My So-Called Freelance Life

Two years ago today I made the jump from having a full-time job and freelancing part-time to freelancing permanently. It's been a trip and a half but ultimately the best decisions I've ever made in regards to my career.

Here's a list of some of the lessons it took me way too long to learn:

- It’s really hard.
- Like really hard.
- You can totally refer to your bachelor apartment as your studio.
- On shoots always carry a roll of black gaffer tape. Always.
- Sometimes you have to go through an entire edit just to scrap it and start over.
- Time management. Time. Management.
- Word of mouth is more important than buying ads.
- Just because you can wear sweatpants/pjs when you work at home doesn’t mean you should.
- There’s nothing wrong with buying and then returning props/costumes/gear.
- In the long run it’s better to be known for one or two things specifically than not being known for anything at all because you shoot everything.
- At some point you have to raise your prices even if it means losing returning clients.
- Creativity is like rechargeable batteries. It will run out eventually.
- Figuring out how to recharge your creativity takes time and lots of trial and error.
- There will be days where you don’t want to make anything. Make stuff anyway. Let it be shit and never look at it again.
- Social media is both overrated and necessary.
- A good edit CAN save a bad shoot.
- Sometimes you have to let yourself be fired by clients.
- Sometimes you have to fire clients.
- Comparing yourself to other creatives is healthy. Obsessing over being better than them is NOT.
- On social media curation is more important than consistency.
- Never underestimate what working from a coffee shop once a week will do for your productivity.
- Music DOES effect your ability to concentrate.
- Waking up early to work is better than staying up late.
- Cooking is a great way to break up a long work day.
- Taking time to go outside for prolonged periods of time each day is hella important.
- Invoices are a pain in the ass but getting paid is the best.
- Project timeline/deadlines is way more important for contracts than how you want to be tagged on social media. Except for photography work then it’s reversed.
- Keep learning. Invest in education.
- Saving time is more important than saving money.
- Pick up a new hobby once in a while. It’ll give you something to focus on instead of worrying about the work you aren’t doing.
- Always trust your intuition. When a situation seems off, bail.
- Get it in writing. Especially in terms of getting paid.
- There’s no such thing as work/life balance. It’s about priorities.

Just like on my birthday, on the 27th of March I spend the day away from my computer doing whatever I feel like with no set plans. I wrote this list a week ago so hopefully future me is having a great time.

Cassandra RudolphComment