We are freelance designers—but we don’t take every job that comes our way. Not like we used to anyways.
There was a time when we did. We used to worry about where our next job would come from. We worried that there wasn’t enough money, and so we accepted all the work that came our way. We didn’t stop to consider whether or not we found the work creative or inspiring, or whether the work matched our values.
We took the work, because that was the compass we had been given. More clients, more work—they were the North Star. And so we followed that compass, chasing after North until we couldn’t chase any more.
We were tired. We were sad. We had reached our limits. A creative’s life was supposed to be about creativity! Inspiration! Moving the world! Not working 14 hour days on generic, meaningless work we don’t even like for companies with questionable values and no real appreciation for design.
That’s when our compass broke. That’s when we decided it was time to write our own rules.
This code became our call to arms
You are a remarkable creative. You are filled with creativity, and you are tired of chasing after North just as much as we were. In ways big and small, design affects every person, place, and experience we have. What if we used our talent to work on projects that excite us and add value to the world, rather than chasing after a paycheck that barely lets us survive? What if we choose to work with companies that we find meaningful?
What would that look like for you?
You may not know it yet, but you wield an increadible and far-reaching power: the power of choice. Only we can choose which projects we invest our talents into. Doing meaningless work for a paycheck is something we used to do.
This code was written to help you reset your compass. To stop chasing the false North of money and work for work’s sake. To instead honor your personal and professional values and start believing in the impact you can create.
As you begin recalibrating your compass, you may feel lost—but we promise, you are not alone. You’ve found your way to Never North. At Never North we learn how to kick crappy projects to the curb, kick our business into high gear, and focus on the change we want to see—and we do it together.
We reset our compasses to wherever we want to go—Never North.
This is the Never North Code
We believe in order to live a fulfilling creative life there are four things that need to be taken care of and nourished.
Leverage the power of the people around you.
Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The people around you influence how you think, act, and ultimately how successful you will be. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, talented you are, what skills you have, where you are born, or which family you came from. You’ll face many challenges and struggles on the way to finding freedom through freelancing. The only way you can fight through that hardship is with the right people by your side. This is our main inspiration and motivation behind creating the Never North community.
Reframe your motivation and develop an attitude of progressive learning.
Your attitude towards life determines your experience of it. When you just sit around complaining about a negative reality you are focused on the negative and will continue to perpetuate it. This leaves no room for growth or improvement to come in. If you want a change in your reality, you’ve got to change your inner space. Instead of the attitude of ‘why is life doing this to me?’ we develop the attitude of ‘what am I supposed to learn from this situation?’ In this way you won’t be wallowing in self-pity, but instead learning, growing, and moving towards an improved reality… even if it’s just one baby step at a time.
Establish a healthy routine and structure that supports your goals.
Being a freelancer means you are in *total* control of your schedule and tasks, but it also means you have no real structure or workframe to rely on. While being your own boss is a great thing – it can also be a bad thing. When you have no organization, goals, or schedule, there is nothing better than waking up at 11:30, eating a late breakfast, and taking it easy. Maybe play on facebook for a while or watch some TV. You get to decide, and it’s easy to decide to take it easy. Taking it easy is a good thing to do sometimes, but it can become a bad habit if you don’t have boundaries, structure, and organization that support your goals.
Create a life that allows you to do what you want, when you want to do it.
We believe in freedom. Society loves to tell you that you should save up for retirement and slave away your days for that magic time when you are old and wrinkly that you finally get to do what you want. At Never North we say fuck that. There is absolutely no reason we can’t do it now. There is no point it sitting around dreaming of the day you can have your freedom when that day isn’t even guaranteed… you could die tomorrow and as horrible as that sounds, it’s true. As a freelancer you can choose how you spend your days, how long you want to work, where you want to work, where you want to live, what projects you work on, and how much you make. It’s up to you make a choice and claim your freedom.
This is the Never North Code
If this resonates with you, we’re here to support you—wherever your compass may lead. If not, then don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Never North is for the doers.