One of the things I love MOST about NOT being an employee anymore is that I get to do free work.
As an employee, it’s all about billable hours, about making money for “the man”, about deliverables – whether you liked about, cared about, agreed that the work was necessary or useful – or in any way meaningful – or not.
As an independent, it’s a different world. Much mirth and merriment have come from the free gigs, large and small, that Bryn and I, often with an amazing supporting cast, have done in the past couple years.
Two years ago, we landed a very, very, very special free gig – a whale of an opportunity. Basically, a friend of a friend of a friend wanted to bring a whole lot of people together in Ottawa in November 2013 to do something profound and meaningful to combat the pestilence that is Human Trafficking. And when they got to asking what all these people were going to “do” for 3 days, the finger got pointed at us.
150 people. From all over the world. Decision makers and subject matter experts. Looking to create that moment where the game was changed, fundamentally. Were we interested? Hell, yes! But we have no money to pay you…
And that’s the great part about being your own boss. Money? we said? Who gives a toss about money? We’re in. Let’s go.
Over the past couple years, planning and development, it’s been amazing to watch people step up to the plate. Lansdowne Technologies is giving us three – count them, three, of their partners for four days – two of those being weekend days that they are giving up time with their families – in peak consulting periods, when they are already burning the fully-billable candle at both ends. Christina Comeau, my one-time business partner and co-founder of the methodology that is Collaborative Transformation, has agreed to come in on Sunday morning, no less, to facilitate action planning around Strategic Communications. Mark Lloyd, one of the best creative designers I’ve known, has been burning the 3 am oil for weeks putting together a compelling story in a slide deck. And there’s a couple dozen other folks from around North America who are volunteering, or who have volunteered, days, weeks, or even several full MONTHS in service of this opportunity. And every one of them is working for free.
The gig is barely a week away – all the planning is coming together, and we’re about to see what a tremendously passionate, caring, diverse community is capable of doing. They do amazing individually…is there something more – something other – something larger – that they can do together? Are there synergies to be found? Is there anything that might someday become a game-changer? From what we’ve learned about Human Trafficking (and I sleep less at night knowing the prevalence of it – yes, even in Canada), every day counts. November 14-17 2013 is shaping up to be an amazing four-day run. And it’s a delight to have the freedom to choose to be a part of the process.
If you’re interested in getting involved, the site is here: http://togetherletsstoptraffick.org/index.html