Montreal-based photographer and writer, Julian Haber, packs 15 years of freelance knowledge into one, amazing read in Gigonomics.
Shortly after completing his MBA, Julian realized that the corporate cubical world might not be for him. Luckily he had both a passion and talent for photography.
With hard work, dedication and a fierce desire for independence, Julian turned his side hustle into a thriving photography business. But his work didn’t end there. To help fellow freelancers, Julian wanted to share his entrepreneurial knowledge with the world. In his book, , you’ll find tons actionable advice of how to not just survive, but thrive in the gig economy.
Q&A with Julian Haber, Gigonomics Author
FreshBooks: Tell us a little bit about your business and what makes you unique?
Julian Haber: I’m a photographer (), with a focus on event, conferences and corporate portraits. Also, I manage a small team of freelancers (photographers and videographers) I sometimes outsource to help with big gigs.
I think my unique value comes from how I work with clients – I put tons of energy into the relationships and listen closely to their needs. Plus, at the end of the day, I’m providing a high quality product for good value.
FreshBooks: You’ve been in the gig economy for 15 years now, what inspired the shift?
JH: Once I finished my MBA, I began working in a very traditional corporate environment. Photography has always been a side hustle for me, but I was doing more artistic styles as an escape from my everyday. In fact, I’d even share my work in galleries and cafes around Montreal!
Even then, I never thought that photography was a viable career. But I wanted to get out of the restrictive corporate environment and my passion for photography alone sustained me. I knew that if I kept at it, I’d eventually have full independence and I’d be willing to forgo financial comfort for that.
FreshBooks: What inspired you to write this book?
JH: It’s funny actually – before I wanted to be a photographer, I wanted to be a writer. And even though this book took me 20 years to write, it was a total labor of love. Essentially, I wanted to share my knowledge and expertise with the world because so many of my friends were transitioning from corporate to freelance careers. It made sense to bring my life and my life’s work together.
FreshBooks: Name 3 key takeaways from your book for small business owners.
JH: Ok, top three are:
- Believe in yourself and your abilities: I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true! You have to be able to get through those inevitable down days with nothing but personal confidence. Sometimes it can feel grim, but you have to trust yourself.
- Start right away and start quickly: Whatever your freelance idea is, you have to start immediately. Try to keep your goals short term, small and achievable. Completing each one will give you confidence boosts and energy to keep on keeping on.
- Get up and keep on going: It can be hard – emotionally, financially and psychologically but you have to sustain yourself. When you get through the hard parts, it will show you just what you’re capable of.
FreshBooks: How does FreshBooks help you survive the gig economy?
JH: I’ve been a FreshBooks customer for 10 years. And, when I first signed up for an account, I had no idea what to do with it! But, I did know that I needed to create some kind of structure for my new freelance life and FreshBooks seemed like a great first step.
It helps me manage my client relationships, understand my cash flow and gives me insights into my business. Plus, it’s a tool that makes me look established and professional.
FreshBooks: Name one FreshBooks feature you can’t live without.
JH: Easy – Invoicing! It’s the key to my business.
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about the author
After not receiving her Hogwarts letter at age 11, Shannon began writing to Dumbledore and her love of language was born. A passionate copywriter, wannabe astronomer and curious home chef, Shannon’s creative work has been recognized internationally. Learn more about her work at .