Freelancers date their clients and clients are not looking for a marriage

[Nikon D3, 85mm, ISO 200, ƒ/1.4, 1/5000]
Freelancing is like dating. Dating however isn’t the same as marriage.

Dating is a tryout for marriage. Dating offers you the chance to explore and learn before you make the serious commitment of marriage. … It’s not, however, the same as being married. There are different legal aspects of marriage (such as bank accounts, taxes, will’s, etc.) that you can’t experience while dating.

Now the biggest difference in freelancing and dating is that your clients are not looking for a marriage.

[Nikon D4, 85mm, ISO 2800, ƒ/1.8, 1/100]
Dating provides the opportunity to build a secure foundation before entering into the marriage commitment, but also offers less stability in relationships. Marriage lowers depression risk.

While these are breakup lines for couples dating, they are very similar lines the freelancer hears from their client.

1. “Something about us doesn’t feel right, and I have to act on that.”
2. “I don’t know what I want, and as long as I feel this way, it’s not fair to you.”
3. “I need something more.”
4. “We’ve really tried to make this work, but now it’s time to let it go.”
5. “I have a lot more growing to do before I’m ready for something like this.”
6. “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
7. “I wish I’d met you five years from now. I’m just not ready for this yet.”
8. “Someone out there is perfect for you, I promise. It’s just not me.”
9. “We are not each other’s soulmate.”
10. “We’ve both changed and grown apart.”
11. “You’re my best friend, which is so much more important to me than a lover.”
12. “I just don’t see this working.”
13. “Love shouldn’t be this hard.”
14. “I love you enough to want something better for you than what I can give.”
15. “I think we need to work on ourselves before we can ever share a life together.”
16. “You deserve to find your perfect match. It’s just not me.”
17. “I’m not in a place to date someone right now, but I still love you.”
18. “I need to figure out myself before I can share my life with someone.”

What you should hear in all these breakups is you can be great looking, be a wonderful person, but still they are looking for something different. They are not wanting you to change to accommodate them.

Now we need to look for some of those silver linings. When you go on staff you will not be able to do as much work for others.

Employees have to deal with the politics of working for a single employer. A freelancer may have to deal with solitude and loneliness. I mention this because we need to honest, freelancing is hard and an emotional rollercoaster.

I have lost my job two times as a photographer on staff jobs. I came to realize with so many others in every profession that the days of working an entire career for one employer are rare today.

While Divorce peaked at the end of WWII and even with it going down through the years to the lowest ever, it impacted the mindset far beyond families.

“Welcome to the family…,” is how many employers greet you when you are hired. However, the uptick in divorcing those employees has been climbing. Now more and more companies are using temporary employees/contractors over hiring and making them employees.

This is why today you are more likely to be freelancing than working as an employee.

Not surprising to me is that the latest findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics Report show that from 1999 to 2014, the suicide rate in the U.S. increased 24 percent.

[Nikon D3S, 60mm, ISO 400, ƒ/3.2, 1/40]
Prayer for Financial Peace

Dear Father,
     You who are gracious and kind, hear my prayer! I face more financial pressure than I can bear.
     “Save [me] now, I pray.” Show me, Lord, what I must do to get out from under this heavy burden.
     Give me Your wisdom and discipline, I pray, that I may move toward resolution of this situation.
     Guard my heart, Lord, and my steps; protect me from bad advice and foolish actions.
     Draw me close to You, for I need Your comfort and guidance.
     In Jesus’ name Amen.

Airborne School First Jump of school [Nikon D3S, 28-300mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000]
When Your Parachute Says Cliff-Diver you are in trouble. So many freelancers are losing clients for all the reasons similar to the breakup list above. Your clients didn’t marry you–they were only dating you.

Like it or not, your industry is changing. Everything changes; it always has, and it always will. You can keep up with and be part of the changes, or you can overlook and ignore changes and let others pass you by.

Take the time to read up on the industry and how things are changing. While some traditional media is going down like newspapers the upswing of media like Instagram is growing.

Join an association like NPPA or ASMP. Both of these associations are communicating what is happening now and who is making the most of the the changes happening and who is going out of business.

Build relationships with people smarter than you. “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I found that when I played basketball with better athletes than myself I was getting better. When I played people with similar skills that I didn’t evolve all that much in my game.

Create your own board. Boards advise executives of large companies. Executives go to their boards and bounce ideas off of them before they implement ideas. Do you have a small group of friends that serve as your advisors?

Listen to your customers. When customers are talking you need to listen. What is on their minds? Also, ask them questions about what is important to them now and what they see as a future need.

Look for ways to change. Try and adapt to trends rather than letting your competition come in and do this for your client because you were resistent to change.

Here is a great scripture which is a prayer that I will end with for you.

Psalm 25

A Prayer for Guidance and Protection

To you, O Lord, I offer my prayer;
in you, my God, I trust.
Save me from the shame of defeat;
don’t let my enemies gloat over me!
Defeat does not come to those who trust in you,
but to those who are quick to rebel against you.

Teach me your ways, O Lord;
make them known to me.
Teach me to live according to your truth,
for you are my God, who saves me.
I always trust in you.

Remember, O Lord, your kindness and constant love
which you have shown from long ago.
Forgive the sins and errors of my youth.
In your constant love and goodness,
remember me, Lord!

Because the Lord is righteous and good,
he teaches sinners the path they should follow.
He leads the humble in the right way
and teaches them his will.
With faithfulness and love he leads
all who keep his covenant and obey his commands.

Keep your promise, Lord, and forgive my sins,
for they are many.
Those who have reverence for the Lord
will learn from him the path they should follow.
They will always be prosperous,
and their children will possess the land.
The Lord is the friend of those who obey him
and he affirms his covenant with them.

I look to the Lord for help at all times,
and he rescues me from danger.
Turn to me, Lord, and be merciful to me,
because I am lonely and weak.
Relieve me of my worries
and save me from all my troubles.
Consider my distress and suffering
and forgive all my sins.

See how many enemies I have;
see how much they hate me.
Protect me and save me;
keep me from defeat.
I come to you for safety.
May my goodness and honesty preserve me,
because I trust in you.

From all their troubles, O God,
save your people Israel!