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My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire Paperback – September 30, 2008
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"I love this book! I’ve never had a 9-to-5 job, but it took me years to burn through my conditioning as a woman (that taught me my work wasn’t worth much), my conditioning as a Gen Xer (that taught me I shouldn’t take my work seriously), and my general fear of organization and success. My So-Called Freelance Life would have saved me half a decade of bumbling around. A must-read for established and hopeful creative professionals.”
—Ariel Gore, author of How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights
"Michelle is a freelancing superstar, and this guide is packed with indispensable information and stories from the trenches. With advice on everything from handling missed deadlines with grace, to creating a killer portfolio, My So-Called Freelance Life will show you how to make your dream career a reality and help you feel like you’re not alone in going solo."
—Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears, authors of The Boss of You: Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business
"A witty Seattle writer who has weathered 15 years as a freelancer pens a sage and encouraging guide for others hoping to cobble together various projects for differing employers into a sustained career."
"Michelle Goodman has done what so many of us are terrified to do (and may all be forced to do in our looming recession economy): cut the strings for a completely freelance existence. Luckily, she made all the mistakes first, then compiled her wisdom a well organized how-to book about overcoming all those fears that keep us clinging desperately to our cubes.”
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Like many freelance wannabes, Michelle started out as a cubicle monkey and transitioned into her freelance career butt first. In My So-Called Freelance Life, she recalls all of her mistakes and hard-won lessons for the next generation of renegade creatives, and does so in a way that's warm and approachable. Although she has a writer's point of view, she is surprisingly audience-agnostic. Her advice is applicable whether you want to start a dog walking business or one-woman accounting firm. Topics as inscrutable as small business tax and finance are tackled in simple language, so that even the most right-brained person can understand them. I found myself running to the internet every few pages to look up her examples on winning websites, local co-op working spaces, and other work-at-home resources. Love this little book, and love Michelle.
I read Michelle Goodman's My So-Called Freelance Life as as much a motivational book as a how-to guide from freelancers (which it is). Goodman adeptly covers the nuts and bolts of freelancing (taxes, accounting, finding clients), but does so in a way that really motivates the reader to feel like each of these potentially daunting tasks is achievable--and she does so with the humor of someone who has been there, done that. Because of that, I see this book as equally valuable to newbie freelancers, old pros and folks (like me) who have popped in and out of freelancing over the years.
I very much appreciate Goodman's willingness to talk about her own mistakes as well as her successes--this is not one of those obnoxious, "I've done everything perfectly, be like me!" type of books. She's learned by doing and that's apparent--intermingled are stories from other people's real world experiences to help you understand the many ways to live the freelance life. What I also like is that it's very much written for my generation (Gen X), in a tone that is the way I speak. So many business books feel like their audience is the Baby Boomer generation (understandably so), and the tone and references don't resonate with me. Finally, lest I give the impression that this book is all motivational, lofty ideals, it's actually very much full of practical advice that will have you pulling out the calculator to crunch your numbers and examine where you're at and how to get where you want to be.
Note: I read the Kindle edition, so I was annoyed to find that the graphics in the book hadn't been reformatted so that they're easily readable on the Kindle--I wish the publisher had taken the time to do that. As they are in the Kindle edition, the graphics are teeny, tiny and very hard to see.
I found this to be a very informative and inspiring read. The business end of dealing with customer and contracts as well as dealing with tax and licensing issues feel like a very daunting hurdle to those not 'in the know'.
The author does a great job of breaking these topics down so that I feel I have a solid understanding on where to start tackling the issues that all freelancers have to face.
I enjoyed the style of her writing and felt the book read more like a good friend giving advice rather than a professor instructing a class. Glad I picked this up, and I will be referring back to this in the future.
I'd recommend this book for new and experienced freelancers alike - in fact, I've already bought a copy for a friend.