How free is your freelance lifestyle?

3 Nov

Daniel Pink’s Free Agent Nation is still a helpful read, even nine years since its release

By Amy Schroeder

Feeling a little down in the dumps about the freelance way of life?

It happens to the best of us.

For a good kick in the entrepreneurial arse, you might want to read Free Agent Nation, Daniel Pink’s first book, the one he published before the best-selling A Whole New Mind (another great read for creative types). Free Agent Nation covers the ups and downs (but mostly ups) of being an independent employee, free of working for the man or the woman. The gist of the book, or movement, really, is to figure out the best ways to navigate the free-agent scence creatively and efficiently—with the help of others. After all, as a freelancer, you may be free, but you’re definitely not alone. In fact, more than 25 million Americans are self-employed.

Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself was published waaay back in 2001, but it’s still—and, perhaps even moreso—relevant in 2010, considering the current state of corporate layoffs.

Here are the top four quotes from the book that have stuck with me:

“The essence of free agency is to distinguish one’s self from the group—to craft one’s own unique style of work rather than adapt to a standardized form.”

“Full-time independent contractors earn an average of 15% more than their employee counterparts.”

“Independent professionals are twice as likely as W-2 workers to have personal incomes above $75K per year.”

“As a free agent, your network is your safety net. The vaster it is and the tighter its connections, the more likely you’ll be able to survive.”

Amy Schroeder, the founder of Venus Zine, also is the founder of the DIY Business Association. She’s crazy-obsessed with entrepreneurship.


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