Around the World in a Day When You Freelance

At 4:34 AM, I turned on my computer to hear that familiar swooping sound from Skype. Who was it? My client Eldad in Israel. We chatted briefly to discuss the website that we’re working on without missing a beat.

Next, I checked my email. There was a message from a client in India, two who are New York-based, one in Russia, and another who seems to globe-hop quite a bit, but is definitely French.

Next, I had to talk to my favorite designer who is located in Washington DC but who was previously located in Brazil. And finally, I scheduled an appointment with a new client who is locally-based here in AZ.

Oh, and one of my long-time clients who happens to be Indian needed translation of website copy that I wrote a while back. He wants the text in Spanish.

While I certainly understand the plight of displaced workers who find themselves unemployed after their positions were relocated to another country, I want to highlight that there are positive aspects to outsourcing. It works both ways. Businesses and individuals from other countries want to work with Americans and buy from Americans, and technology enables it to happen much more than ever before. At the end of the day, businesses everywhere in the world want value and efficiency wherever they may find it.  

New business models are being created each and every day that enable businesses to both buy and sell beyond country borders. Opportunities are not necessarily being diminished because of outsourcing; they are simply shifting and changing. And, the workers and businesses who can adapt to this transition and make it work for them will capitalize on this new reality.

I know how fortunate I am. Some days, I truly feel like I’ve been on an around the world journey just by doing my work. And my clients and I collaborate as seamlessly as if they were sitting in an office down the hall from me – perhaps even better! And, because we share what we’re doing, stories of our families, funny tales, trials, and tribulations, we all acquire a better, more personal perspective on the world.  

Just one story from one freelancer, but if I can inspire just one person to think beyond their neighborhood to the countless global opportunities that are there for the taking, then I’ve done something positive. I hope!

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