Today marks the day that Henry and I launch the new Never North, but before we get into what Never North is and why we’re here, let’s rewind to last year for a sec.
I was sitting in my beach-front hotel overlooking the beautiful ocean in Thailand. This view is what I dreamed of when I left my home years ago to travel the world and freelance from my laptop. I’d be able to see the world and have all kinds of crazy adventures!
See that picturesque view all nice and big on the header above?
It would have looked beautiful if I actually had time to appreciate it.
I took this trip from my home base in Bangkok so I could work on a personal creative project of mine (AKA this website), but no—instead I got some rude ass e-mail from a client that stressed me out. I depended on them to pay the bills and they were holding the invoice hostage.
It was always some fire I had to put out that kept me from enjoying things. Today, it was bolding everything. Tomorrow it’ll be making the logo bigger.
Subject: Re: Final Final Final Final Final Final Changes
Thanks for building our website. Now that it’s live, can I please have the following changes today?
“Can you bold the first paragraph so it stands out”
“Put this in a colored box so it stands out”
“Can you make that font larger so it stands out more”
“Why doesn’t the sunset show in the photo, it needs to stand out more”
“I don’t care the order doesn’t make sense or that I already approved it. I don’t like it. It’s my site. Change it.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. If you bold everything nothing stands out! This is a basic design rule and they were refusing reason.
Who cares about the audience right?
This is also the fifth set of ‘final changes’ after they’ve approved the site. ?
Why did they hire me if they just want to ignore sound advice?
Have you ever had a project that starts out so full of potential, you’re sure the finished piece will win awards, show up on blogs or just be something that makes you happy and you’re proud of… Then, within a couple of weeks you’re like “I’ll give the client whatever stupid changes they want because I’d rather do that than shoot them and wind up in jail for murder?”
How did I even get here?
Overworked, stressed out, and under appreciated. Freelancing was supposed to give me FREEDOM, not a freakin’ nightmare.
For so many of us we go into freelancing and think that the whole point is to just survive or make money. However, you don’t want to survive, you want to thrive. You want to be financially stable, live life on your terms, do work that makes you happy, and build your skills. That’s why you’re here today at Never North.
Be around the right people
American entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn says,
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
As a freelancer I often found myself isolated in my office alone. I had problems, pain-in-the-ass clients, and it would be nice to get someone to review my work once in a while to help me do better work.
There was no one around me to help me level up. I was an army of one. The people around me were saying it couldn’t be done or I’m wasting my time.
With this quote by Jim Rohn in mind, the people you spend the most time with can influence the way you think, run your business, and build your freelance life. Some people can be parasites telling you things like,
“Freelancing doesn’t provide you with a stable income.”
“Crappy clients and bread and butter work are just part of freelancing.”
“You’ll be spending all your time chasing payments and not actually doing creative work.”
They suck out your happiness, energy, and can make you feel like your dreams are hopeless. It wasn’t until I started surrounding myself with people who were doing what I wanted some day that things took off for me.
As a freelancer, not everything is going to be a walk in the park. Things will still blow up in your face. You can have clients turn into nightmares, a stiffed payment, a killed project, or a client that runs out of budget. Freelancing and entrepreneurship will have their up and downs. It’s part of the process.
But at the end of the day, it’s you who makes the decisions. That’s why we started freelancing in the first place.
At Never North we think it’s awesome to have someone on your side. Someone to give you advice on how they weathered the storm, dealt with the situation, and prevented it from happening again. Someone to tell you what worked for them and how you could potentially do the same.
Never North is a community first.
That’s what we want Never North to be for you. A community freelancers taking action to help you battle the crap and get where you want to go.
Sometimes the only ones that understand a designers rant about a difficult client—are other creative people. There needs to be a private place for action-taking freelancers to get feedback on their work, advice on clients, and communicate with others doing awesome shit. That’s the future of Never North. A killer place of awesome people doing amazing shit.
Never North is not for everyone. We are looking freelancers that have already taken steps toward their freedom and have potential in their respective fields. Even if it’s as simple as an action plan with some money in the bank or progressing towards a higher quality of work. We want a community of action-takers making positive changes to their freelance life.
We won’t be the place to go for a PhotoShop tutorial like learning how to make a drop shadow. You should know how to Google-fu by now. Nor would we have a lame article with generic tips like, “Don’t forget to save 6 months of income before you start freelancing.”
There are hundreds of resources out there with that information.
We’re not one of them.
At Never North, we are providing access to the building of our businesses to get where we are today and our fight to get where we want to go.
Detailed and transparent access to what’s working, what’s not, and how-tos on everything we do we from app development to creating logos to writing headlines.
In the age of Digital Strategy, there are things you need to know about each part of the process, even if that’s not what you specialize in. It’s part of being a good entrepreneur.
The ultimate way to make more money is to provide more value to clients. Prove your designs, copy, dev, etc converts and you’ll never run out of work. Make a client money that you can prove was a direct result of your work and amazing things happen. My design (and copy) converted so well that my dream client invested the money he made back into my team. My dream project became dreamier.
In order to be a better freelancer you need to know how to copywrite, market, brand, develop, and be a good entrepreneur. At Never North we’re gonna do the hard work for you, so you can concentrate on action. We’ve divided up our content into 6 categories for you.
- Dream Clients – Learn how to find and manage dream clients that respect you and your expertise.
- Productivity – Learn how to manage multiple projects at once and prioritize to get things done. “There are not enough hours in the day” will become something you used to say.
- Entrepreneurship – Too much of an artist? Learn how to be a better entreprenur and create a business that works for you, not against you.
- Creative Process & Skills – Learn the exact processes we go through for each of our project types from responsive websites to branding to making apps.
- Lifestyle – Learn how to adapt a mindset of abundance and live the good life. You only get one after all.
- Community – This is where we highlight people from our community, have interviews, and any other announcement type posts.
Henry and I have already been moderately successful, but we want to take it to the next level and beyond. With you.
Henry wants to get into app development. He’s thinking to write an entire series on how he started and where he ended with step-by-step details including what he learned, mistakes made, things to do different, and where he ended up. This provides you with a detailed action plan and system from start to finish.
After listening to your struggles finding clients, Jenny will be creating a new service for her business while documenting the entire process. From deciding what to offer to building the site to finding clients.
This is what we want Never North to be for you. A community that helps you battle the crap and get you where you want to go, wherever that may be. We do the hard work, so you can focus on action.
The New Never North
While Henry and I have tons of ideas with what we want to do with Never North, we want to hear from you! Never North is about you, not us. It’s about your struggle to find freedom in freelancing. It’s about your desire to have dream clients that pay well, respect your expertise, and give creative freedom. It’s about doing better work, getting better clients and building a better business.
The only way we can do that is by listening to you.
So I want you to do three things:
- If you’re not subscribed yet, do it now. We want to make sweet sweet love to your inbox and we can only do that if we have your consent.
- Share this post using the share buttons below to help us get the word out. Or tweet this right now –>I consented to making sweet sweet love to Never North.
- Leave a comment below telling us what you want to see at Never North. You can also e-mail us at [email protected].
Talk to us on Skype! If you want help with your freelance problem, want some feedback on your work, or just want to talk to us, schedule a call. We will work with you one-on-one for 45-minutes. Free. Schedule a call.
Why are we doing this?
Over the coming months and years, we don’t want to just give you a few techniques on how to create freedom with freelancing. We don’t want to just inspire you with our stories. We don’t even want to just motivate you to keep moving forward.
These things are great, but they’re not enough. Our real goal is simple.
To turn your life upside down. To help you create the life of freedom you never thought you’d have. We want to meet you exactly where you are, right now, and give you the exact information you need to get immediate and lasting results. The only metric we really care about here is your freelance success and well-being. We believe that if we can help you get to the next level and we work together to spread the word, then Never North will grow into the community we all know it can be.
So tell us.
What do you want to see at Never North?
And then strap yourself in, because we’re in for a wild ride.