I am a freelance creative consultant based in Lusaka and have been a feature writer, copy writer and deputy publishing editor at Nkwazi Magazine. I have also worked with other local media companies as a creative consultant.
Why did I choose to be self-employed as a Communications Specialist? The biggest reason would be freedom. Freedom to pick and choose what projects I take on and who I work with, freedom to grow, to learn and evolve, freedom for creativity. And there is also the aspect of challenging myself every single day to be better than I was before and having the confidence to continue no matter what.
What does a normal work day look like for me? Normal is a pretty relative term, it begins as soon as I have a go ahead from a client, whatever time that might be and carries on until the task is done, especially when I have very tight deadlines, 24hours sometimes. It includes lots of phone calls and emails, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything important from a client and to make sure we are in sync every step of the way.
The favourite part about the work I do would be that nothing beats the joy and satisfaction of a happy client. It makes all the sleepless nights worth it, knowing that I was able to help them convey their message.
I would say with the challenges; finding a great client has to rank as number one. Starting out on your own is full of uncertainty, you count on word of mouth referrals a lot and building a consistent client base and retaining them takes a lot of work. Add in those hectic deadlines and writer’s block hitting you at the wrong time, well…
I see my work in the future taking me abroad for a time to gain more international experience. I see me doing a lot of research in Communications and hopefully publishing a few books.
If I was given the opportunity to meet someone I admire it would be two people. And it would be an absolute honour to meet these two and to glean some wisdom from them. First Richard Branson, as he strikes me as a man who is constantly pushing himself and having a blast while doing it. Second Vishen Lakhiani, the man behind Mind Valley as I’m a big fan of personal growth and development and of finding new ways to be better.
To someone planning to follow the same line of work I would say “Don’t do it! Issa trap!” Just kidding. My advice is be open and willing to learn, always! And always be humble, disciplined and knowing how to socialize will help you a lot.
This being a creative industry you have to adapt to change quickly, and learn to reinvent yourself to stay relevant. And as it is a fast changing world you can’t stay comfortable for any amount of time.
Get really good at what you choose to do, it will help you set yourself apart from your competition.