The Human Freelancer

Happy and honest self-employment for conscientious newcomers

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Let’s be careful with this one, because it’s a delicate subject. to handle. Who better to broach a sensitive matter than me? An irreverent author renowned for his tact.

What I’m about to say is actually a good thing, when put to honest use.

Generally, people like themselves. And they like talking about themselves and things that interest them. When you’re a freelancer, in the context of working with a client, that subject is their work or their business.

This can be extremely useful. Because you need to know all that anyway, to help you do a decent job. It also leaves people feeling quite nice about themselves, and that reflects well on you too.

There’s another twist though, one where we veer into an ethical grey area.

You can actually influence the success and direction of a project by carefully managing its conversations.

Let’s say, for example, you want one of your ideas to fly. A good way to do that is to frame it in such a way that it clearly stems from something your client said.

“I like what you said earlier about [paraphrase back what they said] and a logical conclusion of that is this [your idea]”.

When you’re in creative work, stuff like this is important. If you’re hired for your expertise and want to keep enjoying your client work then managing creative control is something you’ll have to handle.

To use a grossly disproportionate metaphor. Would you go back in time and smother Jimmy Saville with an ASDA bag if it meant several hundred kiddies wouldn’t get finger-blasted?

It’s kind of (not) like that (at all).

Life’s full of short-term moral side-steps in order to leap forward, closer to virtuous goals. And freelancing is no exception.

If you honestly believe the right way for a project to go is yours, then steer it that way to avoid resistance.

I suppose what I’m saying is that, despite being an artist, you’ll still have to navigate the labyrinthine realms of human nature. And if you want to get on, you’ll have to learn how to cope, and go along with our proclivities if you’re to reach outcomes that benefit everyone.

The Human Freelancer book

LOOK! There's a book full of this shit and more!

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.

The Human Freelancer book is your antidote: stuffed full of emotional support and insightful advice for vulnerable newbies to self-employment like you.

Buy it now