How to find your crew
What is a captain without his crew? They’re the ones you need by your side to help navigate the stormy seas of self-employment, a life buoy keeping your head above water when you are floundering in waves of self doubt and distraction. Going it alone ain’t easy. You are the captain of your ship, paddling your own canoe, but as Uncle Ben told Peter Parker as he struggled to accept his awkward Spiderman phase ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’
Your vibe attracts your tribe but there’s plenty you can do to get your crew on-board aside from putting it out there to the universe and waiting for fate to intervene. Here’s where to begin.
HANG OUT WHERE THEY HANG OUT
We aren’t talking stalking here. No captain ever found a crew by peering over his coffee cup on lunches perfectly timed to coincide with those of the guy smashing it in the same industry from an office just up the road. There are so many ways to hang out with like-minded individuals that don’t risk restraining orders, like joining a co-working space like Helm. If your start-up salary doesn’t stretch to monthly membership, make the most of free events like GSD Mondays and Helm Free Fridays. They cost nothing, deliver inspiration by the boat load and there’s coffee too. Attend creative meet-ups in your area and network like a boss at events tailored to your industry, armed with business cards and a smile.
DON’T HATE, COLLABORATE
When you work for yourself, every project is your baby. You’re building an empire here and the last thing you want to do is share the wealth, right? Well, not always. Collaborating with other creatives could be the start of something really special. You could be the copywriter to their graphic designer or the photographer to their web designer, freelance forces combining for the greater good. Those fellow creatives will in time become connections and perhaps even eventually your crew, on hand to ease the pressure when your workload is heavy and no amount of paddling below the surface can keep you afloat.
BE MORE SOCIAL
Social media might get some stick for its ability to make us feel a bit inferior on occasion but it is an absolute game-changer for freelancers and anyone working for themselves. The minute you walk away from the neon-lit cubicle cupboard that was once your office, you’re also leaving behind the banter and support that saw you through the working week. It’s a scary thought when you’re starting out but social media can fill the gap that’s left behind. Suddenly, people you have never met IRL (that’s ‘in real life’ btw) are offering out advice, sharing work and cultivating your contacts list via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Set up those social media channels, follow anyone whose work inspires you to kick ass and watch your crew grow.
You’ll be amazed how quickly your crew starts to take shape when you step outside your comfort zone.