Yesterday was like most Tuesdays in recent past.
I got up and got right down to some work (bad creative habit I know, but #deadlines....), threw myself out the door midday, hopped down to The Juice Truck for an afternoon of work, weekend recaps and meetings, then headed home and tucked in with some dinner, smashed out a couple emails and signed up for a fundraising spin class. Head hit the pillow, lights went out.
Then this morning while waiting for my dose of caffeine in Americano form, I did my daily 'business development' act of opening the Linkedin app on my phone. And there I saw that one of my favourite clients had left a comment on an anniversary I had...yesterday.
Folks, October 13 marks my anniversary of the biggest leap I've taken to date: when I chose to take on self-employed status in search of feeling more 'me' in all elements of my life. From having little to no safety net when I made the leap and saying 'yes!' to everything, I cannot believe how the last two years have flown by and at the same time, how much has happened.
And, yes, the rumors are true...at least in my case. Some of my best work gets done while in the late hours of the night, couch-bound with hot water and some weird jazz music, in little more than a pair of wooly socks and a sweatshirt. I DO suit up for meetings, but in support of Scott Berkun and 'The Year Without Pants', I dub my career 'NO PANTS FREELANCE'.
Here's a little run down on what's been going down in no pants town in year two.
NO PANTS FREELANCE: YEAR TWO
My 'OK - wait. THIS is what I do. It works in these three ways, and can do it by this date. If that's not what you're looking for or if you need it sooner than that, let me connect you with these professionals I know who might have the bandwidth, and can potentially do it better and in less time than I would be able to. Sound good?' year.
Year two has been all about honing in on where I add value; where I can bring my unique skills to the table in a way that businesses and individuals need to move their projects and programs forward with intention and in a way that is honest and true to their brand, culture, mission, vision and values.
On top of that, I figured out WHO my yeses are for; the people I want to partner with and the sweet souls I am keen to support. They're individuals who are out to make an impact, are ready for and open to feedback, are futuristic and all about thinking BIG and are heinously committed to the community and relationships that surround them. They're my tribe, my people, my allies, confidants and collaborators - and my clients.
Anyhoo - it's not often I look back and celebrate what's gone down here in Jess-preneur land. So here's a recap of what a tailored year of YES looked like:
- Integrated the IGOLU practice of Vision and Goals into foundational leadership programming for Earls Restaurants - and continued blogging for their employee intranet, developing more conversation around how Vision and Goals apply beyond their work life and into their every day.
- Continued supporting Girlvana Yoga and Ladyvana Retreats with participant communications and venue logistics and communication management
- Partnered intentionally with my galpal Cait Wharton and her agency Sweatshop Creative to develop brand stories and identities, informing connected website copy
- Stepped into a content-specific role with SoulPowered, writing meaningful social media content and acting as blog editor for Sarah's ongoing communications
- Supported the Juice Truck in dialling up their internal communication and digital marketing plans, and co-created a COWORK space for local freelancers and contractors to work in weekly (Wednesdays - get here)
- Developed two online courses for eCdemy Learning Solutions in Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing, putting applied experience to work, creating in-depth learning experiences for blossoming digital marketers
- Made local businesses my priority in helping them document their business processes and operationalize their vision, mission and values
- Edited LOTS of blogs
- Got serious about making letters, sharing quotes with friends and family as gifts and partnering with both Patagonia Vancouver and JustGreet to put letters on shirts and cards
Still a full year, it's been one of more specific focus and intention, commitment to how I want to feel in my work and my life, and in living completely through choice. What. A. Year.
I would be fully remissed if I didn't stop to say thank you to the people who have made this second year possible.
To my family and friends: your constant encouragement keeps me afloat. Thank you for your curiosity, compassion, faith and fire.
To my clients: YOU ROCK. I'm so thankful for you and your willingness to have me in the ranks of individuals that get to support your business. I am endlessly grateful and always on your team.
To the Vancouver community that just doesn't stop being awesome: you're the shit. You do so many amazing things that keep me inspired, that provide the outlet for people to express themselves and are a welcoming body of individuals keen for others to contribute. I love this city and for pete's sake, if I haven't had the chance to collaborate with you yet, I'm coming for ya.
SO excited this freelance thing is still working - and cannot wait to see what year three brings. Maybe I'll even start wearing pants more...who knows?