by Joe Wallace
I’ve been threatening to write this post for AGES, so here we go–a list of advice freelancers should take and lessons we can all learn from zombie movies of all kinds. Whether you like the old school shambling menace ala George Romero, or the hyperactive zombies of modern horror movies, whip out your notepad and get ready:
- Panic can ruin everything. That scene at the beginning of practically every zombie movie ever made where the first unlucky people encounter their vacant-eyed next door neighbors looking for a human sandwich? Freelancers should take notes on that one. You might feel like panicking when the freelance gigs dry up (temporarily) and your bottom line is threatened by the bill collector, but remember what happened to the halpless scardy cats on the silver screen. They didn’t last very long. Instead…
- Regroup and make a plan. The heroes of every zombie movie manage to pull off to the side and map out a decisive plan of action. Think of it this way–since you’re most likely a lone freelancer, you won’t have the group argument of whether your plan is a one-way ticket to zombie town or not. That may seem like a drawback to people who aren’t as decisive, but creating your own plan and trying to stick with it is a good exercise in building up your resolve. Do it.
- Don’t be afraid to stop and resupply. In the movies, the heroes have to raid the shopping mall. You might be afraid to spend the money to fix or upgrade your computer gear or make other essential purchases when times are tight and the gigs are few and far between, but remember that when it comes to essential equipment for your freelance business, you need to worry more about MAKING money, rather than spending it.
- There is always a scoffer, a nay sayer, or a prophet of doom. Ignore them and roll on. In zombie movies there’s always one jerk screaming, “It’s not gonna work, we’re all gonna DIE!” The jerk is the one who gets it first, in most cases. Are you planning your next big move? Following up on the last one? Keep at it and ignore the negativity.
- Technology is your friend, but always have a back up plan. In the movies, the big plan always goes wrong somehow. The ones who depend solely on technology and flashy moves usually end up as zombie food. But not you–IF you have a BACK UP PLAN. Plan for little things to go wrong that turn into big hassles. Where do you go if you lose your Internet connection at home? Is there a coffee shop with free wi-fi nearby? What happens if your hard drive dies? Can you make deadline using the computer at the public library? Plan for the worst.