Monday, June 6, 2016
12 Years A Slave-free Freelancer
Facebook sent me a reminder last week.
Linkedin.com sent me the same reminder today.
And my wife, in her own passive/aggressive manner, echoed the same sentiments recently when she said...
"It's been 12 years now, when are you going to get a real job?"
Well, I'm only 44 years old and it may be a bit premature to make any conjectures, but I'm pretty sure the job I have now, as a free-roaming, creative mercenary, will be the job that I have until I retire.
That is unless my bid to replace Sir Martin Sorrell as Chairman of the WPP falls on unwilling ears.
How shortsighted of them not to even fly me out (business class) to NYC, put me up at a swanky old man hotel, not one of the Eurotrash Boutiques with the waterfall urinals, take me to a nice steakhouse, the kind where old Mafia captains would get shot, and hear out my proposals for righting the ship that seems eager to find its resting place at the bottom of the Marianna Trench.
But it's exactly that type of corporate myopia that has kept me at arm's length from the agency world.
A short arm to be completely accurate. Because let's face it, the bulk of my business still comes from the ad agencies, who call me and the growing battalions of freelancers, usually at the last minute, and usually with a hint of desperation in their breath:
"The client's not happy with the work they have been dictating to us for the last 18 months and wants to do something different -- a whole new brand direction. Can you come in Monday? And we can only afford you through Wednesday."
And I'm more than happy to oblige. To share my little schpiel about creativity requiring time. And to make for them, one very expensive clock.
But, I'm even happier these days to be fielding calls directly from clients.
And this is happening more and more.
Projects from clients who see my age and my experience as an asset. Clients who are more than happy to save vital office space and want me to work remotely. Clients who trust in the process and do not require mid day, mid evening and mid morning check ins. Clients who actually want to hear my Lee Clow/Chiat/Day war stories.
There's a tidal wave of change coming to the business.
And maybe it's the flurry of recent bank deposits talking, but I think the next twelve years are going to be better than the first.