We are well into April, which by the end of the month will mark the end of my connection to a “real” job 3 years ago. Here were three of the biggest lessons in that time.
1. Do the scary thing. Most of my leads come with questions in my head. I am usually scared so much being the go to guy. When I’m the most scared to do something or take on a job, I’ve learned too try too turn that around in my head and say yes anyways. If you stay with what’s comfortable you will never advance…
2. Find ongoing work, but don’t depend on it. Finding a new job month too month can get hard, and wear on you. The constant fear of wondering where your next check comes from can be tough if you’re the only one splitting your time between creating and acquiring. But even when doing this, you have to spread yourself out. One reason I left a full time job was to not be Dependant on an employer who can just pull the rug out from under my life in one stroke. If I split amongst several gigs and clients, one going away doesn’t automatically mean I’m screwed, and I can adjust on the fly. When my adjunct teaching job didn’t have me back, I found a project to fill the gap. It tightened the financial belt, but didn’t mean we had to go into emergency financial mode. The biggest issues I’ve had was thinking about any of those things always being there. The only constant is going to be work being a moving target.
3. You’re reputation will precede you. So much of my work comes from reputation. When starting out, most of the jobs I was offered were from all of those years doing podcasting and being involved with Podcamp Pittsburgh and social media for years in addition to my regular 9-5(and then some) job.
When I work with a client on a job, or need to perform customer service fro DVD sales, I’m doing my best to go above and beyond, or put on a professional air on shoots. You never know what can spin into anther oppurtunity. So many of my shoots come from friends of my wrestling clients, or non-profits I would visit during the course of doing interviews for Unsung. When I’ve been low on work for a bit, often a flurry of requests would come my way unsolicited from these connections. You have to get your stuff out there and make oppurtunities happen instead of sitting around waiting for it.