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Work Independently and Live Connectedly, 52 Steps to Freelancing Freedom

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  • By Rebecca Shapiro
  • Artist, TEDx speaker
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Overview

Many of us are freelancing today because we want sovereignty over our livelihoods and lifestyles. We make the move to be freelancers because we want the freedom to decide what to do with our time, with whom we share it, what is important, and how we want to spend our energy and money. We choose to infuse our lives with more purpose and meaning by working and living this way. Work Independently & Live Connectedly: 52 Steps to Freelancing Freedom explores four areas where freelancers can excel in their work and life: self, relationships, collaboration, and sharing. As long as freelancers consistently work within these areas, they will be securely traveling the road to Freelancing Freedom.

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In this book you’ll learn:
• To understand what you most value and do well, by consistently developing a strong sense of self-awareness, empathy and capacity to serve.
• To continuously hone healthy habits that keep you moving towards your greater self in small, easily repeatable, evolving steps.
• To determine your core skills, passions and people with whom you most want to work; then reach out with the intention of giving and connecting around your complementary strengths.
• To shift to a collaborative mindset by praising the victories of potential collaborators, and citing where their strengths dovetail with yours.
• To start the day by adopting an attitude of gratitude and expressing it to others, mutually reinforcing that resilient attitude, with and for each other.

Bonus sections:
• 52 Steps for Weekly Practice
• Other Helpful Resources

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Self
1. Know What's Important
2. Have Courage
3. Give Yourself Permission
4. Reframe Your Mistakes
5. Be Purposeful
6. Show Yourself
7. Ask for Help
8. Change Your Perspective
9. Know Your Rhythms
10. Tame Your To-Dos
11. Make Good Habits
12. Move It!
13. Make Time for Ritual

Relationships
1. Listen Well
2. Set Healthy Boundaries
3. Hone Your Funny Bone
4. Build Trust
5. Meet People!
6. Celebrate Your Champions
7. Make Room for Differences
8. Get Organized
9. Be a Negotiating Ninja
10. Perfect Your Proposals
11. Use a Contract!
12. Understand Money
13. Raise Your Rates

Collaboration
1. Why Do You Want to Collaborate?
2. Ditch Competition
3. Hire Other Freelancers
4. How to Collaborate
5. Communicate Clearly
6. Face Conflict & Save Face
7. Set Up Structure
8. Who's on First?
9. Take Consistent Action
10. Make Time for Creativity
11. Practice Patience
12. Reflect & Celebrate
13. Encourage Camaraderie

Sharing
1. Share Your Stuff
2. Share Your Space
3. Share Your Equipment
4. Try Lateral Freelancing
5. Share Your Attention
6. Share Your People
7. Be a Mentor
8. Share Your Stage
9. Share Your Knowledge
10. Share Your Story
11. Share Your Passion
12. Share Kindness
13. Give Thanks
52 Steps for Weekly Practice

Other Helpful Resources
Sayings From Friends' Books That May Move You Too
About the Author
Be Quoted In the Next Edition of This Book?
Make a Move Toward Freelancing Freedom Now?

Chapter 1 Excerpt

I like to joke that freelancing is a spiritual path. You have got to know who you are, be very clear about what you want, communicate clearly, be fair and give willingly. You take responsibility for your decisions and actions, disarm inhibiting beliefs and establish healthy habits all while being mindful of those around you and your environment. Phew! That's a lot of awareness and skill juggling.

Knowing oneself is a lifelong study and key to experiencing contentment and success as a freelancer. It takes a lot of practice observing and accepting who you are. Eleanor Roosevelt said "I think somehow we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision." Living with who you are can be challenging. You're studying everything about you. Every situation in your life is a petri dish for experimentation and exploration. Then, you make decisions and must ultimately accept yourself if you are to continually evolve.

The relationship with yourself is the foundation on which all of your other relationships are built. High sense of self-awareness predicts better overall relationship satisfaction and the ability to listen, negotiate, handle conflict and remain active even when the relationship is uncomfortable. It's fascinating and fun when I talk to a freelancer who is comfortable in their skin. They know who they are and aren't afraid to express their opinions or simply listen. They're excited about their work and sharing with others. This self-awareness plays into their confidence and how other people literally lean forward to learn more.

How do these freelancers do it? They are constantly tweaking their work and making consistent decisions that support improved livelihood and lifestyles. They learn the things that make them engrossed, delighted, discouraged, focused, engaged, irritable or content. They figure out what gives them energy, what is important to them, what makes them get up in the morning and what makes them feel they're contributing to their community.

One of my favorite authors is Anne Lamott. Her work is funny, poignant and frequently leaves such a mark on me that I stagger around a few days after reading one of her books. She says "Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are."

In my TEDx talk, Untangling The Stories, Beliefs and Behaviors that Bind, I talk about how important it is to get to your truth by untangling the beliefs that are holding you back. We all have them and many of us share similar beliefs - so you're not alone. Because I'm an artist, I use creative expression as a metaphorical gateway to get to my truth. If you google "self-awareness" you'll see there are over 100 million pages that can help you get to know yourself, but I suggest you start out simply. Here are 13 steps to get you going

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Shapiro

A creator, long before she even knew the word “artist,” Rebecca Shapiro has worked extensively in painting, installation, illustration, photography, and design. Her art is about offering a gateway that is both a metaphor and catalyst for us to meet and create stronger relationships and communities. Rebecca is a rare mix of fine artist, illustrator, adept organizer, and avid participant that wo...

A creator, long before she even knew the word “artist,” Rebecca Shapiro has worked extensively in painting, installation, illustration, photography, and design. Her art is about offering a gateway that is both a metaphor and catalyst for us to meet and create stronger relationships and communities. Rebecca is a rare mix of fine artist, illustrator, adept organizer, and avid participant that works with special interest communities and organizations ranging from Freelancers Union to Ladies Who Launch. She helps people visualize and reconfigure their businesses and member-based organizations so they can grow faster. In addition, she works with TEDxMtHood in Portland, OR, creating a robust Artist-in-Residence Program, which TED has selected to be one of two Incubator Programs that will mentor other TEDx events around the world. Discover more about Rebecca Shapiro at Rebecca Shapiro Art and Rebecca Shapiro Illustration.

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