Bum buh-buh-buh-buh bum bum, do-duh-do
How does a bastard, orphan…
You either just got really excited, wondered if you’d clicked on the wrong link, or groaned because you can’t seem to get away from showtunes.
If you’re lost, let me clear things up for you: We’re talking about Hamilton!
On the podcast this week, Brittany and Darryl discovered a mutual love for showtunes and Broadway musicals. While talking about their favorite Hamilton songs, they pulled some great life lessons from Brittany’s (and my!) favorite song in the show, Aaron Burr’s passionate “Wait for It.”
This conversation sent me down a rabbit hole, wondering what else freelancers can learn from this renowned production. So I present: “Freelancer, Sir: Lessons on Crushing Independent Creation from the 21st Century’s Favorite Founding Father.” (It’s a working title.)
If you know the show or the history of the duel between Burr and Hamilton, you’re aware of the beef that brought both men down, one literally and the other historically. Burr was consumed by the ways Hamilton was succeeding and he was not. He couldn’t see past his dissatisfaction and it became his doom.
As freelancers, comparison is something we all struggle with. Several guests have talked about it on the podcast because it’s one of the hardest struggles we face. Social media has taught us to craft a flawless mask to show others, using it to hide the stress, inadequacies, and failures we experience. When we’re surrounded by the seeming success of others, imposter syndrome sets in and prevents us from ever being satisfied with the things we have accomplished.
Hustle culture has also created the myth that there is a finite amount of work that we all need to fight over if we want to grow. Anyone that offers the same services is your enemy.
At Hectic, we call bull.
It took Burr until the end of Hamilton’s life to realize a truth that applies to every area of life and freelancing, in particular. The world is wide enough for all of us. We all have something unique to share and so much to learn from each other. If we can stop focusing on building facades and “beating others” in our fields, we can accomplish so much more than we would alone.
When was the last time you went a day without checking work emails, thinking about your workload, or “just finishing one last thing”? If you are the only one managing your business, even letting go of this small amount of control feels like jumping in the deep end and hoping you remember how to swim.
Keeping up with this non-stop pace may help you maintain a thriving business, but it will leave you burnt out and exhausted. More importantly, you may miss out on once-in-a-lifetime experiences because you weren’t fully present. Big family events, exciting adventures, and special moments will pass unnoticed as you focus on what you could be doing instead of what you are.
Remember that you shouldn’t be working like you’re running out of time, you should be living like you’ll never have the moment you’re in again. Make the small things matter. Find what brings you happiness, even if it’s just picking up change on the road. When you know your priorities, you can make sure you pursue them all with focus and joy.
Clients can only rely on what you tell them. The more you say yes when you should have said no, the harder it will be to build a healthy lifestyle. Even if it seems like a small thing, go with your gut. You don’t owe clients anything and, surprising enough, good clients don’t expect anything from you.
If you want to spend less time on work and experience less stress from your job, you have to determine what will help you make these changes. Saying no to clients with red flags, jobs that don’t fit your skills, or deadlines that don’t work with your schedule is a great place to start.
Do you have freelancing lessons that you’ve pulled from Hamilton or any other musical? I’d love to hear them in the comments!
Get the full conversation on the podcast here to learn how Brittany embraces authenticity, what she’s learned as an Olympic-level runner, and why she stops to pick up every piece of change she sees.
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