I enjoy freelancing blogs as much as anyone—a few of my regular haunts can be found in the blogroll. But while it’s comfortable and occasionally comforting to read, as Orwell’s Winston Smith would have it, “the things we already know,” it’s three items well outside the freelance echo chamber that I present for consideration today.
1. For investing and market insights. As an amateur stock market geek, I read 10 or so financial blogs on a daily basis. My favorite, for his calm style as well as his financial insights, is Random Roger. Freelancers often wail about not making enough money, but if you’re not saving as much as you can out of every check anyway, you’re being, um, naive. (And based on the results of the Freelance Forecast, which indicated only 61% of respondents contributed to a retirement plan, it seems to be a problem.) I, for one, don’t want to be eating cat food instead of sailing the Caribbean in my old age.
Roger also frequently references the yoga concept of “stay on your own mat,” i.e., not worrying about whether someone else is doing the positions better than you are. Same thing works with freelancing.
2. For contrarian views. The Ad Contrarian (Bob Hoffman, CEO of Hoffman/Lewis advertising in San Francisco and St. Louis) is cantankerous, funny, cynical, and a longtime vet of the advertising and marketing scene. He throws cold water on hot trends like no one else, and his eponymous free ebook is a must-read.
3. For serendipity. My newest find is Barking Up the Wrong Tree. Eric Barker is a writer for Wired, and his daily digest of psychological and behavioral studies is thought-provoking and practical: Recent posts include “How can you learn to be more charismatic?” “What are two easy ways to make yourself happier?” and “Can adopting other people’s perspectives make you smarter?” As a bonus, he led me to Inside Influence Report, which is run by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, a renowned expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation, and author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and co-author of Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive—both of which have tons of applications for our own businesses as well as the communications we provide for our clients.
As I say, serendipity.
So, fellow freelancers, what are some of your favorite non-freelancing blogs that offer insights beyond our little freelance echo chamber — but whose lessons you can apply anyway? Please share in the comments!