Sunday, 3 February 2013

Happy freelance birthday to me - I'm two!

Major validations, minor tribulations and lessons learned - two years into my career as an independent PR.


Anybody think I'm great?... Anybody at all?...
Smug moment: Ongoing clients have expanded their remits, project clients return for more projects, growth rates are healthy.
Dark muttering: So how come I haven’t won employee of the month? Been given a round of applause, a certificate, a mug or anything?
Note to self: Stop hankering for external validation. Ain't ever gonna happen.

Smug moment: So stress levels are down, inner contentment levels are up my aura has never been so glowy - everyone says so.

Dark muttering: When you have a bad day they can be astoundingly bad, and the temptation to cry is immense - after all no one is watching. Usually it's just a matter of keeping the faith,but it's easier said than done.
Note to self: Just read the contract you stupid, stupid girl.

Smug moment: I'm getting to do more stuff with more people, getting back to a more integrated approach.
Dark muttering: Peer collaboration is all very well, but where’s a lovely, enthusiastic junior when you need one? Media monitoring - at my age.
Note to self: Get over yourself, it’s the same day rate.

Smug moment: Blog's doing good.
Dark muttering: I'm a bit behind on sorting out my own brand. What brand you say? Quite. I abandon it as soon as client work comes in. Worse still, I keep changing my mind. I have so much more empathy now with past employers that could never ‘get their act together’, turns out neither can I.
Note to self: Use your project management skills, dummy. 

Smug moment: I've enjoyed getting back to my roots, direction, content and outreach. I still get a huge high when I see client content getting picked up.
Dark muttering: Why did I think setting up on my own would get me away from the spreadsheets?
Note to self: There’s software out there to do this stuff, decide where your time is best spent, and spend it there.

Smug moment: So as a reward for going freelance, I got a rescue puppy. He’s a black lab, crossed with something, maybe a kangaroo. But our daily walks give me head space and I've dropped a dress size!
Dark muttering: I somewhat underestimated how wildly distracting would be the dogaroo's ebullient puppy-hood and protracted adolescence - there were days... I'm telling ya...
Note to self: Don't be tempted to spread yourself too thin. Even by a puppy.

Smug moment: I've rejected any pretense at standard working hours, standard dress, standard working practices - and it all works well for me.
Dark muttering: Ask any of my former bosses, I was always borderline employable. Are there rescue shelters for feral freelancers, offering warm and loving forever contracts, doing the filing in the basement for some kindly brand?
Note to self:  Better stick with the programme kid and as Fat Boy Slim might say:

'We've come a long, long way together
Through the hard times and the good
We have to celebrate you, baby
We have to praise you like we should.'

'Cos no one else is gonna do it for you.



This should be the anthem of freelancers everywhere - especially those that don't get out much.

If you enjoyed this you might like to read:
the high and lows of a fledgling freelancer - reporting on the early days
happy freelance birthday to me, I am one - celebrating surviving the first scary year
ten tips for going freelance - learn from my pain





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