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The Takeaway: Respect
Carol and Aretha have it right “respect just a little bit.” The successful freelancer is
willing to subvert their ego and that is what I learned from Carol. She passionately adds, “If
you’re skilled at what you do and you are giving it your best effort, people want to be
respected for that for what they know, what they do. The care and want it to be done
well. When people disrespect freelancers, it’s really galling because people chose to be on
your project because 99 times out of 100, they are giving it their best shot. They may have
challenges that you don’t understand and you’ve got to listen to them. My crew knows
you just come to me and just ask for what they need. I’m their advocate. People want to
be listened to and respected.”
Media makers would be interested in how Carol negotiates her rates, deals with
compressed budgets and the client’s fixation on the “Flip.” She also addresses how to get
your first job, variances with international crews, and diversification for self-preservation in
the following chapters.
Carol’s Postscript
Since our face-to-face conversation a year ago, she mentions in a recent phone call that
she recently returned from Washington, D.C. where she was videotaping a private meeting
between about thirty people and the Dalai Lama held during an event with 10,000
Buddhists.
We discussed how our initial conversation impacted her life. She comments, “My career
was being taken seriously. People with ‘real jobs’ don’t respect or understand the
difficulty. They think, ‘you’re so flexible’ they don’t get it. They can relate to what a
doctor does, but a freelancer’s work is mysterious and often taken less seriously.”
Since April, she has had a minimal amount of work and acknowledges that summer is a
notoriously slow time. Without concrete dates on the calendar, she started a Blog to feel
less discouraged about humanity. Her new Blog Growing Orbits -- “It is dedicated to
sharing my encounters with seemingly ordinary people, places, and events all over the
world that have had an extraordinary effect on me.” Click on the following link to access her
Growing Orbits site (www.carol-beck.com/growing/sample-page). Carol affirms the Blog’s
positive effect, “When you see your interdependence, you know you’ll survive.” Her
Buddhist stance acknowledges that it is our relational connectedness, which is generative
and can mitigate work-related setbacks.
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