I came across Paul Jarvis’ manifesto for the self-employed and it made me smile. We collaborate with a number of freelancers and when you talk to them about work and life, much of Jarvis’ manifesto rings true. Jarvis is a web designer and author.
You are a unique badass who’s thrown down the shackles of cubicle life and been liberated by your own ambition. You now have tremendous power, so use it to your own benefit.
1. You can define “success” without it being tied to quarterly shareholder reports or even income. It can be tied to the amount of days you can afford not to work. Or by how much you can donate to your favourite animal charity that rescues llamas. Or by how often you can work from the road.
2. You can make huge mistakes, apologize for them and learn something (or learn nothing and move on).
3. You can add “taking care of me” to the top of your mission statement and then go for a walk, take up a hobby or do yoga during work hours.
4. You can let your personal values and ethics guide your work and who you work with.
5. You can high five your clients (chest bumping might be a little over the top unless you can truly own it).
6. You can not have a plan. And not even give a damn about making one.
7. You can work in your underwear (this doesn’t apply if you’ve got a video call).
8. You can break the rules. Or just not have any.
9. You can be yourself, even if you think it’s not professional. Being authentic draws others in and can be quite contagious. Your personality is awesome enough to let shine in any and every situation.
10. You can say no to a dollar (or several thousand of them) if it doesn’t feel right.
11. You can be accountable to yourself, instead of being accountable to a board of directors.
12. You can own what you’re really good at and especially own what you’re not good at. And you can be upfront with potential clients about both of these areas before a project starts.
13. You can scrap everything about your business and start from scratch.
14. You can not be passionate about every aspect of your business, because you can hire an accountant or lawyer to take care of what they happen to be passionate about.
15. You can be just as picky about who hires your company as the person doing the hiring.
16. You are not a large corporation. You do not have to act like one.