Freelance mantras that will save you.

I once started listing all the things I needed to work on to become a rich-ass superstar freelancer. I ended up with a list of sixteen things. It was all brilliant stuff I got from books. “Change mix of agency versus direct clients.” “Expand client prospecting/more regular. Newsletter?” “Target copy-intensive verticals.” “More diligent about time-tracking,(…)

When to work for free. Sort of.

Almost never, of course. This is, after all, our living. But when you are deep into a courtship of a new client, someone with work and money, and you’ve shared ideas and your stars seemed aligned, but you need a little something to inch the ball over the goal line. You need to tip the(…)

The best creative ritual: Begin

As the story goes, writer Ernest Hemingway always started his day’s work by meticulously and thoughtfully sharpening seven No. 2 pencils. Choreographer Twyla Tharp says that she can unfailingly assure a productive day by waking at 5:30 am, putting on her workout clothes, and hailing a cab to the gym. Once she does that, all(…)

The curse of the vendor class

Don’t be a vendor. Be a peer.  A colleague. A co-conspirator. More money there. More respect. And also, more money. You may have to move up a notch in the client organization. Over the underlings. You are not fawning and begging and bargaining. That’s what suppliers do. Sell a little grander. Instead of delivering documents,(…)

Follow your passion? Maybe not. Try this instead.

We have all heard this at least 87 times: Do what you love. Follow your passion, your obsession, your enduring interest. When you’re passionate, your work is a joy. Plus, you will work harder and longer and with energy. You will build your skills and know-how. You will land more work and have even more(…)

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