A few years back a blogpost titled “5 truths of top-level freelancers” caught my eye. I was 2 years into my freelancing career and working out of the Reno Collective “fishbowl” in downtown Reno. The article made me stop and consider: am I really doing this, or am I just doing this. The writer, Ashley Livingston on the Freelancers Union blog, states that top-level freelancers have 5 truths in common and that to own this game we all must:
Freelance full time and regard what we do as a real, serious business
Charge premium prices in exchange for premium work that solves a business’ problems
Automate repetitive or time-consuming tasks and outsource work we don’t excel at
Project complete authority and authenticity across all mediums
Create and sell digital products and have profitable blogs
At the time I was able to check a few of the 5 boxes Livingston lists, but I knew I needed help with the rest and that’s where Reno Collective came in. I was surrounded by other people who I trusted to review my prices and offer feedback, people who had experience with automating tasks and helped me determine what programs would be beneficial, and – most importantly for me at the time – people who would take a break in the day to sit and have a coffee and offer the words of encouragement I needed to feel authoritative and authentic about my work.
That’s what Reno Collective does for a number of other people – freelancers striving to keep up, remote employees feeling disconnected, small business owners who are scaling, and more.
We have a dedicated collection of staff and owners that are here to help connect, engage and support you as a freelancer with resources, research, programming, YEARS of experience, and an ever-growing network. No matter how many years of experience as an independent worker that you have, assistance and support are key as in any traditional office setting.
At Reno Collective, we are more than just a workspace – we are coworking together. Sound like a place you would benefit from? Set up a tour so we can show you around, introduce you to some kick-ass people and get you to work!
The sun is out in Northern Nevada and Reno Collective coworkers are shaking off their winter blues with some fresh air and sunshine on the porch.
Here are 5 tips for freelancers who want to get outside AND still be productive:
ACCESS TO POWER: No matter how much battery life your laptop or your phone say they have, you can plan on BOTH running out in the middle of your workday. Be sure you are near a power source or that tan you’ve been working on will be “half-baked.”
RELIABLE HIGH-SPEED INTERNET: Obviously. For all the facebook trolling research that you need to get done.
SHADE: That laptop you have been banging away at for the last 4 hours gets HOT in the sun. Make sure you park yourself somewhere you can avoid the suns direct rays, and…
DRINK WATER: Keep it on hand! Especially in Northern Nevada, our humidity is LOW so consume that H2O like your mama told you.
COWORKERS: Not the distracting kind like your four-legged friend or roommate who’s come outside for a break from binge-watching GoT, but other professionally-minded people like you that are there to work. Those people will help keep you on track and the beer at the end of the day will taste that much sweeter!
Where can you find a magical place that incorporates all these things? The Reno Collective – that’s where! Our wrap-around porch makes coworking outside ideal – lots of power and high-speed internet, cold fresh water on tap and motivated independent workers like yourself to keep you focused, productive and lovin’ every minute of the freelance life.
Looking for a place to get shit done with other like-minded professionals who are hacking the work/life balance? Request a tour today!
Not a fan of dogs? No problem – you are welcome to avoid any and all contact with any visiting pups, allergies notwithstanding :(. They are all vetted for their friendliness factor AND we have a strict one-strike-and-you’re-out policy.
Interested in becoming a member? Schedule a tour and let us introduce you to our space and our community!
This a guest post by Reno Collective member Saul Jimenez, a coach and instructor in a variety of fields for over 25 years. In that time, he has refined his programming/coaching and developed The Healthy Strong Fit Method.More information about Saul, and the health & wellness perks of being a member at the Collective, below.
“Sitting is the new smoking.”
Many of us have felt the physical burden of being a “creativity professional” – day after day, creative professionals need to be able to sit or stand for long periods of time without getting injured. Sitting for long hours can be rough on your back, neck and shoulder joints. It can make you tight and possibly more at risk for injury when you’re enjoying activities outside of freelancing that bring you joy. This post – and the accompanying videos – will help you start paying attention to the way you position your body while sitting, and help with aches and pains that come along with sitting for long periods of time.
While everyone knows to get up and change positions every 20/30/60 minutes or so, creative people need to sit or stand for longer to get into flow-state.
When I was younger, I wanted to be a math teacher. I asked a college professor what I could do to be the best math teacher and he said, “Be as good as you can be at math.” In the following 20+ years, I have mulled over that response and have vacillated, several times, between “That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard” to “That was genius!” While I never ended up teaching math, that piece of advice has translated into two principles that we use in our creativity athletes training:
Being good (i.e. technically proficient) is necessary but not sufficient enough to achieve observable results.
In the volatile world we live in, prioritizing on controlling the things I can control leads to a happier and more resilient, more anti-fragile life.
While it is true that sitting for long periods of time can put you at risk for injury, if we know what a good sitting position is and what our body needs to maintain that position for hours at a time, that is a necessary but not sufficient skill to have to reduce the risk for injury. (The other is load management, but we will get to that in another post.) In this sitting tutorial, we are going to make sure that you know what a good sitting position feels like and gain the skills to be able to sit/stand for long periods of time with minimal pain. In addition, if you do wind up in pain with shoulders, back or neck you can try some of these exercises and hopefully that will bring you some relief.
So, what is a good sitting position? While sitting in a chair, from the ground up, have your feet flat(ish), your knees and hips bent at 90 degrees or so and a neutral spine where the rib cage is stacked over the pelvis. For most people, a neutral spine consists of a slight concave curvature in the lower spine, a slight convex curvature in the upper spine, and a slight concave curvature in the neck.
Over the decade I spent training others at my gym, the most common questions were: “Am I doing this correctly?” and “How do I know if I am doing this wrong?” The following exercises will help you determine just that. Each position/exercise is dependent on the skill developed in the previous step. You will notice that each position is “harder” or leveraged in a different way than the previous position. There may be many times when you blast through steps 0 and 1 in one minute. There will be other days when all you can do is lie on your back and breathe.
How far you progress each day is not important, what is important is that you maintain a position with proper belly breathing, each day.
The way these positions/exercises progress is the following:
Start from the inside and work outwards. (i.e. start from roughly your center of gravity then move towards your extremities.)
Start from the ground and work towards standing
Work position, movement, strength and power, in that order.
Before starting, confirm you have a good baseline exercise to use as a test. What I mean by a baseline exercise is that all other exercises should be able to be done within the context of breathing. We are going to assume ownership of a position or movement is correlated with ability to breathe into your belly while in the position or movement. Since it is so important, let’s take a minute to dial in breathing.
STEP 0 – Belly Breathing Assessment: Lay on your back, bring your feet up towards your pelvis, place your hands on your belly and then move your hands up and down using just your breath. Because your spine and head are supported by the ground, you shouldn’t have to use any other parts of your body to breathe; however, the most common “cheat” is to use the chest and/or neck to breathe.
STEP 1 – 90/90 Breathing Assessment: While laying on your back, confirm you can be in a “sitting position” (i.e. hip(s) flexed and rib cage in line with pelvis, with back supported.)
STEP 2 – Single Leg Hip Flexion Assessment: While laying on your back, confirm you can move in and out of “sitting position” with back supported.
STEP 3 – Shin Box Assessment: Confirm that you can be in sitting position with hips in internal and external rotation. Are there any asymmetries?
STEP 4 – Toe Touch + Founder Assessment: Confirm that you can flex hips and move between a flexed and a neutral spine while standing.
The struggle is real. We have all felt the physical burden of being a creativity professional. Sitting for long hours can be rough on the back, neck and shoulder joints. I hope this post will help you start thinking of sitting as a physical activity that can be done safely with attention to position like any other physical activity. In addition, I hope this article and video can help you regain a pain-free sitting position if things go off the rails.
ABOUT SAUL: As a past Strength Coach, Outward Bound instructor, ski coach/instructor and river guide, Saul has coached movement in one way or another for over 25 years. Over the years, Saul has refined his programming/coaching and developed The Healthy Strong Fit Method which is the foundation of his training (http://fitnessinreno.com/healthy-strong-fit-method/). While Saul loves to train athletes for sports like surfing, swimming, tennis, skiing, running, etc., he has found his niche in working with Licensed Health Care Practitioners to help injured athletes return to their passion, whether that is skiing, running or chasing their grandkids around. When he is not training athletes, Saul likes to go on skiing, biking and hiking adventures with his wife. You can reach Saul at email@example.com