As the oldest son of a restaurant owner in Chicago, I started working at the Tivoli at age 10, and I learned that night and day were all part of the workday. I didn’t go into dad’s business, but some of his lifestyle is still in each of his five children, and I still work late into the night whenever the project load gets crowded. Late night gives me uninterrupted hours without phone calls, errands, doorbells or distractions. Having a slightly skewed circadian rhythm means my second-shift hours are equally productive. I have had a home studio and office exclusively for most of the past 25 years, and have developed “some” ability to turn it off, and leave my work behind. I’m still up and working in the morning, but the lack of a commute allows me extra time to work later, if the deadline is critical. Or, all weekend long.
As a person who chose working as an independent designer for most of my career, I have seen the advantages and disadvantages of having a small business, and in my own particular case, freelance has fit my life and personality best.
I like my own workplace, my own totally flexible hours and my own decision-making process and abilities enough, that self-employment became my best choice. It connects me to the way I was raised. My dad told me, “if you own your own business, don’t let your business own you”. Back atcha Dad! It helps to love what you do. As a design generalist, I enjoy a wide range of design work that challenges and entertains me.
So what does a freelance designer provide his clients that might just be unique and useful, you ask? The number of management layers between me and my clients is zero. Less possibility for confusion and disconnection. They get me. Directly. Almost any time. My relationship with my clients is personal and friendly, and I’m there when they need me. My office uses both Macs and PCs, I don’t take up any of their office space or resources, or get employee benefits, and I’ve been doing this long enough now that clients know what they’re getting from me, and the results they can count on. This isn’t a job for me, it’s my life of design. Every day holds new exciting design challenges that all have design solutions. And I’m just the guy to create them. I think I’m lucky that way.
My clients say the benefits of freelance are mutual. What more can I ask for. What more could we ask for? It works!Share this: