In September 2008, I boldly ventured out of the cubicle and into the unknown land of freelancing. There have been a few downs, but mostly ups, and I absolutely love being my own boss. Below, six of the approximately 6 billion lessons I’ve learned from living this life.
Say yes… Words from a wise fellow freelancer: “If someone says, ‘Can you do that?’ I just say ‘Sure!’ and figure it out.” I took this to heart this year and took on a few jobs I didn’t think I had the skills for.
..and then ask for help. One way I was able to do these jobs successfully was by tapping into my ever-growing network of freelance colleagues.
Dream big. Lately I’ve been figuring out ways to go after clients I really want to work with, rather than just waiting for them to come to me. Stay tuned for updates…
Get out there. Teaching at the University of Michigan, going to conferences and doing pro-bono work are all things that don’t guarantee me new clients, but are huge fun (and have led to unexpected connections).
Keep learning. It would be pretty easy to coast along and just keep doing what I’ve always done. I try not to take the easy route: I read every day, attend market research and survey methods webinars, and do whatever I can to get better at what I do.
Take advantage of the lifestyle. If I wanted to be stuck in the same place all day every day, I’d get a job! I weave my life and my work together pretty seamlessly, working in coworking spaces, coffee shops, and my living room. I travel constantly, make time in my day for the things and people that I love, and am generally pretty ecstatic about life.