By Milan Simnovec
Hello? Is this thing on? Sorry, sometimes I have to check and make sure theres an audience. And such is this life of the newbie freelancer. Now granted I'm not a newbie to this industry or career, with almost 18 years in this, I have the background of a pro, but as far as being a freelancer goes? ya, a newbie.
Now to start, I’ll say things are going better than I should be reasonably hoping for starting from scratch, from my small network of contacts I have some excellent clients right now, some fun projects, and potential for some great things in the coming months.
The problem? I have to rely on all of my contacts, as apparently screaming “Hi I’m available!” from my rooftop doesn’t work, and apparently disturbs the neighbours.
After almost 18 years of being in the in office game, I was delusional enough to think “hey, I’ll just call up a couple people, call a couple companies, let them all know im good to help out and everything will be fine”, not thinking wait, they know you because of where you were, not who you are, and honestly they’re all good trying to make sure their own shows are running smoothly right now. Needless to say, this was a phenomenal kick in the teeth.
Now after picking up my teeth from the kick of nobody knows you and nobody cares, there came a bright side, granted an OMG YOU NEED WORK NOW panicked bright side, but a bright side non the less. I was forced to re evaluate myself, who I am, what I offer, how I sell myself, how I see myself, and how I want to be perceived by others.
Being asked by potential clients and even old friends “so, I know you do design things, but what exactly do you do?” forced me to create a mission statement, a list of services, a goal for client and project types.
I also discovered that in this wonderful connected world, my voice was tiny, and my reach was small, so I got a fun crash course in self promotion, and developed knowledge I quite frankly just wasn’t interested in in terms of SEO, and social relevance. All of it sparking a need for learning I didn’t even know was sitting there.
It’s been an interesting, stressful, heartbreaking, uplifting, happy, and chaotic first half year of being a company of me, but I’m starting to see what I had hoped for at the start, more interesting, involved, and challenging projects, a wider base of clients and industries to work with, freedom to truly create and do whats actually best for clients, and most importantly, the ability to be available to my family.
The last part is the biggest key to all of this, being available for my family. The choice to be a freelancer was based on the need to be there for them, to be available to them, and for the sanity of how I want to work, no politics, no drama, just the work, the happiness of the work, and the happiness of delivering quality work.
The first leg in the journey is in the books, and now comes the next series of trails, and I’m looking forward to whats coming next.
Itsa me!, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Now send me a note and lets get some work done ;)