What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
I am really passionate about helping creative freelancers find financial sustainability in their businesses while remaining firmly in tune with their ethics and values. So many of our systems fail to adequately support creative thinkers to thrive in business, and I am dedicated to helping to bring financial security and power into these creative spaces. We need diverse and creative minds to thrive in order to build a more equitable world. Also getting paid is hot.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
As a child I wanted to be a ballet dancer, a horse rider, a fashion designer and a vet. Suffice to say I eventually found my way to doing work that is challenging, creative and requires imagination, so I suppose I managed to embody some of each of those things a little!
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
Honestly? Done is better than perfect!
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
Free and easy access to snacks and my cat, haha!
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Living in the countryside with a big-ass piece of land and a centre where I can hold retreats, have people of colour come and get involved in nature and level up in business, and a collection of misfit animals to hang out with.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
I generally donate to Medical Aid for Palestinians because the situation there is incredibly challenging. Another organisation I support is helprefugees.org and the grassroots land justice organisation The Landworkers Alliance.
What drives you?
The desire to never be poor again, the desire to bring the same access to resource to my community and to inspire others to do the same for theirs! To create generational wealth in my family and community so that we can have access to things that I consider to be our rights: safety, security, good food and freedom to be creative and fulfilled.
Any final comments?
l Iove helping creative freelancers create sustainable businesses without compromising on integrity - so get in touch!
What does a normal day look like for you?
I don’t have a massively varied schedule, but I do prioritise different tasks at different times of the day. I like to get up and do some exercise if I am feeling motivated and then start with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea. I check my Asana task list for an overview, and my calendar for any appointments and then set some extra alarms and reminders so I don’t miss anything important. I have ADHD so I find focus difficult, so I like to work in short, focused blocks to get stuff done.
I try not to start with email as it can be a distraction, however I usually get pulled in by a quick scroll on Instagram.
I tend to have three main tasks for the day in order of priority, as well as time windows for each, however I am not rigid with my systems. They are there when I need them, but sometimes it’s nice to work a bit more freely. I tend to get writing, content creating and planning done earlier in the week in small blocks, then I mainly work with clients on Thursdays and Fridays, interspersed with admin and content creation. I love a mid-morning coffee!
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
I am most proud of my son, who is growing into a pretty great teenager! I am also proud of my own personal growth and my business. I also absolutely love my home which has been a labour of love. It’s a beautiful 1970’s vintage caravan with a custom interior that I have spend a few years creating. You can see it on Instagram @esmereldascaravan
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
I am inspired by many people so it is difficult to single one person out. I am continually inspired by my favourite author, Octavia Butler, who’s legacy has so much to teach us all.
What was your biggest failure?
I genuinely don’t feel like I’ve failed. I have had lessons, but I legit don’t look back at my business life and look at anything as a failure. In my personal life, I wish I’d started therapy sooner and gotten an ADHD diagnosis a bit earlier so I could have had some support with not wasting money and getting into debt in my early 20’s.
What do you like most about yourself?
My butt, and my resourcefulness and imaginative approach to problems. Not in that specific order!
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
Wow, that’s a big question! I think committing to interrogating systems and how those systems are reflected in our own behaviour is so important, even down to replicating unhealthy working practices when we work for ourselves! For example, working a five-day week or specifically a nine-to-five because ‘that’s what you’re supposed to do.’ We need to be really self-critical and watch our own fragility when learning about the experiences of others, realising that we are all acting as part of a well designed system and it’s our responsibility to challenge and change that system.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
Actually one of my best attributes is my willingness to take risks. I am quite impulsive (hello ADHD) but as long as I keep check of that, it has meant that I have always been prepared to back an idea or try something sooner than my peers.