Flying solo is a blessing and a curse. There seems to be a lot of debate in the freelance community about what it means to “make it work.” What do you consider success, how do you measure growth, and when do you know to stop pulling the trigger and call for reinforcements?
I’ve heard a lot of different theories about communication and teamwork from my fellow freelancers. Some say it’s important to work alone as much as possible, others tell you to join forces with someone else and use that connection to keep you going.
One of my favorite podcasts right now is “QUIT!” over at the mighty 5by5 network. I hear a lot of callers asking about when they should do something, how much money to have saved up, etc. Dan Benjamin has (rightly) advised all of them to have more than money and professional connections – they need a support staff.
The people you have in your life will stick with you a lot more than your money or amazing projects. I would argue that all of that rockstar/ninja/wizard/guru status you claim as a freelancer is pretty much null if you don’t have a real human there with you.
Cliché? Perhaps, but I believe it, and I don’t hear it said that often, sadly.
Here are a few people who have been influential in my life as a Gun For Hire:
Dad, my business teacher, computer teacher, photography teacher, and he-who-holds-my-feet-to-the-fire as I try to figure this stuff out.
Mom, my ever-present listening ear and who encourages me from several states away. I can’t place enough value on her influence, aid, or care over the last 27 years.
Brandon, my best friend, constant sounding board, and business partner through crazy startup adventures.
Kyle Steed, someone whom I look up to as an example in the freelance space. Also an amazing guy to do lunch with.
5by5, 70Decibels, Mule Radio. These are people I haven’t met, but they help me keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’m not sure the last three years would have happened without their insight.