Featured Freelancer: Eugene Ting
Which Role Do You Self-Identify With Best?
When did you start this Freelancing Journey?
Was there a trigger or inciting incident that made you make the leap into becoming a Freelancer?
At the time I was in a full-time job and a unionized job at that. We were finishing up on a really big project and I could sense that our company wasn’t getting the amount of work that was needed to keep the team at status quo. I knew people had to be let go and as one of the people with the least seniority on the team, I was the one to be let go first. So as that was coming to pass, I started thinking of diversifying my income and finding ways to supplement it in the event of the inevitable layoff. I started listening to Smart Passive Income and in one of the episodes it featured Dane Maxwell who was just starting The Foundation. It caught my attention and resonated with me. So it was both a push (layoff) and pull (bootstrapping solopreneurship) that was the trigger for me.
Describe a “week-in-the-life” of yourself as a Freelancer.
My week is not very structured and that’s the way I like it! Even though it’s not structured, I try to be disciplined in being consistent in the things I do daily. There is a certain day that I devote to reading and writing blogposts. Right now there is a certain day I meet up with my business partner in a coworking space or a cafe to work on idea generation and another business we are building up. Lastly, I try to find meetups around the city to network and just keep my mindset in that state of high performance. Being in that energy of other people who think and feel the same things is always refreshing and energizing. I use EventBrite to find these events to participate in. Lastly, I split my time in spending at home and also working in a coworking space, library or cafes. Luckily, I’m within walking distance of many options for me to work in and from and I enjoy both working at home and working in a cafe. Also, I try not to forget taking some time to spend with family, friends during the day. Socializing and building relationships are so important.
In one sentence, what do you identify as the main pain-point you are having as a Freelancer?
If you have an online Portfolio, or links to products or services that features your work (i.e. designs, articles, etc.), list them here!
Here’s the SaaS product I started: MyPlanMap.com
What are three suggestions or pieces of advice for those who are considering ditching the traditional 9-to-5 lifestyle and stepping into the “freelancing” world?
1. Be sure that you have some money saved up or a decent amount of backlog in your contracts with clients. In the freelancing/solopreneur work, things change and you don’t want to be caught not being able to pay rent
2. Make sure you have the right mindset. It’s tough to do a self-assessment of this, but the reality is that freelancing isn’t for everyone. Self-employment, is really working for yourself and cutting out the middle-person(s) to work directly with clients. There are so many benefits to this (i.e. monetary) but some people don’t like doing sales or marketing or the prepeutual need to keep finding new business or building up the backlog of work. So make sure you have the right mindset and you’re able to sustain that mindset even during the low-points.
3. Work shouldn’t be the entire life and be all consuming. I recently spent a week off during Thanksgiving and visiting relatives. I’ve forgotten how nice it was to be away from the computer and not be constantly “on”. I think as an employee you tend to have periods where you have scheduled vacations and for the most part are able to be physically and mentally “away”. As a freelancer, and one that works for oneself, it’s tough to turn if off as the buck stops with you and you alone. Be sure to embed time off into your daily or weekly schedule so you can rejuvenate and recharge your batteries. After-all keeping yourself healthy is the best productivity hack there is!