This is the third issue of our new Freedom Creators series, where we explore the stories of unique individuals from the freelance, remote work, lifestyle design, and creative communities.
For the latest, we chatted with our own content lead Shannon Byrne who has been traversing the west for the summer while enjoying the flexibility that freelance offers. Here is Shannon’s Freedom Creator story.
How and why did you get into freelancing?
In terms of full-time freelancing, this is round two for me. The first time I became a full-time freelancer was because the company I was working for went under over night. Fortunately, kind hearted people in the community started throwing work at me — and all of the sudden, I was a freelancer.
Round two has been a bit more strategic. I was inspired by my work as CloudPeeps’ content lead, hearing so many incredible stories from Peeps. I’ve also been slowly building my own company, A Song A Day. After scaling back at CloudPeeps to run an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign, I realized I needed to take a different approach to building the business. I was able to continue working with CP on a freelance basis and had a few other past clients who wanted to work with me — the stars kind of just aligned.
I was much more prepared for a freelance career this time. Now I know how to do the necessary things for running your own business…like taxes. ;)
What’s been your proudest personal moment so far?
The first would be paying off my debt from my crowdfunding and working half-time days within a month through my freelance work. Goes to show that a little bit of hustle (so sorry for using that term) can go a long way.
The other (although you didn’t ask for it) was booking my flight from New York to Portland to spend the summer exploring the west coast of our country. I’ve always wanted to take advantage of the flexibility that freelance offers and I’ve decided 2016 is my year to do just that!
How do you stay motivated and productive when flying solo?
It’s certainly not always easy. Going for runs when I’m feeling anxious helps. I also require music at almost all times.
In Brooklyn, I had a coworking space that really helped. I’m traveling for the summer and have found that it helps to break up my day — I work from home in the morning and a coffee shop in the afternoon or a friend’s office.
More than anything, knowing that there is something I want or need to do the next day helps me get a lot done. Planning isn’t my forte but it can do wonders for productivity, in my opinion.
What’s the hardest part about being an indie worker?
Balancing work with my side project and personal life, for sure. I feel like I always have so much going on but no one to hold me accountable other than myself. And honestly, that can be exhausting.
What advice would you have for others taking the leap?
If possible financially, resist the urge to take whatever job you can get. It’s ok to be picky if it means working on projects you enjoy. Try to round up a few clients you think you’ll really enjoy working with. Yes, making money is probably your first concern, but you’re only going to be motivated to meet deadlines, etc. if you’re at least mildly enjoying the work you do.
“If possible, resist the urge to take whatever job you can get. It’s ok to be picky if it means working on projects you enjoy.”
Where can we find you?
You can connect with me through my CloudPeeps profile!
If you’d like to share your Freedom Creator story, follow the above question format then submit it to the publication for review. 👊