Advice for Freelancers & Creatives: Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Kelsey Heinrichs

Graphic Designer & Travel Blogger 

Instagram: @homewithkelsey | homewithkelsey.com

My Work-Life Balance System 

Often work and life will blur into one, especially when you genuinely love your work and enjoy everything you create. However, I think it’s important to create boundaries and add balance in order to be fully present in both roles. I personally need everything to be visual, so I block out times in my calendar and color-code accordingly (e.g., work = blue, exercise = green, social time = pink). If I have too much of one color, then I know I have to rearrange and add more color in order to restore balance.
 

Eating the Frog

In order to be productive when I’m working, I start by “eating the frog” (no, not literally). This is a time management technique from Mark Twain, where basically the “frog” is your biggest and most daunting task of the day. If you eat the frog first, then you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing you got it done without procrastinating.
 

Tips for Freelancers 

So many things, especially as a freelancer!

  • Don’t be afraid of quiet months; appreciate the downtime before it will inevitably get hectic again.

  • Hire help—there is no point spending weeks doing your tax return when you could pay an accountant to do it in less time, freeing up your month to work on projects that pay your bills and feed your soul.

  • Always have a contract in place to protect yourself and your client.
     

Back Up Your Files  

This may seem trivial, but back up your files! If you’re reading this, I hope my lesson serves as a little reminder. I once nearly lost several years’ worth of work on a corrupt hard drive. Treat yourself to an online storage solution and set monthly reminders to back your sh*t up.

 

Life Transforming Advice 

The less you care what others think, the happier you’ll be. Honestly, life is way too short to be constantly fretting about how other people perceive us, and this type of worrying only prevents us from doing the things we want to do. Focus on what makes you happy, and I promise you will feel better for it.

 

Motto to Live By

“Be so good they can’t ignore you,” by Steve Martin. I’m not sure why, but this sentence has always stuck with me. It rings true in my career, and it’s what inspires me to keep going, yet I also apply it to all aspects of my life. Be so kind, and they won’t ignore your kindness. Be so healthy your body can’t ignore you. If you focus on being the best you can be in every little thing, it will be recognized and rewarded.

 

Design Ideas I Love

I’m forever stuck between a very Bauhaus approach of form following function or “more is more” a la Art Nouveau, which
is why I’m always drawn to minimalistic mid-century furniture and then style it in a room with an abundance of decorations, artwork and plants.

 

Finding Your Pieces 

My home features a mix of high-street bargains, thrifted finds and sought-after vintage pieces. I spent a lot of time on Etsy and eBay with alerts turned on for anything related to mid-century design. In London, I live near Maltby Street Market, which is an amazing place to find antiques, plants and work from local artists.

 

My New Fav Hashtag 

I love seeing people wearing outfits that are styled exactly like their interiors on #dresslikeyourhome.

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