Welcome to the somewhat serious and a little bit jokey A to Z of Australian freelance lifestyle. Think we’ve overlooked something? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Accountability – because you get nowhere without it.
Automation- why do it manually when you can automate? Think accounting with Rounded, slimming down communication with Slack, preparing proposals with Proposify, managing projects via Asana, booking meetings with Acuity or Candely and more.
Bad-assery – because it takes a certain level of bravery to crack this freelance nut open for a looksee and adopt the freelance lifestyle in full.
Books – they are your unofficial mentor, friend, and potential revenue stream all in one. You can find many of my book and freelance TV show reviews here.
Burn out – it’s a sad fact that freelancers encounter burn out, and a further 50% are on their way according to the 2019 Australian freelance survey. That’s why freelance self-care is oh so important.
Cashflow – the bit of the business that gets super hard to navigate the minute the invoices are late. We need to get proactive about asking for better rates, less exposure dollar, and to be paid on time.
Clients – what is a freelancer without the client? We need to do whatever we can to bridge the client communication and management gap.
Community – it’s those moments when you know you’re in it with others that make the struggles and WTAF moments easier to navigate- check out the Freelance Jungle community on Facebook.
Comparison – as much as we try to avoid it, it can be hard to avoid the temptation to look over the freelance fence.
Compassion – the thing that will help you and others get through in this crazy self-employed world.
Curiosity – it may kill cats, but it also keeps good freelancers afloat! Also, office pets are an essential part of the freelance lifestyle, so we don’t want to wallop too many.
Daring – because the freelancer who dares most often wins, right?
Debt collection –freelancers often find outstanding invoices are the biggest issue they face. And 52% have cashflow problems, making debt collection essential in a lot of cases
Dreaming – whether it’s of the dream client or the wonderful vocation, you don’t find a freelancer who doesn’t dream of a little bit of magic in this here freelance lifestyle.
Empathy – having empathy for the people and situations around you make all the difference in this here freelance life.
Events – where would we be without them?! Virtual events via Crowdcast and Zoom really help- you can find the Freelance Jungle running Wednesday crafternoons, getting you together for not so casual Fridays and the stress down. So too do face-to-face networking events in cities like Wollongong, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns and Newcastle.
Exclusion- we have our work cut out for us with getting disabled, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, different ethnicity, female, and regional voices the fair and equitable shake they deserve in the Australian freelance narrative. Even though it was often exclusion from traditional workplaces that lead to us freelancing in the first instance.
Finances – keep ‘em clean, coming, and buffered, yo!
Finishing – this isn’t Miss Kingleader’s year 7 high school English assignment. Perfection does not matter more than the finished product.
Freedom – choose the times, the places, and the pants-wearing status.
Freelancing – <in Billie Eilish style> duh!
Gender gap– there is still a pronounced gap in pay rates and confidence rates when it comes to female freelancers.
Geography – it shouldn’t be a barrier to work in the digital age and yet still, here we are.
Grief- managing your grief at the loss of business, health, security, a relationship, identity, routine, a partner, an office pet – all these things can impact you while you freelance.
Happiness – it’s sold to us as thus.
Home office – that quiet sanctuary everyone else mistakes for their “not sure where this goes” dumping ground come tidy up day. It’s also the chance for you to fully embrace the freelance lifestyle and make your office anywhere but home, too!
Hubris – the unattractive quality that comes in the forms of swishing online gurus and clients who haven’t quite figured out they hired you for a good reason.
Innocence – that wonderful first three years of freelancing where you believe you’ve finally worked out what you want to do for the rest of your life.
Innovation – the unexpected passenger to your self-employment journey who follows you throughout various phases and learning experiences.
Introductions- the lifeblood of any thriving business community and freelance endeavour.
Invoice- that thing you send in the vague hope of receiving money sometime in return.
Jealousy- that feeling that creeps up the back of the spine and into your cheeks when you see someone else’s stationery delivery or new bit of sassy tech on display on Instagram.
Jobs – if it weren’t for the freelance jobs, where would freelancing be? May as well register for the freelance directory to get some, eh?
Joy – that indescribable feeling when you get a dream client, project or paid on time.
Kindness – the little thing that gets exchanged each and every time you meet a group of freelancers.
Knowledge- the more you grow in business, the more you need to know. How delightful!
Lead generation – the whole “if you build it, they will come” is a misquote. You have to work the pavement, peeps!
Learning – one of the best ways to gather all the knowledge you need. Fortunately, freelancing is full of courses, coaching and all kinds of ways to learn what you need! Many of the ones available to the Freelance Jungle members are available through Patreon.
Letters – often a better way to get a company’s attention if you are chasing down leads. Seriously. When was the last time you loved up a potential client with a little paper ingenuity and sincerity?
Listening- a vital skill for determining what your client’s actually need as opposed to what they ask for.
Marketing- that oft neglected activity we know we should do to walk the walk with our clients but seldom make time to do.
Melancholy – for the moments when this here self-employed life seems to be a tad harder than it bloody needs to be! Especially the marketing.
Multipotentialite – a fancy pants term used to describe freelancers who focus on closing the loop using a variety of skills and services as opposed to a single high achiever focus. Sometimes called the less than flattering name of wide achiever.
Networking – that thing we all need we know we need to do but all seem to avoid like the plague at the very same time!
No- a special word packed with might that acts as a boundary to other people’s rudeness and tomfoolery.
Openness – a trait that often gets greeted with suspicion in the Australian business landscape but is essential, nonetheless.
Opportunity – a bit like mushrooms. If you keep looking for them, eventually, a few pop up.
Podcasts – everyone’s got one. Have you?
Politics – the place where we need to apply pressure to get the recognition we Australian freelancers need to make the freelance lifestyle less marred by stress and inequality.
Purpose – lose your purpose and you could lose your way. When was the last time you checked in?
Punk – this is the preferred entrepreneurial style of the Freelance Jungle and its founder. Punk rock entrepreneurs FTW!
Queen Bee – the person who attempts to chase everyone else off every other freelance idea out there. Buzz off, biddy Bee!
Questions – the things you need to ask to understand the brief, motivations, and client management on the whole.
Quitting – whether it’s a habit, a bad client or freelancing, there’s no shame in packing up the straps when you need to.
Responsibility – there are loads of these little folks hiding in the folds of all aspects of freelancing. Ignore them at your peril.
Scarcity – incorrectly labelled as a useful sales technique. This is the fear that drives us to be hyper-competitive, bully other freelancers, be scared of a lack of opportunity, steal, copy and many of the other negative aspects of freelance life.
SEO – Google’s way of making us know that no matter what we do, it’s still in charge.
Self-care – an essential part of your freelance journey. Making time to rest, play, study, sleep, exercise, for nourishment, tidying up admin and other elements helps create a more stress-free and creative freelancer.
Self-soothe – incorrectly mislabelled as self-care, self-soothing activities are the ones that make us feel better after a tough day. These include wine, baths, watching TV shows and other activities that give us a break. They can be positive and negative, depending on whether they are accompanied with appropriate self-care and/or the frequency they are relied upon.
Skills – as the Beastie Boys famously said, you need the skills to pay the bills.
Social media – that giant sucking vortex that seems to grab your time and good intentions and turn them into rage in the comments section, fights with randoms and dog photos.
Sustainable- the hallmark of any business endeavour is whether or not it is sustainable in terms of time, resources and financial performance.
Teaching – the thing we all start doing when maybe the whole client thing ain’t doing it for us anymore.
Technology – the wires and buttons that are meant to make our lives easier yet have that unique ability to fail as soon as we need them the most.
Trust – what is built when your marketing, pitch and work all align.
Uncertainty – the awkward ever present feeling that dogs you about whether or not you’ll get the job, get the pay or get to your kid’s play like your promised.
Underpants – because it’s great working in them. A benefit of the freelance lifestyle is that we can and do work in them often.
Validation – one of the things we all seek, especially after a few wines and with a connection to Facebook.
Voice – the thing we need to make sure we get the respect and rights we deserve.
Why- knowing the answer to this makes it ten times easier to get up – and to face the next storm of pelting rocks.
Wine – the lubricant to networking events, weird moments, and Fridays. Apply in small doses. And it a free welcome bottle if you sign up to Good Pair Days if you use ‘unashamedlycreative’ at the checkout.
Words – no matter what we do for a freelance crust, we need these to make our case and sell ourselves to the next client.
X – is for the eXtraordinary lengths we got to in order to excel at freelancing in the first instance.
Xylophonist – probably the one career we are yet to see in the Freelance Jungle.
You – without you, what your family needs, your personal goals, your skills and your courage, there’s nothing there.
Youthful enthusiasm- this, along with your stuffing, is beaten out of you slowly but surely over time by this here freelance life.
Zany – freelancing is one of those careers that lends itself incredibly well to comedy. If only we could find the time to write down the adventures outside online forums.
Zzzz – is the sound made after a productive day with no bills outstanding.