Make Good Art

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”

Neil Gaiman

Doing My Part for the Economy

It’s a strange realization, that you are the owner of a business.

I’ve been working as a freelancer for nearly two years now. My wife accomplished a hard feat two years ago; she got a better job. If you think the economy is bad now, think back to November of 2009. Yep, even worse then. Companies were downsizing (even the one I worked for at the time; I’d managed to keep my job even though others there hadn’t), gas prices were still quite scary and the housing market was still in free fall. I was proud of her accomplishments and understood her wanting to move up when the opportunity presented itself. But that meant moving to a city I’d never been to (in this case, Wichita, Kansas) and trying to find a job. In the worst economy since the Great Depression. I was confident of my skills in what I do, but still…a daunting task.

I was fortunate that my most recent employer was willing to work with me as a freelancer. It was a beneficial relationship; I’d be able to make money while looking for work and they had a freelancer who had been doing work for their company for the last three years. I knew the people, what the clients liked and didn’t like and the procedures of moving work through the pipe. It was a lot like I hadn’t quit but just started working from home.

After doing some work for a couple of other clients, my wife and I decided that I should stop looking for a “full-time” job and make freelancing my job. And I don’t appear to be the only one. This article talks about the growth of freelancing starting around a decade ago.

Of course, with the growth of the internet and upload/download speeds, freelancing from home is becoming easier to accomplish. Even five years ago, it would be hard to do this sort of work efficiently. Internet speeds being what they are now, it doesn’t really take all that long to connect to a client via VPN or ftp and upload a 5GB Photoshop file.

One of the benefits of using a laptop is that if the internet service in my house goes down, I can drive down the street to Starbucks, have a mocha and finish my work for the day. Or I can take the laptop with me if a client needs work done but doesn’t have an open workstation. As long as you have the software (or export capability) that the client needs, portability like this is a definite plus.

I love what I do. Even working for other companies over the past several years, I loved the work. It was challenging, creative and never boring. But as the owner of my own business, it’s even more satisfying and doesn’t seem like “work”.











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