I realised today I’ve been a freelancer for twenty years. It’s been a long journey from July 01, 2001, when – knowing nobody, new to London after many years overseas, homeless and nearly penniless – I sat down in Costa Coffee on the Strand, opened my creaky laptop, and thought: now what?
Which set the agenda for the first months: basic self-marketing stuff of phoning people and letting them know you’re free. Many remain friends and clients today. Years later, I formalised those methods into the workbook 100 Days, 100 Grand. (Which is now a business of its own.)
I’ve worked with top ad agencies in Asia and North America, Silicon Valley biggies including Google and Oracle, smart content marketers across Europe. Businesses that fascinate, technology that changes lives. And spent a year on a University campus getting an MBA: somehow, I’ve ended up with a Master’s degree without a Bachelor’s. (There’s always a way.) Somehow, that’s led to over 200 campaigns seeing the light of day, millions of words published in books and on the web, and meeting thousands of people all over the world.
Most of all, though, I’ve enjoyed the fundamental honesty of the freelance life: doing work you like, for people you like, and getting paid for it. Done right – as I explain in “100 Days, 100 Grand” – it’s the most rewarding and self-actualised life imaginable.
(What I’ve learned I’ve summarised in two free books below: “How to do Freelancing” and the larger “How to do Life”.)It’s been a great twenty years. To everyone who helped, past and present: thank you.
Or should I say … a great FIRST twenty years?