Over the weekend, I attended the Creative Freelancer Conference (CFC) along with another 149 designers, copywriters, photographers, illustrators and creative entrepreneurs. The energy was great and I got to see all the friends I made last year. It was two days of sessions about client management, creativity and small business finances. In so many words, it was a good kick in the butt and a great check up to see how I’m doing.
I also had a wonderful opportunity to lead a breakfast round table on the second day of the conference. It was loosely named, Growing your team: when is the right time to start collaborating with others? I covered the subject matter in a previous post, When Did Your Super Woman or Super Man Costume Get Too Tight? The core issue we covered was trying to understand when it’s best partner up with others in order to free up your time as a solo creative. We told horror stories and I had the participants complete a worksheet to determine what their best skills and their sucky skills are.
On the worksheet we calculated how much it was costing them to keep trying to monopolize the part of the project with their sucky skills instead of just partnering up with someone who does it better than them. It was eye opening to say the least. All of participants found their regular rates dropped in half when they insisted on doing a task that with a mediocre skill level.
At the bottom of the work sheet, I asked the question, “What would you rather be doing instead of suffering?”. The time saved by collaborating with others can easily be put towards looking for more clients, learning the skills you actually do need, working on art or spending time with family. Download the worksheet and try working through it to see how much time and money you could be saving by collaborating with others.
What are your numbers? What would you rather be doing?
Thanks so much to Ilise Benun of Marketing Mentor & Heather Griffin of F+W Media/How Magazine for offering the opportunity for me to facilitate this discussion. And double thanks to the participants in the round table:
Jenn de la Fuente, Rosebud Designs
Maureen Uy, Uy Creative
Matt Rhodes, Fox Fire Creative
Joshua Veteto, Type Cycle
Kim Green, KG Cre8tive
Laurie Shields, Laurie Shields Design
Sabine Lenz, Paper Specs