In just 18 months, Lindsay Bosch has transformed her life and career. She left the security of Silicon Valley, explored the world of freelancing, and realized there was no turning back. She now supports clients and products she feels passionate about, and she allows herself more time for the important things in life: yoga, a campervan, and a rescue dog named Lola.
When Lindsay Bosch left Google HQ for the last time in 2017, she marked the end of almost 10 successful years in Silicon Valley. But she set the stage for something new: fulfilling a decades-old dream to start her own business.
From her home office in San Jose, California, Lindsay now runs Bosch Studios, working as a Creative Producer and Brand Strategist for a mixture of large and small businesses. But regardless of their size, each client meets the same criteria: they are inspiring, meaningful brands that Lindsay can collaborate and connect with on a more personal level.
It was this sense of connection that Lindsay felt was missing from her previous working life. Her career evolved in such a way that she became skilled in all areas of the creative design process. She made the shift from graphic design to project management and strategy, and thrived at being the liaison between client and designer. She worked in-house and for agencies, meaning she experienced both the variety of agency projects and the one-brand focus of in-house work. And because of this varied, in-depth experience, Lindsay often found herself unintentionally playing “Team Mom”, with colleagues seeking her out for advice and support. Lindsay acquired a huge breadth of experience in the corporate sector, which gave her a plethora of skills.
But despite this success and security, something was missing. “There was a real disconnect between what I was working on in my career and what I was passionate about in my personal life, and that motivated me to take the leap and make a change,” Lindsay explains. “I’ve always known since college that I would set up my own business, but I wasn’t sure what that would look like. Gradually, I realized that I wanted to work for brands that share my interests but who haven’t yet found their voice.”
And this is exactly how Lindsay now spends her working days: helping clients develop their mission and brand, and advising them on everything from project management to strategy and visual development.
One of Bosch Studios’ key clients is an international travel company that attracted Lindsay because of the brand’s upbeat and edgy personality. Another is a UK-based producer of a health supplement, which ties in with Lindsay’s personal interest in health and nutrition. She explains: “I really felt this was a socially conscious brand, and I believe in the product formula. I worked with the client on creating the product’s name, putting into words what the brand stands for, giving it a voice, and designing the logo and website.”
Making the Move
Lindsay’s transition from employee to entrepreneur was a gradual one. She left Google in 2017, took some time to test the freelance waters, found that she very much liked those waters, and the dream of running her own business slowly took shape.
“After a few months of freelancing, I fell in love with it and knew there was no turning back. The more I worked for myself, the harder it became to picture myself ever working for someone else again. I knew I had to follow my gut, and I just had this blind faith for the other pieces of the puzzle.”
The puzzle came together, and six months later Lindsay began taking steps to establish Bosch Studios. She did this not only from a business perspective, but also from a personal and psychological standpoint: it marked the official start of her new career. To build a client list, she tapped into the solid connections and networks she’d built over the years, and she had no qualms in offering her services.
“I’ve never feared putting myself out there and contacting people to let them know I’m here if they need my services or know anyone who does. I always say that it’s better to put yourself out there 10 times and one great thing comes of it than to not put yourself out there at all.”
As well as drawing on her network, Lindsay also relies on her solid operational and organizational skills to run her business, and she admits to having “tons” of spreadsheets. For any business-related topic she’s unsure of, she’ll thoroughly research the issue and confesses to being an “over-Googler”. But one business topic that Google perhaps cannot always help with is pricing. It’s here where Lindsay is still navigating and experimenting, particularly with her small-business clients. She is navigating that careful precipice between money and meaning. Because while those clients may not be able to afford Lindsay’s higher price point, they are valuable to her in more meaningful ways.
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“I’ve found it helps to look at projects and consider all forms of value they bring, i.e. is this the type of project that I’d love to have in my portfolio? Is this a great opportunity to work with a designer I admire? Do I have a personal passion for this product, and would I love to work with this company regardless? Those types of factors don’t necessarily equate to a dollar amount, but they hold value to me in different ways.”
This viewpoint ties in with how Lindsay identifies clients she’d enjoy working with: “You can tell a lot just by talking to a business owner. If they base the success of their business on the dollar amount and not on how their customers feel, to me that says a lot.”
Managing Your Mindset
Lindsay does ninety percent of her work remotely and is diligent about managing clients’ expectations, setting doable project dates and boundaries, and taking time off. All of this means she now has time for other passions in her life, one of which is yoga. She credits this pastime for giving her the clarity to make the decision to start out on her own.
“My husband introduced me to yoga five years ago, and I fell in love with it,” she said. “Yoga really forces you to slow down and refresh your mind and perspective. It made me think about what’s important and what I was working for, and the path I wanted to take my life.”
When Lindsay’s not on the mat, she’s hiking the trails with her husband and their Guatemalan rescue dog, Lola. They drive out to the woods in their newly restored VW Campervan – a fun project that they’ve fittingly titled the ‘Brand Wagon’, which now even has its own Instagram account.
“There’s nothing like being the first ones on the trail at 6 am!” she said. “The flexible lifestyle that comes with having your own business is definitely worth it.” But, Lindsay wasn’t always filled with such confidence about choosing this lifestyle. After initially feeling pride and relief for leaving her corporate job, she admits there was an element of fear in taking such a leap. “I’d often talked myself out of doing this over the years, so I was proud when I actually made it happen,” she explains.
“There were definitely some days when I’d freak out and wonder what I’d done in leaving behind job security. But what motivates me is the fear of having to go back to something I walked away from. If I end up living in a car in five years’ time because this didn’t work out, then I’d rather do that than be in a job I don’t enjoy simply because I didn’t give this a go.”
That being said, Lindsay credits her ten years of embedding herself within different jobs in the industry as being extremely helpful to her success now as a business owner.
“Seeing the creative industry from all different angles, learning the trajectory of different projects, interacting with a broad range of people across work styles and personalities, learning lots of different tools and tricks, etc. gave me a huge variety of knowledge that I couldn’t have gained from just diving straight into entrepreneurship after college.”
Lindsay acknowledges she was also fortunate to have the support of her family and husband in taking time to explore this new path at this point in her lif. But she’s adamant that she would have pursued this opportunity regardless of the circumstances, due to her strong desire for a more meaningful way of life.
“If you feel like you want to change your quality of life, the only way you’ll do that is by going for it. Don’t keep doing what you’re doing; find a way to figure it out. Transform your mindset. There is always a different way of looking at life.”