She opened with a simple question: “What’s one way your work would better suit you?” It’s important to clarify what we want out of our freelancing work, decide how to get there, write it down, and set a deadline to achieve the goals we’ve established.
If our freelancing work is controlling our life, we’ve got it backwards. Why did we choose to become freelancers to begin with? It was probably because we wanted to be our own boss, set our own schedule, and in general enjoy more freedom in life. But if we’re not enjoying that freedom right now, we’re the only ones who can change that.
Katie had plenty of good resources to recommend:
- “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss
- “Happy Money” by Elizabeth Dunn
- “The Art of Non-Conformity” by Chris Guillebean
- World Domination Summit (hashtag #WDS on Twitter)
- Triangle Lifestyle Designers (Katie’s local meetup)
- Radio Enso podcast
- Books by Danielle LaPorte
- “Happier at Home” by Gretchen Rubin (“the days are long, but the years are short”)
- :zenhabits blog by Leo Babauta
- J.D. Roth (financial freedom guru)
- Jonathan Mead (“a good kick in the pants”)
- Jonathan Fields (“work that matters”)
The term Katie uses for designing our own freelance career is “lifestyle design.” She explained how she has been designing her own freelance ventures to maximize her happiness and achieve specific goals. Critter.co is her latest example. It’s an app she’s building through her web development company, Yellow Rubber Ball. The app is designed to auto coach users through various goals they set for themselves. Sign up on the web site to be notified when it’s ready.
Katie encouraged us to use our position as freelancers to do things other people just can’t do. For example, we have the freedom to take our work with us when we travel. With that kind of freedom, we should be visiting new places all the time! (Since I only need my laptop to work, I went on a working trip to Amelia Island a few weeks ago. It was a wonderful experience and I was able to stay “in the black” financially despite the expense of the trip.)
As freelancers, we also have the option to choose to be authentic in our business relationships. Since we’re not relying on a single source of income, we don’t have to make uncomfortable compromises to keep getting paid. If a client isn’t working out, we can let them go and find another that does.
Katie closed by sharing that in her experience, potential clients don’t necessarily want to work with a giant corporation to begin with. This is where we as freelancers can let the personal touch we offer be the benefit that clinches the sale. But we can’t employ a personal touch if we’re still stuck in the mindset of a corporate job.
Tomorrow we reach the penultimate entry in my Indieconf recap. We’ll learn about a powerful method for designing our sales pipeline to provide an “Unlimited Supply of Prospects.” Catch you then!
This post is one in a series from Indieconf 2012