Freelancing is something I’ve been doing for a while now, and I’ve realised that it’s a hotbed of sin. Yes, really. I’ve also reached the conclusion that during this time I’ve committed all of the Freelancing Deadly Sins…

and scored none of the forgiveness.

Heed my tale of woe and warning: The deadly Sins of Freelancing (and how best to avoid them).


If you were a superhero, hate-reading would be your signature superpower. Social media reports (because it is always social media) of yet another blogger scoring a book deal, drive you into the welcoming arms of Prozac. Y Combinator has somehow become lame? Your roommate was offered a job paying 4x your net worth because they’re a professional incubus/succubus. Those Rich Kids of Instagram have found a way to be unhappy, despite money. If there was some way to monetize Schadenfreude, you’d be rich.

Fight the evil within and heed the wisdom of John Rohn: “The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch.” The idea is to be the one on stage, not the guy heckling from the pit.


Nobody else gets how it all works. It’s not about what you do, it’s about what they think you do. To you, things like Botox are a necessity if one wants to be taken seriously. Highlights and the right haircut are an imperative of the successful. The work you have/are/will ever do, doesn’t define you. It’s all about how you define you. You fully believe you’re more than good enough, yet somehow, people don’t seem to ‘like’ you. You’ve become so full of yourself, there’s no more room at the Inn for any other guests…

Cast that Pride Demon out: it turns out “CEO does not stand for chief ego officer”.


That venture capitalist who didn’t fund your cat café start up. That editor who seemingly ignored your pitch. Those gibbons in marketing who consistently ruin your work. That commenter, that creative director and those jerks (you know the ones). Your hate for them flows like a river. You understand that hating is a full-time job. You are the hater, and hating is what you’re going to do.

Become Gandhi:  “Be the change you want to see in the world”. If hating is a full-time job, become the change you want to see in your career.


You’re doing well for yourself. All those crappy jobs you did for free really did allow you to network and win those “better” jobs that made you. You gained friends amongst those in power, allowing you to increase rates safe in the knowledge of continued workflow. You’ve found a need to hire an accountant. You’re now off-loading on to the kind of people you used to be. But you share none of it.

Trickle down knowhownomics: “I feed the fire and it becomes a roaring blaze” – Cus D’Amato.

Be the kind of freelancer that understands its A. a life style and B. a roller-coaster.


Your ‘pants’ are normal people’s PJ bottoms. Your shirt proudly wears the stains of battle (otherwise known as last night’s Chow Mein). A friend once suggested you should perhaps try dressing like you have a job; your response was to laugh hysterically. You tell yourself you’re not lazy, you’re just misunderstood. It’s true you can’t afford the rent that’s due tomorrow, but none shall tell you how to live. Battle on, brave Panda.

Caffeine IV: “An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it

So act upon yourself, and become your external force.

Wolf Vanberg is often found committing all these sins and more, via internet forums.


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