In the last episode of Minding your Business, Danella and Cristina talked about why freelance? We learned how Miguel was able to pursue his passion in photography by being a freelancer. Today, we will have another guest to share with us his own story when it comes to freelancing. This week’s episode is all about freelancing versus other kinds of jobs.
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Danella and Cristina invited Christian San Jose, currently the managing director of Make Technology, to share his journey when it comes to freelancing and what makes freelancing different from other types of jobs.
HOW CHRISTIAN STARTED
Christian started freelancing when he was still school, around 13 years old. When he was a kid, he stumbled upon Photoshop and played around it. Also, being a basketball fanatic, he started designing basketball wallpapers which led him to design the websites of actual basketball players for free. As a 16-year-old, he does not know how to properly charge his skills so he started freelancing for free. Later on, he realized that this hobby can turn into something worth the money. He started building his own portfolio and clients started contacting him, wanting him to design for their business. As a teenager, he didn’t foresee himself that this is going to be his future.
Being a freelancer, Christian realized he was able to improve his skills in communicating, most especially because he is meeting clients virtually, which is a bit challenging. He also said that he basically relied on his gut when it comes to trusting his clients. Because most of his first clients are foreigners, it requires great trust from the both of them and he mainly relied on his gut for it. That is something he learned from freelancing that is applicable to what he is doing right now.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE TOLD YOU AS YOU WERE DEVELOPING YOUR OWN CAREER?
During his freelancing career, he was not able to have a mentor that he can look up to. He realized that learning from his own is hard for him since there’s no one who can assess his actions when it comes to freelancing. There is no formal learning and there is not enough information that can guide him through his career. Christian also emphasized that he mainly based everything on experience, from mistakes. It’s a painful learning experience but he was able to surpass that.
AT WHAT POINT OF YOUR JOURNEY YOU REALIZED THAT THIS SKILL CAN TURN INTO A BUSINESS?
Christian realized that this could be something when people started commenting positively on his portfolio and are willing to pay for his services. He was able to know that you do not need to be a professional in order for you get paid. You just have to put yourself out there.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JOB STORY THAT YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?
Christian shared their experience when they started designing the official website of Solaire where they experienced a bit of trouble prior to the deadline. Since it was their first big client, Christian’s team was very eager to get everything in place just in time for the deadline. However, a day before the deadline, their office experienced a total blackout and they have to rely on their cellular data to be able to continue working. At that time, cellular data are not that strong enough so they really had a hard time completing their work.
Another memorable experience they had with Solaire was when their website was hacked. They had to fix this problem right away and that was the first time it happened to them. Eventually, they were able to locate the hackers, it was in Indonesia and they had to block the whole country to fix the website. Good thing they were able to fix the problem in no time.
With that experience, he realized that there is a big responsibility with what they do. He believes that you have to fake it till you make it. It is committing to something, feeling you’re ready but not quite yet. And when the right time comes, you tend to over-deliver so that is actually making it. You just have to believe in yourself.
HOW’S THE FEELING OF BEING A MANAGING DIRECTOR VS WORKING WITH TEAMS?
Christian emphasized that he liked the both of it. Being a freelancer has its own pros and cons like having your own time, your own schedule, choosing your own clients, however, sometimes it makes you realized you need to learn more beyond what you could do on your own. When it comes to managing the company, Christian reiterated that he needs to manage expectations so this makes it above him. It was a decision for him to learn a little more because he wanted to be something successful. After selling his company, Create.ph, he transferred to an advertising agency where he believes there is so much learning experience from there.
Christian had an amazing experience, from stumbling upon Photoshop to being the managing director. He was able to experience a lot of things that made him what he is now. He wanted us to know to never stop learning as it can lead you to greater things.