• Summary

  • Helping business owners, freelancers & other self-employed creatives succeed… and have fun doing it. It can be overwhelming at times, but there’s nothing like the privilege of working for yourself – making your own rules, owning your time, and trusting your instincts to make the right decisions. With short episodes that get straight to the point, this podcast is about the common issues we face in business, along with solutions that work for other creatives like you. Aardvark Girl is a producer, project manager & business specialist with 20+ years of experience managing companies & helping people in creative industries. She helps you get a handle on the business side of things so you can focus on your talent. Let's get to work!
    Copyright 2020 All rights reserved.
    Show more Show less
Episodes
  • Why Remote Work is Here to Stay

    Sep 13 2021
    The demand for remote work and flexible schedules was there long before the pandemic forced employers to let people work from home. Now that it's proven as a possible, and often beneficial, option, many workers are not willing to go back to that archaic 40-hour work week structure. -- If you have a topic you'd like to hear about on this podcast, let me know at info@aardvarkgirl.com or DM me on social @aardvarkgirl. -- When I first started consulting, I noticed a common theme amongst employees. They were annoyed by the standard 40-hour work week, having to be in the office every day, and being forced to work in an environment in which they weren’t particularly efficient. And this was in 2015, long before the pandemic forced businesses to allow people to work from home. At the time, I worked in an office full-time, too, and was equally irritated by what a total waste of time it was. It was an issue with a lot of people I knew, in different positions and industries. Why did we need to be in a specific space for a specific schedule that was based on archaic factors? We know I’m a logical person, and there is no logic in this framework anymore. I can accept Monday through Friday as a work week. That’s pretty much engrained into the American ritual and it’s fine. I think we should have more than 2 days off, but that’s not always feasible. But the 8am to 5pm with lunch from 12pm-1pm schedule doesn’t make any sense. For most of us, sometimes our work is going to take more than 40 hours a week and sometimes less. We need to be able to manage that time based on our workload. Our time working should be dictated by how long we need to get our jobs done, not based on a pre-determined and irrelevant number of hours. Also, chances are that the most efficient schedule is not going to be that regimented. It’s going to utilize pockets of time throughout the day, not just in that one big 8-hour chunk. If you have kids and you want to take them to their after-school activities, you should be able to do that. It might mean that you stop for a few hours in the afternoon and then work a little bit after dinner, but then you’re going to be much happier because you’re getting that important time with your family AND still doing your job responsibly. If you have personal appointments, or friends in town, or you’re not feeling well and need to rest for a bit, or if you’re not a morning person and spend the first few hours of the day not getting much done because you’re not fully alert yet, or whatever the case may be, it is counterproductive to try to force a work schedule that doesn’t actually work for your life. There are times when a team needs to be together for meetings to discuss things as a group. Some people are extroverts and get the energy they need from being in a room with other people. Others are introverts and that energy actually takes away from their ability to work well. Most are somewhere in between those two. So as the boss, if you are forcing one or the other, meaning everyone has to be there every day or no one has to be there any day, you’re preventing an entire group from being the best employees they could be. And the common thing I sadly heard from those owners back then was “I need them to be in the office so I can make sure they’re doing what they are supposed to do.” Most people are self-motivated when given the opportunity. Some do need to be managed or told what to do, but if you hire the right people, and communicate with them properly, you should never have to micromanage. A short conversation can reveal everything you need to know about them and their working styles, and how to create a schedule that maximizes the benefits to you and them. It’s not that hard. There’s a reason why, when I’m doing an evaluation for a company, I ask to speak individually with employees and not just the person in charge. It’s important to get all perspectives, and the employees tend to be more forthcoming with me because they can talk freely without any recourse. I use the information they provide to help with my suggestions, but don’t reveal who told me what unless they want me to. In nearly every consultation I’ve done, I’ve uncovered that the employees are unhappy because they feel confined to a situation that doesn’t make sense. Their energy is diminished because they are trying to fit their work into a schedule instead of creating a schedule around their work. They’re stressed out because they can’t find any balance. They’re missing out on personal and family obligations due to work, even if they could still get everything done on time. They’re feeling disrespected. They are willing to work extra when needed, but then they aren’t allowed to leave early in the times when they’re able. They’re always expected to give more, but if employers aren’t giving back, that’s when these employees spiral into burnout. Their quality of work ...
    Show more Show less
    10 mins
  • Gilda Graham: The Hero‘s Journey

    Sep 6 2021
    Gilda Graham is an actor, screenwriter and Emmy-nominated producer. She also helps others navigate the stressful nature of the film and television industry through her coaching program, "The Hero's Journey," in which she helps people write their own scripts by figuring out where they are now, where they want to be, and guiding them on their path to get there. In this episode, we discuss her passion for the film industry, and why she had to pursue that career path, even if it wasn't what her family wanted for her. Her journey, like the journey many creatives take, has taken many twists and turns along the way, but they all led her to the place she is right now - exactly where she's meant to be. Gilda explains the importance of understanding and managing your finances so you can afford the freedom to say no to jobs you don't want and focus on the ones you're passionate about (spoiler alert: you don't need to make a ton of money to be money smart). We talk a lot about trust - trusting yourself, the people you hire, and the people you work with, and also trusting that life will take you where you're meant to go, even if it happens slower than you might like. We also touch on the importance of avoiding burnout by taking breaks, honoring your visions, and finding a few minutes each day to do something healthy for your mind.   Connect with Gilda: https://www.gildagraham.com/ Instagram @miss_ggraham Twitter @gildagraham YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXTgk_yxX7qzEI2F6T6L7dw   Connect with me on your favorite platform: https://pods.link/aardvarkgirl -- 00:18 I've always wanted to go into the film industry. When I was about 12 or 13, it was just something that I...something was calling to me. I loved storytelling. I loved being able to tell a story and to move people. 05:07 It took me a while to trust the process. You always want to be in control of your own life, and that's something that I've learned through energy healing, like doing Reiki. And then also just letting go, and surrendering, and understanding that you are in control of your life in a sense. But for me, I believe life also knows and controls that aspect and it just goes a lot slower than you. So, you have to be completely patient in some way but just kind of keep the ball rolling. 08:23 It's part of growing up in your first few jobs. Whether it's in studio, or corporate, agency, whatever it is, you're going to learn who you want to work with, and who you don't want to work with. It takes time. It takes energy to figure that out, and it does take money. And people don't realize that money and finances have a huge part to play in you actually working on things that you want, as opposed to you don't want. But it's a huge part of it, because you can afford then to say no to somebody. 13:21 And I think what you learn in acting, if you have a good coach, is trust. You have to trust the other people. You have to trust that they know how to make the right decisions. And if they don't, you come out of love, and you make it for them without making it seem as though you're choosing. And that kind of comes into all aspects of a job. You have to trust the people that you hire to do the job. You have to trust yourself to hire the right people. And then you have to trust the people to know that they love their job enough to do it correctly. 17:22 I was just at a Fortune 500 corporate company, and one of the only other female producers, I remember her saying something along the lines of, “This is dog eat dog. And if I have to just care for myself, then I guess that's how it's gonna be.” And it’s a small department, so if you’re eating somebody, you’re eating your coworker, and we all know it. We all understand what you’re talking about. 20:04 There is a lot of unhealthiness going on, and that you have to be around, to get the paycheck and the benefits, and all that good stuff that comes with it. And it got to a point to where, for me, I wasn't showing up to myself the way that I needed to. I went from a perfectionist to someone who was now mediocre at her job, because you were so tied down to only doing what they want you to do, and then being reprimanded if you did anything more or wanted more. And that's the sad part about being in departments. There's not much room for growth, and people don't really appreciate you, and companies want to keep you down, I feel. At least that was my experience. 25:32 We're all spirits having a human experience. There's the light and the darkness. You have to have darkness in order to see the light. We all have to go down the hill to then go up the hill. 27:25 You experience burnout when you keep going and you keep going and you don't stop and give yourself a break. And then your bills just keep coming. This is why I said finances are just as important because it allows you some freedom. And you don't need to make thousands of dollars to be able to do it. You just need to know how to ...
    Show more Show less
    51 mins
  • How to Function When You've Said Yes to Too Many Projects

    Aug 30 2021
    Even with the best boundaries and understanding the importance of not overdoing it, we sometimes find ourselves in that situation where we've taken on too much. Here's how I got to that place and what I do to get through it. Please leave a review and subscribe so you never miss an episode! Questions and comments can also be emailed to info@aardvarkgirl.com Connect with me on your favorite platform: https://pods.link/aardvarkgirl -- As I’m about to start recording, I’m reminded of this college English class where I had to write a paper that instructed readers how to do something, step by step. At the time, I worked a full-time job, a part-time job, and was going to school full-time, so finding time to keep up with silly things like schoolwork was a bit challenging. I’m not always great at coming up with topics to write about, and I had a hard time thinking of something I did often enough I could write instructions for it. And, of course, I was running out of time because it was due the next day, so I ended up writing instructions for how to drive yourself crazy by waiting until the last minute to write a paper for your class. My professor seemed to enjoy it because it was a humorous take on the topic. It was not unlike what I’m about to say now, many many years later. We all know I’m a big fan of setting and honoring boundaries. I acknowledge the importance of work-life balance and making sure self-care is a priority. I have no problem saying no or being transparent when I just don’t have the bandwidth to take on another project. But even when we’re armed with the best principles and the clearest understanding of how to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our businesses, sometimes we end up in a predicament where we’ve taken on too much. You’ve been there, right? You had it all under control, but then one deadline got moved up, and another project increased in scope, and one client really needs your help and suddenly you’re in too deep. What do you do? This is where I’ve found myself the last couple of months. It’s almost comical at this point, but it also kind of fits in with the norm. It seems like traditionally my work cycles are all at once or not at all. Feast or famine, so to speak. The… predicament, I’ll say, because it’s not exactly a problem… is that the last 2 years have pretty much been a nonstop feast. And while we know in reality I do like to eat, in this metaphor it wouldn’t exactly hurt for me to go on a diet for a little bit. I say this with my usual disclaimer that I am incredibly grateful to have had so much work during a time when my primary industry was mostly shut down, and when many others have not been so fortunate. But production has come back full force and I know so many people who are in a similar place right now, where the work is just flooding in and they’re trying to balance it all. I was talking to a friend recently about everything going on and she asked how I managed to get to this place when I’m usually so good about not taking on too much. It’s a valid question because it does seem like I’ve failed to take my own advice about saying no and putting myself first and all that fun stuff that I truly do believe. But, sometimes the best decision for yourself is actually the one that puts someone else first, and that’s kind of what happened. I’ve set my business up in a way that allows me to work on multiple things at any given time. It comes with a lot of perks. If one area is slow, I have other things bringing me income. This proved invaluable during that time when there was no production work. If that was all I did, I would’ve been in a bad place for a bit. It also keeps me engaged because I’m not doing the same things all the time. Every day is different depending on what projects I have going on. And it allows me to work with multiple clients at the same time, so I don’t lose momentum with them by being unavailable for long stretches of time. But, by doing that, it also means that there are times when a whole lot of people need me at the same time. That makes it even more important to do some of those things I talk about all the time, like prioritizing, communicating, and making sure not to lose sight of self-care. It also makes it difficult to take on those bigger jobs that require me to be on set for several days in a row. I can still do it, but what usually happens is that I have to sneak in time before call, during breaks and after wrap to do all the other work and that tends to seep into that important decompress & sleep time. I’ve been doing this long enough that I do consider all of these things before accepting any job. Sometimes I say no because I don’t have the brain space for one more thing at that time, or I need stay home for my own mental health, or a variety of reasons. I’m not one of those people who has a problem saying no, but there are times when I may not want to do ...
    Show more Show less
    11 mins

What listeners say about Business for Self-Employed Creatives

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.