Chase your dreams, if you fail, we’re here to help you stand up and try again. BUUULLSHIT. You know people have more important things to do than help you after a failure. You only believe that when it comes out of your parents’ mouth. However, in my case it was different. I found a company that told me this and I believed them. Even better, they put it into practice with me.
I quit PartnerHero to work in my passion area: filmmaking. Producing a movie and working as a freelance screenwriter. I was aware that the movie would generate income for me after its presentation in movie theaters next year, so my salary had to be replaced by the screenwriter deal I agreed to with an amateur producer from the US.
The movie (4 Catrachos en Apuros) is now in post-production and hoping it will be a hit when it comes out. However, the screenwriting deal went down along with my relationship with the producer. I will not go into details on what happened because it would be too long to explain, but I will share with you some things I learned from my experience.
When I was in tenth grade, I learned an important (and basic) economic tip in my Development class. “If you want to quit your job and start a business (or freelance), make sure you have the money for six months’ worth of fixed costs on hand.” That is: paying rent, home bills, your phone credit, food, transportation, etc. Guess what? I didn’t follow it. I left PartnerHero with little money (of which I spent a lot in Utila and bought a drone), positive that I was going to have every episode I wrote paid as soon as I sent it. Big mistake. Please, SAVE and make sure you have enough money to survive for six months when stepping away of your steady paycheck.
I’m the Boss
Guys… one of the “perks” of freelancing, is that YOU are your own boss. High five on that! Wait. I’m the boss? That means I can wake up whenever I feel like (fuck the alarm). If I don’t fulfill a deadline, there will be no corrective actions given to me, I just have to talk to my client and explain that the delivery date is extending (singing in a high pitch: awesome!). Yeah right… that’s a fucking lie. Clients are by far harder to deal with than bosses. And please, don’t neglect your time management.
Schedule everything and get it done. Organize yourself. Priorities? Deadlines? Walk your dog? Everything! Identify how you work better. For me, more free time = more procrastination. I like having a lot of things to do, and working on them in an organized way. If you work better under pressure, ask a friend to help push you. Whatever works for you, do it, just make sure you manage your time wisely and avoid long daily relationships with Netflix and your sofa.
Taking Opportunities vs Rushing Opportunities
People say that opportunities don’t come twice. If you see one, take it. It might be smart to take good opportunities, but you need to identify the right timing to take it. DON’T rush them. If you do, most likely there will be flaws. Analyze all of the conditions and see it from different angles. Listen to your parents, coworkers, and friends to get different points of view. You don’t have to agree with them, but you will have a bigger picture to analyze. Before making an important decision, write down the pros and cons. Avoid deciding by emotion. Trust me, new opportunities will show up.
You’re Nice, I Trust You
Seriously, don’t. Our Latin culture makes us caring, friendly, warm, and we become easily attached to people (Aww, so romantic). It could be one day of knowing each other, but if our “client” was nice, we immediately trust them (so many broken hearts). You might even know someone for a longer time, but have never worked together. In both cases, you feel confident that you will have an excellent relationship and start working for them without signing a contract, or signing without having it verified by a lawyer.
Boom! Your client had a discussion with her husband and she can’t keep investing money in your service (or any other scenario). Remember, months go by, and you keep paying bills, but you stopped having an income. Business is business, and people behave differently when there is money between your relationship. I’m not saying this will happen in every case. There are people you might trust and they always turn out to be cool. But I want you to be aware that this might happen.
Money You Don’t Have is Money You Don’t Have
Another lesson I learned back at school (Accounting class): Money you don’t have in your pocket, you don’t have. It’s simple! If someone owes you $100 and promises to pay you next month, you CAN’T buy something and promise the seller to pay him next month when the person that is in debt with you pays. Why? Because there is no guarantee that you will get paid. Even though in theory those $100 are yours, you don’t have them (and you might never get them back).
Are You Sure?
If you have an idea for a product, you won’t just invest in producing it and go out and sell it. You should do a market research (Unless you have a magic wand). Who’s going to buy it (your niche)? Where will you sell it? And all the information you need to investigate to make sure your product is sold.
So what does that have to do with anything I’ve been talking about?
Apply the same research essence, and put that into practice in the business/freelance before quitting. Test your relationship, your deliveries, time consumption, and every factor you can to make sure it will work. All of this before deciding to quit.
Don’t Be Ashamed to “Fail” (Learn)
Don’t be ashamed to fail. Our country’s culture doesn’t embrace failure, instead it demeans those who fall. But we can change that. Hang out with (smart, driven) people who won’t make fun of, or make you feel bad for, your mistakes. People who will help you lift yourself up and try again (this time with more wisdom). Next time you attempt to fly from the nest, you will have more knowledge and make smarter decisions.
Don’t be afraid to try, just be smart about it (before, during and after). Research the facts, and get the best solutions. Maybe you can go around the room and get to the same place. That you can try. Every experience will have it’s different issues, rewards, and most importantly: lessons. Learn from them and become a better person in every aspect. Be humble, embrace the situation, and learn.
Oh, and if you are in the streets of London, make sure you buy a ONE POUND FISH.