Rebecca Wayman

Book review: The Future is Freelance by Kirsty Hulse - Honest guidance or friendly pep talk?

“The freelance market is booming, and it will only get bigger.”

It is one of the most talked about careers of our generation, the one job everybody wants to sink their teeth into. It’s also one of the most time-consuming, terrifying but ultimately fulfilling - according to Kirsty Hulse, anyway.

But damn it, she’s so right. Working ‘remotely’ from home or having ‘freelancer’ as your job title has never been ‘cooler’, more rewarding… The industry is evolving, expanding as we speak. The bandwagon is exhausted, but there’s always going to be room for one more.

That’s the beauty of working for yourself, really. 21st century life is getting busier by the day, and nobody seems to have the time to comfortably nail the work/social/family life balance whilst also squeezing in sleep, exercise and basically staying sane.

Being a freelancer means you have the opportunity to be your own boss; to choose when you work; whether you want to jet off to Australia for three weeks at the drop of a hat… Well, you would if you could, right?

Most people would, without a doubt. So that’s essentially one of the reasons why Kirsty Hulse penned this book. Kirsty is the founder and managing director of Manyminds, a digital marketing agency made up of freelancers in remote teams, dotted across the country.

If you’re looking for a motivational boost to spur you in the right direction of becoming a freelancer then, great, you’ve picked up the right book.

Savour Kirsty’s comical flashbacks to her childhood - bear with me, I know we’re meant to be chatting about freelancing but I swear it all links together - mixed with her brutally honest experiences of being her own boss.

However, if you would rather digest a solid, step-by-step guide on how to actually set up as a freelancer and make money with your business, you’re wasting your time.

The Future Is Freelance isn’t meant to be one of those books, although I really wanted it to be. It will only take you so far; it will give you one last hug at the bus stop and wave you off - but for the rest of that journey, you’re on your own.

Is it a long-winded pep talk? Perhaps it is, but it is refreshing to read. I found myself eagerly turning the pages - maybe a little too quickly - because Kirsty’s words strung together flow rather nicely.

If you’re worried about the challenges you’ll face as a freelancer, Kirsty discusses them with you. It’s like openly having a chat with a friend; she recalls a bad experience of dealing with her taxes turning her into “a soggy, lifeless mess” like a biscuit tragically drowning in a cuppa.

“Going freelance is often a series of unknowns”, she claims. Procrastination. Another potential recession. Imposter syndrome. Clients. Admin… Kirsty groups these into a collective aptly named ‘The Fear’ - or TF if you’re a millennial. It’s all spoken about, and she’s not afraid to hold back.

But this book is no freelance bible and I personally don’t believe Kirsty wanted it to be, either.

Moreover, it’s sort of like your friend pinpointing where you’re going wrong, and then reeling off some feel-good advice and detailed experiences that are sure to leave you feeling happy and ready to face the world once more.

Despite not giving any clear, thorough guidance, I found myself enjoying this book’s lightheartedness. It is motivational, it leaves you feeling positive. It’s that small tug of power in the bus stop hug that stays with you and warms you for the adventure ahead.

No, it won’t give you a comprehensive, detailed guide on how to become a really bloody good freelancer, but it’s definitely a stepping stone in the right direction.

The Future is Freelance by Kirsty Hulse is out now. To all the guys reading this, do not be put off by the millennial shade of pink on its cover and handwritten scroll - I’m sure you’d enjoy it just as much.

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