By Drew Hornbein
I’m a freelance consultant in Denver who’s been working on my own for nearly 15 years. It’s awesome: I’m my own boss, I choose who I work for, the work is varied and interesting, I have the freedom to travel, and pants are optional (in my home office anyway).
This is what independent workers will tell you, but we often don’t share the things that suck. I’m my own boss, but I’m also the accountant, the marketing department, and mail clerk. We live in a constant state of feast and famine, always rushing to find the next bit of work before the money runs out. It’s also super lonesome. No one to bounce ideas off of or talk me off the ledge when I am ready to give up, ghost all my clients, and live in the woods as a hermit.
I have this vision for a better freelancer life and I think it’s important because more and more of the workforce is becoming free(lancers). Experts (who probably cite their sources) believe that in the near future freelancers, gig workers, and those who file 1099s will make up the majority of the economy in the U.S.
When all these new people join the freelancing world I want it to be even better. I want them to have more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff. This, of course, isn’t altruistic—I also want that and I know that I won’t be able to get it on my own. I’ll need to team up and build it with other freelancers, which is exactly what I’ve been doing.
It started in 2018 at Denver Startup Week when myself and a couple friends hosted an event called Better Together: How Freelancers Can Win. A load of freelancers (and those curious about the lifestyle) came and shared their struggles and successes. Since then we’ve had a few more meetups and going into 2019, I have a vision for what’s next.
I believe that we can build an association of freelancers whose purpose is to improve the quality of life for independent workers and their communities. Imagine a work life where you were in control, you got paid on time, and all the stuff you hated doing didn’t have to get done by you. Imagine waking up when you wanted to, working on what interests you, and having the stability and support that we expect from salaried positions.
Basically, I think we can have our cake and eat it too. Does that sound like something you’d want to be a part of? Come to our next networking event and let’s start working on making this vision a reality.
When: Tuesday, January 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Galvanize Golden Triangle, 1062 Delaware St. Denver, CO 80204
Freelancing is the new normal. This is the next economy and I believe that together, freelancers can build a solidarity network which provides security, prosperity, purpose, and an outstanding quality of life for all.