Freelancer Magazine | Issue 10 | All Change - Making Big Switches

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All Change

Making Big Switches

Issue Ten freelancer For a freelance life less ordinary

Guest Editor’s Letter

Ioften want to ask my daughter what she wants to be when she grows up, then I bite my tongue. Because if I’ve learned anything over the course of my 20-plus-year jaunt with work, it’s that there is so much more to us as humans than what we do to pay the bills. And, for some of us, it can be a constantly evolving waltz of how we best use our energy and skills rather than a badge bearing our job title.

The greatest thing I’ve discovered along my relatively short freelance journey is that community is everything. Finding people who support each other through the wild ride of freelancing and share delight in the wins is vital.

The community Sophie has created around this wonderful magazine speaks volumes of her ability to bring people

together and make them feel good about what they do. Thank you so much to Sophie for having me on the Freelancer Magazine squad for this issue. It’s been such a privilege to have been a small part of something so incredible, doing something I love. I hope you enjoy the stories of those on these pages who were so generous with their experiences of their own career changes.

So if I hope for anything for my children’s future work-life, it’s that they can find their tribe, whatever they do. Because careers can evolve over time, but it’s the wonderful people you meet along the way who make all the difference.

Issue 10 - All Change

For your Issue 10 playlist, curated specially for you while you read, search “All ChangeFreelancer Magazine” on Spotify.

4 Freelancer Magazine
Tori image credit: Tess Viera Cover image credit: Sam Ryley @CanteenCreate

Your Freelancer Magazine Dream Team for Issue 10…

Sophie Cross Publisher 80s & 90s Madonna mega fan /SophCross

Angela Lyons Creative Lead Lover of learning & course collector /AngelaLyons1

Penny Brazier Features Writer

Sing star world champion & professional overthinker @PenTheMighty

Mel Barfield Features Writer Plant collector & plant neglector @AllCopyMel

Anita Ellis Features Writer Professional procrastinator (& alliteration aficionado) /AnitaEllis

Abi Sea Features Writer

Houmous muncher & lyric buffoon @TheLaunchLifeline

Jo Watson Features Writer

Voice note lover & ‘Hi Dear’ hater /Jo-Watson-AGoodWriteUp

Peter Komolafe Features Writer

Lover of driving & hater of liquorice @ConversationOfMoney

Amy Nolan Doodler

Astronomy enthusiast & semolina hater @InkyPix4U

Nia Carnelio Features Writer K-pop enthusiast & tone-deaf singer /Nia-Carnelio

Rochella Providence Features Writer

Lover of food, laughing fits & golden nuggets @R_Providence

Emma Cownley Features Writer Evil sorceress & Filofax influencer @EJCownley

Mary Cummings VA Early riser & odd sock wearer /MaryCummingsVA

Louisa Ellins Proofreader

Loves swimming but can’t dive /LouisaEllins

Charlotte Ciel Distribution

Future CEO & general genius (our words, not hers!) /InlineInternational

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 I subscribed! I will make sure I get a photo to show Freelancer Magazine is making a dint over here in ‘Straya. It’s such a beautiful almanack, I’m enjoying going through it during smoko [break]. I’m looking forward to discovering and learning more from so many talented people. I’m glad to be part of your community too. Good to be involved with the good folk of this world.

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For a freelance life less ordinary MAGAZINE The Art of Freelancing Creativity & Design A NNIVE R S ARY E d tion freelancer MAGAZINE 04/04/2023 14:19

company when you haven’t left the house for three weeks. But perhaps the most surprising thing of all is that they’ve landed me work with other freelancers. Now, if that isn’t enough to persuade you to give them a go, nothing will.

 I’ve been to three coworking sessions so far and they have been great. I’m really productive during these sessions and they leave me buzzing in a good way. I am definitely planning to continue joining these sessions. Thank you for all the work you do bringing freelancers together.

of experimenting with new stuff in terms of visual identity, personal interests, professional goals… it’s about time I sit and plan for the upcoming semester. I’m sure the magazine (which is packed with people who have been in the freelance business for longer than I have) will serve as a great guide during this journey.


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All you need to do is share a picture of yourself reading Freelancer Magazine or a picture of your copy of the mag in the wild. Share it on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram with #DunkWithUs (tag us too if you can and we’ll reshare).

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 My first printed copy of Freelancer Magazine has just arrived, right on time for my weekend reading list. I’ve been reading more than posting here lately, but that’s because I’m taking some time to restructure my business goals for 2023. After a year

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Issue Ten // Summer 2023
Issue 8 winner –Jo Martin
Digital Comms Strategy with the Queen of Inbound Barketing. You'd be woofing mad to miss out!
11 Issue Ten // Summer 2023 THE FREELANCE DOODLER

All Change

As I write this, on the terrace of an agricultural farm hotel I am covering in Portugal, on the brink of starting my own wellness magazine, I can’t believe how much my life has changed.

It wasn’t long ago that I was working as a freelance producer and news reporter for multiple companies at a time. Enduring high-pressure work that left me burnt out and honestly, isolated.

Working as a travel writer and starting my own magazine at one point in my life would have been nothing but a pipe dream. Although I had all the skills to make the transition, I lacked the bravery.

In 2022, I made the biggest change of my life and decided to go for it. It’s been a year, and within this time, I have made new friends, joined new communities and launched my company website. I have actually never been happier.

Of course, I battled with the ‘what ifs….’ for months. But for me, living a life of regret far outweighed the fear of actually taking a chance.

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Three Tips Moving Your Business to a New Country The Power of Words

Steve Ash is an experienced content writer, marketer and author originally from the UK. A year ago, he moved to the other side of the world to start a new life in Australia and went through the challenging experience of moving his freelance business, CommsBreakdown, to a new country.

Steve has written for PwC, Xero, Nestle, GoCardless and a host of tech startups. He’s also the author of three selfpublished business books, including Going Freelance: Building Work Around Your Life and his latest 101 guide HELP! I’ve Started A Business.


My local coffee shop, Sands of Tyne, has become my favourite place to work – giving me a good reason to leave the house and go for a walk. I often meet up with other freelancers to cowork, have meetings and drink so much coffee to get me through the day.

1. Research the market in your new home country

Before you make the big move, you need to do some serious research. Do your homework and read up as much as you can on freelance opportunities in your new country. Find out what the average day and hourly rates are, what the usual payment terms are and whether businesses are looking for someone with your skill set and experience.

2. Sort out the legalities and tax side of the business You’ll need to apply for a visa before you move. Make sure it allows you to work and that you know the conditions for remaining a resident. You should also register as a business, get your tax status sorted and find yourself a friendly accountant. There’s a LOT of admin to do, but it’s vital to tick these boxes so you don’t end up working illegally and breaking the terms of your visa.

3. Sell yourself and build up a new network No one knows you in this new market, so you’re going to need to shout loudly to get your name out there. Join local social media business groups and go to industry events where you can schmooze with potential new contacts. Most of my freelance work has come through recommendations, so treat your clients well and more work and opportunities are likely to come your way.

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Find Steve Ash on LinkedIn and Twitter @CommsBreakdown. Check out his books on Amazon.
I ♥ to Work
“Observe constantly that all things take place by change.”
Marcus Aurelius
Summer vibes and stress-free finances Book a call with Martin
16 Freelancer Magazine @Birdsong_Copywriting @ByKalaX @FiPhillipsWriter @GerrieHawes @ItsBelindaGrace @Jane.Nizi.Copywriting @NatalieWyattVirtual @ThisIsAlexMills @AlexisBushnell #FreelanceLifeOnTheGrid WATER COOLER Our favourite freelancer pics from the Gram.

A Day In The Life Of...

Nelly Bryce

Guilty Mothers Club founder, poet, journaler and writer Nelly Bryce gives us a peek at her day.

What do you do?

A combination of many things which is probably true of lots of freelancers. I’m a poet and wrote my first poetry book last year, a content writer which is more on the ‘work’ side and I’m hugely passionate about journaling. I have a Substack newsletter on journaling and creativity and run a community there. I run journaling workshops and courses – sometimes directly and sometimes for other businesses.

Where are you based? Manchester.

How long have you been doing what you do now?

Coming up to three years I think – how long has it been since the pandemic?

What were you doing before?

Prior to this, my career was in HR. I worked my way up in leadership development for big corporates and was enjoying some but not all of it. Twelve years ago I got pregnant with my first child and going back to work at a big corp looked great but wasn’t. I went back parttime which seemed flexible but there was still presenteeism and I was sidelined for promotions. I knew I wanted more kids and after a couple more it became clear my career wasn’t going to go anywhere with that company.

A lot of people will know you for Guilty Mothers Club – tell us more…

As a side project, I started delivering training for women going back to work

as I knew there was a gap and it wasn’t just me finding transitioning difficult. When I left work I set up Guilty Mothers Club which was all about helping women go back to work after maternity and brought all my skills into a different world. I launched my membership for it three months before Covid happened and then had to pause it and then close it. My husband’s job was in food retail and it went crazy busy and we now had four children – the youngest being one. The @GuiltyMothersClub Instagram is still going.

And now you’re a poet, writer and journaler?

Yes, I took another pivot to poetry. I suddenly realised my years and years of journaling were a creative outlet and my journaling led to poetry. I think journaling can get a bad rep for

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being a bit twee, really time-consuming or that you need to have gorgeous handwriting but it doesn’t have to be like that.

In my journaling course, we explore creative journaling and how it can be a way into poetry and gratitude journaling. It’s so magical and brings people together to have a play with their creativity. Once a month on my (paid) Substack we journal together. We come together and I give writing prompts. It’s a combination of self-development, journaling and creative writing plus taking time out for ourselves. The community are so lovely, supportive and generous.

My word-of-mouth content gigs have come from this. I didn’t really plan any of it. It happened by following something I really loved and combining it with supporting women. The sweet spot is being good at it, there being demand and loving it (ironically I used to teach this).

I get up at…

A ridiculous time. My four-year-old likes to stomp up every morning and announce the day is beginning between 5 and 5.30am.

I won’t get out of bed for less than…

A good coffee.

My go-to breakfast is…

I’m quite specific about this. In the last few years I’ve discovered strength training. I’m slightly obsessed with muscles now because I never believed I could have them. And why wouldn’t you work out when you’re up at 5am? So post-training I’ll have porridge with fruit, a nut/seed mix I make, a sprinkle of protein powder and coconut yoghurt.

My go-to lunch is…

Anything involving nice white bread. And ideally almost as much salted butter as bread. Plus cake most days.

A typical working day might look like…

I don’t have a typical day but I do have a typical start to my day. I get home after dropping the kids off and go into my loft room where there’s nice light. I meditate for 10 minutes, then journal for 10 minutes, and then I plan my day in my journal – what are the most important things for me to do today? I try to prioritise this 9-9.30am with good coffee and good light. It probably happens three or four days a week but I genuinely find if I start the day any other way, the day runs me, I get distracted easily and end up on other people’s priorities. Particularly working from home it’s easy to be distracted. This makes me more conscious about my time.

After work…

It’s a totally different scene. I know I should close my laptop and have boundaries. But no, what normally happens is that I’m trying to finish something walking to school, writing on my phone, shoving (the wrong) snacks into my pocket, panicking about what’s for tea and dealing with the complete bedlam of four kids of different ages coming home.

This goes on until about 9pm and it’s a whole new ball game now the oldest one is staying up later!

The best part of my day is…

My husband works from home too so on a good day we’ll go get lunch together.

I wish I could…

Make enough money to be able to write, read and do stuff with poetry all day. My happy place.

What I’m excited about right now…

My journaling community. There’s been a flurry of new members and it’s a nice time of year to grow. I love the summer, being outside, warmer weather and doing more fun stuff.

Words to live by on a daily basis…

The thing I say most often (every day at some point) is “You can do hard things” from Glennon Doyle. Because I’m a massive geek I try to write quotes to live by in my journal every week.

Find me here…

On Substack

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Insta @NellyTheWriter and visit

So You Want To Be An… Ice Cream Seller?

Alex Watkins sells ice cream as “Vintage Scoops” with her husband Lloyd. The couple live on the Isle of Wight and have two children, Florence (11) and Hector (13) who also help out (“mostly taste testing!”)

Mel Barfield got the scoop (groan) on what it’s like to run an event catering business out of a vintage 1973 Bedford van.

So Alex, you work on the business with your husband Lloyd, are you both full-time?

I work full-time on Vintage Scoops and Lloyd juggles the business along with a full-time job as an Outdoor Learning Advisor for schools across the island and Hampshire/ Berkshire. So we’re always busy!

How did you become ice cream sellers, and how long have you been doing it?

It was a total change of career. We’d both been working in education for the last 10-15 years, Lloyd as a Headteacher of a large primary school working 80-hour weeks and me as a Finance Officer, when we decided it was time for a change of direction. We’d always fancied working for ourselves, and when a local ice cream van came up for sale in 2022, it got us thinking.

We didn’t buy that one, but then we caught sight of Betty and the Vintage Scoops business for sale, and we were hooked. We fell in love with Betty’s quirky vintage style and stunning looks straight away. We knew she was for us!

Freelancer Magazine

We bought Betty last year and brought her back to the Isle of Wight to start her new life. We added a traditional ice cream tricycle (named Bertie) to the Vintage Scoops fleet and had him designed in Vintage Scoops colours to match Betty.

We traded mostly with Bertie last summer whilst we gave Betty a bit of a refresh. She hadn’t been worked through lockdown and needed a little TLC. She’s been brought back to her full vintage glamour, and she’s now on the road too this season. We’ll be enjoying events, weddings, birthdays and festivals across the island.

Betty and Bertie both love an outing and always dress to impress with their cute vintage bunting and accessories!

Is the plan for Lloyd to work full-time on Vintage Scoops too?

We’ll see where it takes us. It’s working really well for us as it is at the moment. I can be out and about all week in Betty and then Lloyd can step in when we have two events at the same time, or on busy weekends we can take both Betty and Bertie out.

Make us all hungry – what’s on the menu?

We only sell the best local island-made ice cream, as quality and taste are really important to us. We focus on locally made ice cream as we’re so lucky on the island –the milk comes from island cows, and the ice cream is produced a couple of miles down the road and then shipped next door to our supplier. You can’t get much more local or delicious than that.

We serve a huge range of flavours from the classics like Mint Choc Chip, Triple Chocolate and Strawberry Dream to the very tasty Blueberry Sea Swirl or Choc ‘n’

Orange. We always make sure we have dairy and gluten-free options onboard and our vegan choc brownie is extremely popular. There’s always something for everyone; nobody has to miss out on an ice cream treat.

Our ice cream is served in luxury waffle cones, and we also sell retro ice lollies like Fabs and rockets, which always put a smile on the children’s faces.

What’s the first event you did as Vintage Scoops, and how did you book it?

One of our first events was with Bertie the tricycle – we booked a pitch at a local village fete, and he went down a

storm. Everyone loved his vintage style and quirkiness so we knew our little business had promise. Betty’s first event was a wedding – the guests got to choose their flavours of ice cream, and we provided Betty to treat the guests after the ceremony while the photos were being taken. She provides the perfect opportunity for photo shoots too as she’s so pretty. The bride and groom can come in the van and serve an ice cream or two if they want to!

How do you market your business?

We mostly use social media and word of mouth. Our business is growing, and we’re getting lots of likes and follows which is great. It’s a small island, so Betty is an advert for herself really! Everyone notices her as we’re driving around and we try and provide the best customer service we can so people recommend us to their friends.

21 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
“It’s a small island, so Betty is an advert for herself really!”

What’s the best event you’ve been to with the van? What made it so great?

We’ve just done “Walk the Wight” which is an amazing annual event on the island where people sign up to walk across the whole island (26.5 miles) in one day. It is organised by a wonderful charity Mountbatten Isle of Wight which provides end-of-life care and bereavement support to island residents, and they do so much for the local community. Everyone turns out in their yellow t-shirts and sunflowers and helps raise funds for the charity. It’s such a great atmosphere on the day with music and entertainment at rest points along the route. It was lovely to be able to provide ice creams for the walkers (and dogs), and we donate a percentage of every ice cream sold on the day to the charity so it’s really worthwhile.

Have you had any major disasters with the van?

Well, she’s 50 years old this year so she definitely has her quirks! We did have one day when we were parked on a slope, and it was raining heavily – we must have

been at just the right angle for the rain to run along the window sills and straight in the van. It was like a waterfall. That was a definite “right let’s pack up and go, no-one wants ice cream in a monsoon” moment!

What are the best and worst things about being your own boss?

The best thing is the freedom and doing our own thing. Life is different every day and never boring.

I did see a quote somewhere recently that was very true though – “I didn’t want

to work a 9-5 job so I started my own business and now I work 24/7. Makes perfect sense!”

It’s so true – there’s simply not enough time in the day to get everything done – from stock orders, cleaning the van and bike, paperwork, marketing and promotion, answering enquiries to selling the ice cream – but we love every minute of it.

Do you ever feel like you’d rather be behind a desk?

With the gorgeous island scenery as a backdrop, we’re often driving past beaches, downs, and fields full of wildflowers – you couldn’t get a better office. So no, definitely not.

What would be your dream event to take Betty to?

A lovely family festival in the woods with nature all around – we’ve got one next week actually.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of becoming an ice cream seller, and what makes a good one?

There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye, but if you’re up for hard work and a busy summer – go for it! ●

Find Alex on Insta and Facebook @VintageScoops or visit

Freelancer Magazine Mel Barfield is a freelance copywriter specialising in creative ad copy. @AllCopyMel


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How to protect your mental health during moments of professional and financial anxiety

In an economically unstable world amidst all the new AI tools gunning to take work off your plate, what can you do to feel less anxious?

“Can you incorporate ChatGPT while writing this [insert content piece] for us?”

If you’re a writer (freelance or otherwise) who hasn’t been asked this question yet, count your lucky stars. Clients across industries and verticals have been asking freelancers to incorporate AI into their work to increase output – or completely cutting freelancers out and pivoting to an all-AI model for their content/design needs.

The media’s calling it an “AI Revolution”, but the words ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and DALL-E now make most freelancers anxious. These names, coupled with language like “making processes more efficient” or ‘doing more in less time,’ indicate that companies might choose to stop working with freelancers, lower rates, or reduce the work they assign freelancers.

Now, when you add in a collapsing economy (inflation, the looming recession, wars, the cost of living crisis), it’s understandable why so many freelancers are going through quite a bit of professional and financial anxiety. While the two might sound like the same thing, they’re two sides of the same coin.

Anxious about income flow or your skills not being needed anymore?

Freelancers know financial anxiety intimately. Unless you’re luckily cushioned by a partner or familial resources, lining up your next gig is always at the front of your mind. And we all know freelance income is widely known for being unpredictable. You could earn the highest you’ve ever earned one

month only to go back to crickets in your inbox in the next. This instability and unpredictability in your income (and, thus, the amount you can save) can make most of us feel anxious.

This anxiety could look like overworking for a few months right before taking some time off and still not feeling good about taking a break –what if your clients find someone else or go in a different direction? Also, since there are no paid holidays as a freelancer – you have to pay for those yourself – you might not feel like the loss of work is worth the break (spoiler: it is!).

It’s a bit easier to deal with financial anxiety as a freelancer. To protect your mental peace, you could take all or part of your fee upfront, have iron-clad contracts, apply late fees when necessary, and have good financial planning habits according to your needs.

Professional anxiety, on the other hand, is a new-ish phenomenon. If you search, the term throws up information about workplace anxiety that some of our full-time folks might experience. But professional anxiety is so recent that we haven’t even begun researching it.

That’s because the things causing it

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(the aforementioned “AI Revolution”) are happening as you read this piece. When you see current (or potential) clients choosing an AI tool instead of a freelancer like you with years of expertise in that specific niche, and feel really bad about it – so much so that you begin questioning if your work was that good after all? That’s professional anxiety. Or it’s something we should label as that.

Thousands of freelancers have lost work overnight as people brought an AI tool into their stack. Not only does this compound their financial anxiety, but it also makes them question their skillset and experience. For some, this anxiety might manifest in overworking and underpricing themselves in a bid to nearly match AI speeds with a human touch. For others, it’s a period fraught with uncertainty about the longevity of their current gigs and where the next ones will come from – there’s a lot of sadness, anger, and worry flowing through most freelancers.

So, what’s a freelancer to do in this economic and tech climate to protect their mental health?

1. Know this isn’t the first or last time. Some therapeutic language for you, but one of the first things we can do to help ourselves is to recognise and accept this isn’t the first time machines have competed for human jobs. As humans, we’re constantly experimenting and coming up with new tech to make life easier. Thousands of jobs adapted to become new ones over the last few decades, and we still need people to work those. This “AI Revolution” may or may not be here to stay, but there will always be something just around the corner to keep things changing. It’s easier to accept that than fight it.

2. Make a backup plan.

Once your initial anxiety about AI and the economy has lessened, it might be worth going back to the drawing board to drum up some backup plans to help you feel more in control of your situation. This might look like training as an editor to better edit AI content or putting more into savings during your better months – the goal is to find something that works for your business and keeps your mental peace intact.

3. Filter out what’s unnecessary. We live in an information-rich world –which is great but can be overwhelming. Whether it’s the increasing number and sheer magnitude of lay-offs across the globe or the newest AI tool/extension released this afternoon, consuming near-constant updates might increase your anxiety about the whole situation. There’s a difference between staying up-todate and reading everything about AI and inflation whenever you log on to Twitter. Find a few (really, just a few) trusted sources and get the highlights – tech is constantly adapting, so you might only really need to know about what sticks, and the economy rarely changes within 24 hours. Consume information mindfully.

4. Accept the feast/famine dichotomy of freelancing.

Even if you’ve only freelanced for a few months, you know that freelancing is a feast-and-famine game. Accepting that is the first step to managing your anxiety about not getting enough or any work. Depending on your industry and niche, you might not hear back about work

during specific periods of the year. Instead of fretting, match famine periods with your holidays or rest breaks. Use the feast months to save up to help you navigate the famine months.

5. Turn to your community for shared commiserations.

No one knows what you’re going through better than another freelancer (Exhibit A: this article), so finding and connecting with other freelancers can be more helpful for your anxiety than you can imagine. They could help you feel less alone when you’re worried about your next gig (everyone’s been in that situation many times). They can help you understand that it’s not a question of your skills –it’s either bad timing (economic/ tech) or planning (by the client). It’s not going to be the easiest thing to get through everything that’s going on in the world (professionally and economically), but it’s about outlasting the negative stuff. Doing what helps you manage your anxiety –whether that’s more breaks, walks outside, or venturing into previously unconsidered niches – will help you feel better as a human. And we all know that’s when we all do our best work anyway. 

[The author of this article also gets anxious about losing clients and work in these chaotic times but tries very hard to practise what she preaches. It’s a work in progress, same as everyone.]

25 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
Nia Lizia Carnelio is a freelance writer and book marketer, working with clients across B2B tech, eCommerce, SaaS, and book publishing. Find Nia on Twitter @SleepyHollowKid and at

When was the last time you had a major wake-up call? Like a sudden reckoning that a big switch was necessary? Denée, a Canadian-based Gen Z copywriter, had hers at 18. And now at 23 with a loyal 50k TikTok fanbase, she’s making an iconic name for herself in the copywriting world with some mindset shifts that freelancers of all types can put into practice.

Back No Going

What pushed you to start a health blog before becoming a freelance copywriter?

I started the health blog because I was in university living the typical student life –pulling all-nighters, drinking lots of coffee and eating out all the time… I wasn’t in my healthy era. Then I went to a check-up and the doctor said, “if you keep up with the lifestyle that you have now, you’re gonna get diabetes and you’re gonna get XYZ, so you need to fix yourself”. I was 18 or 19 and I thought well that’s not good. My Mom has diabetes so it really scared me. I started to take myself seriously. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought “I do not like how I look or feel”. So I started blogging about my healthy journey and relationship with binge eating.

After your health scare, how did your relationship with physical wellness evolve as you

transitioned into freelancing?

In the beginning, I lost my relationship with my health a bit. Because you have to go through that grind where you’re just working hard and trying to make it work. So you’re not really focused on the other areas of your life that are important. But after I reached a point where I was getting clients and making money, I had more freedom to schedule things and relax more. I do think there are periods where you need to be a little bit intense, obsessed and focused. But it’s always important to come back to the centreline. This is where you’re in the flow and have a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Generally,

“We can all get back on our respective circadian rhythms. Period.”

I have had a much better relationship with health now. This is because I’m able to wake up when I want, go to the gym when I want and I’m at home so I can make my own food. And overall I get to put more effort and thought into my lifestyle.

What kind of health advice do you share with other aspiring freelancers?

I think the one thing about physical health that I always stress to people is sleep. Because I worked with Dementia Connections

26 Freelancer Magazine

Magazine, I learned a lot about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Just knowing the stats on how many North Americans are projected to get dementia, who don’t know how to prevent it, don’t know how to train their brain well, and also just don’t know the value of sleep. When you’re in this entrepreneurial and freelancer space, you tend not to value your sleep. And I get it. I think it’s okay to go through periods where you’re getting a little less sleep, but the majority of the time, you should be prioritising sleep. You’re not gonna live long enough to make use of what you’ve created for yourself if you don’t get enough sleep.

One of my most viral videos on TikTok is me talking about sleep. I was talking about a book called Why We Sleep and the author, Matthew Walker, talks about all the negative effects of not sleeping. Because we live in this society where we’re trying to be as productive as possible and maximise everything, people usually put sleep on the back burner. But if you put sleep to the front, you might realise that you have more time because you’re able to do more focused work.

Do you have a favourite exercise?

I’m currently in my weightlifting era. It just makes me feel strong, and I love it. I really look forward to doing hip thrusts on leg + glutes day.

sleep schedule is so messed up, I can’t fix it” but, you can. We can all get back on our respective circadian rhythms. Period. You just need to put in some intentional effort. Like going outside and getting some sunlight when you wake up.

What’s the biggest switch you made recently?

Understanding that the healthier you are, the more money you’ll make.

I know that sounds kind of annoying so let me explain. What I mean by that is when you start taking your physical health seriouslyyou’re working out, eating better, drinking water - you start to feel more confident. Your brain is braining (haha) – it’s working better than it has before which means that you’re thinking more critically, which means that you’re going to do things that are going to elevate your life in a way that’s going to give you better business opportunities and make you more money at the end of the day.

What would you say to

a freelancer to guide them back into prioritising their physical health?

When you get a health scare, you realise how fragile life is and that there’s no going back. Sometimes there’s no cure, sometimes there is but it’s going to take months or years. Every time you neglect your health, you’re robbing your future self. You need to think of it that way.

You don’t want to start valuing your health

when it’s too late. We’re not invincible. Some actionable steps you could take to start valuing your health would be:

1. Set a schedule – it’s easy when you get that freelance freedom to start living carelessly, but having a routine helps you live intentionally. Follow a routine so you can live proactively.

2. Sleep early - sleeping early is just a hack. A lot of people say like “Oh my

Your health is directly related to the success and longevity of your freelance career. That was my biggest switch. Realising that those little steps you take every day to care for your health will make you more money.

You can find Denée on Instagram at @DeneeTamia or visit

Rochella Providence is a Trini-American copywriter and brand journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. And she says hi. :)


27 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
“Understanding that the healthier you are, the more money you’ll make.”

Sam Docker is a wedding photographer, podcaster and course creator who is always pushing himself to spot opportunities and lean into the next phase of his business.

He co-hosts Another Idea with Igor Demba - a podcast for creatives and entrepreneurs who want to level up their businesses.

Do Give Day Job

Up Your

What did you do before you made the leap to freelancing?

In my final year of uni, I set up an online fashion business with a friend. I say online fashion – we had a store on eBay which bought and sold second-hand clothing. It was 2006, the early days of this, and we grew really rapidly. By the time I finished my degree, we’d turned over £80k in six months, and so decided to create a shop and website for it and scaled it to five staff and premises.

It didn’t finish particularly well – the 2008/9 recession hit us really hard. The cost of sourcing materials went up, and people were spending less. My only regret was that we didn’t step back and think about how we could pivot, which was ultimately its downfall. Looking back, it was an extremely valuable experience, and that business experience has helped me get through more recent storms.

28 Freelancer Magazine

How did you get into wedding photography?

I was very unsure what to do after that business. It should have been a scary time, but with the naivety of being young, I didn’t feel too worried and had the sense that I’d figure it out. I was really getting photography at the time and it had been part of my job for our fashion company. My cousin got married and I took some pictures and was told they were better than other professional ones, so I decided to give it a shot.

Was there a moment when you realised –actually, this could be my job?

I had a stopgap job in an office for three months, and it was the longest three months of my life. I don’t feel at all comfortable in the restrictions of that sort of environment. Weddings felt like the next phase for me, the next stage to lean into. Something about photographing weddings really connected with me – working around people and being creative.

I remember I was at Center Parcs when I announced, “I’m going to quit my job tomorrow.” I had five or six wedding enquiries for the next year and four to five months of cash in the bank. The next year I ended up shooting 60 weddings. It just snowballed.

Do you think you would’ve made that same decision now?

Would I do it now with a mortgage and two children? It’s hard to say for sure. I look back on myself at that time as having a bit of naivety but also an educated guess and gut feeling. I think it’s important to take the risk – successful people take that risk – they’ll go after something if they think it’s achievable. I know had I not had some savings, I would’ve worked late into the night and done whatever I could to make it happen.

What advice would you give anybody thinking about making the jump to freelancing?

I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny and hate the idea of being really successful for someone else. The counter side of that is being able to take the risk, accept it and deal with it. But what’s the worst that’s going to happen? You can always find another job. I know how to make money now and have a broad set of skills that are incredibly valuable.

What advice would you give to people who find change and knowing which way to go difficult?

What’s your passion? It’s really hard to be successful in a business you’re not passionate about – it has to be the core of what you do.

Give something a shot. Not everything works out, and not everything is meant to, but making yourself uncomfortable will help you see opportunities. I don’t have it all worked out, I have huge amounts of doubt and anxiety, but I realise that is normal, and if I didn’t feel like that, something would be wrong. Some people find it debilitating to the point it stops them from doing something.

Is there anything worse about what you do now than your previous jobs?

The wedding industry this year is very unusual – it’s struggling, but I’m not waiting for things to change, I’m looking for where I can spin

29 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
“I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny.”

to and it has left me quite a bit of time to do other stuff. The Another Idea podcast with Igor, my courses and YouTube content are really exciting me at the moment. I’m leaning into YouTube and pushing it. I’m only 15 videos in, but I can see growth there that I never saw on Instagram. I know it’s about turning up consistently and keeping on bringing value to the audience.

How did the Another Idea podcast come about?

I’d just taken on a studio and myself and (co-host) Igor spotted a gap in the market for it. Igor and I are both wedding photographers, we started at a similar time in the industry and met through Facebook groups. We have similar beliefs and ideas around visual aesthetics and branding

and have both taught workshops. We set our values out from the start – the production value had to be high, the audio was to be as good as we could make it, and we would release an episode every Monday. We aren’t doing it by halves – we invested in top equipment to give it the best chance of success and not fizzle out because we haven’t committed – that, for me, would be a bigger waste of time. In a year, we’ve only missed two weeks.

The podcast is geared towards the creative industries – not just photography as we both like to take inspiration from other industries and believe that creative inspiration comes from everywhere. It’s relatable for people who are self-employed and work in areas that aren’t always represented, like florists, pot makers, and calligraphers. We’re not sure where it’s

going to go, it isn’t making us money at the moment, but we believe in the bigger picture. For everyone we’ve had on the podcast, I really believe I’ve taken one piece of advice that has inspired me or changed the way I’ve thought about business.

And you run courses now too?

I ran in-person workshops about everything on being a photographer and they were always successful. When my work was completely wiped out in 2020, I decided to take the workshop and deliver it on Zoom, which saved my arse. Then I thought, “what if I could film it and not always deliver it live?” I was borrowing a desk after hours at the time, so would get in at 9pm and film through until 2am but I needed to see it through. And was learning as I went about filming, presenting and lighting.

It’s always going to be a work in progress, and you need to accept that done is better than perfect. So much more goes into any project than anyone appreciates and it always takes much longer. I thought it would be ready in

Freelancer Magazine
“It’s always going to be a work in progress.”

May 2021 but it was actually February 2022. There were so many hurdles that it’s easy to see why people give up, and the last 2-3% is the most stressful. I ended up taking on my own studio so I could create content quicker, which was a risk, but when I launched, I had 130 sign-ups and £70k turnover in the first week. That was a really important moment for me that justified me taking that risk.

How do you get new clients and customers for the courses?

Mainly from organic growth on Instagram. The one thing that made me stand out was that I was very quick to show up and talk to the camera – sharing my thoughts and ideas about what was happening in my business. I’ve always been open and honest – positive and upbeat but not afraid to say it how it is. I talked a lot about the struggle of 2020 and tried to share to help other people. It helped people connect with me as a photographer,

brand and person. It made me feel much more comfortable. I can tie back a lot of what I do now to deciding to do my first piece to the camera on Instagram. It’s led to taking the studio, the podcast and the courses.

What’s next for you?

There was no grand plan – it’s always been about recognising opportunities along the way. I didn’t want to get to 55 and still be a wedding photographer. I’m not downplaying what I do, but I just want to keep trying new things. We live in an age now where you can teach yourself anything – you just need the drive, focus and conviction to do it. Lots of people learn a skill or craft and just repeat it – the ones that last push themselves a bit further. ●

Find Sam on Instagram @SamDocker.Co and visit

Listen to Sam and Igor’s podcast, Another Idea, wherever you listen to your podcasts.

31 Issue Ten // Summer 2023

‘Pascalle Mode’ On: Partnerships, Positivity Moments, People Pleasing and Peeing on Stage

Pascalle (“Pas-carl-a”) is a trainer, coach and fairy godmother for public speaking. She lives in Guildford with her partner (in life and sometimes work) and two dogs. Pascalle helps clients turn a presentation into a performance, using skills from her previous career in musical theatre. Pascalle’s kind of a big deal on LinkedIn, thanks to her fun, helpful videos and speaking tips. Mel Barfield caught up with Pascalle to find out how she manages multiple roles.

So, Pascalle. You recently got engaged, congratulations! As this is the family feature, tell me all about yours.

My now fiancé is called Chris. We met four years ago in my first ‘real’ corporate job after I left the West End. It was definitely love at first sight, but since we worked together, neither of us made a move. A year later (just before Covid) he asked me out. The funny part is we got locked down together, so we had to accelerate our relationship rather quickly. Clearly, it worked out for the best! We recently bought our first house in the countryside and live there with our two dogs: Herbert and Archibald.

In a nutshell, what do you do?

I help people to present better. I help them speak with confidence and passion so they can make an impact with their story, personality, and overall presenting style.

You’re our fairy godmother for public speaking, but you used to be in the West End doing musical theatre (I almost can’t get this question out because the mixture of excitement, awe and envy is too much) –what was that like?

Ha! It was epic! Not gonna lie, that was definitely one of the best times of my life. It is also very taxing though. Long days with lots of physical

Freelancer Magazine FAMILY

and mental challenges. Carrying a show comes with a heavy load of pressure. I was very young when I started (4, in the musical Peter Pan where my mum played TinkerBell) and fell in love with it instantly. I enjoyed how you could create this whole other world and make people believe in everything you said. Even though it wasn’t real.

Best experience on stage?

First standing ovation for a lead role.

But also - to reduce my jealousy levels - worst experience on stage?

Peed myself… but I feel like this needs context. One of my co-stars was having a quick change and I could see him in the wing. As he pulled off his shirt, his face got stuck and it just made for the most HILARIOUS view. This was right before intermission, so I already had to pee. I then just got the giggles. I broke character. And I peed myself. But! Instead of letting it bring me down, I stood up and took a bow for it. I actually got a standing ovation for that too.

Your LinkedIn is full of extremely helpful videos. When and why did you start making them?

I started making them as a joke to be honest. I have a degree in Musical Theatre, so I figured this is something for me. But then they took off like wildfire and became my main source of leads!

What made you decide to go solo in the first place?

The corporate world was never for me and the West End was no longer an option due to injury. I hated working for a boss and being told what to do all. the. time. So, I figured, I’d go it alone. Never looked back!

Chris helps you a bit in the business too, how does that work?

We work well together. He’s the strategist, the analytical brain. I’m the creative brain. He’s my cheerleader, my coach and my partner. He’s very good at knowing who he needs to be at any given moment in time to support me.

What does your average day look like now?

I wake up quite early to do some LinkedIn engagement and posting. Then I go for either a walk or a workout, depending on the day, followed by a good breakfast. Then I start my day by writing a to-do list prioritising the tasks from MUST DO, NICE TO DO, CAN MOVE IF NECESSARY. It’s the only way I stay on top of things. I go through my inbox, reply to any emails, and start coaching. Normally I have two coaching calls in the morning. Then I go for a one-hour hike with my dogs, followed by a hearty lunch (I never skip a meal because food is life, ya know). Then some more coaching and towards the end of the day more LinkedIn engagement and content creation. I always have a “positivity moment” at 5pm to go over what went well that day. Then I make dinner for my fiancé and we try to have a sit-down meal by 7pm. In the evenings I am either on Facetime with family friends or I work on my embroidery (like the grandma that I am). In bed by 10pm to read my book and pass out with said book on my face. Pure bliss!

Bliss indeed. I have to read before bed to switch my brain off. Do you do the hike every workday? Impressive!

Yes, it’s great for my mental health and when you come back from a hike in the woods, it feels like you haven’t worked yet that day. It’s a reset. So it’s almost like getting 10 workdays in a week.

Tell me a bit more about your positivity moment?

Freelancing can be lonely some days and sometimes there are 15 things on that positivity list where I’m like, wow, look at me, that’s amazing. But some days it only has three things on the list, and those three things were I brushed my teeth, got out of the house, didn’t have a mental breakdown.

How do you find a work-life balance, juggling work and family life?

I’m not going to lie – it’s hard. My partner works full-time in London and has a big hotshot job. He’s the main earner in our family which means I take care of everything else. I clean the house, cook and do the laundry. It’s hard sometimes to always be in either ‘’CEO mode’’ or ‘’Housewife mode’’. Some weeks

Issue Ten // Summer 2023 FAMILY
“News flash!
It is not about you.”

there’s little time for ‘’Pascalle mode’’. I try to take myself on a solo date once a week, but some weeks it’s just not possible. I am also a huge people pleaser, so I try to be there for everyone ALL THE TIME. I need to learn to say no and protect my own space a bit more.

Do you enjoy being your own boss?

Yes! I enjoy the fact that I CAN be a housewife and CEO in the same day. I’m in charge of my time, and that’s given me a lot of freedom. Though I’m now busier than ever!

Any stand-out clients? Any nightmares?

I’ve had the privilege of working with some Fortune 500 companies in my first six months of going solo. I have had one nightmare client that didn’t do the homework I asked them to do and then complained the training didn’t work…

Complete this sentence. “Pascalle? Oh yeah, she’s the person who…” Gets shit done. I’m someone who’ll fit anything in my day, even if I technically don’t have time. I’m very good at triaging my time and just making it work.

What do people get wrong most often when public speaking?

Thinking about themselves. People always worry ‘’what if the audience doesn’t like me’’. News flash! It is not about you. It is not about them liking you. It is about you serving them. You’re not up there to make yourself look good. You want your audience to derive value from what you’re saying. I always say, serve at the pleasure of the audience. It doesn’t just take away a whole lot of pressure from yourself, it also makes you a 10x better speaker.

What’s your number one tip for people prepping to do a speech? Don’t think about what you are going to say, think about how you are going to say it. Only 7% of what you say will actually be remembered. People don’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.

What does the future hold for you?

Hopefully a TED talk! Always wanted to do one (any TEDx organisers reading this… hi!). I also want to scale PresenTales to service as many people as possible. ●

Find Pascalle on LinkedIn /Pascalle Bergmans and visit

Readers can get a 10% discount on Pascalle’s services. To claim the discount, email and quote FREELANCE10

Freelancer Magazine
Mel Barfield is a freelance copywriter specialising in creative ad copy.
“Only 7% of what you say will actually be remembered.”

If you’re looking to work less & make more, this free book will show you how!

Business Coach: Robin

This book retails for £10 + delivery anywhere else; it reveals some of the very strategies that I used to Double my agency’s monthly revenue while firing half my clients. Here’s a taste of what my book will share with you:

How to Triple your rates, and still have clients chomping at the bit to work with you - by making a few minor tweaks to your client discovery process (Pages 67-69)

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To grab one of the free signed copies, simply go here:

Waite is giving out 50 FREE signed copies of his Best-selling Book; Take Your Shot, in a bid to help UK Freelancers close their biggest deals yet!

In November 2022, I made a YouTube video called Freelancing Through Grief and Loss. In it, I shared my experience as a freelancer before and after my Mum’s death. But I made a mistake – I filmed the video three months into the grieving process, long before I was ready.

Kiss My A’s is a Q&A YouTube channel for freelance writers, and I started it six months after making the leap to selfemployment. My videos are "chaotic good" aligned – sweary, upfront, and (I like to think) relatable. And that’s part of the reason I rushed into making a video about

grief. I wanted to turn a bad situation into something helpful.

My Mum got her bone metastasis cancer diagnosis in early May 2022. The diagnosis was terminal but could be delayed with treatment, so we all had hope. However, a month later, she was admitted to the hospital and moved to a hospice just one week after that. Her time was running out, and I didn’t want business worries to pull me away from supporting my family. So, I did what anyone would do: I went to Google.

I trawled the search results looking

for practical advice and the comfort of solidarity. I wanted to hear from a freelancer who had traversed grief and come out the other side; I needed to know it was possible. But I never quite found what I was looking for, and just three months after her diagnosis, my Mum passed away. I was left to figure things out on my own.

When I came back to work after my compassionate leave, I decided to make the content I couldn’t find, in the hope of helping future freelancers stuck in the same situation. But I made it like someone

36 Freelancer Magazine
How to keep your business ticking over when the worst happens

ripping off a plaster – quickly and with gritted teeth.

At the time of writing this, my Mum hasn’t even been gone a year, but I still want a second shot at tackling the topic. Awful as it was, the experience taught me a lot about building a freelance business with foundations so strong, they’ll stay intact even when you aren’t "home." Here’s everything I learned…

Preparing for the worst before it happens

Grief is terrible. It’s so awful, that we kid ourselves into thinking it only happens to other people. In reality, disaster can strike at any time, and your business needs to withstand it. When I went through my period of grief, two key lifelines helped me keep things ticking over. The first (and most important) was my freelance community.

When it looked like my Mum’s time was running out, I went to The Female Copywriters Alliance Discord group and told the gang what was happening. I asked if anyone would be happy to look after my clients while I took compassionate leave, and the response was overwhelming. The kind support of my freelance peers freed me to focus on the things that mattered instead of fretting about work.

My second lifeline was the financial cushion in my business account. I’ve been growing it since I started my business, only paying myself a set amount and saving the rest for a rainy day. And it was there when the heavens opened. I gave myself paid compassionate leave and was even able to help with endof-life costs. As it turns out, dying is expensive (who knew?!).

Be brutally honest

Embarrassment stopped me from talking to clients about my ‘personal situation’, but things went downhill quickly, and it was getting harder to bring my A-game to work. The doctor would phone, and I’d drop whatever I was working on to make the four-hour round trip to Mum’s bedside.

So, I bit the bullet and sent emails to my regulars. I told them what was happening and that I’d be taking leave soon. I gave them options – expedite any work in the pipeline, hire someone from my list of referrals, or wait for me to return. I wanted them to know they weren’t a second thought.

Once my regulars were sorted, I drafted an out-of-office message to catch new clients or unexpected jobs. I explained the situation and gave a rough estimate for my return, plus referral recommendations. When I finally got "the call,", I switched it on and stepped away.

aware of that fact. Our livelihoods hang on our reputations, so we show up, no matter the weather. But doing that after losing a loved one? Massively bad idea.

I planned for two weeks’ compassionate leave, funded by my financial cushion and powered by my community. Though it was nice to have freedom, I didn’t know what to do with myself in the days that followed, so I chose to work a little bit each morning. It was comforting to keep part of my everyday routine, and gave me a structure to grieve in.

When I felt ready to return to work, I took things slowly. I planned generous project turnarounds. I took mornings and afternoons off whenever I needed them. Eight months later, I still need the odd afternoon or day off, and that’s okay.

All change

Things are rarely the same once you’re struck by a significant loss. There will be days when the grief rolls up out of nowhere and drags you down into its depths. But that’s normal; it’s all part of the process.

Over time, you’ll learn to tell a low mood from a bad day. You’ll learn to ask for what you need, be it a deadline extension or an afternoon off. As a freelancer, you are your business, and when you change, everything must follow. If you can remember this, you can build one hell of a resilient business. ●

Give yourself grace

Compassionate working doesn’t seem to come naturally to freelancers. If we’re not working, we’re not earning, and we’re very


37 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
Emma Cownley is a freelance B2C writer for music and lifestyle. You’ll find her raising hell at
“I took things slowly.”




Taking the plunge from an employed role into freelance life can be a terrifying yet exhilarating leap of faith. But what happens when you decide to dive headfirst into freelancing in a totally different industry? Here’s what I found out when I quit my job as a lawyer and became a freelance copywriter.

Without a traditional degree, I took the –shall we say – scenic route into my career in law. It involved a long slog of working my way up from office junior to paralegal to trainee, studying for a law degree alongside my full-time day

38 Freelancer Magazine
Image: Tess Viera

job. So when I finally achieved my lawyer status in 2014 and landed my dream job, I was pretty flipping chuffed. I never imagined that just five years later I’d be undoing all that hard work and heading for a complete career change.

But following our relocation to Derby in 2015 and, two years later, having our first child, I realised returning to my much-loved role in London following maternity leave wasn’t going to work for us. I loved working there; I already had an amazingly flexible hybrid working arrangement since our move to the Midlands – I did two days in the office and three days from home – loads of responsibility and decent pay, plus the firm was progressive and diverse. I just couldn’t reconcile with the idea of leaving my baby at nursery and doing the two-hour commute to the office twice a week, so I resigned and took a job locally.

All change

On paper it was great. Ten minutes walk from nursery, four days a week. Lovely. In reality it was a totally different ball game. I should point out that this stint in my career isn’t noted on my LinkedIn profile. My “part-time” role was more like a full-time workload squeezed into a shorter week, leading to some pretty frantic juggling on my day off, with toddler in tow. I was only earning enough to cover the childcare fees and I started to question The Meaning of Life. Surely there was more to it than this? In the summer of 2019, after a

panic attack in the office, I resigned from my hard-fought career in law without any idea of what to do next.

A chance conversation with a fellow guest at my friend’s wedding a few weeks later got me thinking about how I could use my transferrable skills. She was a freelance copywriter and spoke so enthusiastically about her work I thought to myself, “I want some of that action”. I had always loved writing; it was part of my old job that I was particularly good at and English was my most successful subject at school. I just never really understood how I might be able to make a living out of it. How could I just jack it all in and start calling myself A Writer?


syndrome strikes again Former secondary school teacher, James Ball, had similar feelings when he set up his freelance copywriting business, Ballpoint Copy, last year. He’d authored numerous textbooks during his 20-year teaching career >

39 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
“With copywriting, you just expect people to believe you, there’s no qualification as such.”
- James Ball

and even had a previous background in journalism, but still got pangs of imposter syndrome when it came to embarking on his new venture. “In teaching, I was handed my PGCE certificate and told, ‘you’re a teacher now’. With copywriting, you just expect people to believe you, there’s no qualification as such,” he says. But he’s thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of his career change, saying he finds it “invigorating to do something different and learn something new”.

Imposter syndrome has been a long-time foe of mine, even when I was in my employed role with my legal practising certificate framed above my desk, proving that I was legit. So making the switch to something which is much more subjective and creative has been a challenge that I’m still getting to grips with. In law, whilst there can be different interpretations of legislation, there are precedents which can guide you in the right direction. With writing, as in any creative industry, it can feel like a bit of a stab in the dark as to whether the work you’re producing is any good.

Upping my trumpet game

And that leads us to the whole new world of marketing. I’ve never been particularly good at blowing my own trumpet but, as an employee of a company, this was never much of an issue. I could hide behind the legs of the firm, promoting the strengths of the team but without having to talk about myself. Now that I was a company of one, trying to convince the world of my transferrable skills, I needed to up my trumpet game.

James found this to be the biggest challenge he encountered in his transition from employee to freelancer. As a teacher, he wasn’t expected to promote his skills on social media and he didn’t need a personal brand. Finding an employed role is often a different experience from having to pitch for work as a freelancer. James recalls a much simpler recruitment process as a teacher, being along the lines of “you’re interviewed and then you get the job”. Now, like most freelancers, his CV is reliant on portfolio work and testimonials from happy clients.

Out of the frying pan…?

So why on earth would anyone jump from the security of a familiar, do-it-with-your-eyesclosed employed career that you know insideout into the unknown of a new freelance adventure?

Ebony Lyon co-founded her independent publishing business, Formy Books, with her partner Curtis Ackie at the beginning of 2020. It’s also a Community Interest Company which aims to remove barriers preventing people

40 Freelancer Magazine
“How could I just jack it all in and start calling myself A Writer?”

from marginalised communities and backgrounds from working in publishing. She had been working in sales since graduating from university but had always been creative and loved the idea of being her own boss. When Curtis self-published their own children’s book around the same time, the idea for the business grew organically. Ebony says, “It’s a lot more work, as I’m now responsible for things I’d never thought about, such as invoicing, bookkeeping, logistics and PR. Still, it can be very rewarding, especially if you can find a like-minded community – that’s been such a huge plus for me.” She’s now able to work on something that she’s passionate about – producing inclusive books that children love, which amplify emerging Black creative talent.

My decision came out of a necessity to protect my boundaries. I knew I wasn’t bringing my best self home to my family whilst I was so overwhelmed with a job that I was rapidly falling out of love with. I knew that I would never get this time back, and I had a strong sense that life was too short to be giving my all to a corporation that wasn’t supporting me in return. Propped up by the enormous privilege of choice in a situation like this – which I fully appreciate isn’t available to everyone – my husband and I made the decision together that we could afford, in the short term, for me to resign and take stock of what my working future might look like alongside our family.

But for some, it’s not always a conscious decision that creates the catalyst. “It was something that happened to me,” says James, who left teaching in the spring of 2022 when

his partner was offered a job in Copenhagen. They moved over there in the summer of that year and James set out on his freelance journey after their young daughter started nursery in September. He considered the option of teaching at an international school but, instead, decided to continue with his textbook authoring and use his wealth of transferrable skills to diversify into copywriting. Freelancing gives him the flexibility their family needs. “I wouldn’t be able to go to my daughter’s sports day if I was teaching,” he says.

Ebony says her transition was a gradual one. “I was no longer feeling challenged or stimulated and wasn’t passionate about my work. I know now that I was also at the early stages of burnout,” she says. Her new career has given her a renewed purpose and more flexibility. “My days are very different now. In my previous role I spent a lot of time travelling for work, which was mentally and physically draining, whereas now, one of the things that stands out as being easier is flexibility,” she says.

Despite knowing it was the right thing to do, I found the decision to walk away from my career in law incredibly difficult. At this

41 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
“One of the things that stands out as being easier is flexibility.”
- Ebony Lyon

point, I had no idea what I would do next or how I could put my transferrable skills to their best use. I felt like I had a lot to offer but didn’t know where someone like me could fit into the employment market.

I knew I’d be starting at the bottom of whichever industry I pivoted into and I was comfortable with that. But in terms of fitting a new career around my other job of looking after the house and family, while –like Ebony – also recovering from burnout, freelancing seemed like a good way to build in some flexibility. I was so inspired by the conversation I had with the friendly freelance copywriter at the wedding that, as my husband drove us home from the south coast the next day, I was researching copywriting courses and how to set up as a freelancer.

Whilst I realised I didn’t need to ‘qualify’ as a copywriter – practical experience and natural writing ability are much more important than a diploma certificate – I wanted to upskill and learn some of the technicalities behind SEO, so I

took an online course while gaining some portfolio experience writing for friends of friends. That was four years ago and I’ve never looked back.

It’s been a wild ride – don’t get me wrong – what with the Covid pandemic, having another baby, starting another degree and the rollercoaster that is selfemployed income, but I love freelance life. I’ve discovered a way to use my skills creatively, which has changed my whole experience of work. I’ve found some wonderful groups of supportive and generous freelance friends through the power of internet communities. And best of all, I’ve found a way I can do meaningful work while enjoying the flexibility of working it around my family. ●

James Ball can be found on LinkedIn /BallPointCopy and

Ebony Lyon can be found on LinkedIn /EbonyLyon and

42 Freelancer Magazine
“It’s been a wild ride – don’t get me wrong.”

Feeling Stuck?

Mind stuck in a loop? Wondering how to move forward and gain more time, money and freedom?

I work with creative people to create change in their business and mindset, helping them to: build confidence

overcome burnout achieve their goals

When everything is balanced, you have focus and clarity. Creativity will flow, and you will love your business more.

Do you want to get out of that mind loop and find freedom? Visit:

Do I Need A...

CRM systems sound big, scary and complicated. And they may not be right for everyone. But being more intentional about how you manage client relationships will always be good for business. So with the help of client management expert Jo Shock, we’ve put together a bunch of thoughtprovoking tips to get you started.

What is a CRM system?

CRM is about making processes clear and smooth. The software is important but it’s really about how you manage relationships.

CRM stands for Client Relationship Management. It’s how you manage and build relationships with your lovely clients. A CRM system is simply the tool you use to help you manage this process. Which doesn’t have to mean complicated and expensive software.

Do I need a CRM system?

Let’s start with why you wouldn’t need one.

You might not need a CRM system if:

● You have a small number of regular clients and you don’t want to grow your business

● You’re happy using your inbox or a basic spreadsheet to manage clients

● You remember to follow up on leads, enquiries and previous clients

On the other hand, you might need a CRM system if:

● You talk to lots of people

● You actively want more leads

● You want to grow your business (whatever growth means to you)

● You need to handle an increasing amount of information about clients

Ultimately, if you spend a lot of time thinking about what you need to do next for each client, you end up with less headspace for creative work. CRM systems remove a lot of the thinking and remembering, so you have more capacity to do what you’re great at.

CRM systems are ultimately a tool for alleviating headaches and creating more headspace.

Freelancer Magazine 44

Does this mean I need expensive software?

Having a CRM system doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, lots of people don’t end up using all the bells and whistles they pay for because it gets too complicated. So don’t be tempted to pick a system because someone else is using it or because it comes with lots of features. Instead, start by thinking about what you want to use it for and why you want those things.

Where do I start?

1. Map it out

The first step to choosing a CRM system actually has nothing to do with CRM systems. It’s all about understanding your unique processes so you can work out if you need a system and which system has the features that fit.

It can help to think about your process as three separate journeys. Here’s an example:

Onboarding (from a ‘lead’ to ‘being ready to do the work’)

• Booking calls

• Discovery period/information gathering

• Contracts

• Setting up a client on your systems

• Invoicing

Delivery (from ‘doing the work’ to ‘approval’)

• This stage is completely unique to your service

• It might include amends/revisions

• It might be the number of hours or sessions

Aftercare (everything that happens after you’ve delivered your service)

• Requesting testimonials

• Celebrating your client’s success

• Thanking your client for their business

• Creating case studies

• Getting referrals via an affiliate programme

• Ongoing communications and relationships (being a person to each other!)

CRM systems feel scary because there are so many pieces to the puzzle. Breaking it down into steps makes it manageable.

2. Find features that fit

Work out what technical features you need, think about how you’ll store and share information with clients and what other systems you might need to connect to. Check the pricing and features of a few different systems to see what matches your needs and take advantage of free trials. Most of all, trust your gut about how the system makes you feel.

Essential features to look for:

● Easy customisation

● Visual client pipeline

● Easy to set up and use

● Great customer support

● The ability to store emails

● Simple tasks and reminders


Issue Ten // Summer 2023 45
Trust your gut about how the system makes you feel. If you get a sinking feeling every time you open it, chances are you won’t use it. £

3. Set up a simple pipeline

Follow the system’s own software set-up process to get a feel for how the system works (and make use of the support team to find your way around). Set up a simple pipeline and plug in a few of your contacts at each stage along the pipeline.

• Don’t try to move everyone onto the new system at once

• Test each feature with a couple of contacts

• Move all your data across

4. Activate automations

Some people worry that you lose personalisation with automations. But it’s actually the opposite. Adding automations removes decision fatigue about what you need to do so your client gets a better (and more timely) experience.

Automations to consider:

• Sending a welcome email when someone books a call

• Sending an invoice or questionnaire when a client signs up

• Sending a testimonial request email after working together

• Automatically moving a client along the pipeline when they pay/fill in a form/sign a contract etc.

CRM Checklist

Map out your client process (keep it simple)

Identify your non-negotiable features

Set up a simple pipeline


Whether you use a spreadsheet, a DIY tool like Trello or a fully functional CRM system, being intentional about how you manage clients and carefully considering your processes will result in a better experience for your clients, a more streamlined business and better relationships. Which can only be good for business.

Freelancer Magazine 46
To get the most from your CRM system you have to think about client management as a circular relationship rather than finishing a project and moving on to the next.
Once you’ve made this mental shift, a CRM system can really help you to manage an ongoing relationship so clients don’t drop off a cliff.
It’s called relationship management for a reason: you may be using a system to manage it but it’s about being a person to each other.

The Power of a CRM System

Productivity powerhouses Maribel, Louise and Jo make CRM systems seem less scary…

Maribel Pascual, Tick Business Support

Maribel helps small business owners become more productive with the right systems and automations.

Top tips for getting started?

Get really clear on why you want a CRM system

Grab a big piece of paper or whiteboard and capture your key steps for sales, marketing, customer service

If it feels overwhelming, focus on one key business process (like sales), then add more when you’ve got the hang of it Shop around and make use of free trials

I really don’t like doing things twice (must be my German side), so efficiency is a top priority for me. The thing I love about CRM systems is the automations. Why do it yourself when you can automagic �� it?

Quick-fire questions:

Favourite CRM system? Zoho CRM.

Tips for a DIY or low-tech CRM system?

Zoho Bigin is a great ‘entry’ CRM system for small businesses.

Top CRM life hack? Automate!

What is a CRM system MOST useful for?

Keeping business data and interactions in one place.

Louise Purvis, Big Smiley Face

Louise helps tech-shy solo business owners save time and be more productive.

Top tip for getting started?

Find something that works for YOU! Just because another business owner has recommended something doesn’t mean it will work for your business.

Without a CRM, it’s easy to lose track of leads. People who are interested in buying from you can slip through the net. Having everything in one place saves you masses of time. Who doesn’t want or need that?!

Quick-fire questions:

Favourite CRM system? Crmble

Tips for a DIY or low-tech CRM system? Trello – it’s free. Try adding a paid Power Up like Crmble to make it more robust.

Top CRM life hack? Keep it simple and up-to-date. It won’t work if you don’t open it. ��

What is a CRM system MOST useful for? Keeping track of where someone is in your customer journey. You can see at a glance who is a hot lead and hand-hold them until they are ready to take the leap and invest.

Jo Shock, Streamlines Virtual Support

Jo is a consultant specialising in CRM systems and client management, which in her words is “the backbone of business”.

Quick-fire questions

Favourite CRM system? Off-the-shelf: Capsule or Pipedrive.

Bespoke: Airtable (it’s like spreadsheets on steroids!)

Tips for a DIY or low-tech CRM system? Trello (Create a ‘client pipeline’ board with a list for each of your client stages and a card for each customer. Move the card through the lists as the client moves through your stages.)

Top CRM life hack? Make sure you’re using all available automations.

When you map out your process, make it granular and list everything out. But when you put it into your CRM, keep it simple and strip it back to what you actually need.

For more CRM help (plus a free client management journey checklist) visit or find Jo on LinkedIn at /Jo-Shock

Find Maribel on LinkedIn at /MaribelPascual or visit

Find Louise on LinkedIn at /Louise-Purvis or visit

47 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
Anita Ellis is a copywriter, linguist and cheese enthusiast. /AnitaEllis
▼ ▼ ▼

25 Ways to

Live a Happier Freelance Life

Has the rollercoaster of self-employment left you dangling in mid-air? Hold on tight! We’re shimmying up the rigging with our toolbox of helpful ideas to get you moving again.

1 Aim for persistence over consistency

Build stronger habits by accepting there will be times when you just don’t get it done. We’re encouraged to build habits in our business that repeat over time (X number of posts on LinkedIn per week! X number of blogs!), but we’re humans, not machines. Success comes when you pick up and start again tomorrow.

2 Factor in f**k about time

Project pricing is elusive alchemy. If you’re constantly underquoting and can’t figure out why, try adding a (hidden – unless you’re really daring) faff tax to your final fee. Most projects will have unanticipated to-and-fro that sucks time and brainpower – it needs factoring in.

3 Don’t say sorry, say thank you

Messed up a bit or delivering tricky news over email? Try to avoid over-apologising or overexplaining – you risk shifting your own guilt and anxiety onto the recipient. “Thank you for bearing with me” feels lighter than “sorry for being so unbelievably useless” (the first time, at least…).

48 Freelancer Magazine

4 Plan to invest in your business

Instead of signing up for things on a whim (often because everyone else is doing it), get intentional and ask yourself what areas you actually want to spend on in your business before this year is out. Whether it’s headshots, branding, coaching or a conference somewhere fancy – write a list. Cost it up. Then go find something brilliant.

5 Get creative about where you’re working from

Bored of your usual cowork space options? Think laterally about where you could work remotely for the day – switch it up with museum, gym or bookshop cafe, your favourite pub or the kitchen table of a freelance friend. Fancy coffee and succulents are a bonus – all you really need is a wifi connection and a loo!

7 Pass it on

Getting better at saying no to projects that aren’t a good fit? High five! Turn your fabulous boundaries into good karma – take a moment to put forward freelancers in your network who might be glad of the referral. Excellent vibes all round.

8 Take stock of how far you’ve come

It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison trap when we’re constantly bombarded with other people’s business journeys and successes. Have you made time lately to look at how far you’ve travelled? The things you know! The people you’ve met! The business you’ve built! Past you is proud of you for every last bit of it.

9 Reframe a failure

6 Make time to play

When was the last time you made something for sheer joy rather than for the end result? Whether your play is hobby-based (knitting, D&D, playing the nose flute) or related to your work, you’ll gain loads from messing around just for kicks. Bonus brain-stretching points for not being very proficient at your chosen activity and/or trying something for the first time.

Sometimes projects or working relationships don’t work out, and it can feel truly awful. Once you’ve had a moan to a third party/glass of wine/primal scream, if you’re feeling able to detach yourself a little, try a post-match analysis. Where did it actually go wrong? What did you learn? What will you do differently next time – even if it’s avoiding X type of client like the plague? Facing the sticky bits and using them as fuel will make you stronger (P.S. we still love you, and we think you’re awesome).

49 Issue Ten // Summer 2023

ways to live a happier

10 Start a smile file

Get into the habit of copying/pasting testimonials, good feedback and kind comments/DMs into a dedicated document/Notion/Trello board as soon as you receive them (leave it any longer and you’re likely to forget). Use your “smile file” to give you a boost when you feel wobbly – and gain insights into what your customers and community value you for.

11 Make time to switch

Paddling like crazy but just not getting through your to-do list? If you’re juggling multiple clients in the course of the day, don’t expect to switch from A to B without a little runway time. Try to block similar work together, and factor in time to switch between tasks/ clients. It’s a brain, not a performing monkey (I’m told).

13 Try virtual coworking

Deadlines looming but focus remaining elusive? Working alongside fellow freelancers in a virtual coworking session is a great way to stop getting sidetracked by the laundry/Netflix. There are loads of these about now, but we’d be missing a trick if we didn’t recommend Freelancer Magazine’s free thrice-weekly sessions – combining the power of Pomodoro-style working with low-pressure networking you don’t have to leave the house for.

14 Make the most of your time and freedom

12 Sign up for something new

Working weeks all blurring into one blob of “meh”?

Go hunting for interesting in-person events (typing keywords into Eventbrite is a good start) or sign up for a new course or evening class. Or experiment with an afternoon of doing absolutely nothing – no phones allowed, just pure idleness. Push your brain down the path less trodden! Who knows who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn?

As freelancers we’re free to make up the rules, but a lot of us still stick to conventional working patterns we learned in employed roles or mirror the working habits of our clients. Try mixing it up – experiment with your start and finish time, take a longer lunch break, try a shorter week, notice when and where you enjoy working and lean into it.

Remember: your preferences will change because you’re a human and you change, so it’s worth revisiting this stuff regularly.

50 Freelancer Magazine
freelance life

15 Send the email/make the call

Always dreamed of being on a podcast/setting up your own event/collaborating with your idol? Most big life steps only require one next action to get the ball rolling. Identify what your next action is. Write it in your diary. Then do it.

16 Find people you can be un-shiny with

Social media is a mind-bending vortex of people shouting about their expertise and the amazing things they’re doing. But you can bet your life none of them are smashing it all the time. Get a more realistic view of the world by joining smaller freelance communities where people are more candid about their working lives (there are plenty out there including Leapers, Being Freelance and Doing it for the Kids – or why not set up your own?).

17 Personalise your workspace

Whether you’ve got a glorious garden office or just a tiny space in the corner of your bedroom, it won’t feel like yours until you put your own stamp on it. Got prints? Get around to putting them up! Got a brand palette?

Find stationery in your colours! Just add your perfect playlist and you’ll feel all-powerful and ready to rock your freelance life.

18 Try offering an un-office hour

Want to jazz up your schedule and grow your freelance connections at the same time? Try offering an un-office or virtual cuppa hour to get to know folks in your network. Whether you end up chatting work or nonsense, you’ll forge deeper connections and might just meet your next freelance BFF.

19 Get to know YOUR signs of burnout

Mine are low mood and a lack of focus, maybe yours are irritability and a tendency to pick up every bug going? Notice how your body and mind respond to stress – this is your engine warning light. Pull over to the side of the road whenever it starts flashing.

20 Revisit your business values

When was the last time you sat down and figured out what your business stood for? Set aside 20 minutes and go through a basic brand values exercise to see if anything has changed for you. We like the John Carroll University method, but there are plenty of others –just search online for “brand values exercise”.

51 Issue Ten // Summer 2023

21 Doodle on your day rate

Having trouble saying THE PRICE and feeling comfortable? Draw the number in bubble writing, doodle inside it and colour it in. Then pin it by your desk where you can see it. The figure will lose all power and start tripping off the tongue before you know it.

23 Celebrate your wins

The new thing you tried, the client you won, the project you *finally* got over the line – take a minute out of your day to celebrate it. Whether it’s an early finish, a fancy brew from your local coffee shop or a weekend in Paris –you’ve earned the right to mark the occasion.

24 Separate your work from yourself

Remind yourself of this often, paint it on your office wall, tattoo it underneath your eyelids: your inherent value as a person is immutable. It is not diminished by an unrenewed contract/a disappointing launch/John from the project management team’s second-round amends.

25 Finally… do one thing this week that you couldn’t do as an employee

22 Pay a fellow freelancer a compliment

I don’t know about you, but I go through my days perpetually bowled over by how impressive everyone in my freelance network is. And I sort of assume they know how much I rate them. But of course, they don’t! Drop somebody a message today and let them know how much you love their posts/work/ newsletter/podcast/general air of brilliance. You’ll make their day – and it’ll give you a glow.

Take a spontaneous afternoon off, spend time doing something creative for research purposes, buy yourself a cake to celebrate your business birthday, wear your Carcass t-shirt to work – whatever makes you feel free. Make sure you make time for it this week, and every week thereafter. Go flex those freelance muscles!

52 Freelancer Magazine 25 ways to live a happier freelance life

We bought this full-page ad to advertise our lovely marketing events and webinars.

But now we’ve done that, we’ve decided to give the rest to a freelancer we love, Thomas Pawley...

And then I decided to share the love with another freelancer I believe in, Ellie Garfield...

Good words for good organisations doing good things

Hey! I’m Amy.

I’m a Copywriter and Brand Voice Consultant. And I’m super passionate about helping charities to connect with their supporters through the magic of words.

So if you need support with a charity client, give me a shout.

Sound good? Good. Put the kettle on and let’s have a chat.

So then I decided to pass the love to someone I think deserves it...

What happens when you don’t want to be your own boss anymore?

Stories of leaping from corporate life to freelance freedom are ten a penny, but where are the stories about jumping the other way? Getting a job feels seriously taboo in the freelance community – as if looking in the mirror and saying “PAYE” five times means all our industry credibility gets vaporised.

Freelancer Magazine

In reality, loads of us will drift back and forth between freelance life and formal employment, sometimes multiple times – whether that’s due to market changes, a brilliant opportunity coming up, or the lifestyle just not working for our circumstances anymore. If there’s one thing we’ve learned as freelancers, it’s that all change means growth – and also that nothing is forever.

We spoke to three freelancers who made the switch.

Shivani Shah is a freelance content marketer and editor. She worked as a senior copywriter for tech company Commsor for 18 months. She is based in Mumbai, India.

“Around 2019, things were not going great. I guess I just went into panic mode. It’s the nature of freelancing, right? There’s feast and famine, and you get used to it, but it didn’t stop me from panicking every time. I knew it would pick up, but at the same time I saw a post for a role with (scheduling app) Buffer. And they are so good at what they do. So I applied and got down to the final four. I didn’t get the job, but then I was like, okay, there are so many other remote companies out there, and that was a turning point for me.

“It had to be remote. There are some things about freelancing that I

didn’t want to give up – the freedom and flexibility of not being tied to sitting in an office 9-5 was one. And suddenly that seemed more possible. So I said, let’s just see how it goes. I applied for maybe 12 jobs over 2 and a half years. I didn’t apply for anything and everything, it had to be right.

“There were dips and peaks in that time. In fact, when I got offered this role, I was having my best freelancing year ever. But I was working seven days a week, which is just not sustainable. I was like, you know what, after two and a half years of trying, this amazing role has come off and you’re tired.

“I had mixed emotions at first. There was relief at not having to haggle over

rates or chase people for invoices – all the non-glamorous stuff that goes with freelancing. But at the same time there was a sense that I’d failed as a freelancer. That I couldn’t make it work. Like, why would you want to go and work for someone else if you can be your own boss? Were you just not cut out for it?

“But I think, ultimately, there is no right or wrong. Lives change, circumstances change, it’s what is right for you at that point. And in-house was definitely right for me at that point.

“I loved my time there, because the team was amazing. It was small – about 50 people in total. So if something needed doing, you did it, it was like freelancing in that way. It was a supportive environment,

55 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
“As long as you’re winning at something, it doesn’t matter what it is.”

my manager was great, my teammates were great and I loved the work we were doing. My role was impacted by lay-offs in the company and now I’m freelancing again.

“My advice, if you’re thinking of moving in-house, would be to research the company – speak to somebody on the team, reach out to people on LinkedIn, if you can, have a chat and find out what it’s like. But also know that if this doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean you can’t go back to freelancing at some point. Nothing is forever.

“Will I be doing anything differently this time around? I will definitely try to keep more of a work-life balance than I had last time. Just because you’re running

your own business doesn’t mean you need to work seven days a week. And I’ll make better use of the lean periods to work on marketing or go and network more. Maybe get a secondary source of income or even a side project. It makes sense not to have all your eggs in one basket.

“If freelancing isn’t working for you right now, for whatever reason, don’t feel bad about it. It’s not a failure. The job afforded me more mental and physical energy to take care of my health and spend time with family and friends. As long as you’re winning at something, it doesn’t matter what it is.”

Jill Mackenzie is a self-employed beauty educator and has been running her beauty academy since 2016. Last year she took on a job in a bank to supplement her freelance work. She is based in Fife, Scotland. “People were really encouraging when I told them I was getting a job, but I had a lot of feelings of failure and embarrassment. You don’t want it to look like your business isn’t going anywhere. But I needed a bit more financial stability. In my work, you can have weeks that go really well and then quiet times – like December, when a lot of salons are busy and not thinking about training their staff.

“I went to get a part-time job initially, but this full-time job fell in my lap. It was for a bank, in the fraud department. One of my friends worked there. Although it was full-time, it was shift work, so I thought I could still see clients outside of work and on my weekends off. I knew it would be busy but I’d have regular money and could still keep the business going. I thought it was going to be great.

“Well, it wasn’t great! It wasn’t that I minded having a boss that told me what to do – it was nice having a break from making all the decisions, to be honest. And I enjoyed having a routine and colleagues – in fact we’re all still in touch. None of that made me want to leave. It was the work. It was putting so much effort into something for so little return.

“I thought, oh my god, I’m sitting here

56 Freelancer Magazine
Shivani on LinkedIn /WordsByShivani or
“I realised if I could be disciplined enough to work for eight hours a day on my own business, I’d be a millionaire.”

for 40 hours a week and I could be at home organising courses, doing my social media, having meetings with other like-minded women. I thought, what am I achieving here? I just found it really unfulfilling.

“My son, who’s 14, didn’t cope very well. He wasn’t eating properly even though I was leaving his meals in the fridge for him. And I didn’t see my friends for the three months I worked there. I didn’t see my mum or my dad. The house was filthy. I had no time to exercise. I was exhausted. I did keep up with running my business alongside, but it was nowhere near as much as I wanted to. And the wages weren’t that great, the money didn’t make that much of an impact. We had a good Christmas, but it just wasn’t worth it.

“It made me realise that if I could just be disciplined enough to sit here for eight hours a day and work on my own business, I’d probably be a millionaire. It gave me a right kick up the bum. I’m back working on my business full-time now and I’m more disciplined with my work than I was before. Consistency is key.

“I love my work as a beauty educator. I love teaching and seeing my students’ successes – they’re winning awards, and they’re taking on their own staff. It’s really rewarding. I just need to be a bit more disciplined and spend more time on the

business – get that balance right.

“My advice to anyone thinking of leaving self-employment would be to get a job in your own field where you know you’re going to like the work. But I also think you should give your own business a really big push before you make that decision. Try and commit to x amount of hours a day. Be consistent with your social media. Be a bit more disciplined. My friends would be, “oh, let’s go paddleboarding. Let’s go for coffee. Let’s go for a dog walk.” But that was all I was doing. No wonder my business was suffering. I’ve got a better balance now.”

Tim LeRoy has been freelance in various different guises throughout his working life and has had several spells working in employed roles. He is currently working fulltime teaching Global Branding & Advertising at the University of Southampton and runs his business consultancy alongside. He is based in Southampton, England.

“I’d been freelance for years when I was headhunted for a full-time head of marketing role. It coincided with my son being born, so going back to full-time made sense. Having a salary was a big thing, the idea of safety for you and your family.

“Working in-house I learnt so much

57 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
“At some point all of us feel we need to change the rhythm of what we’re doing.”
LeRoy photo: Sam Ryley @canteencreate

that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. As a freelancer it’s very rare that you have the responsibility of results – you’re not often judged by sales or any proper commercial metric. You don’t get to see the ebbs and flows of the work you’re doing and the effect your marketing is having. I learned a lot that I could then take out afterwards to be a consultant.

“I’d been consulting for some time when I started having conversations with a client of mine – he had a really cool startup that was going great guns. He asked me to come and work for him full-time as a Commercial Director, and I said yes. But the shift from being his counsel and advisor to effectively being an employee, even though I was senior, was really difficult for both of us. It didn’t work out. We parted company relatively amicably at the end of the year. I’m not sure if I would have made a different decision, knowing what I know now, although maybe I would have handled things differently. When you’re freelancing, the appeal of going to work for a client, if they approach you, is strong.

“Going back to freelancing after that was tricky though. You build up so much

through content marketing, being active on social media, attending and speaking at events – all that had dried up and it had a noticeable effect. I always tell my coaching clients – whatever you do in marketing, it’s all about repetition. You need to be at the front of people’s minds, stay in contact so you know where your clients’ workflows are, are they ready for you now? So if you stop all of that, you know, it takes an awfully long time to get going again. You can’t just switch it on.

“I think you have to be very prepared when you go back. I knew that if I rang up enough people to let them know I was available, the odds were that some would say yes, we need you. But you need a bit of front to be able to do that! I would have found that harder when I was younger. And I should acknowledge my privilege here too, being a white, straight, privately educated man.

“Money is always the big thing when you’re freelance. One of the best things I did as a consultant, and it took me a couple of decades to get to this point, was to get people to pay me in advance. Getting regular payment through retainers

was another game changer. It’s not easy to do, but if you can get it, it’s gold. It helps to have a relationship with the client where they trust you, want you, and know your worth.

“At some point all of us feel like we need to change the rhythm of what we’re doing. I would say, if you’re thinking about leaving freelancing, you need to be sure you’re making a proactive decision. If your decision is reactive, you have to be really careful. If someone comes to you with the best job in the world, you’ll be in charge of all the things you’ve ever wanted, we’re going to pay you a shit ton of money. Well, yeah, but at what cost? For me, picking my kids up from school, being able to go to their school plays was a non-negotiable. And working from home, even prepandemic, was always part of what I was going to do – I only wanted to be in the office a couple of days a week max. So I think you need to identify the non-money related stuff, what are you going to miss? And then be really ready for that change.” ●

Find Tim on Twitter at @TimLeRoyIs or visit

58 Freelancer Magazine
“Getting regular payment through retainers was another game changer.”
Penny Brazier is a freelance writer and copy coach based in Leeds.
COPYWRITINGCONFERENCE.COM 20 OCTOBER 2023 A day of inspiration, networking and insights in the heart of London 8 SPEAKERS | 200+ ATTENDEES

Work is a big part of what we do and, in most cases, who we are. But what happens when the lines between our careers and identities become so blurred that it’s hard to separate the two?

How tightly are your identity and career intertwined?

Until recently, I had a clear-cut, ovenready response to the age-old ice breaker question, “So, what do you do?”. Easy, I’m a lawyer. Most people know what that means, perhaps a bit about what it might entail and maybe even have their own tales of dealing with a lawyer in the wild.

But when I gave up my career in law in 2019, I found myself struggling to find an answer and I started to question my selfworth. Who even am I now?

It’s taken me the best part of four years since giving up my career to be able to drop the “former lawyer” line. And even now I occasionally find myself sliding it into conversation given half a chance. I suppose it might be of vague interest to some people that what I originally spent many years studying and training to do is no longer how I earn my living, but if I’m honest, it was the

Image: Tess Viera

label of what I used to do that I’d been clinging on to. That external validation I needed to show that I knew what I was talking about. Along the way, I’d forgotten what else there was to my personality aside from my job title.

Letting go of “my job”

Emma Foley, a mindfulness teacher and writer from South Yorkshire, left her career in the NHS towards the end of 2022. She had worked her way up the managerial ladder to a high position and was deeply proud of her old job title. Despite leaving her career over six months ago, she says she still finds herself calling it “my job”. Coming from a working-class town in the Midlands, I hadn’t grown up with any pressure to “be” anything in particular. This being the late 80s/early 90s, there

had been more of an expectation that I would start a family, which would probably end up being my main occupation, as had been the case for my Mum and both of my Grandmothers. So when I eventually qualified into a profession, this became very much part of who I was. In the end, I’d become more attached to the “lawyer” badge than actually enjoying the work that I was doing. But, dangerously, it was that badge that was providing me with a sense of worth and value.

Emma had a similar experience growing up. She was the first in her family to go to university and had always wanted to follow in her mum’s footsteps of working in the NHS. “It felt like a good, solid job,” she recalls of her career choice. And as she worked her way up the ranks, her job title aligned with her family’s image of her being a high achiever. She felt that people had a lot of respect for what she was doing for work.

Like Emma, I had a sense of pride in being able to call myself a lawyer. Particularly so as all I’d left school with was some pretty average GCSEs and my National Record of Achievement (remember those?!). Careers advice back then left a lot to be desired and one friend even told me I could never follow my dream to become a journalist as I was “too shy”. A harmless, throwaway comment but one that stuck with me at an impressionable age and made me question what I was actually capable of.

Three months into my A levels, I dropped out and took an office junior job at a local law firm to earn some cash while I figured out what I wanted to do. Before I knew it, I was escaping to London with a few years of experience on my CV, a

strong work ethic and David Gray’s White Ladder CD to my name. I quickly found a job as a paralegal in a central London law firm which was paying decent money for a 20-year-old with few qualifications. But I started to feel trapped, realising that going back to formal education and doing the degree I always wanted to do wasn’t going to be a feasible option.

So a few years later I jumped at the chance to study part-time for a degree in property law whilst working my paralegal job. It seemed to be the best of both worlds; I could pay my bills and carry on living in the city I loved, working towards a professional qualification with some solid career prospects. In reality though, I struggled to fit in, in an industry where most of my peers had come armed with a middle-class upbringing and a snazzy degree from a Russell Group university. And this was where my self-worth started to take a nose-dive. The prospect of

“I hadn’t grown up with any pressure to “be” anything in particular.”
- Emma Foley

becoming a lawyer was my ticket into the club, so I clung onto it for dear life. It became sewn into the tapestry of who I was. But as I was losing sight of everything else about myself, that tapestry became less colourful and rich, more bland and monochrome.

Defining ourselves by productivity

Naomi Aidoo is a former teacher turned work-life wellbeing coach. She believes that it’s not always possible to keep our career and personal identities entirely separate. But, she says, it can have a negative impact if we feel defined by our careers. “If we’re continually defining ourselves by our output and productivity,

it can mean that we’re suddenly ‘lost’ because we don’t know who we are anymore,” she says.

When I eventually qualified in 2014, I got a job at a wonderful firm in Mayfair that I still hold very dear to my heart. It was forward-thinking, diverse and boasted a pretty even male/female leadership team as well as a tiny gender pay gap. It was the perfect start to my career as a qualified lawyer and I finally felt like I’d made it. The first thing I would tell people on meeting them was what I did for a living, expecting them to be deeply impressed. It plugged the gap in what I perceived to be a lack in anything remotely interesting about me as an actual person.

Cue a massive identity crisis when I decided to leave my legal career, following a move to a local firm shortly after having my first child, in search of a better work-life balance for me and my family. I suddenly found myself without

a label to hide behind and – it seemed to me – nothing of any value to talk to people about. My new identity was predominantly “mother”, which I was proud of and saw as a huge privilege, but I’d also lost a part of myself that I’d worked hard for. Yes, it had been my choice, but there was an element of shame attached to me admitting defeat and “giving up” my career in favour of prioritising my family.

“It was the most selfish thing I have ever done,” says Emma, who recalls feelings of guilt following her decision to leave her career. Her decision was prompted by a desire to do something more fulfilling rather than a necessity. And it has given her the space she needed to consider who she is as a person, rather than being defined by her high-powered job title. “It has given me the opportunity to reflect on what it is that makes me, me,” she says.

When comparisonitis rears its ugly head

Naomi recommends getting out of the habit of comparing ourselves to others and moving away from the “should be” mindset – the trap of believing we should be doing the same as everyone we see on social media. “Your boundaries are your boundaries for a reason. What someone else is comfortable with boundary-wise doesn’t have to mean the same for you.”

Following my departure, I struggled to reconcile my feminist values with giving up my job and taking on a more domestic role. Could I still call myself a feminist? Was I setting a good example for my daughter, to whom I was fiercely trying to demonstrate gender equality? It didn’t feel like it. I felt like a fraud. Everyone around me was on an upward trajectory

62 Freelancer Magazine
“I was losing sight of everything else about myself.”

career-wise while I was plodding along in my new role as Head of Laundry. This unpaid work is so incredibly valuable – to families, society and the economy – but, sadly, it’s not always viewed this way and can leave those doing it feeling seriously undervalued.

Dealing with the domestic load day-in, day-out is a tough gig. It can become monotonous and soul-destroying when you’re not being challenged intellectually. To begin with, I was retraining as a copywriter in the evenings after my daughter had gone to bed, when I’d finally managed to sweep up all the Cheerios and tidy away the Lego. But being naturally introverted, I found it difficult to tell people about my freelance career hopes and, even when I did, it seemed that people viewed it as a “little thing” I was doing in my spare time, rather than laying the foundations for my future work life.

Naomi had similar feelings when she made her transition from employed teacher to business owner. “I felt awkward and embarrassed to talk about it at first,” she recalls of her journey into freelance life. “It got me thinking about the fact that a lot of our thoughts around transitions can actually be about how things look to those on the outside, as opposed to what we want and feel good about.”

Valuing who we are, not what we do

“I found it harder to justify the time spent writing something creative,” says Emma, who also found it difficult to explain to her

friends from more corporate or traditional employed roles what she was now doing for work. But having studied English Language and Linguistics at university, writing was always something Emma enjoyed doing, so a transition into making this part of her work became a natural next step, alongside her mindfulness teaching. After a bout of therapy, another baby break and throwing myself into my new career as a writer, I’m finally in a place

where I feel happy about who I am and what I do. But the crucial element is that what I do no longer equals who I am. I’m confident in telling people about my work, my family responsibilities and my personal creative endeavours. These, plus other pastimes and values, represent me as a whole person, rather than being defined by my job title. I recognise that this journey of self-discovery is largely thanks to the privilege of being able to give up what turned out to be the wrong career for me in the first place, without which I’d probably still be trapped in a job I’d fallen out of love with and spiralling mental health.

Naomi believes that, no matter how much we might love our work, it’s damaging for us to keep plugging away at the cost of everything else. “I’ve come to learn in my journey that it’s great to feel positive about the work we’re doing, and sometimes we might even be okay with it feeling all-consuming. However, I’ve also learned that I’m not a robot and it’s important to realise who we are without work, too.”

I’ve taken the long road, but realising that there’s more to us as humans than what pays the bills was the epiphany I needed to get back my self-worth. And when we find love in what we do for work too, we hit the jackpot. ●

Emma Foley can be found on Instagram @emma_foley_writer and

Naomi Aidoo can be found on Instagram @OfficialTimeAndPace and

Issue Ten // Summer 2023 63
“It’s important to realise who we are without work, too.”
- Naomi Aidoo


What’s it all for? Peter Komolafe

Our Money Expert Peter Komolafe encourages us to think about what we’re doing it all for, challenges us to set financial goals, and shares a budgeting trick that might just change your life.

In my last article, I challenged you to set big, hairy, audacious goals. In this article I’m going to show you how specific financial goals and intentional budgeting can help you achieve those BHAGs.

Why are you here? Why do you work? What do you want from life? It always strikes me that many of us have goals for everything except our finances. If you’re into fitness, you probably have a fitness goal. And as a freelancer, you’ve probably got business goals. But so few of us set financial goals.

The power of a financial goal

Financial goals are the targets you set to achieve financial milestones or plans – the personal, big-picture objectives that influence how you’ll save and spend money. Setting a financial goal is a more focused way of approaching a life goal (because let’s face it, most things you want to do have a monetary requirement).

10-minute goal-setting exercise

Try this exercise to help you visualise your future goals, aspirations and priorities.

✓ Ask yourself where you’d see yourself if you could jump into a DeLorean and

travel 20/30 years into the future?

• Where would you be?

• What kind of life are you living?

• Are you happy?

✓ Pick four areas of your life that are most important to you. Choose from:

• Business

• Finances

• Health

• Family and friends

• Romance

• Personal growth

• Fun

• Physical environment

✓ For each, write a financial goal you want to work towards (this could be home ownership, clearing debt, saving for a holiday or early retirement).

Tips for setting financial goals

1. Be specific and establish all the small steps to your goal. E.g. if your goal is to buy a property, how much deposit do you need? How much can you save towards this deposit and how long will you have to save for it?

2. Remember, an unrealistic goal is just a dream. So your target must be rooted in the real world.

64 Freelancer Magazine
“If you’re willing to challenge yourself, your budget can transform your life, as it did mine.”

3. Be committed and hold yourself accountable. Better yet, find an accountability buddy (I’ve had one for years and it really keeps me motivated) or track and document your progress.

Budget with purpose and achieve your financial goals

Budgeting is the foundation of everything and you can’t create financial security without a solid foundation. But it doesn’t have to be complicated.

You can use your budget to help you achieve your financial goals – you just need to think about it a little differently. You see, most people only consider essentials and non-essentials when they budget. But one further step will ensure you are budgeting with purpose.

3 components of an intentional budget

Essentials | AKA the things you have to pay for.

Essential costs are things like rent, mortgage, food, bills, debt repayments, insurance, transport costs, phone and broadband. It’s important to get clear on these first for your overall wellbeing.

TOP TIP! Don’t fall prey to lifestyle creep.

Non-essentials | AKA the nice-tohaves.

The biggest challenge you might face is deciding how much you’re happy spending on your ‘wants’ and how much of this part of your budget you could sacrifice for your bigger financial goals.

I used to spend a lot of money on things I didn’t need so people would perceive me in a certain way. I fell victim to consumerism, lining the pockets of millionaires and billionaires in exchange for a fleeting moment of self-gratification. If there is wastage in your budget, I guarantee you’ll find it in your non-essentials.

TOP TIP! Identify the nonessentials that are non-negotiable for you.

Other | AKA the pot where you make your dreams a reality. This is where you allocate some of your monthly income to your financial goals. N.B. In order for this to work, you must be in a position where you have some disposable income.

TOP TIP! This is the gamechanger. Work out what percentage of your income you

can allocate to this pot to move you towards your financial goal. Only allocate what you can afford.

Making the ‘other’ pot work

1. Define your life goals and what your utopia looks like.

2. Write down the financial cost of your goal. Make a concerted effort to assign some disposable income to this goal.

3. If you don’t have any disposable income, that’s okay – now you know you need some. Review your non-essential spending to see what you can cut back on. ●

Find Peter’s anti-BS approach to all things money on YouTube /ConversationOfMoney and on Instagram @ConversationOfMoney.

His book The Money Basics – How To Become Your Own Financial Hero is out now.

65 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
“Very few things in our lives are not connected to money and our ability to deploy it effectively.”

Newsletter Love

Snooping behind the scenes on four of our favourite freelance newsletters.

Newsletter owner/ author

I am a… Copywriter and storyteller

I am based in... Somerset

Name of newsletter Sunday Brunch

What’s it about?

Interesting things about communication, humans and quirky little facts I find interesting.

What was the subject line of the last one you sent out?

Humans will be humans

What day is it sent on?


How frequently?

Weekly – although I send other emails

How long has it been going?

Three years

Number of subscribers


Email service provider used ConvertKit

How far in advance do you write your newsletter? A couple of days because I want to keep it contemporary but I have a little bank of ideas just in case.

How do we subscribe?

Where can we find you on social? LinkedIn: /MikeGarnerCopywriter

66 Freelancer Magazine
Available Vector File AI EPS SVG PNG JPG

I am a… Freelance content marketer for

Name of newsletter The Content Workshop

What’s it about?

Uncovering the people, processes, and tactics behind creating and distributing ridiculously good content.

What was the subject line of the last one you sent out?

Try this exercise to improve your content and documentation quality

What day is it sent on? Tuesday

How frequently? Every week

How long has it been going? About two years now

Number of subscribers


Email service provider used Substack

How far in advance do you write your newsletter? A day (lately)

How do we subscribe?

Where can we find you on social? LinkedIn: /Masooma-Memon

Issue Ten // Summer 2023 JPG

Newsletter owner/author

I am a… Freelance website copywriter and SEO content consultant

I am based in... Cheltenham, UK

Name of newsletter

Thus far, untitled

What’s it about?

Copywriting, SEO and small business marketing

What was the subject line of the last one you sent out?

What you want to say isn’t what they want to hear

What day is it sent on?

Thursday at 2pm

How frequently?

Every two weeks

How long has it been going?

Since April 2022

Number of subscribers 354

Email service provider used Campaign Monitor (looking to change this)

How far in advance do you write your newsletter?

3-4 days

How do we subscribe?

Where can we find you on social?

LinkedIn: /Alice-Rowan

Newsletter owner/author

I am a… Sustainable web designer I am based in... South East London

Name of newsletter

The Small Newsletter for Small Businesses

What’s it about?

Tips to make your website and business more sustainable and more brilliant. Plus trivia and jokes. The best part? It’s very short!

What was the subject line of the last one you sent out? Reduce your footprint, increase your friends

What day is it sent on? Thursday

How frequently? Every week

How long has it been going?

Since the beginning of March 2023

Number of subscribers


Email service provider used Email Octopus

How far in advance do you write your newsletter? A day or two

How do we subscribe? signup

Where can we find you on social?

LinkedIn: /ScanlanMolly

68 Freelancer Magazine
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The Shetland Chef

Hey Akshay – tell us about yourself…

I’m a trained chef who has lived in Shetland for 15 years. I host pop-up food events in local spaces and take bookings for private chef experiences at events and in people’s homes.

I grew up in Mumbai and Goa, and during the lockdown, I started making YouTube videos to share recipes and ideas to inspire people to cook with local produce in new ways. It was my way of connecting to the memories and dishes from home and staying grounded during those times.

What’s your experience of making significant changes? Change has always been part of my life. My grandad moved 680km from Goa to Mumbai in the 50s, so it’s in my blood!

When I got to Edinburgh, I worked in small cafes and loved the chaos of the kitchen. After graduation, I could work in Shetland or the south of England. One coin toss later, and here I am on the UK’s most northerly island!

What’s the biggest challenge for you now you’ve made the switch?

Moving to Shetland by myself was daunting. I sometimes felt isolated and alone, but I was determined to make this beautiful place my home. There were other challenges, too – the shorter growing season meant that the local produce

Freelancer Magazine
Introducing Akshay Borgess, AKA The Shetland Chef. Shetland Mussels In South Indian Tomato Rasam

was limited, and I had to think creatively to write menus showcasing the ingredients. The challenge of working with what’s available has pushed me to challenge myself in the kitchen.

And you know what? It’s all been worth it. Shetland is my home. The people here are my family. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

What’s next for you, Akshay?

I’m opening Shetland Chef’s Table this year, so I can cook live in front of guests and share my passion for India and Shetland. I want to reflect my heritage while using the incredible local produce, so live cooking means I can share stories about India, as well as the local ingredients and landscape. It will be an excellent experience for my guests –and for me.

I’ll also focus more on sharing my everyday life in Shetland on my YouTube channel and Instagram so that everyone can see how special this place truly is. That way, I’ll encourage them to visit and dine with me at my Chef’s Table.

How would you describe your signature style?

I’m deeply connected to my Indian roots and totally at home here in Shetland. I bring the two together. I love to surprise people with flavours and ingredients. I make pickles, dehydrate vegetables, pick edible flowers and forage for seaweed. I like to avoid waste, so I use the bones and less commonly used parts of fish, veg and meat to pull out as much flavour as I can.

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m passionate about local produce and we’re spoiled here in Shetland. I create spice blends that are influenced by the Indian spices and recipes I grew up with, bringing a unique and tasty twist to my dishes.

Where can we get our hands on your cooking?

Come to Shetland! You won’t regret it. I’ve nearly finished the refurb in my kitchen so I can invite guests to my Chef’s Table – I’ll save a space for you!

Until then, I share recipes and tips on social media. My YouTube channel is packed with delicious inspiration. It’s the next best thing to being at my table while I cook for you.

Shetland Mussels In South Indian Tomato Rasam

One of my favourite mussel dishes that givse a south Indian flavour to fresh Shetland mussels. The sauce can be made in advance, and mussels cooked to order to save time. Best enjoyed with sourdough bread.



• 1 tbsp vegetable oil

• 1 ½ tsp mustard seeds

• ½ tsp cumin seeds

• 1 thumb ginger (finely chopped)

• 1 bulb garlic (finely chopped)

• 80g onion (medium diced)

• ½ tsp garam masala

• ½ tsp coriander powder

• ¼ tsp turmeric powder

• 1 medium spiced chilli (sliced)

• 20 curry leaves

• 600g tomatoes (chopped) (you can use good quality tinned tomatoes if needed)

• 1 tsp salt

• 20g red lentils

• 200ml water

• 3/4 tsp sugar

• 1kg mussels (rinsed and debearded)

• 20 coriander sprigs (finely chopped)


1. Add the vegetable oil, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds in a pot on medium-high heat, and cook for a few minutes, mixing occasionally until mustard seeds start spluttering.

2. Add the ginger, garlic and onion, and keep mixing and cooking until the onions turn translucent. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add the garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric, chilli, and the curry leaves. Cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Add the tomato, salt, red lentils, water, and sugar. Turn the heat to medium and let it come to a simmer. Put a lid on and cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked.

5. Add the mussels and cook for another 5 minutes or until the mussels open up. Mix it a few times to cover all the mussels in the sauce.

6. Finally, add the coriander and serve.

71 Issue Ten // Summer 2023 FOOD
OK, I’m hungry now – what are you serving up today?


1. Add the mayonnaise, pink peppercorn, chilli flakes, cumin powder and lime in a bowl. Mix to combine all ingredients evenly.

2. Add the sweetcorn, spring onion, and squeeze the juice of half a lime into the same bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine everything. Portion this into three serving dishes for the scallops.

3. Pat the scallops with a kitchen roll to remove the excess surface moisture. Keeping them dry will also help it get a nice crispy golden outer layer. Sprinkle them with a layer of sea salt, then set aside.

4. In a frying pan on high heat, add the oil. Once it starts smoking, add the scallops ‘flat side’ down using tongs. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes until they turn golden brown. Make sure not to move the scallops about to ensure even cooking.

5. Once they are golden brown on one side, turn them over. Let them cook for around 30 more seconds, then add the garlic, butter and Madras curry powder to baste the scallops. Squeeze the remaining lime juice on the scallops.

6. Keep basting for another 1-2 minutes, depending on the size of the scallops, then take off the heat and serve on top of the sweetcorn.

Madras Spiced Scallops With Pink Peppercorn, Chilli & Lime Sweetcorn

This recipe is ready quickly and is always a hit with guests.



• 285g sweetcorn (tinned)

• 2 spring onions (sliced thinly)

• 3 tbsp mayonnaise

• 1/4 tsp pink peppercorn (crushed)

• 1/8 tsp chilli flakes

• 1/2 tsp sea salt

• 1/4 tsp cumin powder

• 1 lime (cut in half)

• 1 tsp vegetable oil

• 6 scallops

• pinch of sea salt

• 1 clove garlic (crushed)

• 1 tbsp butter

• pinch Madras curry powder

Freelancer Magazine 72 FOOD

Goan Egg Curry

This one-pot egg curry is a family favourite cooked every few weeks. It’s easy to cook, and most ingredients are stored in the pantry for a quick meal. Best enjoyed with chapatis.



• 6 eggs (hard-boiled, peeled and cut in half)

• 1 1/2 tbsp oil

• 200g onion (finely diced)

• 35g garlic or 1 big bulb (finely chopped)

• 1 tsp cumin seeds

• 1 thumb ginger (finely chopped)

• 180g chopped tinned tomatoes

• 1tbsp tomato puree

• 150ml water

• 1 tsp coriander powder

• ½ tsp turmeric powder

• ½ tsp mild red chilli powder (if using spicy chilli powder, use ¼ tsp)

• 3/4 tsp garam masala

• 2 bay leaves

• 150g yoghurt

• 1 tbsp kasturi methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

• 10 sprigs coriander (chopped)


1. Add oil, onion, cumin seeds, ginger and garlic to a pan on a medium-high heat. Mix and fry for 2-3 minutes until the onion turns translucent.

2. Turn the heat to medium and add tomato puree and tomatoes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the coriander, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, bay leaves, and salt. Cook for 3 minutes.

4. Turn the heat to low and add yoghurt. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

5. Add water, kasturi methi and eggs. Put a lid on and cook for another 10 minutes then it’s ready to serve.

For a bonus recipe, Crispy Rava Hake Fish Fry visit The Movement ��

73 Issue Ten // Summer 2023 FOOD


Thank you for sending in your pet pictures and stories.

Our very own Abi Sea’s cat Iggy...

As coworkers go, Iggy takes the piss. He looks cute, but he’s a total lush. He parties all night, sleeps most of the day. Sometimes comes for a keyboard cuddle. He’s best avoided over lunch where his penchant for whole mouse ceviche will definitely put you off your bagel.


Harry is a terrier (of sorts), my coworker, my friend and often inspires my writing.

Harry came to live with us in 2018 when he was approximately 7 months old and settled straight in. He’s not a ‘morning’ type of dog and can either be found asleep on my bed or in his chair in my office. Around midday, he appears at my desk with a cocked head and an intense look on his face. This means, “I would like to go out for a walk now, and do not forget my ball!”

Harry is very much in favour of me working from home and has taken on the role of wellbeing officer. He is great at making me stand up and move about and we can often be found playing catch – him at the top of the stairs and me sat on the bottom step. He “throws” the ball down and I throw it back up – great thinking time!

Road trips are one of Harry’s favourite things and he gets really excited when we head out to meet new and existing clients at dogfriendly coffee shops, pubs or for walks.

Freelancer Magazine

Kiara is the leader of the team. No decisions can be made without her approval. For instance, last week, I submitted my leave application, and it was rejected. She told me to keep on working and make more money so that I can buy more Whiskas for her! Prince is our adorable happiness officer who always reminds us that there is no specific time to play. He is the one who makes sure that we are all having a worklife balance.


Keep ‘em coming to and we’ll keep featuring them. SENDUSYOUR

Freelancing and Self-Employment


30% of UK adults are considering a side hustle or 2nd business to cope with rising costs.*

90 new businesses/side hustles set up every hour in 2022 in the UK.*

43% of freelancers cite wanting to improve their mental health as motivation to make the switch.**

Prediction: More than 50% of the US workforce will be freelancers by 2027.***

59% of nonfreelancers expect to freelance full or part-time in the future.***

49% of companies hiring freelancers do so to access skills not available in the traditional workforce.****

Sources: *Enterprise Nation, **, ***Gitnux, ****Finances Online

91% of freelancers feel positive about their future.***

Freelancer Magazine 76

1. Good start for your bank account and your project (7)

2. Moment of inspiration (5, 4)

3. Cup of tea turns me on (6)

4. Nothing like free agent (4)

5. You’re the boss (4, 8)

6. Written survival skills, on edge of the suburbs (5, 8)

7. Warning sign (3, 4)

8. Word of mouth (8)

9. Monkeying around with e-newsletters (4, 5)

10. Make sound demand to be paid (7)

11. Pleasant French place for a biscuit (4)

Solve the clues to spell out the 3 word statement in the pink column. The numbers in the boxes are shared letters to help you out.

Answers at

12 12 15 14 13 13 15 12 15 15 14 12 12
11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1

Mella Cold Water Salve

Creates a barrier to protect the skin while cold water swimming. Palm-oil free. Gentle on the skin, Neoprene and made in Shetland.


Cover Version Limited Edition

Art Prints

A glorious tribute to the world’s best music by Ben the Illustrator. Is your favourite here? 12x12” prints, individually signed.


W’Zis Dog Treats

Pocket-friendly doggy treats that won’t make you retch. Funky tins, plant-based ingredients and epic flavours like Postman and Roast. Woof!

From £6.95

Everpress T-Shirts & Accessories

Exciting tees in limited numbers, designed by independent creatives. You won’t find a better, more ethical t-shirt marketplace out there.

From £22

Little Foodies Club

Monthly boxes of seasonal veg, packed with activities to help little ones learn more about food, cooking and nature.

From £13.99 p/month

Happy Stride Running Gear

Award-winning, funky running shorts and leggings. Colourful, exciting prints to get you over the finish line in style.

From £36.99

BAM Bamboo Socks & Clothing

Soft, sustainable, ethical and hardwearing socks for your hard-working feet. Perfect for walking, running or generally living your best life.

From £18

Dishoom Breakfast Naan Kits

Sausage or bacon naan meals for two to start the day off right. Dishoom donates meals from every kit purchased.

From £20

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The Summer Edition by Abi Sea

Lego Botanicals

Beautiful brick bouquets for grown-up Lego lovers. Includes orchids, wildflowers, sunflowers and bonsai. All that’s missing is the scent.

From £8.99

Formy Independent Books

A wonderful, independent children’s book publisher that showcases Black creative talent. Diverse stories and a platform for marginalised creatives.

From £9.99

If you’d like to suggest a product to feature in our next issue (the Autumn Collection) then please email

Summer’s here, and the livin’ is… still utterly bonkers, but we’re going to keep going, aren’t we? …easy. And you know what makes things infinitely easier?

Vitamin D and daylight. And finally, we have those. Not always at the same time, mind you, but it’s the best we’ve got.

This time of year unites all of the best things in life: lovely food, great music, reading a good book in the park while the breeze mucks about with the pages, and moving our bodies in ways that make us happy.

In this issue’s Top of the Shops, I’ve chosen a selection of products to help you make the most out of all of those things.

Whether you’re an outdoor type or an indoor delight, there’s something here to make you happy. Enjoy!

Brownlow Brown Designs

Bold, colourful prints with fun typography to brighten up your walls. Loads of snazzy designs and colour combos for every room.

From £10

79 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
Find Abi on LinkedIn /AbiSeaTheLaunchLifeline
Abi x

What We’re Listening To…

Stacked Podcast

Meet Amanda and Ziporah, two friends who clearly love each others’ company as much as the topics they delve into each week. Stacked is like being part of a brilliant book group (one where you want to actually read the books) and as with all intelligent conversation, the topics meander from the books and storylines to the wider context of politics, pop culture, relationships and everything in between. Apologies in advance for the massive pile of books you’re sure to accumulate.

The No Bullsh*t Guide to a Happier Life Podcast

Life can be hard work so we’re all looking for quick wins. In The No Bullsh*t Guide to a Happier Life, business coach Helen Calvert shares her tips on getting as much enjoyment as humanly possible from your business and your life. Each episode is packed with honesty and insight to help you bash through the mindset blocks that are holding you back. You still have to do the work, but it’s so worth it.

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What are YOU listening to?

If you have a podcast that you absolutely love – and think other freelancers will enjoy it, too –send details over to , and we’ll take it for a spin.

Square Hole Podcast

Square Hole is branded as a celebration of neurodiversity and creativity in the workplace, but it’s so much more than that. Hosts Lorna and Jhinuk, two incredibly talented multi-hyphen creatives with neurodiversity, bring a muchmisunderstood and much-needed discussion around the barriers faced by people with neurodiversity in the workplace into the light.

Alongside the warm and friendly narrator Sazzie, they talk to a diverse mix of creative guests about neurodiversity, creativity and careers. The conversation is always easygoing and includes topics around diagnosis, team building, selfcare and loads more.

Unf*ck Your Biz With Braden Podcast

Braden Drake is a financial and legal expert who helps small businesses get to grips with the many ways you can screw up the day-to-day. There’s a strong slant on USA compliance and law – for obvious reasons – but the podcasts themselves are always valuable. The Profit Report episodes - where he digs into the reality of the numbers in his and his clients’ businesses – are incredibly refreshing and won’t always make you feel like you should give up the day job. You can’t listen to an episode without learning at least one new thing to help you in your business, and it’s that kind of knowledge that really gives you power.

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What We’re Reading...

On Connection

On Connection by Kae Tempest is a book-length essay reminding us of the value of creativity and the enriching power of human connection. Tempest notes the importance of knowing themselves outside of what they produce, shaking off the “systemic imprint” that if we don’t make a monetary profit from what we do, it can’t be valuable. And when we pay more attention to the finer details of our day-to-day lives, we can find a deeper connection with the relationships we have with our creativity and the people in our lives.

Creative Superpowers

Published in 2018, there’s a sense this book was compiled on the teetering edge between this very day and BC (before ChatGPT). Co-authored by four creative industry heroes, the book tackles creativity in a way that’s needed now more than ever. Using the key concepts of hacking, making, teaching and thieving, we’re given tools and ideas to help solve some of the biggest challenges we face as freelancers.

Now that we’re very much in the throes of AI and its hacking of our creativity, the lessons and ideas in Creative Superpowers feel more like a work-survival guide than perhaps ever intended.

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What We’re Watching...

Marketing for Hippies

All round good egg Tad Hargrave has been helping bighearted business owners (and self-identifying hippies) market themselves for decades. He is incredibly generous with his knowledge and content and offers plenty of low or no-cost ways to work with him or learn from him. His YouTube channel ‘Ethical Marketing for Uncertain Times’ has a strong and loyal following with over 6.59k people all tuning in to hear his calming, no BS, common sense approach to marketing.

With titles like ‘Top 10 Paradigm Shifts to Make Marketing Feel Good & Work Better’ and ‘If My Client is Just Like Me, What Can I Contribute to My Niche That They Don’t Already Have?’ you could be forgiven for thinking he’s in your head, listening to your deepest, darkest marketing concerns. The truth is, he’s just very, very good at what he does.

The D O Lectures

We’re big fans of all things DO here at Freelancer Magazine. Straight-talking advice, heart-warming stories and practical tips rooted in the real world to help you hone your skills and feel good about it. The team at DO are all about making real change possible, big change and small change, in life and in business. They’ve gathered some of their favourite talks in one place for anybody to watch free of charge. Some are guest speakers from previous events, some are David Hieatt (co-founder of DO) sharing his wisdom. All will spark an idea that could change your world. How exciting is that?

83 Issue Ten // Summer 2023 Send your recommendations to
84 Freelancer Magazine Following the social butterflies and lifelong learners of freelancing to find out where you’ve been, who you’ve met and what you’ve learnt. UK (May - June) Join us in Edinburgh for a Freelancer Magazine Roadshow Fringe special on Monday 7th August. The Freelancer Magazine Cowork/Nowork Roadshow Freelance Meet Ups
Bradford Bristol Exeter Cambridge


Doing it for the Kids

London (April)

Over 100 self-employed parents travelled from all over the UK – and even France! – for hugs, tea and that unbeatable feeling of walking into a room where everybody GETS IT.

With children and babies in tow, designers, accountants, copywriters, videographers, and all types of freelancers attended… all parents who are living the highs and lows of running a small business around small people. Surely the largest child-friendly business meet-up in the UK? More meet ups are planned later in the year.

85 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
DIFK credit: Kassia Karr: Liverpool London

London (April)

With 1200 delegates and big-name speakers like Marcus Sheridan, Steven Bartlett, Lord Seb Coe, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Mary Portas tackling topics from marketing to mindset, and resilience to philanthropy, it proved a hotbed for inspiration and networking. Next year’s event will be in Liverpool.

The Marketing Meetup

Edinburgh (April & June)

Edinburgh is one of many locations to host IRL events for TMM. New to host are Barcelona and Tokyo. Check their website for a place near you.

‘An Ethical Business – the Choice is Yours’ and ‘Why You Shouldn’t Run an Agency’ were the two topics covered in The Marketing Meetups in Edinburgh. Kirsty Waite joined us in March to show us how you can ensure you are ethical within your business and teach us the YMCA. Then, in June, our host and managing partner of Primate, Gordon McLachlan, shared his story in the most honest, witty and heartfelt way. Building a business is not for the faint-hearted, but ultimately, through the highs and lows, it is worth it. The next TMM Edinburgh will take place on 9th September. If you are in the Edinburgh area, come along for a beer, a slice of pizza, chats and some marketing know-how.

86 Freelancer Magazine
BizX 2023 Photo creds: Julie Diver Photo creds: Julie Diver


Newcastle-upon-Tyne (June)

This year was an absolute blast, and I’ve got it on good authority from Andrew and Pete (the organisers) that next year is shaping up to be bigger and better. We’ll have another Freelancer Magazine community pre-party and also a post-event relaxation day.

See the inside front pages of this magazine to get your tickets for 2024.


DigiMarCon Europe

14th-15th September, Amsterdam

Brighton SEO

14th-15th September, Brighton

Marketing Week’s Festival of Marketing

5th October, London

UK Black Business Show

7th October, London


24th October, London

The BIG Freelancer Magazine Christmas Party

24th November, London

We’d love to hear about your freelancer event, help promote it or provide a little prize for it. Email


Book Club: How to Make Work Not Suck

Carina Maggar, author of How to Make Work Not Suck, has worked as a TV presenter, copywriter, creative director, TV producer, journalist, and more. She’s currently freelancing. Mel Barfield found out whether writing a book is all it’s cracked up to be and what’s next for Carina.

lancerMagazine BookClub

Carina, you’ve achieved so much that I don’t even know where to start. I feel good for you. And a little bad for me. But mostly good for you. You can add psychotherapist into the mix, too. That was the peak of me not knowing what I was doing with my life. I thought psychotherapy to help sort out other people’s lives.

I love the irony. I ended up as a careers advisor for about seven years, not knowing what I wanted to do myself. We’ll come back to psychotherapy in a bit, but for now, when and why did you decide to write a book?

I did creative advertising at uni and did a dozen creative internships at different ad agencies. People talked the same talk, wore the same clothes, quoted the same stuff, and watched the same things. Very boring to me as a 20-yearold. I jotted down one-liners in my notepad, observations of an intern in the creative industry.

I made them into a book and got it printed professionally for my final project. I called it The Art of Creative Bullshit and took it to Penguin. They loved it but didn’t like swearwords in book

titles, apparently, and said I was too young to write a career book.

[I rolled my eyes so hard I saw my brain]

That was in 2012, then life got in the way. In 2019, I was clearing out a hard drive and found the PDF. I thought maybe people would publish it now I’m 30-something and have actually had a career. I used to say “I really want to write a book” and I hated that I wasn’t doing it. It became my mission to make it happen and learn why everyone says it’s so hard to get a

publishing deal. Turns out, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I was going to ask if you had any advice for wannabe authors but it sounds like a rough ride…how did it all go down?

I rewrote the book, made sample pages, sorted the art direction, and came up with the whole brand of the book. Then I approached my old boss, Sam Conniff, who wrote a book a few years ago called Be More Pirate

That’s a great title.

It’s about how, back in the day, pirates had a great hierarchy and how you can apply that to your office today. Sam put me in touch with his editor, she was interested but was about to leave her publishing house. Because I’d shown it to her, I had to wait six months before following her to her new house. Frustrating, but I used the six months to make the book as good as it could be. You can’t accept a publishing deal unless you get a publishing agent first because the contracts are so complicated. My first agent had been in the industry for 40 years with an amazing reputation, but I was given their intern to work

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ehT F r e e
“It consumed my life.”

with. They didn’t have passion for my idea. My current agent is in her 20s, new to the industry, and she’s absolutely smashed it. That whole palaver was about four months of stress because the first agent could’ve claimed they played a part in the success of the book. A complicated situation. Then I sent something like 400 emails to publishing houses, all personalised. No copy and paste. It took me ages but I was on a mission. I Erin Brockoviched it. From 400 emails, I’ve only had about 8 replies to this day. The worst rejection email was, “You write well, and you made us laugh, but it’s not for us.”

EUGH. If you made them laugh, you’re going to make other people laugh – where’s the logic? One publishing house liked it but asked if I’d consider changing the name to How to Enjoy Your Career: top tips to loving what you do. Dull.

The first thing people say about your book is “great title” because it’s different. If you overthink it, I’m not really telling you how to make work not suck. So don’t dwell on it for too long.

It’s catchy, that’s all that matters. So I finally got my book deal sorted with Laurence King Publishing. But the book was very text heavy, about triple the word count. They said “we want pithy”. I’d never heard the expression “kill your darlings” before. It hurt but I had to trust them. Thank God I didn’t put up more of a fight. Because they were right about everything.

So I started writing the book in 2012, really took it seriously in 2019, got a publishing deal in 2020-2021, it came out in 2022 and my first royalty check was 2023.

It sounds like a difficult journey, what would your advice be to wannabe authors? You have to love your idea. I loved my idea, it’s my proudest achievement. But there’s a big difference between people that say “I want to write a book” and the people that NEED to write a book. If you aren’t convinced by your own idea, you’ll fall at every hurdle. And there are about two million hurdles that’ll come your way. It’s easier to get a novel published, though. Illustrated books are notoriously way more difficult. There’s the ink, the colour choices, the thickness of the paper, the typeface, and you need an illustrator and an art director.

[In peak professionalism, I compliment Carina on her “nice flaps”, referring to the book’s cover which folds out to show a work scene]

Speaking of your lovely design, how did you get paired with your illustrator, Simon Landrein? Simon’s from Paris, he does a lot of French comics and political cartoons and stuff. The publishers had worked with him a few times and paired us based on my vision for the book. Bold, silly, a bit nonsensical, it had to be fun.

The flaps

And how was the process of him illustrating? How much collaboration was there between the two of you?

I never actually spoke to him. He got sent the manuscript, and under every bit of copy I’d made design notes. On the public speaking page, I put “Please can we have a naked audience? People should have different skin tones. Can we have blue hair and pink hair and green hair, lots of different haircuts, please?” I gave as much detail as possible, wouldn’t hear anything for a few months, get the first draft, then make more notes. I had a big say in the design because I had such a clear vision. I was very specific, “On this page can we have a ham sandwich, but it needs to be a baguette cut in half, please”.

A long time coming. You made the most of lockdown, then?

Yes, it consumed my life.

Funny you should say that. One of my questions is, what do you mean when you say don’t be a stale ham sandwich?

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It’s my way of saying don’t choose the safe option just to blend in. Of all the sandwiches you could choose to be – a stale ham sandwich? Not even a bit of mayonnaise? Why would you choose that? You can always choose to invite excitement and spontaneity and imagination into your life. Or life gets very boring very quickly.

That’s lovely. It’s making me all emotional. Anyway, you also say to have a “fuck it” attitude. How has that helped you in your career? It definitely helped when I was presenting. I’d be shoved into situations where I’d be really nervous. Over time, I learned if you pretend you know what you’re doing, you’ll convince yourself and others that you do know what you’re doing. It’s believing whatever scenario you find yourself in, you’re going to smash it. Because literally – Dr Pepper – what’s the worst that can happen?

[Fangirl interlude as I show Carina my framed “what’s the worst that can happen?” card Mr Bingo kindly wrote me. We go off on a brief Bingo tangent, discussing what a thoroughly nice (and often naked) person he is. Carina’s friends with Bingo, which totally tracks because they’re both cool, arty, certified Genuinely Decent Humans.]

…so anyway, Bonnie Harrington and I almost died in Bingo’s lift but back to the interview, you were saying “fuck it”? I’ve turned down opportunities in the past because of fear of fucking up. And now I live with the regret of what could have been, like big opportunities to host things like the Brit Awards backstage red carpet. I said no to that. God knows where I’d be if I’d just had the chutzpah to do it that night after a few shots of sambuca. Your life can go down a completely different path in a split second. You don’t want to miss the opportunity. So fuck it, what’s the worst that can happen?

If you’d done the Brits red carpet, would you have written the book? No.

Darlings – you’ve got to kill some of them. And one of the darlings you killed was the dream of presenting on the Brit Awards. It’s the lead-up to those things. I don’t sleep the night before, my tummy isn’t good, I get sweaty hands. It’s just not worth it. My nerves got to the point where I thought about getting a confidence coach. If anyone invited me to give a talk on How to Make Work Not Suck in a roomful of people, I’d have to wear a costume like on The Masked Singer. I can be really well prepared, but my mind goes blank. It’s like tumbleweed up there.

What’s been the suckiest experience you’ve had at work?

I’ve quit jobs before that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, but one person has been awful enough that I can’t carry on. I’ve stuck at jobs where I’ve been miserable, but people have kept me in jobs. One person can make or break a job. My worst job environment was where there was no structure. My boss was always so stressed, so badly organised. Their stress trickled down the company through the employees. I’d go to bed on a Sunday and absolutely dread the Monday. I cried on the train there, cried on the train back. It took me a year to hand in my

notice. It’s unbelievable how a job can completely consume your life. And you end up just becoming a robot. If you have a plan B, you need to go down that route as soon as possible. Don’t stick at something, it’s just not worth it.

Highly relatable the description of feeling like afterwards going, “Why the hell did I stay around so long?”

I stupidly waited for it to get so bad before I made a move. What I tell people now is the moment you get a little mosquito in your ear, start looking at your other avenues. Don’t let it get terrible.

[I relay my well-worn story about how the Freelancer Magazine Kickstarter kept winking at me when I was still employed]

And now, what is it about freelancing that you do and don’t enjoy?

It comes in waves. I’ll be really busy some weeks and then nothing. I get approached a lot, but some people waste my time and it amounts to nothing. Time’s precious, don’t mess me around. If you’re interested, let’s do this. If you’re not, a one-line “no” email’s fine. Or, people say they need my writing skills. So I’ll write the thing. But then I get it back with loads of corrections; suddenly, they’re the copywriter. I spend my life trying to convince people they should listen to me because I know what I’m doing.

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You need to write another book, How to Make Clients Not Suck. Okay next question – how’s writing the book changed your life?

I think employers see me as some career guru who’s going to be really hard to manage. I’ve been asked in a job interview what if you leave us for the second book? But people know my name a bit now, which is nice. Someone randomly get in touch with me through my website the other day saying I quit my job because your book made me angry.

You made them reflect on their own situation to the extent they said “fuck it” and got out of a toxic job. That’s pretty cool. So you’re a brain for hire at the moment – waving a magic wand what would your best work day look like?

I get through the door with enough time to make a coffee, have a little chat with everyone. Then I’m briefed really, really well. I know exactly what I’m doing, I’m smashing it creatively. Everyone’s coming together, collaborating. I take a lunch break without being made to feel like shit because it’s more than half an hour long, and it’s not some shitty, soggy sandwich. My perfect workday ends with me feeling I’ve done the best I can and I’m proud to show people work I’m happy with.

I can’t be chained to a desk. A lot of the book was written on voice notes to myself when I was walking. I work in weird ways. Sometimes I’ll be done by 2pm because I’ve been in an absolute ADHD hole, not noticing anything around me. I’ll do seven hours of work condensed into three. Another time it might take me a week to do something because I’m taking my time.

of people’s coming-out stories from all around the world. LGBTQI+ stories. It’s called Countless Sleepless Nights. I’m gay myself and I came out to my dad in an email. One of the lines in the email I sent him was “I’ve had countless sleepless nights leading up to this moment.”

Everything was fine, it was just that the lead-up to that conversation was so nerve-racking. For the book, I interviewed 80 people over the course of a year. Again, it completely consumed my life. I spoke to people from Russia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait. Places it’s illegal or punishable by death to be gay. You take for granted that you can come out. It’s a luxury some people don’t have.

That sounds very heavy going. And I guess even in the most liberal of countries, coming out isn’t necessarily a joyful time. I’m surprised though – I thought you’d never write another book.

What’s crazy is that it was very easy to get the second publishing deal. We know how we work with each other now. It was nowhere near as stressful second time around. I guess like having a second kid everyone says it’s easier than having just one.

Yeah…*ahem*... debatable. I’m thinking about making a podcast to go with the book, too. It’s a heavy subject matter, but the stories are so important. I’m not sure yet.

understand people more and become a better listener and observer. I wondered about being a child psychologist, but I’d have had to study for nine or ten more years before even beginning the child psychology route. It’s draining, and I didn’t love it enough.

It sounds like that’s your benchmark about whether something’s right for you – do I love it enough?

So I don’t know exactly what’s next beyond Countless Sleepless Nights, but if there are any TV producers, radio producers, people sitting on lots of cash who need a podcast, presenter, voiceover? Text me I’m yours.

You’ve still got time to try another seven careers or so. Or maybe the lesson is that you never figure it out, and that’s part of the joy of life. And on that cheesy note… thanks, Carina! 

Find Carina on Instagram @CarinaMaggar and visit

Images courtesy of Laurence King Publishing Illustrations by Simon Landrein

Find more Mr Bingo at

Listen back to the full audio of the interview with Carina in The Movement

And what’s next for you?

I have another book coming out. It’s a collection

Now, we’re running out of time and ink. You mentioned earlier about training as a psychotherapist, how did that decision come about?

I love presenting because I really enjoy talking to people. I’m interested in what you had for breakfast, what you’re doing next week, what your dog’s called. I genuinely care. I wanted to

I’m a freelance copywriter specialising in creative ad copy. I’m married with two daughters, living in rural Northamptonshire. When I’m not squeezing sentences to within an inch of their lives I’m dreaming about owning a campervan.


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“Sometimes I’ll be done by 2pm because I’ve been in an absolute ADHD hole.”

Ask Twitter

What did you want to be when you were growing up versus what you do now?



I wanted to be a writer, desperately, but I thought the only people who wrote for a living were novelists and “someone like me” couldn’t get published. So, I became an English teacher.

After 10 years in the classroom and needing a change, I found copywriting. Hooked immediately.

Rebecca Broad @RebeccaComms

Many things — one of them, a police officer! Now one of my clients is a community safety partnership in which the police play a big role.


Angela Lyons @AngeLyonsDesign

A secretary… cause my mum said but now… a graphic designer. No typewriter but working in type!


I wanted to be a proper country hobo with all my possessions tied in a gingham cloth on the end of a stick.

I ended up a freelance copywriter.

Not sure whether to be disappointed or not.



A journalist and a radio presenter. I have a blog and podcast now, so not far off!

Francesca Baker


A journalist. 9 years ago I did my NCTJ while in hospital for 15 months for anorexia, cos I’m an overachiever! I do the odd bit, but mainly PR and copywriting so same skills.

Dee Primett


A journalist or a speech and language therapist vs a freelance copywriter!

Leigh James @Words_Person

Not wildly different.

I was always going to be an artist. Paints, pastels, pencils... you name it, I had it gift-wrapped for most occasions for as long as I can remember.

Now I paint with words. Nudged into copywriting at uni.

Vikki Ross @VikkiRossWrites

I wanted to be @JanetJackson’s backing dancer

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Stephanie M. @ThePracticalPen

At times, business owner, probably a bookstore, but I also wanted to be a teacher. I ended up teaching English for 8 years. But in every job interview, when they asked what I would do if I could have any job and money was no factor, I would say I’d be a writer. Now, I’m a writer!

Natalie Trice


An air stewardess based on the Sindy my aunt bought me in San Francisco! Currently applying to do a PhD with no flights in sight

Jackafal @Jackafal

I wanted to be a classical pianist. I trained as one, and did it successfully for a few years before realising it wasn’t for me as a career.

I now run a small learning design company focused on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. And I love it!

Sarah Goddard @FundraiserSarah

Actor. Specifically on stage. It was the only thing I worked towards for 18 years.

Then I fell into fundraising. And five years ago into freelancing!

But that performing arts training in storytelling, public speaking and engaging an audience still serves me to this day.

Johnny Morgan @JohnnyWordStuff

I wanted to be @Ian_Rush9. Superstar striker. Probably best I ended up as a copywriter.

Paddy Gilmore @MrPaddyGilmore

Archaeologist to humour specialist: from the trowel to the howl.

Rachel Chesters @Rachel_Chesters

I wanted to be a musical theatre STAR. Even made it through some auditions and trotted off to stage school when I was 16, before realising I was average at best. Now I have a starring role (couldn’t resist, sorry!) as an independent marketing consultant.

Source for the Goose @SourceGoose

I always wanted to work in travel, and initially this is what I did. However, my career evolved with family etc., from working in a school library to working as a Connexions careers advisor to now owning my own vintage homeware business!

Sarah Stiffin


I wanted to be an air hostess as I loved going abroad on holidays. Then I read a book called Air Hostess Ann and decided the training didn’t look very fun!

Ruba @r00be

I wanted to be a painter, I ended up selling artists’ works instead. Those who can’t paint, sell, right?

Chris Guiton @WealdWordsmith

I didn’t have a clue... family used to press me when I was little to come up with something. But I simply couldn’t identify with any of the (apparently) obvious options... After years of drifting through various jobs, I finally became a freelance copywriter. Couldn’t be happier!

Bex Elder @TranslatorBex

I wanted to be a teacher, a vet and the queen. Now I’m a freelance translator and copywriter.

93 Issue Ten // Summer 2023

The BIG Freelancer Magazine Christmas Party

An epic Christmas party for people who don’t normally get a Christmas party.

Friday 24th November, 12-6pm 19-20 Bar Farringdon, London

DJs Dom C & Mary Rose // Party food // Welcome drink // American pool team tournament // Trick shot pro coach // Party games // Arcade video games // Table football // Electronic darts // Prizes // After party

Tickets £49

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95 Issue Ten // Summer 2023
Tim Bond Tom Garfield Berenice Howard-Smith Ece Kurtaraner Angela Lyons Ben McKinney Meadhbh Hand Molly Scanlan Toks Coyle Alana O’Regan Lenka Koppova Abi Sea






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● 10 chapters with lessons that will walk you through how to transform the way you’re using LinkedIn.

● Complete the course online, ondemand, in your own time, 24/7 and with lifetime access including updated content.

● Complete the course online, ondemand, in your own time, 24/7 and with lifetime access including updated content.

● Online video, audio and text-based lessons with tasks and bonus downloads.

● Online video, audio and text-based lessons with tasks and bonus downloads.

● Join the LinkedIn Legends group on LinkedIn with weekly challenges and group Mastermind events.

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Jo Watson’s ‘We Were All Thinking It’…

There are three types of people in the world when it comes to communication via the humble mobile telephone.

The ones who love sending and receiving voice notes.

The ones who hate sending and receiving voice notes.

The ones who are baffled by the sorcery through which someone has sent them a voice note.

(The intrigue and excitement from that last lot make me think they’ll end up joining the first group, FYI.)

Personally? I bloody love a good voice note.

I’ll send them whilst I’m wandering around doing other things with my life so that you - the lucky recipient - can share in the fascinating world of Jo. I’ll also send them when I’m sitting at my desk and thinking, “I can probably explain this better through speech…”. That’s a strong admittance from someone who makes a living doing the exact opposite, but my point is voice notes are easier, feel clearer and more conversational, and take less time to articulate – in my opinion. Speaking my thoughts is a hell of a lot easier than writing them (hence why this

article took me bloody ages to get right).

People are quick to criticise voice noters, with accusations that “They clearly value their own time more than the recipient’s”.

My response?

Well, YES! OBVIOUSLY, everyone believes their own time is more precious than anybody else’s! Or that’s how it bloody well should be if you ask me.

Despite my clear allegiance, to voice note or not to voice note is an argument that I do see both sides of. For example, I understand if you don’t want to send voice notes because you hate how you sound or just don’t feel confident or comfortable in doing it, but really, voice notes are no different to voicemails – and I’ve never known anyone to get particularly hung up (ha) about leaving or listening to those. Plus, even if someone sends you a voice note, they’re not demanding you do the same in return.

Whilst there will be folks who don’t like listening to voice notes because they

don’t have the time, I personally relish the receipt. I sometimes like to save up my inbound voice notes and listen to what everyone’s talking about whilst I tidy the house, have a bath, or pretend that I’m working. To me, listening to the inbound conversational tones and stories from the folks lucky enough to have my phone number is no different to catching up on a good audiobook or listening to a podcast.

If you’re really against voice noting, however, the response is simply not to listen to them. Don’t worry that the sender took the time to involve you in their day, in the hope that by speaking directly to you they could convey clarity through tone and impact to create emotion and connection. Don’t worry and don’t listen. The sender will soon get the message.

Or not, as the case may be.

Now, who reckons that my next article should just be a link to a QR code, where you can hear me voice note the entire thing? ●

97 Issue Ten // Summer 2023

COMING UP Issue 11 | October 2023

All About Growth –Profits & Personal Development

What’s the Deal with Abundance Mentality and Manifestation? // Is Bigger Always Better? // Gen Z is Coming // Green Flags // Do I Need A… Membership? // Expanding Your Revenue Streams // Surviving Your First Year of Freelancing // Is Being a Comedian the Toughest Job in Freelancing? //The Agency Perspective on Working with Freelancers

// How Do I… Start a Podcast? // Everything You Need To Know About Getting Pro Headshots // Carole Pyke on Having a Four-Year Memory and Redefining Family // Issue 11 Playlist // Coworkers // Freelance Events and Meets Ups // Top of the Shops // A Day in the Life of… Gus Bhandal // What We’re Listening To // What We’re Reading // What We’re Learning

// Newsletter Love // So You Want to… Make Money While You Sleep?

// Creator’s Club // Physical Health

// Mental Health // Money: Investing Early with Peter Komolafe // Freelancer Stats // The Freelance Doodler

// Food // Your Messages // Freelance Wins // Do Give Up Your Day Job

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Booking deadline (or when full): Friday 8th September 2023

Artwork deadline: Friday 15th September 2023

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