I recently wrote an article for Millennial expert, Chelsea Krost. I think you’ll enjoy it, if I do say so myself!

Are You Addicted to Dopamine

Self absorbed, lazy, uncommitted, spoiled, and the “me-me-me generation” are just a few of the many negative stereotypes we have as Millennials. These aren’t exactly the best characteristics to be known for.

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Episode 3 of Snapchat Answered, a Launching Creative Snapchat series.

Send us a question on Snapchat at nik_parks and we’ll give you our answer.

Question by Alex Yong: How do you deal with clients who are deathly UNcreative and who don’t take risks or give you guidance?

If you like what you watched, be sure to get our FREE eBook: How to Price Yourself as a Creative Professional.


A few weeks ago, I had the chance to meet an old friend of mine which I had not seen for more than 10 years. We were classmates at an animation studio and I considered him the most talented guy in the roster. Besides jokes and small talk, there was something he said that completely struck me, erasing my smile from my face:

You know? I´m working in this great project but it is not ready yet.

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An Interview with Michael Stelzner


Michael Stelzner is the founder of Social Media Examiner, the world’s largest online social media magazine. He’s the host of the Social Media Marketing Podcast—a top 10 marketing podcast on iTunes, a published author, the creator of and the Parenting Adventures Podcast, and he’s the creator of Social Media Marketing World, one of the best social media conferences out there.

As creatives, we struggle with collaboration because “nobody else can do it the way I can”. However, we often hurt ourselves when we refuse to collaborate. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. The key is finding people who have strengths where we have weaknesses and building a fantastic team around that.
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A video interview with Donna Moritz

Donna Moritz is a social media strategist, visual marketing specialist, the creator of Socially Sorted, and the winner of “The Best Business Blog in Australia”. You may have seen her work on Social Media Examiner, Entrepreneur Online, Forbes, Yahoo!, NBC, Amy Porterfield, or Michael Hyatt.

Donna is a big proponent of using images in social media. We experience information overload every single day—we’re bombarded with content. Creating images that are visually pleasing is a fantastic way to get attention.

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Episode 2 of Snapchat Answered, a Launching Creative Snapchat series.

Send us a question on Snapchat at nik_parks and we’ll give you our answer.

Question by Diego de la Peña: Is it good or bad to start a business with your close friends?

If you like what you watched, be sure to get our FREE eBook: How to Price Yourself as a Creative Professional.


The power of networking has been proven time and time again. While many focus on networking by joining a group or attending events, there is one thing that is sometimes forgotten in the process, simple courtesy.

You meet someone that you feel can be beneficial in your path to growth for your business or idea, but then realize that they are either not interested or not at the right place in their career to help you. Then you dismiss them, right?

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An Interview with Chris Brogan


Chris is the author of The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth. He’s also the publisher and CEO of Owner Magazine, a sought after keynote speaker who has addressed crowds of thousands, he has been on the Dr. Phil Show and has even presented to a princess.

He has consulted with companies like Disney, Microsoft, Coke, Pepsico, Google, and Motorolo, just to name a few.
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Brandon Turner: Sometimes You Have to Lose Everything, But That’s the Game.

Today we have Brandon Turner, the VP of Marketing for BiggerPockets, which is an amazing resource for Real Estate Investors or anyone interested in Real Estate.

We asked Brandon “If someone were to tell you that you had to go out and get a real job and you couldn’t be a creative and make “money” what would your response be?

It’s a funny story. Brandon’s dad thought he was flat-out crazy when he explained he wanted to be an entrepreneur. Listen to the rest of his answer, it’s AWESOME!

We also have an entire podcast interview with Brandon.


I know, I know…hate is a strong word.

I found these photos a few months ago on Reddit (hence the Halloween theme). There were some skeptics who argued these are prints, not chalk. Personally, I want to believe that these are the work of an amazing chalk artist.

Sadly, my inspiration transformed into rage as I read snarky comments like:

“It’s unfortunate that someone with that much talent is drawing on chalkboards in a grocery store.”

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Lysa TerKeurst, one of my favorite authors, wrote in her recent book on time management, The Best Yes, “In the daily sea of endless demands, I must admit that I’m not doing so well. So I put pen to paper and dare to explore this topic as an author who needs this message most of all.”

To that, I say, “Yes, Lysa. I hear you.”

I, too, am putting pen to paper and daring to give advice on time management—something I struggle with most as a freelance writer. So for a moment, let’s lean in together around this lofty task of time management. And let’s agree that we as entrepreneurs might not be perfect stewards of our time today, but we can at least improve from yesterday. Deal?

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Just shut the f*&k up. Is what I have to tell myself countless times during the day. Talking is a hard habit to break, sometimes it’s just better to remain silent. Listening is your number one asset to building stronger lasting and more meaningful relationships (both professionally and personally)

When I say it’s hard I mean it. It’s seriously hard to stop yourself from having an opinion, especially if you are a millennial. I don’t think this is particularly our fault, I think that we were “raised” this way. The internet, specifically social media and blogging has given us a gateway to communicate with the entire world, which is pretty fascinating, but what it’s also done has allowed us (aka encouraged us to do) is share our opinions. ALL OF THE TIME!

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An Interview with Tim McDonald


Tim McDonald builds communities—not networks—through individual relationships that create movements. He’s the Purveyor of Purpose at Be The Change Revolutions, the co-founder of Creating-Is, and formerly the Director of Community for the Huffington Post, where he built HuffPost Live.

It was an absolute pleasure getting to speak with Tim and learn all of the amazing work he’s doing.

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I recently wrote an article for The Muse which was later picked up by Forbes! It has been a tremendous honor and—to be perfectly honest—I’ve been sharing the heck out of it. I mean, wouldn’t you?

Important People Don’t Want A Cup Of Coffee — Here’s What To Ask For Instead

“It’s the absolute worst sales technique you can do. These guys were billionaires. Do you think they really needed a cup of coffee?”

Check out the full article.

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A few months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ted Rubin for our podcast. Ted is, by all means, a social media expert. Forbes ranked him #13 on the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers.

“The best social media book ever written was published in 1936,” he said during the interview. The book he was referring to was How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

I was in college when I first heard about this book. A friend tossed it to me (literally) and said, “You can borrow this. You need to read it.” My first thought was, “What the heck is that supposed to mean?! Are you saying I don’t know how to make friends?”

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Freelancing was a last resort for me. I freelanced because I couldn’t get a full time job (now I understand that it’s an admirable career choice, it is in no way a last resort).

Honestly, I didn’t like being a freelancer in the early days—it stressed the crap out of me. I always doubted myself, I always felt like a phony, and I was always paranoid that my client was going to find out that I was a hack.

One of the most stressful aspects of freelancing (other than pricing myself) was estimating how long it would take to complete the project. For whatever reason, I always assumed every project was urgent. I thought the client needed the project to be completed immediately. The funny thing is, they almost never asked for a quick turnaround.

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Last week, my wife and I took our very first vacation together. That’s right, our very first vacation. This was a belated two year wedding anniversary and, quite frankly, it was long overdue. (Of course, we went on vacations with our respective families as we were growing up. But this was our vacation.)

We went to Block Island, a small island roughly 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. It was everything we needed and it taught me a few things about life. Something special happens when you unplug from social media for four days (that’s right, our phones were used for GPS, taking photos, and capturing video only. Other than that, they remained on airplane mode).

This post may seem cliche and the photos (taken by yours truly and Mollie, my wife) may seem like a mompreneur lifestyle blog post (no offense, moms) but bear with me. There’s some good stuff in here that I just had to share.

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Dave Ramsey, Seth Godin, and Gary Vaynerchuk held an event last Thursday called “Business Gets Personal”. It. Was. Phenomenal.

My personal highlight of the day was being on The #AskGaryVee Show. This was the first time Gary had featured in-person questions. Gary and his team have received positive feedback about the structure, the questions normally come from tweets.

(I come in at 5:45.)

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Three of my personal business heroes are going to be under one roof on Thursday, October 2nd from 9am to 5pm EST. Events like this are exactly what lead me to New York City in the first place—I couldn’t be more thrilled.

I’m going to be live tweeting the whole time at #BGPNYC. By the way, have you followed me on Twitter?

Dave Ramsey was my introduction to business and investing. In 2011, I had the opportunity to take his DVD course, Financial Peace University. Prior to that, I had no idea you could use money to make money (other than a savings account)! Crazy, right?

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Currently, I work for Gary Vaynerchuk—as a videographer/editor. I have a lot of projects on my plate (not just the #ASKGARYVEE show) there is more. I feel confident that I can handle them, the reason I feel this way (at least the reason I believe I feel this way) is because, I was previously a freelance videographer/editor for three years.

During these three years I had to learn a ton, like how to price myself, how to send out invoices, how to come up with concepts that weren’t my own, how to brand myself…how to get more jobs. aka more money. Learning all of these things were necessary in order for me to run my freelance business. Which is why I think freelancers have an advantage when they enter the workplace (normal 9-5) because they’ve had to experience things on their own.

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Sometimes, working for yourself can seem like an endless stretch of days that start with coffee and end in front of a bright computer screen with the sudden realization that it’s already dark. Being a creative shouldn’t mean being a caffeine-addled hermit, but–it’s all-too possible to fall into that trap.

So you can go out with friends, but they don’t understand. You need sunlight, they say, and start to chat about their upcoming anniversary party, or about that old boyfriend from highschool that keeps checking their LinkedIn profile. It’s not that you don’t care; it’s that you don’t relate.

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An Interview with Eric Bandholz


Eric Bandholz is the co-founder of Beardbrand, a beard care oil and product company (can’t ya tell?) and the movement for urban beardsmen and the bearded lifestyle.

This is an amazing company because it’s so much more than a beard product company. They’ve created a culture and they’re showing that you don’t have to be a lumberjack, biker, or hippie to have a beard. Eric is proof that you can really find your niche and build a community.
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There I was, sitting in yet another meeting at my first post college, full time job. I was one of the youngest people in the entire organization. I was sitting there quietly (as usual) because I assumed nobody cared about what I had to say.

Nobody cares about the young Millennial’s opinion, right? The young, new guy is supposed to keep his mouth shut and pay his dues, right?


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An Interview with Donna Moritz


Donna Moritz is a social media strategist, visual marketing specialist, the creator of Socially Sorted, and the winner of “The Best Business Blog in Australia”. You may have seen her work on Social Media Examiner, Entrepreneur Online, Forbes, Yahoo!, NBC, Amy Porterfield, or Michael Hyatt.

Donna is a big proponent of using images in social media. We experience information overload every single day—we’re bombarded with content. Creating images that are visually pleasing is a fantastic way to get attention.
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As a creative professional, you’re likely a visual person. You have a gift, my friend. Most people aren’t like you. You’re an artist and a visionary—that’s the good news. The bad news is, you can’t expect others to think the way you think.

You have to be able to communicate your ideas. If you’re a freelancer, you’re going to have to convey your ideas to your client before you have visual examples. If you have an office job, you’re going to have to convey your ideas to your boss before you have visual examples. Either way, you will have to verbally explain the idea you have in mind.

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An Interview with Grant Cardone


Grant Cardone is an entrepreneur, New York Times Best Selling Author, speaker, and a tremendous motivator. At age 21, he was broke and in in debt. By age 30, he was a self made millionaire.

Grant argues that friends and family aren’t going to make your dreams come true—a stranger is going to make your dream come true. As creatives, we have to introduce ourselves to strangers and we have to find a way to get attention.
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It’s been over a year now since Nik and I purchased the domain for our blog: We’ve had an incredible journey thus far…and we felt a bit nostalgic! (and aren’t we lucky that this post happens to be taking place on a thursday- “throwback-thursday”?) just saying.

Take a journey with us-through-time-and-space?

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An Interview with Chelsea Krost


Chelsea is a Millennial Spokesperson, Brand Consultant, TV & Radio Talk Show Host of The Chelsea Krost Show, and Host of Weekly Chat #MillennialTalk

We all hear about the bleak working conditions we face as Millennials: the economy is bad, young adults are moving back in with their parents, underemployment is rampant, student debt is crippling, etc. Chelsea chooses to see the glass half full and argues that we have opportunities and tools that our parents and grandparents never had.

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Ha. It seems pretty straight forward right?  Unfortunately, some people just don’t get it…yet. But ‘aye, there is hope.

Sometimes it’s so hard to break out of sales mode, when you are struggling to find your next paycheck. You might say anything just to make a client happy (You want to eat something next week besides pb&j…you at least need to pay rent. Consequently we might lose our “genuine selves” in the game, listen it happens. Here are a few suggestions on how to remain genuine whilst in the hustle.

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You’ve probably heard the saying, “A true craftsman doesn’t blame his tools.” You might even be inclined to agree with that statement—we all have that photographer friend who blames his crappy shots on his DSLR, even though it’s always set to “automatic”

And remember that time he thought aperture was a Nest knock-off?

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An Interview with Michael Schein


Michael Schein is the founder of Michael Schein Communications: a digital marketing company that turns businesses into online authorities to drive a steady stream of new business.

If you want to become an authority in your field and if you want to learn how to write headlines and articles that grab peoples’ attention—you’ll definitely want to hear what Michael has to say.

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This is going to be a different post for me, so bear with me.

You can do anything you set your mind to – Benjamin Franklin

I live, breathe and live by this quote, it’s my mantra.

Lately I’ve been working a lot; helping develop the #AskGaryVee Show (shameless plug) and any other video needs Gary might have. My hours have been packed and I come home exhausted—this is a bit different for me, because usually I can work until 2am, but now that I’ve been cooking lunch and dinner meals, trying to exercise every day and keep Launching Creative moving (with Nik) I’ve just been tired.

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An Interview with Melody Wilding


Melody is an entrepreneur who offers therapy for entrepreneurs and successful professionals who teaches that we become stuck in particular themes, patterns, and behaviors that build limiting beliefs about our own capabilities, guiding our behavior in unproductive ways.

She helps address where you are and where you want to be, remove blocks, and create compelling purpose to get you there.

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The “all or nothing” entrepreneur seems to be a big trend right now. I often read and hear stories of people who max out their credit cards or refinance their homes in order to fund their business.

If that scares the living crap out of you and if you personally don’t believe that is a wise decision for you, I have good news: this doesn’t mean you can’t be an entrepreneur.

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An Interview with Chris LoCurto


Chris LoCurto was Dave Ramsey’s Vice President of Live Events for 12 years! He’s an accomplished speaker who helps entrepreneurs and businesses grow through business coaching, strategic planning, and life plan events.

In addition to being a coach, he’s a podcaster and blogger. In this interview we talk about leadership? Are you a leader? What does it mean to be a leader? Check it out and find out!

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An Interview with Ryan McKenzie


Ryan McKenzie is an entrepreneur, content strategist, and partner at My Passion Media, InfoBarrel, Canadian Traveller, and Explore Magazine!

It may seem counter-intuitive but creating content on bigger platforms is one of the best ways to build and grow your personal brand. Ryan has built an entire company on this concept.

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launching-cretive-featured-image-hobbies Jump back in time to 2003 and you’ll find a goofy 16 year old with an afro who thinks he’s going to be a rockstar when he grows up. He has no plans of attending college and he thinks he’ll be 30 years old before he even begins to think about marriage (which is crazy talk in Arkansas—people get married at a young age in the South).

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An Interview with Amy Porterfield


Amy is an online entrepreneur, podcaster, blogger, and speaker. She is the person to talk to when it comes to promoting your business on Facebook.

While she was a marketer for Harley Davidson, Amy spent a great deal of time listening to Tony Robbins. She decided that she wanted to work for him and became his Director of Content Development.

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1. Not Even Kryptonite Can Hurt You.

We all know Superman has a weakness for kryptonite, his powers become far less “powerful” when he is around it. It’s his crutch. Who are we to think that we have more power than superman? What am I trying to say? Well you can’t do it all, especially if you think you can. It seems like such a simple concept, but for us as creatives we tend to like control everything. Stop trying to out-strength superman, even he has a weakness. If you need help, just ask for it.  

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An Interview with Shah Turner


Shah Turner is the  creator of 30 Foot Gorilla, which helps designers start and grow something big. It also helps designers discover the freedom to lead the life you want to, the skills to grow a business that thrives and a place to connect with others doing the same.

If you get lonely working from home (or maybe you’re one of the only creatives in the office) you’re going to want to listen to Shah.

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Do you know the difference between imitation and emulation? When you imitate someone, you try to be just like them. Essentially, you steal their personality.

When I was in high school, I wanted to be just like Kramer from Seinfeld. I don’t know why…perhaps it made me feel better about being an oddball.


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An Interview with Chris Ducker


Chris Ducker is the virtual CEO. He’s a serial entrepreneur who was working 14 hours a day, 6 days a week and rarely got to spend time with his family. He decided to work on his business instead of in his business and gave himself a 1 year goal to replace himself.

If you’re a creative professional and you feel like you’re on the verge of burnout, you’re going to want to listen to what Chris has to say.

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I knew nothing about recruiters before I moved to New York City. If you don’t know much about recruiters, here are a few basics:

  • A recruiter is also called a headhunter.
  • Their clients need new employees. You need a job. They’re essentially the middleman.
  • Some recruiters focus on contract/temporary work while others focus on full time work

Before I begin to sound like I’m completely anti-recruiter, there are people in the industry who are highly professional. However, you need to know these 3 things if you’re going to use a recruiter to find a job as a creative professional:

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An Interview with Elizabeth Nicholas


Elizabeth is a freelance writer and editor who has lived all over the world. We stumbled across her article, How to Become a Successful Freelancer in 6 Months, on PolicyMic a while back. After noticing that she was an American living in Paris, we just had to ask some questions.

Here’s the cool part: after working at Vanity Fair and the Aspen Institute, she decided to freelance full time and move to Paris. Because all of her clients were in the US, she didn’t have to worry about getting a work Visa. She worked remotely!

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On episode 14 of the Launching creative podcast, I had the privilege of interviewing Hilary Rushford—the founder of Dean Street Society.

In this video series called We are the Anti-Starving Artists, I ask her one simple question:

What would you say if someone said you can never be creative for a living?


Whether you’re an introvert (like most creatives), an extrovert, or an ambivert (like me)—you have to be around people. You need to be around people. Weird things happen when you’re never around people.

Living in isolation is inhumane. Have you ever heard stories about people in solitary confinement? I’ll spare you the disturbing details because I’m sure you enjoy sleeping at night. I’ll just say that the stories are freaking messed up! (I’m not saying that the life of a creative professional or a freelancer is similar to solitary confinement, of course.)

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I am obsessed with podcasts and blogs. I kid you not…my college education doesn’t even come close to the education I’ve received from podcasts and blogs.

These fantastic resources below are 20 blogs that you should be reading. I’ve said this several times on our podcast and in our Anti-Starving Artists interviews…there has never been a better time in the history of human a civilization to be creative for a living. I hope these blogs and online magazines inspire you as much as they’ve inspired me.

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The Problem

You are more than just a punching bag, you are a professional and you want to be treated as such. So how do you legitimize yourself?

I’ve been talking to a lot of creatives lately and this is a big concern right now and it’s a great question. Why? Way back when, you mostly worked through agencies and the “legit-ness” was in their name. Now there are so many solo-preneaurs, artists, creatives, and freelancers out there, how do we show that we are LEGIT?

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An Interview with Ted Rubin


Ted Rubin is a keynote speaker and brand evangelist who is the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine, one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media, and he’s #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers. He worked with Seth Godin at YoYoDyne.

As an Anti-Starving Artist, you want more than a strong following on Twitter. You want clients and customers, right? Today, we’re going to talk about creating content that converts…and what that means exactly.

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We had the privilege of doing a quick video interview with Ryan Hanley of Content Warfare. We asked a simple question:

“If someone were to tell you that you could never be a creative professional, what would you say to them?”

You’re going to love his answer.


It’s 2014 and people are doing some pretty creative things. John Lee Dumas has turned his passion for entrepreneurship into a six figure business, people are creating tons of awesome products using Kickstarter, heck we’re printing food! 

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 An Interview with Ryan Hanley of Content Warfare


Ryan is a fellow podcaster and entrepreneur. He helps brands and businesses find their audience, tell their story and win the battle for attention online. Here’s the cool thing about Ryan: He loves to connect with people who see themselves as artists even if their “art” is creating excel spreadsheets or answering the phone.

As an Anti-Starving Artist, you want more than a strong following on Twitter. You want clients and customers, right? Today, we’re going to talk about creating content that converts…and what that means exactly.

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This week has been a wild one! We’ve had an amazing guest on our podcast — Mr Lou Mongello. We’ve had an amazing guest post by Jean Luc, and we got to be part of Gary Vaynerchuk’s new short film “Clouds & Dirt” If you haven’t watched it yet, I’ll post a link to it below.

First I wanted to share a few things that I learned from this experience.

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Starting your own business can be a daunting task. Sleepless hours, limited social life, legal issues, cash flow problems, all right at your finger tips. However, there is no better feeling than pulling through and achieving success. Here are 5 quotes that have guided many entrepreneurs to creating a successful start up and could help you as well.

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An Interview with Lou Mongello of WDW Radio


Lou was without a doubt, a fascinating guest. He was a successful lawyer in New Jersey who decided to sell his house, leave his law practice behind, and move his family to Florida so that he could podcast about Walt Disney World.

A podcaster and Disney World expert—how creative is that?! This is probably the coolest job in the world.

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Lou Mongello is a podcaster and Disney World expert—talk about being a creative professional! Originally, he was a successful lawyer in New Jersey. However, he left his practice behind, sold his house, and moved his family to Florida so he could podcast and write about Walt Disney World.

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Whether you are a freelancer or a creative professional, you are always working with clients. This is why it is important to create a game plan. Why?

Reasons for a Game Plan?

If you are anything like me, I’m a little all over the place—mentally. (We’re all a little crazy right?) If I am not thinking about one thing, I am thinking about another, which is why I love  Google Calendar. If you don’t have it, you should get it. You can link it directly to your gmail account and then sync it right to your iphone calendar.  This will help the craziness.

A Game Plan will keep you on track.

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As far back as I can remember, people have shaken their heads at me and exclaimed, “You are so weird!” To be fair, I have always been a bit of a wild card. When other little girls were playing with Barbies and My Little Ponies, I was breaking in my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle nun chucks. Instead of going on dates or to parties with my friends, I spent my teenage years practicing impressions and accents in the bathroom mirror. As an adult, I have dressed up as Princess Leia on many, non-Halloween occasions, and I’m a notorious day dreamer. I’ve lost count of how many times other drivers on the road have honked at me for not going through a green light, just because I was too wrapped up my imaginary interview for the Nerdist podcast to drive. I have spent most of my life feeling like a misfit because I see the world differently than others, but what if I stopped seeing that as a disadvantage? What if all of us were able to embrace our creative weirdness, and use it to change the world around us? We are quirky, hear us roar!

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An Interview with Natalie Eckdahl of Biz Chix


Natalie is CEO & Host of The Biz Chix Podcast and the Co-Founder of

It’s always a blast to have a fellow podcaster on our show. Natalie has an amazing podcast in which she interviews women entrepreneurs (and the occasional dude). She does this 5 DAYS A WEEK. As podcasters, we can tell you that this is seriously no small feat.

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Developing a good working relationship with your client is very important, remember clients = more business.  Let’s face it, we’ve all encountered clients who want MORE.

There’s always a fine balance between keeping your clients happy and doing work for free.

Every client is different. But these are some questions I ask myself before moving forward with the client.

  • How long will these changes take?
  • How will this change the vision of the proposed project?
  • Will the client ever be happy?

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Last Saturday, I received my diploma, turned my tassel, and said goodbyes to some major players in my life over the last four years. That’s right: I graduated from college

And now I’m straddling the line between “student” and “creative professional.” I’m one of those college graduates who is ready to take the world by storm with my writing, but I still have a lot to learn about the freelance market. I am—what we like to call—in transition.

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An Interview with Nick Bertke AKA Pogo


Nick is an extremely talented musician. You may know him by his stage name “Pogo” and he’s famous for creating music from clips of movies and television shows. It’s pretty stinkin’ cool!

In his interview, he tells us how he began creating music for himself. He didn’t concern himself with what he thought other people would listen to. Coincidentally, he was commissioned by John Lasseter to create a clip for Disney/Pixar’s Up and was given complete creative control.

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Chances are, you either rolled your eyes in disdain or you became giddy with glee when you read my title. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground when it comes to network marketing—people either love it or hate it.

I want to say that I’m not disrespecting anyone who has a career in network marketing. I’m simply saying that I tried it in January of 2013, discovered that it’s not for me, and learned some valuable lessons along the way. Here are the tactics I learned and I’ve got to tell ya’ the tactics work quite excellently as a creative professional.

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As a creative professional, we expect a lot from ourselves. We have the whole wide world (hello internet) to compare ourselves to, and we tend to be more harsh on ourselves than anyone else. In some cases it improves our work, and more often than not, we labor over details that only we see. While I don’t formally work in graphic design, I frequently work in After Effects with other graphic designers source materials. I will take apart an eps, ai or psd and animate the bits and pieces to integrate with a video that the company is making. I have created logos for clients before, for a few of my own ventures as well, but it’s a hellish process trying to do the work myself. It’s not my niche, it’s not what I’ve spent years studying on my own time to perfect and while I’m better than the average joe, I measure up poorly with the working graphic designer. So, I hired one over the internet.

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An Interview with Claudine Hellmuth


Claudine is an artist and illustrator who has been featured on the Martha Stewart Show, HGTV, HSN, QVC UK, the DIY Network, and the New York Times.

Between licensing, selling her own designs online, and teaching workshops, Claudine knows a lot about building streams of passive income! If you’re a creative professional, you’re definitely going to want to learn how to build passive income.

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Storytelling is dead. Our market is saturated with companies creating content to communicate to us the consumers.


Our attention span is 15 seconds. If we aren’t interested by the first few seconds we are going to click away from what you are trying to tell us. That’s a fact. How do we get them to pay attention?  Tell them a story right? I disagree.

No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”― Lewis Carroll,

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Do you cringe when you hear the word retirement? What does retirement even mean for creatives? Probably not what you think.

Retirement doesn’t mean you stop working. Retirement doesn’t mean you do nothing. If you think retirement doesn’t apply to you, you don’t truly understand it. At least not yet.

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An Interview with Hilary Rushford


Hilary is the founder of Dean Street Society: a blog that helps you create providence and how to show up as the best version of yourself. She’s passionate about helping you not settle for a lesser story than you were created for.

She tells us about her new book, THE 4-PART ENTREPRENEUR COCKTAIL, which is her personal recipe for building your own profitable business in under 2 years.

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When we first begin our careers as creative professionals, we may go through the occasional dry financial season. If you read this blog or listen to our podcast regularly, you obviously plan on earning a very decent living. However, it can take time to get there.

Whether you’re a freelancer who is getting few nibbles from potential clients or you’re underemployed or underpaid, here are some really great money saving tips. We promise these will be better tips than “don’t drink at Starbucks”.

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An Interview with Jake Bartlett


Jake is a talented motion graphics designer. He works for Eyeboogie Inc. and has worked with big clients like Yahoo!, MSN, Fandango, & VH1. But the cool thing is, he is building residual income.

As creative professionals, we are accustomed to exchanging our service for dollars. Essentially, we’re exchanging hours for dollars. But what if we could build something upfront and continue to get paid?

You can! It’s called residual income or passive income and it’s a beautiful business model.

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Why do I hate the word networking so much?

Well, networking sounds so 1960′s, it’s that cheesy pickup line the creepy man at the bar says “I would love to connect to your network ;) ” —yes with the wink.

Think of all the negative connotations and expectations that come with the word, networking. You always hear “You have to network more!” or “Work on building your network” “It’s all about who’s in your network” Gosh!  It’s so overwhelming.  But here’s the thing, networking is necessary. It’s a freakin’ requirement.

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An Interview with Christina Canters


Christina—originally an architect from Melbourne, Australia—is the creator of DesignDrawSpeak.

As a creative professional, you’re going to have to communicate your ideas and concepts. Whether you’re a freelancer who’s talking to your client, an entrepreneur who’s talking to your customers, or an employee who’s talking to your boss…you’re going to have to be a good communicator.

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There I was with my business partner, sitting in a restaurant with a successful entrepreneur. We offered to take him out to dinner in exchange for picking his brain. We wanted to pitch our business idea to see what he thought.

This was the company I had started before Launching Creative—the company that I thought I was going sell for millions of dollars. I was young, I was naive, I was very “Silicon Valley” about it.

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An Interview with Aaron Marino


Aaron is the creator of Alpha M, a men’s image consulting firm.

I first discovered Aaron when he appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank. I was amazed by his confidence. “The Tank” would be a very scary place to be, after all.

He has created over 1,500 videos and articles to help the average man enhance is image, fashion, and confidence.

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I stumbled across a fascinating video on YouTube the other day. Yes, there are non-cat videos on YouTube. It’s pretty cool, actually.

They talked about this series of studies that were conducted at a restaurant. They wanted to test reciprocity (which is just a fancy word for saying you return someone’s favor) among the customer. Basically, the server would give their customers at their table a mint before giving them the bill.

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An Interview with Kalen Bruce


Kalen is the creator of MoneyMiniBlog: a really cool blog that takes a scary topic like investing and breaks it down into a short post that’s easy to understand.

It’s crucial that you invest for your future—especially if you’re self employed. But don’t worry, we promise it isn’t as scary as it sounds.

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Last week, we went to Social Media Marketing world in San Diego! (And yes, we worked on our way there.) But it was actually on our flight back to NYC when we talked about the differences between a freelancer and an entrepreneur.


We gave our elevator pitch to a lot of people we met in San Diego. One thing we realized…our mission statement was way too convoluted.

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show-notes-cory-copelandIn yesterday’s podcast, we interviewed Cory Copeland. He began his writing career in September of 2011 and has grown quite the following. He has also written a few articles for our blog. (They’re obviously fantastic reads. You can find them here and here.)

One of the reasons I knew Cory would make a wonderful guest on our show is because he knows a thing or two about receiving criticism for his art—and he always responds well.

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An Interview with Cory Copeland


Cory is a personal friend; we go way back. Here’s a cool little fact, I was in a rock band with his brothers when we were in high school!

He is an extremely talented writer and blogger. Cory is also launching (on the same day that this podcast is being released, which is no coincidence) an online magazine called Bedlam Magazine. I think it’s really going to shake things up :)

You always want to be true to yourself before you’re true to any kind of public or audience that you have.

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As a creative professional, it can be easy to feel guilty when you’re pricing yourself. Here’s a scenario that you might be able to relate to (don’t worry, you’re not alone).

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In yesterday’s episode of the Launching Creative Podcast, we interviewed Eric T. Tung, who is the social media manager for a top-10 independent software company.

Eric gave us so many stories, it inspired us to write a followup post about the show…and you know what…I think I’m going to do this every week.

That’s right, Anti-Starving Artists! We are giving away even more content from this point on.

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An Interview with Eric T. Tung


Eric T. Tung is the social media manager for BMC Software, which is a top-10 independent software company. For all of you creatives out there, Adobe is on that same list.

He’s a natural storyteller. Eric tells us stories of incredibly creative social media campaigns—some with small budgets and others with large budgets.

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It’s that time of the year again—time to pay your taxes. One thing we’ve learned is that there is an immense difference between being an employee and being an entrepreneur or freelancer this time of the year.
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An Interview with Leslie Samuel


In this episode, we wanted to talk about passion. We knew that Leslie would be the perfect guest for this topic. If you’ve spent any time listening to his podcast, you’ll know that he is a very passionate person.

Leslie Samuel is the main guy behind Become a Blogger and the creator of Learning Leslie and

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In case you didn’t know, I am now freelancing and building Launching Creative full time. David is doing the same thing—but he’s been doing it since day one. He’s just awesome like that.

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An Interview with Dave Herman


Dave Herman was such a fun and fascinating guest!

He’s a full time freelancer based in New York City, he’s a comedian, and he accomplished the amazing feat of performing 100 jobs in 1 year.

These jobs ranged from being a butler, all the way to being a correspondent on New Year’s Eve at Times Square!

In this episode of the Launching Creative Podcast, we’ll talk about finding creative outlets, all the while, finding ways to earn a living while doing so.

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Whether you’re an employee or a freelancer, you’ve probably run into a bad boss or client. They are creative vampires because they suck all of the creativity out of you. Get it? Let’s refer to these bad bosses and clients as Dracula.

Trust us, we’ve encountered Dracula as well. He can be indescribably frustrating and we understand the desire to vent and complain. But let’s take these experiences and turn them into something positive.

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We are thrilled to announce that we are launching a free video series called the Anti-Starving Artist’s Starter Kit. In this series, we’re going to talk about:

  • Social Media Branding
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Social Media Interaction

It’s noisy and crowded in the social media world. We are going to show you how to stand out and leverage social media so you can thrive as a creative professional. We want you to succeed and, quite frankly, creating beautiful work alone doesn’t cut it. You have to promote and market yourself and we’ll teach you how.

As creative professionals, we’re often reluctant to share our ideas. If we don’t protect our ideas, someone will steal them. Right?


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An Interview with Mark Patchett: Being in the business of helping people


Mark is a very savvy entrepreneur. We had a blast picking his brain on the show!

As creatives, we tend to be territorial…but that’s actually bad for us. As crazy as it sounds, generosity will set us up for success.

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If you spend much time on the Internet like I do, you know that it can be a wonderful place where you can meet new people, share ideas, and foster a community of like-minded individuals. In short, it’s rather awesome. But like anything worthy of your attention, the flip side of the World Wide Web is a dark and twisted place. Visit the comment section under most any YouTube video and you’ll witness the kind of anger and maliciousness usually reserved for Westboro Baptist Church rallies. It can make it difficult to stay positive when so much negativity is thrown about.

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An Interview with Shahrina Ankhi-Krol: getting a copyright for your work


We wanted to go down into the trenches and bring back some high value, actionable advice that you can use as a creative professional.

Shahrina was awesome enough and generous enough to share her specialized knowledge on getting a copyright.

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An Interview with Brandon Turner: the power of blogging


We had a blast getting to interview Brandon. Just a little side note from Nik: I didn’t even know podcasting was a thing until I found the BiggerPockets Podcast about a year ago.

Brandon is an extremely influential blogger and podcaster and he’s going to share with us how to become an authority in your niche.

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I have been entrepreneurial at heart as long as I can remember. When I was 4 years old, I was given the big news that I was going to be a big brother. My parents showed me a picture of an ultrasound. Not unlike most fully grown adults, I had no idea as to what the squiggles and blobs were.

After my parents explained to me that the black and white squiggles and blobs were my baby sister and that God had put her in my mommy’s belly I said, “Some day when I grow up, I’m going to invent a computer that takes pictures like this but the pictures are going to be in color. Doctors are going to stand in line all the way out in the street because they’ll want to buy my computer.”

Even when I was 4 years old, I was thinking of ways to make money.

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I always take criticism as a challenge. It’s the way I’ve always looked at it. -Derek Jeter

Criticism is one of the best learning accelerators (and it’s free, most of the time.)

I know we touched upon this in our latest post about Sherlock. But this is without a doubt an important part of being a creative professional.

We all tend to tense up once we are criticized. It’s like we are automatically offended! And get this, most people aren’t trying to hurt your feelings. Most people who give criticism are only trying to help. If everyone just nodded their heads and said “good job” we’d never get anywhere. What happens is, we take criticism as a slap on the face by an eel

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Sherlock is our favorite high-functioning sociopath. Don’t worry, we’re not saying you should be more of a high-functioning sociopath.

However, if you want to grow as a creative professional and as a business person you should be more like Sherlock in 4 specific ways.

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You agreed on a price before you began the project. Everything went smoothly. You completed your job,  you were happy with the end result, and (more importantly) your client was happy with the end result.

You sent your invoice and expected to get paid and…BAM!

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So you’ve given up the 9-5, no more boss, no more horizons filled with filing cabinets, and no more day-old-coffee. Whew! 


you are free!

You bought your new desk and its positioned perfectly by your window over looking your favorite view. Your computer has arrived and you’ve set up new email accounts for your business and popped open a fresh pack of post-its. Yep, you are ready! …Or so you think.

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First of all, what do we mean when we say better? We mean:

  • Enjoying quality in life
  • Achieving more time freedom
  • Taking on projects that you actually enjoy
  • Experiencing more monetary success AKA making more money!

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It’s a New Year, you’ve got a new start. So exciting! but before you go all Jason Pollock on your fresh canvas, let’s do this the smart way.

Creating resolutions is often an exciting and painful experience. Why? Because you are evaluating the things you haven’t done, or would like to change, as well as things you want to do. New, bold and wonderful things.

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*Photo altered. Photo credit.

It’s the last day of 2013. That gets my blood pumping because it means 2014 is just around the corner!

I’ve never been much of a “New Year’s Resolution” guy. Let’s be honest, most of those resolutions lead to unused gym memberships, right? (I’m definitely not speaking from experience or anything…)

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Have you ever received an email only to discover that it was a generic, insincere template message? Presumably, this person blasted it out to countless recipients and, because you were a mere number, you received the spammy email.

Unfortunately, that happens a lot.

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We understand the desire to have a full-time job with a salary, benefits and a steady income. A lot of entrepreneurs and freelancers will say such circumstances would feel like being sentenced to prison—a notion we’ve found to be a bit dramatic (but understandable).

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Just over two years ago, I began writing on a regular basis on this here internet and built a modest readership from the articles and thoughts I’ve posted. From writing on my own site regularly to creating guest articles for the likes of Relevant Magazine and Jon Acuff, I’ve been able to build a loyal following of about 7,000 subscribers who (hopefully) know they can go to and find a few words that will encourage, comfort, and guide them when they’re in need. I don’t say all of this to brag or to boast, but to instruct in a way. I have a little bit of knowledge when it comes to growing an audience and I’m asked how to do so by readers on a semi regular basis. So when Nik Parks (co-creator of and long time buddy) asked me to write an article detailing just that, I leapt at the opportunity.

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* Yes, that’s me cheesing. Why wouldn’t I be excited to meet the guy?!

Who’s Gary Vaynerchuk? Is he a rockstar or something?

I was asked this question as I described my privilege of meeting Gary Vaynerchuk last week. Later that night, I thought about the question and realized, you know what, Gary Vaynerchuk basically is a rockstar.

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As Anti-Starving Artists, we are all visually inclined. What would it have been like if these creative professionals and entrepreneurs had Instagram before they were big?

Here’s what we thought!

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Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. This is a big deal to us Whovians.

Before I get too excited and lose all sense of focus, let’s get right down to business.

We have received fantastic feedback on our first motion GIF post, 9 Things Walter White Can Teach Us About Entrepreneurship. I want to give a big thanks to everyone for the kind words and support! I’m so glad you’re enjoying Launching Creative.

Because it was received so well, I’m launching our second motion GIF list.

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First off, congrats! Seriously, someone is interested in your work! This is not something to take for granted! This means you have something that other people want; whether that be a product or service, they think that you could be “valuable” to them. Now they are looking to talk and learn more about you! 

“Freelancing is a personal business”


This is something that you should always keep in mind whenever meeting a client.  People like people, so be personable. Be Genuine. I’ll promise you will get at least 75% more clients calling you back. Especially if you could really rock their socks off during initial contact. Remember, you are; the swiss army knife, the one man band, YOU ARE YOUR business. As Uncle Ben Parker once said “With great power comes great responsibility”  This is not to be taken lightly, you need to get your own clients because with no clients—there is no income coming in.

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When I think of creatives, I think of a typical cop drama—everyone is highly territorial.

First, you have your uniformed cop. For some reason, he always has a grungy, uneducated sounding accent. Along comes the detective in a suit. The uniformed cop, unaware that this is a detective whose authority trumps his level of authority, mouths off to the detective.

“Hey! Buddy!” He says, “This area here is closed due to an ongoing police investigation!”

The detective, with unwavering and intimidating eye contact, opens his wallet and flashes his badge. He never utters a word.

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Everyone knows that Walter White was a brilliant chemist. But I’d like to argue that he was also a genius in business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer, or an employee…we can all learn a lot from Walter White.

So let’s get right to it!

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You have decided to take on the mantle of being a “free-agent”  not secret agent, you are on the wrong blog for that.  Our sincerest apologies. You are probably here because the corporate world is stunting your creativity, you want to travel, or you just do things better on your own. Whatever the reason is, you are here now.

Here we will guide you with our experience, so that you no longer have to worry about making enough money to pay for rent and can stop buying that months supply of peanut butter and jelly at a discount rate at Costco…which you can’t afford the membership for so you snuck in on your mothers account.  It’s okay, we understand. 

Now, let’s make that gravy!

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I stumbled across this article on Business Insider. I think we should take a moment to read an email that is about as professional as…well, these guys.


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Every business owner has their highs and lows—their ups and downs—but what are these pitfalls if we don’t learn from them? As the old saying goes, “When you fall off a horse, you have to get back on again.” Or as Bruce Wayne’s father often said, “Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.”

Some of the greatest success stories in the world came from failure and hitting rock bottom. In these moments of desperation, they picked themselves up.

To give you the perfect illustration of someone falling, here’s a photo we stumbled across recently.

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Seriously! HOW MUCH DO I F#%^&$@ CHARGE?!

Every freelancer is faced with this question because, quite frankly, we want to get paid. And you deserve to get paid.

There is no guaranteed formula for this question. But here’s what we suggest:

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