Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Interview with Angela-Lynn Ware: On Going Freelance

Angela-Lynn Ware
Make Up Artist and Hair Stylist
Philadelphia and New York City

Age: 38

Current years working in the industry?: 8 years

Are you married?
Yes. I have been married for 16 years and am currently going through a divorce. While it' a major life altering experience, The lessons and challenges that come with it have paved the way for me to overcome some of the barriers that try to get in the way of achieving my goals, dreams and aspirations.

Do you have kids or plans to have kids?:
Yes, I have two beautiful daughters. Yumiė Gabrielle pronounced (You-Me-Ā) and Selah Michelle pronounced (Say-Lah). They are 16 and 14 respectively. They desire to one day participate in the beauty industry as well, as they are already practicing hairstyling, makeup, and nail art.

How did you get started in the industry, and what inspired you?
I attended Philadelphia University where I obtained a Bachelors of Science in Psychology.  Upon graduation, I became a social worker which I did for 11 years. While doing my job as a social worker, I went to Gordon Philips Beauty School. there I completed my credentials to become a licensed cosmetologist. As many of us do, I went back to what was familiar and returned to social work.  I worked my way up to being director of my own program. Everything was lovely until government funding for my program was no longer available. The program closed and I was left to decide what I was going to do next. I had always done hair and took this opportunity to go back to school to get my cosmetology teachers license. I proudly enrolled into Empire Beauty School. Nearing the end of my course, I one day overheard a teacher sharing with another student about a celebrity stylist friend that he had who was looking for assistants. I brodied my way into the conversation and asked if he would share the information with me, which he did. I was confident with hair but I had nothing to share with him as I had no real world experience on a professional level with makeup but I was going to give it my best. I asked some of my regular clients to participate in my very first photo shoot. I sent my work samples in to celebrity stylist Robert Johnson. He hired me, and was impressed with my work and so  began my journey into the world of makeup. My training ground was high profile weddings under his supervision which led to working on my first short film. This experience opened my mind to other aspects of makeup artistry such as special effects and airbrush techniques which piqued my interest and made me want to learn more. Now that I think about it, that was the springboard that propelled me to where I am today; that and my mother's advice. Specializing in sex abuse began to take a toll on my life and the life of my family. I struggled with whether to leave or to follow my hearts true desire. After having a heart to heart conversation with my mother, she shared this piece of advice..."When you find your passion, God will show you your purpose". I went in the very next day and gave my two weeks notice. I've never looked back.

Where did you start working as a MUA, and what was your last position at your job? 

I have always been a MAC girl. There are 17 MAC stores and counters in the region where I live. I frequented them all. I would go in, get a tutorial, buy a bunch of stuff, go home and practice on anyone who would lend me their face. I would also practice on myself and go back to the store to show the staff what I had done and ask for their advice on how to improve. I would go so often that I began to be known by name when i walked in the door. Eventually I became a freelancer for the company.  I used to freelance during my days as a social worker. Don't tell but I used to call out of work to take shifts at the MAC counter inside of Nordstrom. By the time I began to consider permanency, I was offered positions with five different locations. I accepted an opportunity at a freestanding store where I held the position of retail make up artist, grew into product specialist and was being considered for the position of key holder when I decided that my time to depart was on the horizon. I was there for 7 years, until I left last year embarking into the freelance world.

What made you want to/need to leave to go freelance?

Much like my decision to leave social work, I had to surrender to my life's passion. I needed flexibility in my schedule in order to accept the bigger gigs that were coming my way. I could no longer be married to the brand if I was going grow beyond the counter.

What was the biggest support for you both in your growth, and in leaving your steady job?
My family is amazing at standing in the gap and helping with the kids  which made it easier for me to be away from home for extended periods of time on occasion. My mentor , Dani Fonseca told me two things that have forever changed my life. The first is "I can have it all". I knew that I had a gift but didn't know how to unleash it until that moment that lent so much clarity and gave me the confidence that I needed to go after my  goals. I no longer thought that I had to be behind the counter and sell makeup because in all honesty, that's what it was, just selling. The artistry has become an added bonus. It's not the main focus and that's what I am passionate about. Dani also told me that there are no limitations "The only ceiling in life is the one that you put there." I know that these are two very simple things however, they were simply profound and had a major impact on my life. It was like putting on glasses. I could now see that I was standing in my own way, being trapped by the limitations of my mind and the restrictions that I had placed on myself. If I was ever going to grow beyond the counter, I had to come from behind it.

What have been the biggest struggles in the past year going freelance? 
The biggest struggles in the past year have been the slow times. This winter was terrible. It made it hard for people to keep their regular hair appointments and the winter is typically slow for makeup. I was proactive and managed to save three months living expenses before leaving but there are times when I have contemplated taking on another job in order to maintain a steady income but just in time, something always seems to come through that continues to keep me afloat. I have faith that one day it will be steady and the financial aspect won't be such a concern.

What have been the benefits and rewards working for yourself? 
Exactly that...its working for me. I am not pouring all of my efforts into something that someone else continues to reap the benefit of. The reward is seeing my goals and dreams come to fruition. One of the main benefits is being a living example befor my children that there are no limits and the only thing in the way of your success is you. It's not easy but nothing worth having comes without sacrifice.

Describe your biggest learning lessons throughout this process?

My biggest lessons have been learning to stay focused, being true to myself and conquering the fear of asking for help. The most successful people lean on others in order to foster their growth. I still struggle with asking for help.

What are your fears and challenges you see ahead?
I don't really foresee any fears but I continue to be challenged with asking for help so networking is big on my list of things to do. I definitely plan to have another child and am concerned about how that will impact my career as I feel that I am on the cusp of something great but I don't want to sacrifice one for the other. In all things there needs to be balance so I imagine that I will manage to work that out also. There are no limitations and I can have it all!

What are you excited about, and what’s next for you? 
I am excited about stretching my limits, testing my new skill set of airbrush, body art and special effects and growing beyond the realm of what's comfortable.What's next has yet to be seen. I have my hands outstretched, open and ready to receive what is coming my way.

Would you ever go back to working retail or at a company for someone else?
I will always do what I have to to provide for my family. I remain on the freelance list with MAC but that is definitely NOT on my list of things to do. I pray that I never have to take that route again and I will continue to work hard to pursue my career so that doesn't happen.

What would you say to people out there who want to make the leap, but are nervous about this step? Any advice you would give them?
Nothing beats a failure but a try. The only way to know if you can succeed at something is to do it. Yes there will be some tough times but the reward is greater than the struggle. (I had to jump back and kiss myself on that one.)

Life Beyond Retail: Taking the Leap of Faith into Freelance Pt. 2

This article is a continuation of "Life Beyond Retail: Taking the Leap of Faith into Freelance". If you haven’t already, give it a read!

The idea of being a full time freelancer - making your own schedule, working for yourself - is pretty yummy and enticing...but also pretty scary! It's a big transition involving a lot of preparation and a leap of faith, but big rewards come from big risks. Last time we addressed first changing your mind about how to approach this leap:

#1. Forget about the “Safety Net”, it does NOT exist.
#2. The scarcity of jobs is not out there, it’s in your head.
What else can you do to set yourself up powerfully? So glad you asked!

#3. Be a responsible risk taker; ready yourself for the jump
Remember when I told you that there is no safety net? Well...there isn’t. However there are a few steps you can take in order to set yourself up for a successful leap into the freelance world. Begin by preparing yourself for potential road bumps and obstacles by taking action while you're still in your current job. For example:
  1. Setting Yourself up Financially: This is by far the biggest concern for most, however it does not need to be debilitating to your process of transition. Creating a system where you are backed up financially could be a great way to be responsible while still taking your leap. For example, opening a savings account and putting away even a small amount of money from every paycheck is an option. This account's only purpose is to put funds away that could go towards bills or a health insurance fund. Make a commitment to yourself that you will not touch this savings account no matter what. In fact, pretend that it’s not even there. One of the biggest concerns going freelance is losing your health insurance. There is insurance available for freelancers, however it does cost money monthly. Unless you are planning to marry someone in the near future that already has health insurance, you are going to need a plan to pay for that. The hardest part of putting money away for something like this is staying committed to the savings account. If it’s that important to you to be your own boss, you can absolutely do it if you put your mind to it.
  2. Networking and Being on Top of Mind: Those of you who are "wall flowers" and really do not like talking about yourself or what you are doing... frankly...if you want to take this leap, you will need to GET OVER THAT. Really making sure you are out there in the community and letting people know what you are up to with confidence is going to have you be on the "top of people's minds" when considering people for work. Part of going freelance may include you freelancing for the brand you are currently working for or other brands. The only way you are going to find out what is available is by talking to people and getting them excited for you taking this leap - not necessarily coming from a place of desperation, but from a place of exciting possibilities. Put yourself in situations where you are going to meet other people in the industry such as trade shows, pro socials, seminars and workshops. Introduce yourself and connect to other people who are in the industry who do what you would like to be doing.
  3. Keeping up with Your Education: People want the artist who is the most up to date on trends, techniques, and products. Making sure you take every opportunity to advance in your craft will keep you abreast of all these things. Even as someone who has been in the industry for over 15 years, I still think there are a multitude of things I could learn to expand both my business and my artistry. Keeping in the know about what is current in your industry is only going to make you more desirable as an expert in your field. So make sure that in the process of leaving your current job, you are putting aside time and money for seminars and workshops that will expand your artistry and your knowledge as to how to build a business. Also, make sure your marketing material is underway to present yourself as a freelance makeup artist which leads us to our next valuable step...
#4. Be ready before you’re ready: The Quantum Leap Effect
Presenting yourself as the person who you are striving to be calls you to actually be that person right now. The concept of “Quantum Leap” is seeing yourself and acting as though you are in the position you are striving to be in the future. So if you were an actual freelance makeup artist right now, you would have a website, business cards, a portfolio and you would be building your business. Sometimes people get stuck on the steps they need to take in order to be validated as a fully functioning freelance artist. However, if you act as though you are already there, all the actions you would take would be launching you forward into the direction you wish to be going. Some people call it “fake it till you make it.” I just call it “be ready before you’re ready.” (a genius tagline I adopted from the amazing Marie Forleo). So while you’re still employed at your day job, start taking steps to build a portfolio. Start researching the best options to create a business card, the best options for building a website. Even if you don’t have images ready or enough money to hire a designer, there are ways to create an online presence inexpensively or even for free. If you are already networking and talking to people about what you are up to, you will be able to find other photographers, hair stylists and wardrobe stylists to help you build this portfolio. Just to be clear ”be ready before you’re ready” does not mean acting or pretending to be something that you are not, it means being who you were always meant to be and being confident about that.

#5. Hold yourself accountable, do your best and don’t give up.
There is no perfect way to do this process. I, for one, am still figuring out new ways to do things better every day. Along this rollercoaster ride you are going to have amazing breakthroughs and also “failures”. However if you look at your "failures" as just challenges that we all go through and learn from, those challenges will turn you into the best business owner you can possibly be. Creating a strong group of support around me over the last decade has not only made my business more successful but has held me accountable for all the things that I have said I am going to do. Being a business person who works in integrity starts with being your word to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, including business owners, but what sets a successful business owner apart from the ones who are not so successful is the accountability they have not only to others but to themselves. So as hard as this journey may be its important to not give up, and know that doing this alone is not the answer. Whereas it may sound cheesy to build or join a support group of like minded entrepreneurs like yourself, for me it is the number one key to my success. If I did not have my Body of Artists, TPG Pro, and my Leadership community families, I could not do what I do. Being a part of these groups calls me up to be the person that I not only was meant to be, but am inspired to be. It also reminds me that if I give up, I am denying so many others of the gifts I was meant to give.

So in conclusion, if you walk away from this article feeling more empowered to make the jump, and actually might take some action towards that goal, then I could not be more happy. And if you are still wavering...well, I saw this great post on Facebook via a colleague that may help you out:

I could not have said it better myself. Good luck to all of you and be sure to read the interview articles of Jessica Padilla and Angela Lynn-Ware who have already started out on this journey. You will find a lot to relate to and even more to be inspired by.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Interview with Jessica Padilla: On going Freelance

Jessica Padilla
Film and Beauty Makeup Artist/​
Burlesque Performer
Brooklyn, NY

Age: 32

Current years working in the industry?
​I've been in makeup for 6 years. I worked for MAC Cosmetics for 4 years, followed by 2 1/2 years of freelance​.

Are you married?
Yes, for 6 1/2 years.

Do you have kids or plans to have kids?
No not currently, but yes, someday we plan to have kids.

How did you get started in the industry, and what inspired you?
I started in the industry as a performer.  I am a Screen Actors Guild member and did a lot of work in theater, TV, and film as an actor.  I was always interested in makeup as a hobby and started using it for myself and friends for headshots, weddings, and indie films when the need came up.  I took a few PRO classes at MAC very early on, but I didn't realize it was a skill that I could earn a living from until I turned 25. I was unemployed and totally tired of waiting tables, walking dogs, and nannying.  My best friend recommended that I pursue work in makeup since I already had such an affinity for it, and instead of looking for yet another dead end job I started thinking of it as a career. Once I realized that something I had always loved could also make money, it was a definitive turning point in my life.

Where did you start working as a MUA, and what was your last position
​in retail?​
My first job was at the Bloomingdale’s SOHO MAC counter. I was hired as holiday contingent, which basically means employed through the Christmas holiday.  It was all that was open and lucky for me, someone quit after New Years and I took her vacant spot, an 18 hour​ part time position.  I then went on to be part of the team hand picked to open the Grand Central location and I left my career at MAC as a Third Key (Assistant/Assistant Manager) at that store three years later.

What made you want to/need to leave to go freelance?
I walked into retail makeup from day one, knowing I wanted to leave to have my own freelance career someday.  My original plan was to soak up as much education as possible, build a kit at a discount, and then get the hell out.  It wasn't exactly that easy once I got involved, and it took a lot longer than I had anticipated, but I always had my eye on the prize of freelance.  I started to do jobs on my days off and network within the company and get close to the educators and artists higher up who I could learn from.  I took as many in-company classes as I could get my hands on and modeled for classes that were being taught, just so I could learn as much as I could as fast as I could.  My one or two freelance jobs every few months started to be one or two jobs every month and snowballed from there.  I made the final decision that it was time to leave when I went away on vacation and fielded 8 phone calls for freelance jobs.  I couldn't take them because I was out of the country, but it made me realize that I had been turning down quite a bit of work because MAC work was getting in the way.  My day job had finally begun to interfere with the job I was working so hard to make happen.  It was a now or never moment, since every job you say ‘yes’ to, usually leads to more jobs down the road.  I was tired of saying ‘no’ or lying and calling in sick all the time to make great opportunities happen.  I was also running out of sick days….lol.

What was the biggest support for you both in your growth, and in leaving your steady job?: 

 As far as support, I definitely had emotional support from my husband and family. They were 100% behind me every step of the way and very encouraging of me following my dream. My husband tells me regularly how proud he is of me because he doesn't know anyone else who has made a lucrative career that they love out of nothing but passion, talent, and drive. It was definitely not handed to me and I did not have a mentor, as many freelancers do to help get started with connections. I started not knowing anyone and I had to carve my own path one job at a time. As I started freelancing on the side, I very quickly began to meet and develop relationships with other makeup artists and photographers who supported me with their knowledge and kindness. I have been very lucky to work with other makeup artists, at the counter and abroad, who were very talented and taught me how to be a better artist myself.  I made coffee dates with freelance artist’s I met on jobs to talk to them about their work and how they maintained the freelance lifestyle or how they got insurance. Without the generosity of the people who I met in the beginning, I wouldn't have grown at all or known some of the possibilities available.     

What have been the biggest struggles in the past year going freelance?

Some struggles that have come since going freelance are navigating freelance health insurance, learning to budget properly, and trying to avoid the pitfalls of “feast or famine.”  When you go from earning a regular weekly paycheck, it can be hard to work a bunch only to reali​z​e many jobs have a 30 day turnaround.  Waiting a month for a paycheck is no joke if you don’t plan properly.  Sometimes when you do without money for awhile, when the checks start to come in, you just want to buy shoes or go eat out extravagantly. You have to remember that there are other things that have to be taken care of first and that you could be about to encounter a slow period. The rhythm of pay periods takes awhile to get used to, but it does start to make sense once you do it for awhile and feel somewhat consistent. I used to worry a lot in the beginning about “what if I don’t get enough work.” I was uncomfortable not knowing where the jobs would come from. I’m not particularly religious, but there is A LOT of faith in freelance. You just have to know that is always works out and the jobs do come and that you don’t necessarily know how all the time. The worrying can drive you crazy and it’s not productive. It took awhile to maintain zen about it and I solved this problem by doing two things :One, I always try to get really productive during slow times so that I don’t get depressed or worry. I use this time to build new web content, test with photographers old and new, or polish my portfolio, etc. Two, I intentionally work a lot of different kinds of makeup jobs that pay in a lot of different ways.  Some jobs are corporate which have a regular pay period that is dependable, some are cash on site jobs for photo shoots, weddings or private clients, and some are editorial that pay whenever the mood hits. That way, I have a mix of money coming in immediately and some that I wait to arrive. Lastly, It is soooo important (and I can’t stress this enough) to give yourself time off. I learned this the hard way. When you are constantly hustling, it is so difficult to step away and miss out on work. The truth is that you will always miss work every time you plan a vacation, unless it is on Christmas Day or New Years.  It’s okay. There will be more when you get home. You have to be good to yourself and keep the machine running and in good shape. You are your only employee, so you have to maintain your health and sanity. I’m still working on all of these things that I just listed as well.  It is a constant struggle.

What have been the benefits and rewards working for yourself? 

SO MANY.  You can take a vacation whenever and however long you want! (Hypothetically at least, refer to above question) You are not working hard to put money in someone else’s pocket. All of your hard work benefits the business of you! Everything I have put into my career, I have reaped the benefits of exponentially. I am free to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to jobs and set my own rates (keeping in mind what the market with bear). I’m not selling anything to anybody. I use what I want, when I want. Someday, when I decide to have children, I can take off for however long I want or schedule my workday in whichever way I choose to some extent. There is a lot of flexibility in what I want my work week to look like; it isn’t a solid 40 hrs on my feet everyday. Sometimes, I work really long days for long periods of time and then have a week off. Sometimes, I work short days and have time to meet friends for lunch or run errands or take a nap. Every day is different, every job is different and I love it. I meet amazing people, and do all kinds of makeup. It never gets repetitive or boring. I get to be outside on beautiful days sometimes shooting in the park and many jobs provide breakfast and lunch. What’s not to love about that? I am the boss of me!  

Describe your biggest learning lessons throughout this process?

I would say you have to be very conscious of the people around you. You never know who you’ll end up working for or with. It’s important to stay professional and not talk trash about anyone, despite personal feelings or grudges. It’s important to be kind and generous and keep negative opinions to yourself on set. I try to maintain a positive attitude as much as I can. No one likes to be around a negative person. Things often go awry and it’s fine to get upset and fight for what you need, but it’s important to remain professional about it. 9 times out of 10, it isn’t your makeup skill that gets you the job. It’s personality and the ease of how you work. There are a lot of jobs that I have done where the conditions were less than desirable, but if you roll up your sleeves and figure it out, people will most likely have you back for being able to roll with the punches and find workable solutions. My personal biggest lesson is the most humbling and still hard for me to master at times: When doing a job, my way or opinion is not the most important or right one, ​even if “my idea” looks better than what the client or director is asking for, ​and ​even if I’m certain that “my way” makes the most sense.  It is really hard to let go of control sometimes and give someone what they are asking for if it goes against your sense of right and wrong. It is important to remember that we are being hired to do a job. If we disagree about the specifics, we are free to make suggestions, but ultimately it is the person who is hiring you’s final call that counts. For example, I once fought with an actress about winged liner that she was certain she wanted. Her eyes were two very different shapes and it only made it that much more noticeable on camera. I fought with her and begrudgingly gave in but very unhappily. No one really noticed or cared but me and I just ended up looking difficult to work with. Luckily, it was a small job and it didn’t cost me other work but it could have. I went home and realized that no one benefitted from my being stubborn about a silly thing like winged liner. If it made her feel good, so what? That was the last time I fought that hard to be right. It’s not about being right.  It’s about doing the job and making the client happy.

What are ​the fears and challenges you see ahead?:

I worry about how I will navigate being a mom and maintaining a career that I love. It’s a few years off, but I am trying to build the groundwork that will allow me to be valued as an artist and more importantly, as a person, so that when I have to take time off people will understand and hire ME when I am ready to come back. I am always pushing to get to the next level and I do worry about how I will get there or if I am making the right decisions on a daily basis to lead me towards those opportunities. I worry about becoming disconnected from the artistry or phoning in my makeup because I know what works. I constantly try to do things in a new way or use new products to keep the creative flow, but it’s hard because i’m tending to pack lighter and lighter as I get tired of hauling around my entire kit. I wonder if I’ll ever get to the point of real abundance, where I really don’t have to worry about money coming in or not coming in as it were. I have so many makeup goals, that I hope one lifetime is enough to achieve them all!

What are you excited about, and what’s next for you? 

I can’t wait for the next big thing!  I have no idea what it is and I love that.  I have been so lucky to have been blessed with amazing work since leaving the retail world.  In the last two years alone, I worked on 6 feature films, an elizabethan punk event for BBC America, Kanye West’s tour in Atlantic City, countless commercials and many, many other jobs.  I also learned airbrush makeup, hairstyling, and SFX.  Who knows where the next two years will take me?!  I know it will just keep getting bigger and better!

Would you ever go back to working retail or at a company for someone else?:

NOPE.  NEVER. EVER. Unless, I own it!  I would however, love to be a brand consultant or help develop new things or be the artistic director/spokesperson.  That would be cool…..

What would you say to people out there who want to make the leap, but are nervous about this step? Any advice?  

DO IT!  Do it smart. Make a plan. Build your savings so that you have a cushion. Don’t wait till you have “enough” because there will never be enough to make the leap of faith, but you’ll know when the timing is right. Trust your gut. Freelance as much as you can, as often as you can, to start the ball rolling. Learn as much as you can, wherever you can, and create the opportunities you are hoping for if you can’t find them! Use your network of artists, friends, and family for support or advice or to find jobs. Someone always needs a makeup artist for something. Talk about it to anyone who will listen because sometimes opportunity arises from just talking or asking.  Assist! Assist as much as you can to learn set etiquette and broaden your technique. Be open to the fact that it is possible and though it is “hard” it is also very rewarding. I do not feel as drained doing what I love everyday as I did working at a counter all those hours for all that time. There is a reason why the word “Free” is in freelance
​ -​
  It is a freedom unlike anything else and worth the lumps and bumps along the way. Don’t listen to naysayers or people who tried to freelance but couldn’t make it work. They have their experience and you will have yours. There is a big wide world of makeup on the other side of retail, and there are more jobs than we can all do if we worked everyday. You just have to face the right direction, take the first step, and  and start walking toward it. You can do it!

Life Beyond Retail: Taking the Leap of Faith into Freelance Pt.1

Lately I have been surrounded by close friends, colleague’s, and mentees who either have recently left their full time jobs to pursue a 100% freelance career (some by choice, and some by force), or they are dying to take that leap but are nervous (or petrified) to do it because there seems to be no visible safety net or stable reassurance they will be ok financially. Having been 100% freelance since 2003, my heart goes out to those who are struggling with this decision, and gets excited for those who are taking on courageousness and walking into that great unknown for the first time. Working on this side of the fence for such a long time I know the benefits of being your own boss and the advantages of creating your own business. But I also know how bumpy it can be and the new way of thinking that one needs to learn to be able to circumvent the bumps. This way of thinking cannot really be taught except through experience because everyone's journey is different, but there are definitely some standard steps you can responsibly take that may make the process easier. In my experience and in observing others do it, these following steps are vital:

1. Forget about the “Safety Net”, it does NOT exist.
2. The scarcity of jobs is not out there, it’s in your head.
3. Be a responsible risk taker - prepare yourself for the jump.
4. Be ready before you’re ready: The Quantum Leap Effect.
5. Hold yourself accountable, do your best and don’t give up.

Now it is imperative that your MIND is in the right state BEFORE you even start attempting all that you need to DO...otherwise you are building great things on a shaky foundation, with high probability for collapse. So in this article we will focus on the first two steps to get you on your way. Once you are grounded in those you can take the next steps...

#1. Forget about the “Safety Net”, it does NOT exist.

Most people who are used to having a "day job"- even if they hate it and only make just enough money to get b​y​- consider it to have a “safety net”. The safety net is​ really just​ the perception​ ​of stability and a regular paycheck. When they start to consider leaving a day job, they often wan​t​ assurance​ ​of a smooth transition from one safety net to another. Whether its from one shit job to the next, or from an ok job to an amazing job, there is some idea of safety waiting for them. Those who are considering freelancing full time also want to be assured that they go when the time is right, when there is a scenario with a new safety net to jump into. Unfortunately the idea of this net is a total myth. To be honest there is no security in any job, but there is definitely no invisible net that will catch you should your freelance jobs not pan out. At any given moment the world, society, financial climate can change…sometimes you can sense it, and sometimes you cannot. The one constant in any scenario- “stable” job or freelance is YOU. You make a choice to either be proactive in your fate or at the mercy of the tides.

Too often I see people use the “safety net” idea for the excuse why they don’t leave their job. It’s their back door that explains why they continue to stay in a job they have outgrown, that doesn’t feed their soul, and does not fully utilize their talents. Yet all the while they continue to complain about how much it sucks. So just know that you can stop using that excuse because the more you put it out into the universe that you are unhappy where you are, but are unwilling to leave, the universe finds a way to answer your prayers and you could get sacked, and that same illusion of the “safety net” evaporates. You are the one who can dictate whether you are safe or not. Start by eliminating the myth from your mind that you need to be “safe”, and focus on who you need to be to create the work you want to be doing.

#2. The scarcity of jobs is not out there, its in your head.

I’m sure you have heard time and time again how powerful the mind is. There are now enough movies, books, trainings, seminars to make a horse believe he’s a cow if he puts his mind to it. However, whether you believe it or not quite simply the evidence is right in front of you: if you don’t believe there is work out there for you, then there isn’t. If you think there are not enough jobs out there for every makeup artist to succeed, well then you will absolutely not get enough work to sustain you through a freelance career. However, if you are in the mindset that there are plenty of jobs out there, you need to just find the right channels that will guide you to them. In doing that you are already setting yourself up to more possibilities for success. So the basic logic here is if you are looking for a four leaf clover in a field full of clovers and you believe it exists, you are more likely to find it. Therefore, if you believe there is an abundance of work out there for a makeup artist such as you, you are more likely to find that job. The reason is, if you believe it exists and you hit an obstacle or a wall, your natural inclination will be “well I know it exists so I just need to find it” whereas if you hit an obstacle or wall and you don’t believe it exists, then that it is just evidence for what you believe to be true, and it gives you permission to stop looking. So to sum up, just be aware of the conversation that’s driving you in your head and change it if necessary.

Now these first two steps are HUGE and involve changing some deep seeded perceptions​, so it'll take some practice! I would like to invite you to do a simple exercises that could support you in this mind shift, and make it fun::

  • Take out a clean sheet of paper. Write at the top in bold letters "As a Freelance Makeup Artist, I can spend my days...." and continue to brainstorm a fun (but realistic) list of all the things you would be doing if you were your own boss. This isn't just a fantasy exercise...this is a "for real" exercise. This will support you in getting into the mind of a freelancer...the options you have consist of the things you would need to do on an everyday basis, the opportunities that would be available for you, and your family. But here is the twist: write it in the present tense! For example, as opposed to "I would be booked on a $500 photo shoot without worrying about taking off of work", you'd say "I got booked to do a $500 photo shoot, thank goodness I'm available!". Or "When I have my next day off, I can update my website with new images". Or "I can go to the park and read a book today, because my next job isn't for another two days". So BE a Freelancer for the 20 minutes you spend on this. If you get stuck, get out of your head and just have fun. Be sure to read it aloud to yourself when you are done.

I really want you to focus on these two huge steps (and do the exercise!), so I'm saving up steps 3, 4, & 5 for my next post. See you in two weeks! Please share in the comments of anything that came up for you in the exercise, and don’t forget to read what the amazing Jessica Padilla has to say about her recent experience of becoming a freelancer in this past year.