I woke up to our neighbour head-butting his wardrobe yesterday. His boss hadn’t given him any shifts or something equally exploitative. When you eavesdrop on vindictive furniture assault it puts your livelihood into perspective. And it reminds you how optimism is a much more favourable approach to handling uncertainty than your forehead.
If you didn’t adopt a “fuck it – something will turn up” attitude to work droughts, freelancing would quickly reduce even the most stoic novice into every wardrobe’s worst nightmare. In fact it forces you to become an optimist because there’s no other way to cope with the inherent unpredictability in a freelancer’s livelihood.
That has far-reaching effects elsewhere in your life too. You moan less for a start and look on the bright side more often. I even find myself telling friends not to entertain money worries because, after five years of prudence (like the ‘Famines and Feasts‘ described in The Human Freelancer book), I’ve realised that it’s pointless and unhealthy.
Optimism on the other hand gives you hope when drinking meths under railway arches grows in appeal again (find confessions in the ‘So what do you want out of this?’ chapter of the Human Freelancer book).
The type of freelance optimism I describe shouldn’t be confused with fatalism where you submit to a predetermined destiny. A passive and resigned attitude of acceptance to fate will get you nowhere beyond the discovery of some extremely radical masturbation techniques in your spare room cum home office.
No. Decent human freelancers make their own luck. Control and influence what you can rationally then give worry the finger and set fire to its anxious children.
As long as you behave like a decent human freelancer: do an honest job, don’t be an arsehole and try not to fret when things seem slow to progress then the chaos of the universe will eventually unfold in way that’s favourable to you.
Something always turns up.
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Self-help business books perpetuate the myth that success is relentless growth and more of everything means progress. They preach about bookkeeping and market research: things you might need to do of course. But let’s face it they’re fucking boring.
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