Dreamcrafting (strategic planning) for freelancers

Strategic planning is something that big businesses do, right? And you left all that behind you when you shifted to self-employment or freelancing, right? Maybe not.

If you have been freelancing or self-employed for some time and are struggling to make it work, or if you are doing OK but want to take your freelance career to the next level, take some time out to think strategically about what you are doing.

Close your eyes for a minute and think about what you want from your freelance business. Happiness? The joy of creating? Fame? To make enough money to stay unemployed? More time to spend with your kids?

Dreaming about the future is a great way to clarify what you really, really want. It can also help you to know what you don’t want. These dreams can help you to

  • identify what is and is not working for you,
  • move in the right direction towards a better situation,
  • choose what work to take on and what work to say no to,
  • clarify where to spend your time and what you shouldn’t be doing,
  • decide when you need help and
  • feel more relaxed and secure.

Dreamcrafting is the process of turning your dreams into reality.

In this workshop you will dream about your freelance business using fun, creative tools. You will learn to listen to your emotional responses to help you decide what really matters. Then we will take some of the lessons of strategic planning that businesses use and apply them to your freelance mini-business in order  to craft that future. You can pick from a basket of tools those that you think will work for you.

The course is very hands-on, working through exercises. We work with small groups so that there is time to listen to each person’s story and discuss specific strategies and solutions for you.

Take away a pack of creative dreamcrafting tools, your own personal vision for your future and practical steps for moving towards that future.

Judy Backhouse has taught strategic planning at business schools and universities and has adapted what she taught there to the context of freelance or self-employed businesses.

This workshop is for established freelancers who want to take thier careers to the next level. If you are just starting out as a freelancer you should consider our Planning your Freelance Career workshops instead.

Next workshop: Tuesday 24th October

  • 2.00pm – 3.30pm: Dreaming, feelings and introducing the toolset
  • 3.30pm – 4.00pm: Tea break
  • 4.00pm – 5.30pm: Working with selected tools to craft your dream

Cost: R400 (R300 for members of Better). Our EFT details

Maximum 6 places. To book your place, e-mail Candy on patience@better.joburg or call 011 327 6098.

Looking for a Better job?

Update: Applications for this position are now closed. Thanks to all who responded.

We’re hiring! Please point anyone at this ad who you think would make a great first impression for Better.

Better Receptionist

Are you able to bring people together, put them at their ease and make them feel loved and cared for? Do you want to work in a relaxed happy space, for between 20 and 40 hours a week, surrounded by creative people?

Better is (soon to be) a shared space for artists, writers, crafters and other creative people. We are looking for a receptionist to greet people, make them happy, manage memberships, sell items from our kiosk, arrange events, and keep the place organised. Please explore this blog to learn more about Better.

What we want from you:

  • A sunny, outgoing disposition
  • An ability to work well with people
  • A good memory for names and faces
  • The ability to connect and introduce people
  • A good telephone manner
  • Great organisational skills
  • Computer skills – spreadsheets, word processor, e-mail

And optionally (nice, but not essential):

  • Any retail experience
  • Events organising experience

We can offer R50 per hour, with a bonus each month that the company exceeds monthly targets. Starting date will be 01 October 2016 (if all goes to plan).

To apply, send a CV and a cover letter saying why you would like to work for Better to: better.joburg@gmail.com. Please put “Better Receptionist” in the subject line and apply before 21 August 2016.

We will only contact short-listed candidates. If we don’t find the right person, we won’t appoint anyone.

Survey results

Thanks to everyone who answered our survey. Thought we’d share some of the results with you.

What?

We now know that fast internet, safe parking and a quiet work space are really important for Better. Tea, coffee and cake also ranked highly! You are keen to attend exhibitions and discussions on doing things better, as well as book launches and readings.

The best part was reading your wish-lists of what you want to see at Better. You gave us comments about the space…

  • “A good working environment, not too hot or cold, not too harsh and light, or cosy and dark. Just balance.”
  • “Lots of tables and chairs/benches in a relaxing garden, with access to power points”
  • “Individual spaces with comfortable lounge chair and open space to view outside – I cannot be creative in a closed space – to be on top of building with no restrictions – rooftop sitting on lounge chair able to look at the sky in summer and in winter glass doors to look outside – summary comfy sofas, view and private space or semi-private space”

About equipment…

  • “Affordable for-hire equipment for photography and street art”
  • “Most craft implements”
  • “Pantone books”
  • “3D printer. Laser engraver/cutter. Milling machine. Lathe.”

And about services…

  • “Access to a curated database of other local creative suppliers e.g. laser cutters, bookbinders, printers, 3D printers, stationery stores, copywriters, open mic events, instrument stores, etc.”
  • “Healthy lunch options so I don’t need to worry about organising food when I’m super busy”
  • “A nice place to take clients to for meetings or the ability to easily book secluded space – without exorbitant costs”

Lots of people want to learn…

  • “Sharing and learning of different skills, not necessarily in my profession.”
  • “Workshops or short lessons to learn new skills, e.g.: typography, printing fundamentals”
  • “The feeling of learning. At varsity when you enter a library you automatically feel inspired as so many people are learning so many things. Where work places struggle is to replicate this feeling of inspiration.”

And you recognise the value of other people…

  • “People to talk to and get perspective from”
  • “People with experience in getting freelance work published”
  • “Angel investors and donors for my next creative project—every artist’s dream!”

Not sure that we can provide for all your wishes right up, but it convinces us that there are enough people out there who share our interest in having just the right environment for thinking, connecting and creating.

When and where?

Most people said they would visit two or three times a week between the hours of 9 am and noon, with a fair number also keen to attend in the evenings. Many of you are willing to drive up to 10 km or to the next suburb.

We had great fun plotting the suburbs you live and work in on a map of Johannesburg. There were large numbers in Melville and Greenside, but also many in Randburg. From our map we plotted out a circle of suburbs that would put most people within a suburb or two of our location.

20160711_163723

 

What next?

We have done the sums and based on the interest you have shown, it looks like Better will be viable. So now we are out hunting for a suitable property. Watch this space, we will let you know our progress.

Thanks to all who connected with us. If you want to make sure you hear about the next steps, get on our mailing list here. Please continue to send your good ideas, feedback and thoughts. We love hearing from you.