Chapter 21 — End goal.
The feeling of success.
I often sit and wonder what ‘making it’ would look like to me. Do I need to have a decent house and be married with two kids and a dog? Do I need to be running a successful business? Do I need to be making money in the hundreds of thousands/millions? Do I simply need to be living life comfortably?
For how much thought I actually give it, I’ve always struggled to settle on what I want my life’s summit to be.
In fact, I still haven’t quite worked out what I actually do in the present yet. And there isn’t really much point thinking about where I want to be when I’m still deciding the route I need to take.
I’ve mentioned it in an earlier Chapter, but my offerings as a freelancer are pretty broad and I’m not a fan of that. I want to be defined. I want to master my 1%, be known for it and get recognised for the hard work I’d have put in to become a master.
Hard work actually excites me. It might seem weird to some of you that I’d find grafting and hustling fun, but it’s true. I love the work I do right now, even if it’s not quite as organised as I’d like it to be. Hard work is all I think about as soon as I wake up until when I go to sleep. If I haven’t worked as hard as I know I could have in a day, I’ll be genuinely disappointed in myself.
Which means I don’t really care about fame or fortune. My end goal will never be to be sat on a pile of cash writing stories or making films for my millions of fans. If that ever came it’d be seriously cool, but it’s not what I really, truly want. It’s not what I’m shooting for.
If I was driven by money, I wouldn’t be a freelancer. I’d wouldn’t have flat-out refused to apply for graduate jobs that pay well and I’d be confident of getting hired for. I certainly wouldn’t be writing these Chapters, because they don’t pay me anything.
Being driven by money is — in my humble opinion — one of the worst personality traits a person can have. If your goal is to have a lot of money, then every move is influenced by a piece of paper that you’re given and then give away. You become defined by your desire to live the high-life in the easiest way possible.
If you gave me the choice between sleeping on a friend’s couch for the next 2–3 months while still doing the work that I love, versus living in a sweet house/apartment with a job that pays £25k+, I’d take the couch every time.
Yeah, seriously. The couch life is for me.
Why? Because I hate the thought of working for someone else and having little to no impact on the lives of others. I became a freelancer not because there’s a lot of money in it — not at first anyway. Or because it’s ‘easier’ — it certainly isn’t. I became a freelancer because I want to have every last bit of control over how I live my life. I want to work with people on my terms. I want to be in charge of my end goal.
When I interned at a creative agency last year — the internship that kickstarted this whole freelance journey — I quickly came to realise that working under someone else for the next 10, 20 or 30 years is the worst thing I can possibly imagine.
Throughout the whole internship I had ideas and suggestions and a wealth of creative energy that needed channeling somewhere, anywhere. But nearly everything got blocked, time and time again. I wasn’t at the top and I was young, so the ideas I had were rarely heard.
By doing things my own way, I get heard. As a freelancer in Manchester, everyone is on a level playing field. You have your 1% and everyone else has theirs, and everyone is happy to be doing things differently. They have their own end goals that they’re not going to let anyone else touch.
What more could you want?