Jennifer Rash, provides a beautiful human case study on the endless choices we all make to manage what she calls the work-life tension.
She’s a freelance graphic designer raising two children with her husband, a freelance illustrator, in Milwaukee, WI. As you listen to her story, you’ll see how she is a designer of not just graphics, but also of her lifestyle. She’s truly designing a life that works for her.
This is one of my longer conversations, but if you are a parent who works for themselves or if you just feel overwhelmed right now, I know you’ll appreciate lots of the insights she shares about how she lives her day-to-day life, as well as dealing with major life transitions like:
- Making a major move. Five years ago, Jennifer moved from New York City back to Milwaukee to be closer to family and find a different pace of life.
- Transitioning from employment to self-employment. She only started working for herself when she made the move to Milwaukee.
- Working from a home office. Her strategies for juggling time with her kids and her work.
I would say Jennifer’s secret for managing work/life tension is making intentional choices.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Time management.
- Energy management.
How Jennifer Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: 7 am
- Core work habits: Networking, organization, and keeping her ear to the ground for inspiration.
- Ideal work environment: Quiet, in the morning.
- Superpower: Organization
- Self-reflection practice: Cleaning her desk
- Favorite productivity tool: Pocket and Moleskine organizer/planner.
- 90-day goal: Expand her client base.
“You never know where clients will come from.”
If you are currently married with kids or have some other significant obligation in your life that makes you struggle to believe you could ever become self-employed, Jennifer offers this advice:
1) Make (and maintain) connections with the people you already work with.
2) Create a portfolio of your work.
3) Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and ask for help.