Lessons in creativity for freelancers

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There’s a weird intersection of creativity, business and money, that can be hard to navigate at times.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about making a sustainable living being creative.

  • Get paid for every job you do. Free will always end up costing you.
  • Don’t let anyone try to put your creativity into a process that doesn’t work for you.
  • Feel important, creative work is an important part of every advancement, launch and product ever.
  • Take credit, and most of all — get credit (for everything you do).
  • You are responsible for the work you create. So don’t create something if you can’t stand behind it.
  • Push your limits, knowledge and problem-solving skills every single time or you’ll get bored very quickly.
  • Own your expertise and stand up for it. You were hired to be an expert, not a yes-person to every bad idea management or your client has.
  • Don’t force your work. Walk away instead, come back to it later.
  • Be yourself in every situation and let that shine through in every piece of work you put your name to.
  • Walk away from a job/project if you have to. Even if good money is attached to it.
  • Recharge as often as possible doing entirely work-unrelated things.
  • Get inspired by everything that is not: in your office, at your desk or on your computer screen.

Few can balance creativity and business (and stay relatively sane). So if you’re doing that, congratulations — you my friend, are awesome. And if you’re still getting there — it’s worth it when you do.

Posted in The business of freelancing