#FreelanceLife: A Week in the Life

Sooo, back by popular request is my recap of my week. I thought I was busy when I had my day job, freelance and styling, but good grief. A freelancer's life is a hustler's life (and I really hate that phrase), but despite the late nights, early mornings, and Venti coffees, it's a happy one. So let's dive in shall we?

 Inspiration Party! Photo:  Connie McGowan

Inspiration Party! Photo: Connie McGowan

Monday, 5/23/16 - First day back at "work" after a week at the beach. Started off with my mentoring session. I heart my mentor - she makes me actually do stuff and reminds me of all the things we said I would do that I haven't yet done. Oops. Next up: Skype-ing into a call with a freelance client who forgot about our meeting, so we rescheduled for 30 minutes later. Took the time to reschedule my eye appointment (I want "preventative glasses" if that's a thing, or at least the ones that protect your eyes from staring at screens 24-7. Will keep you posted on this.). Next: actual Skype session that lasted an hour, but it's looking like there may be a 7-week project on the horizon which is hallelujah news for a Type-A freelancer (promise of lots of actual money!). I also had to complete a writing assignment for an interview for another freelance grant writing gig. Finally, at the end of the day, I got to hang out with 25+ awesome woman at the Inspiration RVA party. So thankful that Christina and Jevata continue to plan this!

 A few of the Breakaway RVA planning team!

A few of the Breakaway RVA planning team!

Tuesday, 5/24/16 - Signed up for hot yoga, didn't go since I had to be over at Channel 8 to talk about a super fun side passion project (as if I needed another side thing right?) that we like to call Breakaway RVA. We pushed our meeting time up earlier since we were also being interviewed by RVANews for this very same thing. Brief recap - last summer Andrew and I went to Colorado and did a huge social biking party called Denver Cruisers. Flash forward to Richmond hosting the UCI Road World Champions in September and everyone in RVA going bike crazy. A casual mention to a few friends that we wanted to plan something similar to the experience in Denver and flash forward to this week and we've got 6 months of planning behind us, a massive press campaign going on and our first event scheduled for Thursday. As of Tuesday, we had about 15 people signed up and expected around 20-30. So, did TV interview, worked on said writing project again, and became Chic Stripes, LLC (yes, this was on my mentor to-do list and I was supposed to have it done before now). Somewhere in here, I also wrote Wednesday's blog post.

 Wait, you don't stop mid-walk to squeeze in an outfit photo session? Thanks for capturing this  Trevor !

Wait, you don't stop mid-walk to squeeze in an outfit photo session? Thanks for capturing this Trevor!

Wednesday, 5/25/16 - Early AM client meeting canceled last minute. Arrive to co-working spot early to tackle another mentor-assigned project (overdue by like 2 months, I'm horrible!) which is printing off post card flyers for Chic Stripes and then taking them to business. Got halfway through, but changed a few things last minute, which meant I still didn't get them printed.  Meeting with client while being inundated by 100+ texts from our Breakaway RVA group text and signs ups quickly climbing to 60 (for the record, our texts feature a lot of emojis, jokes, and a tiny bit of planning). Afternoon was filled with a client session (fashion stuff, finally!). She is a fabulous 5'10", 75 year old woman with amazing avant-garde fashion sense. We cleaned out her closet and scheduled another date for Saturday to put together outfits and create a look book for her - there will be a blog post about this! Back from client session, it was off to our final Breakaway planning meeting where we were now up to about 100 sign ups (call us officially blown away and super excited!). Afterwards, a few of us walked over to Antler and Fin for their VIP Grand Opening, a spot our friend Kristel helped opened it and it is beauitful!. And had to do a quick outfit photo shoot on the way. I hate pre-planned outfit photos, so I tote my huge camera around and bribe Andrew into shooting my photos in under 2 minutes. Stopped for pizza for dinner and headed home.  By today, I have also practically forgotten my own Chic Stripes social media as I've been sharing and posting so much to Breakaway.

 Some photos from the 1st  Breakaway RVA  event! And yes, costumes are encouraged.

Some photos from the 1st Breakaway RVA event! And yes, costumes are encouraged.

Thursday, 5/26/16 - Client meeting 8:30-11 (note, 100+ more texts DURING THIS MEETING in the Breakaway text group, sign ups grown to 150. We're officially freaking out). Meeting ran over 30 mins. Pushed second client meeting back (rescheduled from the canceled meeting yesterday). Grabbed lunch with a friend. Headed to client session where I ran into Christina who was mentoring her mentee (yay for the give it back philosophy!). More texts barraging me from Breakaway. Practically all of us are in meetings for our day jobs/main gig, so it's interesting. We're approaching 200 riders and are giddy/scared/thinking WTF did we get ourselves into. Go by the library to pick up my books that were on hold only to find out they sent them back because I was too late. Drank some coffee and then a beer and then got ready for Breakaway. 205 riders signed up and we were all so tired at this point that we had no idea what to expect - just some fun bike riding with tons of people (we hoped)! Long event story short it was a BLAST! We had 107+ people (friends, families, kids, people in cow costumes - thanks Daniel and Relay!). I saw so many familiar faces ( Hey Brittany, Ann Marie!) and finally met IRL people I have only known as their twitter handles (Hi Holly and Tessa!). If you're in to cool bike stuff, you can see the photos here. After-party at Union Market afterwards where none of us could stop smiling at what a success it was! Stopped for pizza. Got home and in bed by midnight, about three hours past my usual bed time.

 Unfiltered, no make-up, pre-shower, exhausted real life for ya.

Unfiltered, no make-up, pre-shower, exhausted real life for ya.

Friday, 5/27/16 - For some reason, I thought scheduling a 7 AM physical therapy appointment (PT for a rock climbing shoulder injury) the day after our event was a good idea, but either way - off I went. Spent the last 10 minutes while my shoulder was icing to respond to Insta comments, like photos, etc. Gotta show peeps I'm still around! Came home and went on a massive cleaning spree since both Andrew and I had been so busy this week our house was in complete disarray. Cleaned bathroom, kitchen, fridge, started laundry, pulled weeds in our front yard (a month of rain will make those suckers grow), cleaned out my car of Breakaway items, made a smoothie from spinach that was going bad and baked salmon that was getting old (can't bear to throw away food). Oh, and I wrote this blog post! One cool thing about freelance life is that I literally just spent 3 "working" hours doing things I needed to do and I had the complete freedom to do it. But it also means I'm still not doing anything of the things I should be doing which include: take a shower (at some point), drink more coffee (happening now actually), go to the 804 rooftop party, head to Lowes to cut boards for my bookshelf DIY project (ugh, hate DIY projects, but I also like saving money) and try to find something white to serve as a backdrop for my client session tomorrow, try to find time to do client work, and fold previously mentioned laundry. What I'm supposed to do today that I still probably won't do (please don't tell my mentor) go to city hall and get my business license, actually finish printing my marketing cards and then actually taking them to businesses. I have until Wednesday, guys!!

Oh, and did you know Monday's a holiday? Yea. Me neither.... I guess that's what happens when you live the #freelancelife... 


Sydney Lester is a Richmond, Virginia-based personal stylist who creates wardrobes that reflect your life + style.  

You can find more #FreelanceLife posts here.