, ensuring the core message and insights are accurately conveyed.

Atiqur Rahaman: Hello and welcome to another exciting session of Design Chit Chat, powered by Design Monks. I’m Atiqur Rahaman, co-hosting with Abdullah Al Noman. Today, we’re very excited to have Imrul Kayes with us. He will be sharing his inspiring journey “From Freelance to Business Owner”. Imrul is the creative mind behind “Taqwah,” and he will take us through his journey of how he became a business owner from a solo freelancer. This provides a hint about what we do at Design Monks – transform visions into digital realities.

Abdullah Al Noman: It’s totally pleasing to have you here, Imrul. I remember we first met during our purchase of Flat-Icon’s subscription, and still then your freelance spirit and the urge to build your own business was very clear. Tell me how’s life?

Imrul Kayes: Hey, Noman and Atiq! Thanks for having me. I am really honored to be with you guys. Life’s a thrilling ride, just like this morning’s marathon. Starting as a freelancer and moving to business ownership has its own ups and downs, just like today’s marathon.

Abdullah Al Noman: That’s a great analogy! Tell us more about the marathon experience.

Imrul Kayes: It was quite the experience! I was the last to start but managed to finish strong. It’s all about perseverance and focus, which are the key elements in my journey “From Freelance to Business Owner”.

Atiqur Rahaman: That’s impressive, Imrul. Could you share more about the transition “From Freelance to Business Owner” with our audience?

Imrul Kayes: Yeah, why not? My journey from freelance to business owner began in 2016 with my curiosity about Photoshop. The challenge wasn’t just about learning design skills, it was about understanding how to navigate in platforms like Fiverr in order to make a name for myself. This freelance experience is the foundation behind my dream of building my own business. I quit my local marketing job just to focus solely on freelancing, which led me to the exciting world of UI/UX design. Despite the tough time I went through after leaving my local marketing job, it was totally worth a shot I would say.

Atiqur Rahaman: Your leap from freelance work to establishing your own design agency “Taqwah” is inspiring. What were some of the initial challenges you faced in your journey “From Freelance to Business Owner”?

Imrul Kayes: From my point of view, I would say the transition wasn’t sailing smoothly. At some point in my life, I had to travel a lot on public transport, juggle multiple projects at once, and spend a lot of time learning new skills. However, these challenges were the foundation behind my approach to owning a successful design business. These challenges taught me about resilience, focus, and the importance of continuous learning, which are essential traits for any freelance-to-business journey.

Abdullah Al Noman: How did you manage the initial financial costs when you started Taqwah, moving from freelance to a business model?

Imrul Kayes: Financial management was the most crucial part of my journey From Freelance to Business Owner. We started with remote work to minimize costs. This is one of the strategies that I mastered during my freelance days. As we grew, we established a small office in Mirpur, ensuring we had a creative and productive space while still being financially considerate.

Atiqur Rahaman: What was it like moving from a freelance designer role to managing a business?

Imrul Kayes: The sudden shift from freelance work to managing a business was a significant change in my life. I had to develop new skills like strategic planning and team management every day to provide support to the team. While I do miss the hands-on aspect of freelance designing, leading a business has been a fulfilling new chapter of my life.

Abdullah Al Noman: Managing many tasks at once is one of the challenges that you will face in your journey “From Freelance to Business Owner”. How do you keep everything under control?

Imrul Kayes: It’s about applying the multitasking skills I developed as a freelancer and scaling them up for business management. Assigning different tasks to respective team members and empowering my team were key steps in maintaining control and focusing on strategic growth.

Atiqur Rahaman: How often do you engage in design work now?

Imrul Kayes: My direct involvement in design has reduced since transitioning from freelance to leading a business. My role now focuses more on guiding the team and ensuring our projects align with our high standards and client expectations.

Abdullah Al Noman: Balancing a hectic business schedule with your personal life is crucial. How do you manage this?

Imrul Kayes: Keeping the balance between your work life and personal life is a must. My day starts early in the morning, sometimes with a run, that helps me clear my head. I always make sure that I have time for my family and relaxation. The current situation is similar to my freelance days but with added responsibilities. Finding the harmony between work and personal life played a vital role in sustainable success in my journey “From Freelance to Business Owner”.

Atiqur Rahaman: From your point of view, as a solo freelancer to a successful business owner, what is your perspective on marketing? Does it have a crucial role in any business?

Imrul Kayes: Marketing is the lifeline of a growing business. As a freelancer, I learned a lot about marketing and that is when I understood the importance of reaching the right audience. Effective marketing strategies are crucial for transitioning from a solo freelancer to a successful business owner. It’s about connecting with the right audience and showcasing your unique value proposition.

Abdullah Al Noman: Managing a team and keeping them highly motivated is a challenge for every business owner. How do you keep your team motivated and dynamic?

Imrul Kayes: Keeping the team motivated is about creating a culture of learning and growth, something I emphasized even in my freelance days. To keep the team motivated we have developed a rewarding system for learning achievements, that encourages the continuous professional development of my team members, which plays a crucial role in my journey “From Freelance to Business Owner”.

Atiqur Rahaman: Managing both remote and in-house teams can be challenging. How do you ensure seamless operations?

Imrul Kayes: Effective communication is the key to managing a hybrid team setup. I try to use most of the digital tools found on the internet efficiently, this is something I learned during my freelance career. This helps me maintain smooth operations between my in-house and remote team members. In-house members mostly handle the core responsibilities while remote team members contribute with their flexibility and creativity.

Abdullah Al Noman: Your focus on fitness is inspiring. How did you integrate this into your busy schedule?

Imrul Kayes: Health became a priority when I realized the passive nature of tech work was affecting me physically. Just like in my freelance days, I had to find time for self-care. Regular exercise not only improves physical health but also enhances mental clarity and overall productivity, which played a vital role in my journey “From Freelance to Business Owner”.

Design Monks: Your Partner in Crafting Digital Dreams

As we wrap up our informational conversation with Imrul, let’s talk about how Design Monks can support you in your journey “From Freelance to Business Owner” or in any digital field. At Design Monks, we always emphasize transforming creative ideas into impactful digital products. We possess expertise in a wide range of services,

including UI/UX design, web and mobile app development, logo and brand design, motion design, and UX audit services.
Looking to bring a creative vision to life? Have an idea that needs the perfect digital finesse? Reach out to us at Design Monks. Our skilled team, proficient in turning freelance projects into robust business solutions, is eager to guide you through the digital landscape.

At Design Monks, we blend creativity with cutting-edge technology to create designs that truly resonate with your audience. Whether you’re on your journey “From Freelance to Business Owner” or want to boost your digital presence, we’re here to assist.

Connect with us today to discuss your ideas and engage on a journey to create extraordinary digital experiences. Visit Design Monks – where your vision becomes our mission. Let’s collaborate and make your digital dreams a reality!

Atiqur Rahaman: Thanks for joining us in this inspiring session with Imrul. Stay tuned with Design Chit Chat powered by Design Monks for more stories, tips, and insights into the world of design and business. Keep dreaming, keep designing!

Abdullah Al Noman
Managing Director
With seven years in design, he transformed Toffee at Banglalink into a platform loved by 10 million Bangladeshi users, expertly merging user feedback with design expertise. He's collaborated with top-tier brands including Autogrill, Laderach, The Asia Foundation, and Robi. As a co-founder of Design Monks, he crafts experiences that resonate deeply, also hosting the insightful 'Design Chit Chat' podcast. His early mentorship through Bangladesh's a2i Programme has made him a pillar in nurturing new UX design talent.