Freelance Life: The Importance of Finding Your Tribe

Freelance life can get lonely. Not just the day to day but in finding people who are freelance too. Not only that but then finding people who are on your wavelength. It can be exhausting trying to explain what you do to people who think it’s ridiculous or just don’t want to understand.

So, when myself and two fellow bloggers came up with the idea of meeting up, I was excited - especially as we’d been meaning to for a little while. I had a feeling we’d chat about work and blogging a little bit but I didn’t bank on feeling so inspired, encouraged and supported.

Our first outing was to Pho in Grand Central last summer and we’ve been meeting up ever since. Now, we try to meet up once a month to talk over business ideas, life in general and share a much-needed rant.

Jenna is a freelance blogger and journalist. We first met two years ago at the Blognix Retreat (which I vlogged about here - if you can make it through my shaky AF camera work). Back then, she had been blogging for a while and was writing her first book called Managing IBD: A balanced guide to inflammatory bowel disease). Now, she’s made the leap into full time freelancing and is absolutely smashing it.

Jenna is laser-focused on what she wants and has a brilliant knack for business and you know what? The proof is in the pudding. She recently bought a new business, along with her other commitments and I’m super excited to see what’s in store for her this year.

Check out her work at A Balanced Belly.

I can’t remember how I met Emma. I think it was through Twitter and blogging in general. She’s a very sweet person and talented writer. If you need recommendations on what to do with your leisure time, head over to her blog. When we first met up, Emma was a social media manager for a local agency and now has taken the big brave leap into freelancing full time. I am so excited! Emma is a hard worker, so I can’t wait to see what opportunities come her way. Keep an eye out, as she has some exciting things in the pipeline.

Whenever the three of us have met up, I leave full of ideas. I love that we can have a seed of an idea, talk it over and develop it into an actual plan. The best thing about hanging with Emma and Jenna is that it doesn’t feel like work.

So, here are my top five tips on finding your tribe (or freelance bitches/women of power, as the girls suggested):

  1. Be open - it’s easy to decide that you already have enough friends but I knew full well that I was missing a circle of friends who completely understood and were immersed in that freelance life. If it’s missing from your life, be open to the right people coming along and they will show up.
  2. Don’t view everyone else as your competition - this is the kind of perspective that will keep you lonely and broke. If you’re insecure and view others as your competition, when you need some help or a new connection, there’s very little chance that you’ll have an authentic network to call on.
  3. Be the person you needed - when I first started out, I emailed, met with and called people who were further along than me, at the time. It was amazing to learn people’s experiences and I was so grateful that they took the time to help me when there wasn’t much that I could offer in return. Be that person. When people ask questions, it’s easy to think “OMG, figure it out yourself” but I think we will all have much more positive experiences, if we take the time to help people. 
  4. Make the time - yes, we’re all busy but if you want to benefit from your friendships, you have to put the work in. 
  5. Be a true friend - in this case, ignore the ‘your network equals your net worth’ mantra and be an actual friend. Finding your freelance friends is all about sharing those ups and downs with people who truly get it. They can be great cheerleaders but also show you where you can do better. 

I’m hugely thankful for these two ladies and my other freelance friends. I’m excited for the plans that we’ve got for this year and having a hand in pushing them towards their goals as well. Thank you, both. Freelance life just got a whole lot more fun because of you.

Who are your freelance friends and how did you find them?

Thank you for stopping by! 

Melly xox 

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