Dreamgirls: Alexandra Franzen
You know that girl who has stars for breakfast and conquers the world for lunch? Yeah, that one, the one in the center of the room, who sparkles and shines and you can tell she is totally abaze? Well, that girl pales in comparison to Alexandra Franzen. I’m proud to present the first wonderwoman in my Dreamgirls series: –Drumroll– Ladies (and gents who reads this blog in silence), I give you ALEXANDRA FRANZEN!!
So, Alexandra, where did your dream to become a location-independent wordsmith come from?
Well, here’s the thing … I never actually ‘dreamed’ of becoming a location-independent wordsmith. (So much for goal-setting, eh?). If anything, I dreamed of becoming an ichthyologist. Or a gourmet donut maker. Or a champion archer. What I did dream about — or rather, set a clear intention about — was how I wanted to feel, in my life & work. Which is … electric, sought-after, affluent, sensual, and free. As in freedom. Once I got crystalline about how I wanted to feel, during every moment of my day — waking up each morning, making my French Press coffee, booting up my laptop, connecting with clients, shutting down for the night — the ‘what’ in ‘what am I going to be when I grow up?’ percolated into place. With a lot of trial & error & terror & tears of gratitude & soul-shredding evolution along the way, of course.
How did you make the decision to just go for it?
Cubicles make me sad. Scratch that — miserable. I needed an escape chute. So I built one. With a lot of help from some very smart coaches, mentors & comrades. Quitting my 9-to-5 wasn’t so much a ‘decision’ as a mandatory action to prevent my spirit from getting snuffed out. It’s what I needed to do. Because weeping in the women’s restroom on your lunch break is the opposite of fun.
Side note: there is nothing (repeat: nothing) inherently bad or evil or oppressive about offices or cubes or ‘regular’ jobs. I know plenty of peeps who ROCK their 9-to-5s, and have little-to-no interest in carving out a full-time freelance business. It goes without saying — only you know what genuinely makes you happy.
Did you experience set-backs and obstacles – and how did you deal with them?
ZOMG! Obstacles? Always. I had crushing moments of financial panic, at the beginning of my freelance adventure. I had weeks of poorly-staggered deadlines, where I pulled all-nighters just to stay afloat. I had crunchy learning curves, especially around pricing & client boundaries. I had burn-out days, and flat-line days, and existential crisis days. I shifted & tweaked my service packages at least half a dozen times. I launched products, and retired them. I morphed, fast & furious.