Good morning, Friday. I haven't done a fiver for you in a while but thought it might be time to list out something or other because I'm in the mood.
Today, I'm going to hit you with five things I love about freelance life, so if you're a fellow freelancer, I'm sure you can relate to some of them, and if you're thinking of trying the freelance life, read on for some insight into said life. And lest you think this is a shameless plug, it's not really. It's just that I absolutely prefer my current situation over full time gigging, and pretty sure I will continue to freelance until some offer I can't refuse comes up, complete with unicorns and alchemy and rabbits being pulled from hats. But since I don't really believe in magic, I suspect my freelance life is my fate, and that's that. Here's why:
1. I'm a commitment phobe. True, I'm married and settled in my personal life, but when it comes to work, I've always had a problem with going to the same place every day. For many people, there's comfort in that, and sure it's great to really get to know the people you're working with, but I prefer to play the field. I love the challenge of jumping around the pond and not staying put for too long. It keeps me sharp, on my toes, and on top of what's happening in business. By experiencing different companies and different places, I feel I'm much more valuable, flexible, and knowledgable. And I'm not sure I could work at the same place, day after day, and year after year. As a freelancer, I can easily segue from ghostwriting to production to consulting to just about anything I want. The way I keep things consistent? I do things with my own unique point-of-view, and I wouldn't want it any other way. I loved being part of great ad agencies, but always felt like a one trick pony- I was only known as a producer and nothing else. My goal for 2015 is to keep diversifying my own personal brand, and I love having the freedom to collaborate and work with all kinds of people.
2. I like new things. As a reader of this blog, you're no doubt aware that I like to shop and try new products, brands, and everything under the sun. I'm not that different when it comes to my work life- I'm a consumer of experiences and enjoy the challenge of interpreting new cultures, processes, and personalities. Shiny and new is way more fun than dull and old. And by the time things get dull and old, I'm usually on to the next project. That works for me. Sure, I don't get that heady buzz you get when you build something together and watch it grow, but the project based life is one I really enjoy because I truly never get bored. Oh and I love checking out different neighborhoods for places to eat, get coffee, or get some retail therapy. Like I said, I like new things.
3. I like Switzerland. As a freelancer, I don't get too deep into the politics and ickiness that often accompanies corporate life. I get to make like Switzerland and be cool, stay neutral, and keep my nose out of the drama. I'm much happier that way. I just want to make good work with good peeps and not worry about bad vibes or ill intentions.
4. I love the hustle. Admittedly I tire of being out and about and drumming up business, but I really do like to network and meet people and explore potential opportunities. I've always been a hustler, a character trait that served me well in full time life, but serves me even better as a freelancer. Sure there's humbling moments where I think I may never work again, but as my friend recently told me "one phone call changes that". And it's true. Everyone knows the downside to freelancing is the risk, but to me, it's totally worth it.
5. I thrive in chaos. This one is a double edged sword- because often by the time I get a phone call, there's a lot of panic and pandemonium around a project that can't be handled with full time bandwidth. In my production life, I've always thought the perfect character sketch of the ad freelancer is Harvey Keitel as Winston Wolfe in Pulp Fiction. He infamously enters the scene of a crime, in a tuxedo, and says "I'm Winston Wolfe. I solve problems". Yup. That's me and every other freelancer called to work on a pitch, last minute project, or mission impossible. Just lead me to the bodies. I'll clean them up. Day or night. I love jumping in head first into crazy situations and trying to figure things out on the fly. It's the same thing that keeps you up at night too, ps. To be a freelancer, you've got to be a little nuts. Fearless, but nuts. Full time life is much more stable, but in the ad world I know, you're in chaos no matter what. In full time life, you will clean up your fair share of bodies, but then you can't jump out afterwards and peace out and move on. And as Winston Wolf also said "rather you than me, gentlemen. Rather you than me. Hopefully, I get invited back for the sequel. I love repeat gigs and catching up with friends I've made- that's also a huge bonus- your network is huge once you learn to not faint at the sight of blood.
So that's what I've been thinking about as I returned to a freelance gig this week, and realized how much I enjoy it. The last month was strangely quiet, but I'm so happy to be back, doing what I love, thriving in the chaos, and loving the hustle. And that's what's up this freelance five for Friday in the 212. I encourage you to explore your best angle/character study when it comes to the next phase of your career and brand. Yours, in pulp fiction and career opportunities. (What the sign says). XO