Reigniting the creative spark is necessary for many who have been working for a long time. This inspiration can be found in many ways, but one of the best is to study the paths and advice of others on the same path as yourself. That is the purpose of Interview with an Independent, a mini blog series I’ve started that seeks to tell the stories of other fellow creatives and entrepreneurs. As part of this installment, this post will introduce you to Stephanie Yoder. A full-time freelance travel writer and semi-digital nomad, Stephanie runs a personal travel blog called Twenty-Something Travel. It was through her blog that I initially stumbled upon Stephanie and her inspiring posts. Here are some of her thoughts on living the freelance life.
1) How long have you been independent, and what drove you to in this direction?
I left my job a little over 4 years ago. At first I only intended to backpack around the world for one year and then look for another job. Eventually as my website grew I started to realize that maybe I didn’t have to go back, maybe THIS could be my job.
2) Tell me about your business – what services/products do you offer?
I’m essentially a freelance writer and blogger. I make money in several ways: 1) by selling advertisements and branded content on my blog, 2) by selling freelance writing and editing services to other websites.
3) Best piece of advice you received when you first began your adventure?
Don’t make plans you can’t change. Time and time again life has laughed in the face of my plans and forced me to change direction.
4) What are the biggest challenges you face? Rewards?
The online media industry is constantly evolving, and things that have worked and been financially in the past can suddenly become no longer viable. I have to constant keep abreast of what’s going on and have the flexibility to change along with the trends.
On the plus side, it’s never ever boring.
5) How far out into the future do you plan your goals, and how do you stay motivated?
I plan my big picture goals about a year in advance, then try to break them down into smaller month by month goals. I try to be realistic about what I can achieve but also challenge myself regularly.
6) What are 3 pieces of advice that you would give to aspiring independents? Experienced/veteran independents?
1. Constantly re-examine your ideas about the industry and be aware of quick changes.
2. Don’t get too wrapped up in what other people are doing. Forge your own path.
3. No matter how hard it is, strive for work-life balance. If you work 24/7 you will burn out, no question. So know when to shut the computer off.
7) Who do you look up to as a role model?
Bloggers like Jodi Ettenberg and Kristin Luna inspire me to keep producing good quality content.