Podcasts & Interviews

  • Return of the podcast: The Freelancer’s Teabreak

    Happy Friday everybody! A quick post today to announce the return of The Freelancer’s Teabreak podcast. I’ve been working away on a series of new three minute podcasts to listen to while you wait for the kettle to boil, and I’m excited to share with you the first couple! The podcasts are now available on iTunes and Soundcloud, and I’ve now got a spankin’ new intro too.

    6

    Episode 16: A housekeeping episode to catch up on what’s been happening the last few months

    4

    Episode 17: Are you wasting time? In this episode I share what I’ve cut out of my life to claw back lots of time.

    If you want to listen to some of the previous episodes, you can find them in this Soundcloud playlist.

    Want to submit a question? Look to the right of this page and click on the ‘ask a question ‘ tab on the right, where you can record your question. You can also send me a tweet @freelance_life or drop me an email hello@emmacossey.com.

     

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Writer: Patti Podnar

    Patti PodnarTell us a bit about you!

    I’m Patti Podnar, a freelance writer focusing primarily on topics related to business and careers. I specialize in explaining complex things simply and boring things engagingly.

    How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?

    For about 18 months. I worked in corporate communications for 12 years, took a decade+ off to stay home with my kids, and finally decided it was time to get back in the game.

    Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?

    Early riser. I usually get going as soon as I drop the kids off at school.

    What time do you start work?

    Usually 8-8:30.

    Do you work from home?

    Yes.

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    Kids to school, hair and makeup (even though I work from home…I’m a southern girl. I can’t help it), clean up the kitchen from breakfast, start a load of laundry.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    If I’m hungry.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    Keeping the kids off Minecraft until their homework is done.

    How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?

    After 10+ years as a SAHM, I don’t have to worry about motivation. I’m loving it!

    What time do you tend to sign off for the day?

    Officially, about 2:30, when I go get the kids. Unofficially, I work off and on until, oh…bedtime.

    Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?

    Not being bored, being productive, working for myself.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    Taxes.

    What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?

    Evernote, Hootsuite, Skype, various to-do apps (I tend to get bored and switch).

    Where can we find you online?

    http://www.pattipodnar.com
    @PattiPodnar

    The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?

    I’m good at what I do, I love it, and I work my fanny off.

    Want to take part in the Day In The Life Of A Freelancer series? Simply fill in this form

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Copywriter: Art

    Art CopywriterTell us a bit about you!

    Art, freelance copywriter who dwells between the Peaks and the Dales!

    How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?

    Been at it for a few years now, as I didn’t feel comfortable spending so much time in the city; high rents and crime rates don’t make for a relaxing way of life!

    Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?

    Night owl for sure, but I work with a lot of North American clients, so most of them are still in bed when I get up anyway. I usually kick things off a little after 9am.

    Do you work from home?

    I do. I can’t get on board with the idea of working from coffee shops; knowing my luck, someone (very possibly me) will spill a mocha all over my laptop.

    What’s your morning routine before you start work?

    This might sound strange, but I pick an outfit to reflect what I’m working on that day; for health and fitness, I’ll wear sweats and a sports top, if I’m writing about financial services, I’ll put on an Oxford shirt or something.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    Yes, although not always at lunch. The freedom to break up my day when I’m running low on inspiration is one of the things I love most about freelancing.

    How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?

    Regular breaks keep my mind fresh; if I’m not feeling it, I won’t try to force it. It just results in lacklustre copy that I’ll have to rewrite anyway.

    What time do you tend to sign off for the day?

    Usually? Around 6pm. Last night was a bit of an exception, as I worked from 8am through ’til about 9pm!

    Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?

    The clue’s in the name – it makes me feel like I’m free. Unless there’s a deadline looming I can go for a quick hike, make a nice lunch or do whatever I feel like doing!

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    The admin side of things. When I was just about to go freelance, someone told me I’d spend 2 days out of the week issuing invoices, chasing money, writing proposals or emails and so on. I didn’t believe them at the time, but they were absolutely right!

    What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?

    My old MacBook was about five years old and I finally replaced it recently. Now that I have, I don’t know how I managed with the old one for so long. I’ve also got a raised monitor that cuts down on the shoulder and neck ache!

    Where can we find you online?

    http://www.copywritingisart.com
    http://www.twitter.com/artcopywriter

    The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?

    Grafting! I’m a bit like Del Boy in that I’ve managed to pick up work all over the place, from the local gym (ok fine, the pub) to Twitter. I think having a solid portfolio of varied work to send people that I’m proud of also helps!

    Want to take part in the Day In The Life Of A Freelancer series? Simply fill in this form

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Web Developer: Tristan Bailey

    Tristan BaileyTell us a bit about you!

    I’m a freelance web developer – mostly PHP, Joomla, WP, ee and UX. I’m based in Brighton and sometimes Germany.

    How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?

    3 years. I started as I was planning it and then my company let me go before I could leave, so that made my mind up.

    Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?

    Early up but I have kids to get ready so I only start at 9. I often rest at the end of the day after putting them to bed, then work from 10 or 12 for few a hours.

    Do you work from home?

    Mostly

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    Sort the kids and get them to kindy and then make coffee.

    [themify_quote]When I collect the kids we can do lunch together.” [/themify_quote]

    Do you take a lunch break?

    When I collect the kids so we can do lunch together.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    50% of the time I get to work after 3pm when the kids are home.

    How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?

    Music and exercise, and talking to other people to realise I need to get on. Sometimes it’s hard when a client is dragging out a job to what is, by then, free work.

    [themify_quote]Sometimes it’s hard when a client is dragging out a job to what is, by then, free work.” [/themify_quote]

    What time do you tend to sign off for the day?

    Between 4pm and 8pm.

    Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?

    Being in control of work and meeting new challenges.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    Starting again, judging new jobs and chasing clients to invoice consistently.

    What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?

    iPhone, Gmail and FreeAgent.

    Where can we find you online?

    Twitter: @tristanbailey

    Website: http://holdingbay.co.uk

    I’m currently trying to build an analytics paid service as a product.

    The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?

    Networking and having contacts before starting freelancing.

    Want to take part in the Day In The Life Of A Freelancer series? Simply fill in this form

  • Day In The Life Of A Freelance ELT teacher trainer: Rhiannon Ball

    Rhiannon BallTell us a bit about you!

    I’m Rhiannon and I’m a freelance writer, editor and teacher trainer for ELT materials. I’m currently located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil but I work for companies in the UK and Brazil.

    I’m currently working on a series of downloadable material for Business English teachers and also English for bus drivers.

    I also love working in social projects and have created a series of material that combines ELT with citizenship for YL that I use in NGOs in low-income communities.

    How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?

    I’ve been freelancing since I moved to Brazil in 2011. Initially, I started because I didn’t have much choice while I was waiting for my permanent visa to come through. When it finally did, I got a job teaching English but I quickly got bored of just doing one job and soon started accepting freelance jobs again. When it got too much to juggle a full-time job and freelance assignments I gradually started reducing my teaching hours until I eventually went freelance again!

    Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?

    Both! I like to get up early – when I’m working for a UK-based company I prefer to work to GMT, which is a couple of hours ahead of Brazil depending on the time of year. However, sometimes I get so wrapped up in something I keep working until the early hours! I find I work best at the beginning and the end of the day, so sometimes I take a couple of hours off in between.

    What time do you start work?

    I’m usually at my desk for about 7:30am.

    [themify_quote]I’m often out and about giving training sessions or visiting the social projects I’ve implemented at different NGOs here in Rio.”[/themify_quote]

    Do you work from home?

    Yes, I have my own little office in a separate room in my apartment, which is where I do most of my work. It works well because I don’t spend all of my time at home – I’m often out and about giving training sessions or visiting the social projects I’ve implemented at different NGOs here in Rio.

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    I get up early and go for a run at the sports centre in front of my apartment, then take my sausage dog, Molly, out for a walk. I sit down at my desk at around 7:30am with a strong coffee and catch up on my Twitter feed, read whatever interesting articles grab my attention, then get down to work.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    Only if it’s a day when I’m out training or teaching. If I’m working from home I usually have lunch at my desk.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    It depends what projects I’m working on. I might be doing some proof reading, materials writing, preparing a training session or doing the accounts for a social project. If I’ve got a light schedule, I use the time to work on the children’s book I’m writing or update my materials blog.

    How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?

    I receive the Daily Quipple alerts every day – they send beautifully designed quotes that can be really uplifting if you’re having a bad day. If I’m having a day when I’m struggling creatively, I try not to beat myself up about it and take the afternoon off (if project deadlines allow it, of course). I’ll go to a coffee shop with my laptop or sit by the lake with a notebook. Getting some fresh air and being around other people, even if I’m not interacting with them, usually helps me to focus again and takes the pressure off of sitting in front of a blank document in my office.
    I also tell myself that nothing’s set in stone. Our greatest ability is adaptation and if freelancing doesn’t work out, then I can always try something else and even if that something else doesn’t use my preferred skills set, then I know that I’ll take something away from it.

    [themify_quote]Our greatest ability is adaptation and if freelancing doesn’t work out, then I can always try something else.”[/themify_quote]

    Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?

    The variety – nothing beats being able to dip your toes into different areas and projects without being tied down to a routine.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    No matter how many projects I’m working on or are in the pipeline, I always feel a little worried about where the next one will come from.

    What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?

    I still prefer a notebook and pen over everything else – I just can’t get the joy that comes with choosing beautiful stationary from a digital device. Nonetheless, my Moto G smart phone has changed the way I work, as has Google docs because I can jot down ideas even when I’m squashed on the underground!

    Where can we find you online?

    Twitter: @rhiannonball
    ELT materials blog: rainydayelt.blogspot.com
    Website: rhiannonsarah.com
    Website (in Portuguese for clients in Brazil): simplifiedingles.com

    The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?

    Hard work – I used to regularly have a 3-hour commute that started at 5am and work 12-hour days as a freelance teacher and that installed a work ethic that is vital to being a freelancer. For me, the benefits are many, however I understand that to get those benefits I need to put in the hours and do everything I can to the best of my ability. I hope that shows in my work!

    Want to take part in the Day In The Life Of A Freelancer series? Simply fill in this form

  • Day In The Life Of A Freelance Coach: Hayley Wintermantle

    Hayley WintermantleTell us a bit about you!

    Hi I’m Hayley Wintermantle, based currently in the UK but moved around the world a few times! I’m a coach, facilitator and career catalyst who challenges unfulfilled individuals to discover who they are, what lights them up so that they can find the role or business that maximises their strengths and allows them to make their true impact.

    How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?

    November 2014 although always knew it’s the route for me, just had to find the strength to make the final leap!

    [themify_quote]Often my inspiration comes just before bed… When creativity sparks I grab it!”[/themify_quote]

    Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?

    A bit of both really. Some days I like a little lie in, especially as often my inspiration comes just before bed. However I tend to be most productive either super early in the morning or last thing into the small hours… let’s just say I go with the flow! When creativity sparks, I grab it!

    Do you work from home?

    Yes or coffee shops, friend’s homes as I travel as much as possible, that’s why I created a 100% online business so I can work from anywhere. I’m not a fan of routine and get seriously itchy feet!

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    Always meditation! 15 minute sourcing meditation which clears my mind and really focuses me for the day. Then I list out what I want to get from the day, not just work-wise but really how I want to feel and the actions that will get me there.

    [themify_quote]I list out what I want to get from the day, not just work-wise but really how I want to feel and the actions that will get me there.”[/themify_quote]

    Do you take a lunch break?

    I love a good lunch break. After living in France and Italy for around 5 years I’ve come to appreciate the importance of a long lunch. Cooking and preparing it relaxes me and so refreshes me for the afternoon, which is easily my least productive time!

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    Trying to be productive!

    How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?

    I always make sure that I’ve got non-business related things in my day, whether that’s exercise, learning Italian (which I get for everyone may not sound like fun!) reading, meeting friends, etc. That way I’m focused when I’m working and using the other parts of my brain when I’m not! Oh and music, the louder the better!

    Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?

    Freedom, flexibility and that I get to work with the people who believe what I believe.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    Sometimes you can feel alone so it’s key to keep checking in with people who support you and can help in those hair-pulling moments.

    Where can we find you online?

    http://www.hayleywintermantle.com

    Super excited to be launching an online programme to help those stressed out, frustrated and stuck in mediocrity discover what lights them up and find work or a business that allows them to make their impact in the world.

     

    Want to take part in the Day In The Life Of A Freelancer series? Simply fill in this form

  • Three surprising perks to going freelance

    The Freelancers Teabreak
    You’d think recording a three minute weekly podcast would be a breeze. Especially as I don’t tend to faff about with editing it. But this week, it took me three attempts at recording this episode.
    Attempt 1 took place in my car. I had dreams of recording a breezy podcast while driving like Russell Brunson’s excellent Marketing In Your Car podcast. Unfortunately as a) I don’t drive a quiet Hybrid and b) the podcast was scattered with silences as I attempted to multi-task and swears when someone neglected to use their indicator, the recording was useless.
    Attempt 2 went perfectly. I recorded it into Evernote….then accidentally deleted it with a tap of my thumb on my iPhone. Goodie.
    So, you’ve got attempt 3! This week, I’m talking about three of the perks of freelancing that you don’t necessarily think about when you go into it.

    What have you discovered since going freelance? New friends? New skills? New ambitions? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter or by joining my Facebook group.

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Writer: Kate Goldstone

    Kate GoldstoneTell us a bit about you!

    I’m Kate Goldstone, a Brighton-based freelance writer.

    How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?

    I’ve been freelance for 9 years, since 2006. I started because throughout my 15 year direct marketing career I always disliked working with people. I hate all that ‘negotiating skills’ and interpersonal stuff. But I love working alone – I never get lonely or bored.

    [themify_quote]I love working alone – I never get lonely or bored.” [/themify_quote]

    Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?

    I’m boringly average. I start at 9am and finish at five, just like an ordinary office. I never work long hours.

    What time do you start work?

    9am

    Do you work from home?

    Yes

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    Grab a cuppa, switch the PC on and I’m off…

    Do you take a lunch break?

    No, I’m at my working best between 10am and 3pm and because all I do is sit on my ass all day, I don’t work up an appetite.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    Working…

    How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?

    I’m lucky – I’m naturally motivated.

    What time do you tend to sign off for the day?

    5pm at the latest. If I finish at 3, I shut down the PC and go do something different: a walk with my SEO Consultant husband, gardening, painting a picture, cleaning the house…

    [themify_quote]If I finish at 3, I shut down the PC and go do something different.” [/themify_quote]

    Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?

    Not having to deal with colleagues, subordinates and bosses.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    Nothing. I love it – every second of it.

    What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?

    My PC, but otherwise that’s it. Oh… and Radio 4 as intelligent background noise.

    Where can we find you online?

    Twitter: @KatieGoldstone1

    I also use LinkedIn and G+. But I reserve Facebook for friends and family only, not for SMM.

    The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?

    Natural motivation plus a natural love of being on my own.

    Want to take part in the Day In The Life Of A Freelancer series? Simply fill in this form