the freelance life : karma is going to get you …

illustration by the talented Joanna Pop …
(welcome to the blog Joanna!)

This past weekend, I got to spend time with one of my artists during a drive out to the west end and our conversations are never boring. We speak about it all, from personal to professional. We laugh, we vent … we have yet to cry in front of each other … but you get the idea.

Usually, our conversations visit professional mishaps and obstacles and this artist mentioned that she has yet to be paid for certain jobs where she has completed services. She isn’t alone, it’s happened to many, me included. I am flabbergasted that the non-paying clients/colleague/people in question wasn’t/isn’t/aren’t mortified or embarrassed enough to see that overdue payments are a serious issue.

Now, I cannot tell you how her story ends, as I don’t know … I’m not even sure it’s been resolved yet. But what I can tell you is that I believe in karma.

You’re probably wondering what karma has to do with the story above … here it is:

I believe in karma.
And I believe that what you put out into the world is what you get back.
Karma.

As a freelancer, it’s easy to justify any action you take – good or bad – as part of the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, career building, getting ahead, and the freelance life. But just because you can justify it, doesn’t mean its right.

I’ve heard my share of stories :

  • the artist who refuses to let new up and comers to shadow her because she doesn’t want to help foster potential competition. bad karma : in an industry where your colleagues are quick to refer their peers when they are unavailable to take on a client, said artist gets shut out since goodwill is a two way street. She refuses to help others . Why would they send her business?
  • the artist who claims she can do hair in order to land the job. bad karma : she lands a big photoshoot but cannot create the hairstyle requested nor does she have the proper tools only to disappoint the photography team, model and client whom hired her … that’s like three bad karma returns. Needless to say, she was never booked again by that client.
  • the artist who books herself back to back to back without regarding time, location, and accessibility to each gig in order to earn more. bad karma : after being late to all bookings but the very first one for the day, bad reviews on popular sites like Yelp or even Twitter followed.

I think its important, as creative and success-driven individuals, that we treat everyone we come across with respect and humbleness (totally not sure if that’s an actual word, but I’m going with it!). Each action you take will impact the future of not only yourself but others. Therefore, your everyday goal is to start and complete every action you take with good intentions.

As a freelancer, here are some Karma and Business 101 Rules I tend to live by.

  • be helpful and be grateful
  • share your knowledge with others
  • pay it forward when you can

Going back to my story above, I remember saying to my artiend (artist+friend) that I believe BlushPretty grew on karma. The really good kind.  By being positive, respectful, and appreciative in all (positive and negative) situations presented to me as bp grew, I think I managed to build a positive growing business that I am really proud of.

When she turned to me and said “I believe that …” I smiled large.

I’m very happy I’m not the only person that believes that Karma rules.

Remember, everything you put out there, comes back …

-s-

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