35 side projects and counting - Documentary Producer Jay Acunzo
35 side-hustles into a freelance career, with a book, a podcast, and a growing reputation as a keynote speaker, Jay has many strings to his bow.
Watch him give a speech or hear him talk and you’d be forgiven for assuming he has it all figured out. Jay oozes confidence, but he’ll be the first to tell you that he’s making it all up as he goes along.
Only this summer, in fact, Jay thought about leaving it all behind and getting a job. To his credit, he was able to overcome that threatening bout of self-doubt just as quickly as it appeared.
But it just goes to show - even the boldest among us can struggle with being freelance.
TRANSCRIPT OF THE BEING FREELANCE PODCAST WITH DOCUMENTARY PRODUCER JAY ACUNZO AND STEVE FOLLAND
Steve Folland: How have you ended up doing what you do today?
Jay Acunzo: Yeah, sure. I mean it's funny, Steve. I'm sure everybody listening can probably relate especially if you're doing things in new media where people say all these things are hard about being freelance and then you get out and do it. One of the hardest things is talking to people not from your industry. When they ask you, so what do you do for a living? It's like, oh man, here's a paragraph so yeah. I started my career as a sports journalist actually. I was working for print publications mostly in my home state of Connecticut in the states. I really quickly realized I didn't want to move to a city that nobody knew to cover a sport nobody cared about for 10 years. I transitioned into business. I got very lucky and got a job at Google and that opened my eyes to brands because that my job was to consult brands and agencies advertising through Google products and the title was digital media strategist. I liked seeing tech. I liked understanding marketing.
Jay Acunzo: I liked working for Google, but I really hated the job. Just not something you were supposed to say back then. This is like 2008 because it was Mecca in technology, right. Google was like this amazing place everybody wrote about and I felt like my brain was not prepared for me to not like it. I think so often in your career path, it's just this exercise in self-awareness and I just lacked it at that time. I was thrashing but I didn't know why and if you asked me today, it's because number one, I don't do bosses quite well. I don't like big companies. I don't work for big companies. I can work with them but not for them and I wasn't being creative. I wasn't making anything and so I left Google to work for a very small startup where I got into content marketing for the first time. I built two content marketing teams at this tiny little startup and then at a larger company called HubSpot. I left HubSpot, I was like okay, I've done the big tech thing. I've done the scaling tech thing.
Jay Acunzo: I've done the tiny startup, the only place left for me to go is venture capital, which is like the last remaining almost like jaunt to the side of this tech industry. I worked as VP of brand for a venture capital firm for three years and it was there that my freelance journey really began Steve, because as I was thinking of leaving to start my own podcast and public speaking business, I negotiated essentially with them one day a week off for about a year to work on my own side hustle. It was amazing that I got to do that and that was like me easing into this wonderful work that I now do, which is kind of hard to explain like we talked about at the top but yeah, I write books. I speak so half my revenue is public speaking and I make shows for brands, both in audio and video so what do I do? I don't know, how much time do you have?
Steve Folland: Okay, so when you said I was thinking about leaving and starting a podcast and public speaking business, were you already doing those two things on the side? I know it became your side hustle one day week as you say, but were you already doing them?
Jay Acunzo: Yes, and I think that's a really important question too, Steve, because for example, working in VC, being around literally dozens of entrepreneurs, some of whom had built really successful businesses, you get this lore from the media of how an entrepreneur rips the band aid and leaps with two feet forward and they just take risks. Then you talk to these people and they're amazing at mitigating the risk. They test their way forward. They learn and then they use evidence to suggest they should head left instead of right so I had a podcast for this VC. There's me, exercising that muscle in a safe space. Then I launched my own side project podcast called Unthinkable, which I still use as sort of a lead gen tool in a lab for creativity today and that show was what I invested that extra day a week into, as well as the first few speaking gigs that I could book all of which happened while I had a day job.
Steve Folland: What were you speaking on?
Jay Acunzo: Well, mostly my background had been in content marketing and I've been writing, I think I actually did a round up in my newsletter earlier this year. I counted 35 side projects that I launched between 2008 and today. Some of them which they died and nobody heard of. Some of which I continue to do today but mostly, I was like just writing and blogging, first about sports, but then about creativity in business and that subject became really valuable in the marketing world where content became such a powerful thing and most people published hollow, sort of terrible how to or lists articles. Mostly I was hired by marketing organizations to give speeches about how to instil better creative processes and decision making into their organization.
Steve Folland: Is that what you still speak about today?
Jay Acunzo: It's evolved. I use my own podcast as this public lab like I mentioned so I started that show to talk about the creative side of content marketing, like the content word. People who are, they may be self-identify as makers and artists first, and it just so happens that brands need that skill more than ever and then the more I talked to listeners, the more I'm like well, you're an engineer and you're a freelance writer and you're CTO and you're a CEO, like it was a smattering of people so really, now that that show becomes a way I can explore different topics.
Jay Acunzo: If I have to say what it's about, I basically look at examples of work that seems crazy until you hear their side of the story so that's why the show is called Unthinkable. That lets me explore a wide range of topics, not just content and so when I get tapped to speak now, it's about how to make better, more critical decisions in your workplace that's based not on a best practice, but on your own situation so if you want to break from conventional thinking as an industry or an organization, that's where I get hired to speak.
Steve Folland: Having that podcast and calling it like a lab, that's developed your own thought processes and thinking as well.
Jay Acunzo: Yeah, I call it, it's like the aeration. I think this is a good idea, but I need to get the emotional resonance from a few people first to verify that.
Steve Folland: You also called it a lead gen so the people that you're approaching in order to perhaps interview, you might go on to work with them, is that what you're saying?
Jay Acunzo: It's happening that way and this is like a happy accident. I think this is the story of my career. It's like shipping a lot of side projects just because I want to, then leads to a benefit I didn't expect, some of which is just practice, some of which is business related so the business related benefit of my show that I'm finding happening more and more is I create highly produced episodes. They're narrative style, they're like a docu-series is what I create, it's not an interview show and so when I have say a head of marketing or a CEO of a company on that show, they're like witness and participating in my process and so we can chit chat before and after the recording. They also see what I do to make that episode possible and then I can impress them with the actual piece. My last three freelance contracts to create shows for brands have come as a direct result of me having a decision maker on my own show.
Jay Acunzo: I'm not like making money on say the audience of my podcast, that's like my community, that's my tribe but I am making money in an indirect way in that it's a way to get people I'd like to work with sort of closer to my circle and it's easier to then say hey, why don't we work together.
Steve Folland: You've just described the process of making those shows. When you decided you needed that day off from your other job, was that because you were just working round the clock in order to keep that side project going or…?
Jay Acunzo: Actually, that was part of it. Yeah, I'd say maybe if I had to put a percent to it, that was 25% of the reason but 75% was I just wanted to invest more time in what I was most excited to do, which is like tinker on this new craft, figure out how to make shows that people adore about business topics because I think a lot of business content, it doesn't match the emotions we draw from our work, which is such a missed opportunity and it also sucks. I love the work that I do and then I listened to some podcasts or watch the media or see a video and it's like this is bland and boring and even if it's smart, it's like sticking a textbook down my ear. It should be nutritious and delicious like well, how do you do that? Let me try it.
Jay Acunzo: I like to say that the moment I left NextView, which is the VC I worked for, it was around 2016 towards the end of the year, I still liked that job and yet wanted to leave all the same, which was strong enough signal that I had to leave because I wasn't trying to run away from something, I was heading towards something and that was the first time that ever happened to me where I left the job I liked to pursue something else and that was strong enough signal that said, you know what, I think now I'm ready.
Steve Folland: Did you do everything yourself or did you start to think that you needed people to work with you on these things?
Jay Acunzo: One of the hardest things I've had to try and figure out is how to scale what I do. I don't sell the production of the podcast. I say to clients, I'm happy to take that off your plate but you might have somebody in house or you can hire an agency or a freelancer, it's a very low dollar sort of commoditized skill to just like physically edit the podcast so I sell the concept. The best analogy I can use is, if you are Netflix, you're a brand, you're like my Netflix and I'm like the director of a show and I want you to pick up and option this show so I'm not pitching you the physical creation of the show even though I now own that. I'm pitching you this concept and how we execute the concept and why it's a benefit to your brand so because my focus has to be on creativity and trust those two things. Now for some of the nitty gritty, I've started to scale beyond just working with me.
Jay Acunzo: I have a story producer that helps me sort of look at all the interviews I've done and come up with the story and get the good stuff out from the bad. I'm looking for an audio engineer. I've worked with a few in the past that helped me physically cut together the episodes so there's a little bit of scaling happening right now but this is honestly two years in and it's happening for the first time say over the last three months, and I think were I to do this again, I might encourage my former self to start that process a little bit earlier but I get precious with a lot of the creative process as I know a lot of people listening do.
Steve Folland: At the same time as you're starting doing those puckers, you've also been doing speaking about content marketing and so on and so forth. How did you get into that? Did it stop that you invited and then you start to market yourself? How would that even work?
Jay Acunzo: Right, it's a very strange career path and it is a lot of people in the U.S. It's a lot of people I've got to know now who do it full time. They're on the road. They do 75 to 80 speeches a year, which is insanity to me. I do about 25 to 30 and that's still a lot and I'm looking to scale that down a little bit, but the speaking business is really big in the U.S. and I've done a lot of overseas talks as well, but there's not the volume so maybe it's not quite the career path. When you see on someone's bio keynote speaker, that's like somebody putting author. You can decide well, did they write an e-book and a PDF and PowerPoint? Is that an author or did they write a legitimate book, right?
Jay Acunzo: I think if you're someone who's like I'm going to write a long form thing, sure, call yourself author because we live in a world void of gatekeepers mostly, but with the keynote speaker thing, I think there's this halo of questionability or questionableness rather, where you see that tag and you're like okay, is that like you're trying to call yourself a thought leader or something? Are you full of crap here or are you actually a professional touring speaker? Half of my business is the latter. I am on the road, earning revenue through speaking and the way it began was I built a community group in Boston around creatives. We grew that to about now 2,000 people and we had local events and I would be emcee or I would sometimes speak or be on a panel. I both fell in love with that and also built a little bit of a network and a platform publicly where people would invite me in to speak.
Jay Acunzo: Then I decided well, maybe I can charge to be a speaker because I know that happens so I started charging a little bit and then I actually connected with one of my now good friends who's a professional speaker, who was launching a management company for these kinds of personalities, people who have personal platforms like newsletters and podcasts and speak to fund those platforms. He kind of showed me the ropes and trained me to be a better speaker and also taught me the business side of it. You fast forward to today and now it's a huge part of what I do and honestly, it's like some of the best work that I do, I just, I love it.
Steve Folland: How did it feel that first time when you quoting a price for doing a talk where maybe you've done before for free?
Jay Acunzo: The first time I quoted a price was, I felt really confident because the first time I got paid, they came to me and said, we don't have much of a budget, this is probably not your rate and then in my mind, I'm like, maybe I can start charging a rate, didn't know you could do that. They said, well, how about you come and speak for 2,500? I was like okay, so I'm taking a train a couple hours away from my then home in Boston, I now live in New York so that's where the first gig ended up being was New York. I was like yeah, I could do that. Then I start talking to other friends of mine that had branched out from in house brands to go and become a speaker and author type person. They were like, oh no, no, no, no, that's way too low. You need to double that at least, and start charging more. They showed me the knowledge I lacked and it really is a bit of a black box.
Jay Acunzo: The first time I proactively quoted a rate I was confident, not a problem, Steve, is I quoted the rate and they were like okay, yeah, no problem. I was like, damn it. I should have tripled it instead of doubled it, like what was I doing? It's like, and then that continues to happen to me today. It's a continually, I think the high watermark is higher than, they're going to scoff and be like, no, no, no, I don't want to work with you at all and then most people are just like, yeah, okay, and it's like damn it, I did it again.
Steve Folland: When you're doing those talks so okay, obviously, they're paying for your brain and your presentational skills, all of the experience that might feed into it but also from your point of view, there must be a logistical well, I'm taking a day out getting there, a day back. Presumably you have to factor that sort of thing in, but is your other work stuff that you can do on the road?
Jay Acunzo: I think the beauty here is that because I wasn't doing client shows at first, I was only doing my own show and speaking, I found a way to make my newsletter, my show and the speeches feed off each other. An example would be like the speech is really the best work, the best stories, the best honed ideas I have and there's two ways to get it to that point and you mentioned they're hiring me for my thoughts but I think they're really hiring me for my product, which is the speech. The way I generate leads is people see me speak and they're like we have to have you come speak. I think most people perceive it as, if you're internet famous, you get hired to speak and yeah, it happens to some people but the real business happens when somebody consumes your product in the room and they're like we'd like to bring you in now to our event organization so that the product is the speech and they get it to the point where it has to be great. I'm like constantly working on all the beats.
Jay Acunzo: It's very similar to being a stand-up comic where you're going to small clubs to work on the material ahead of your big Netflix special. Well, my Netflix special is a giant room of thousands of people and the small clubs are the tiny rooms so yeah, they may be distract from client shows but I find that I can line up my workflow nicely, where if I'm on a plane and I don't have it like great internet, I can edit or I can script. I'm sort of seeing the world but not really because I'm mostly spending time either I'm on in the event, I'm either speaking or attending the event or I'm back in the hotel room or conference centre like writing my shows. It's my work day essentially so I've made the two integrate essentially, that would be my answer is they integrate nicely.
Steve Folland: Actually, you don't feel like you have to proactively market yourself too much. It's more like it feeds itself.
Jay Acunzo: Both halves of my business really do and I'm very grateful I've discovered that because now I don't have to panic, read all these blog posts in my Twitter feed. That's like 17 tips and tricks for growing your email list. I also don't have to worry about constantly trying to sell and sell and sell. I want to live a life and build a business where the great work speaks for itself and I'm fortunate that it takes a hell of a lot of work but to get a speech that's what they call referable, in other words, it generates referrals and it gets shows that do the same thing. I can just triple down my efforts, not on marketing and demand gen, but on the products I deliver. Then those products because they're both public, generate demand for me. Again I know not everyone has that. It's my face, voice and person on a stage. It's my voice and sometimes face if it's video in a show so I have that sneaky advantage.
Steve Folland: Then did actually pulling together a book follow on from like you saw other people doing talks at the event you were going to and it all have a book or a way of condensing it down or is it another way of saying here's my thoughts, hire me to talk about them like?
Jay Acunzo: Yeah, so in the speaking business and I do put the book under the speaking business. I'm not in the business of selling books. I'm an author but I don't want to sell a million copies. I prefer for a million people to read it but it doesn't mean I have to sell a million copies. I use the book to do things like improve credibility. I'm also intrinsically motivated to write a book. I have always wanted to write a book and so my first one came out actually this October called Break The Wheel, and so when I was writing Break The Wheel, I was able to use my speech content and the lessons I learned there, my show content and the stories I told and the insights I distilled and my newsletter content as a feeder system into writing the book.
Jay Acunzo: While I did a lot of original research and had to supplement both details of existing stories and add new stories, I had this awesome spine of what I wanted to say and where I wanted to place different stories, all pulled from existing content. Now that the book is live, it feeds right back into the system where now I can book more gigs at a higher rate or I can get on to different press opportunities, which land gigs. It's a really nice virtuous cycle.
Steve Folland: How did you actually go about lighting it? Did you take time out?
Jay Acunzo: Not really. Speaking is surprisingly seasonal. If there's a ton of, you're on the road a lot in June and the surrounding months, September and October is another spike but winter months and also around July tend to be pretty dead. This isn't the case globally, but it's the case in North America so starting in December of 2017, I began to put together a book treatment, which is just a blurb about the book and then an outline. I began to do all my research, at least gathering together past material and then I began to write in those dead months. It was two to three days a week, walking to my favourite coffee shop, being the first one there in the morning writing for three hours. My goal was two to three times a week doing that and then every week on Thursdays, it was just for the book and so I tried to compartmentalize all these other projects I'm working on to be able to deliver a manuscript in time for when I wanted the book to come out, which was this fall, which is another busy season for speakers.
Steve Folland: Yeah, I was going to say how do you manage this whole workload so it is compartmentalizing as you say, all of the various different things.
Jay Acunzo: Yeah, I try my best at that. It doesn't always work out but at least its top of mind that okay, Mondays are admin days. If I have networking calls or if I need to organize the week or I have a call with my manager of awesome who is my assistant and we say, manager of awesome, because she's about helping me deliver an awesome experience to the client but she helps me organize everything and helps me with some of the backend systems in the business so we'll talk on Mondays so I know, instead of breaking up a day, I try to break up weeks into sort of like themed days. Then again because back to the seasonality of speaking, because that's the case, I also know all right it's June, which means you know what, I'll probably be on the road Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays a couple of times this month, if not more so I need to rearrange that. I have this nice cadence setup and then I know it gets disrupted maybe in the peak seasons.
Steve Folland: I mean I have to ask you about the manager of awesome, clearly so what am I to give another term, is that like a virtual assistant type thing?
Jay Acunzo: Exactly, and she's a virtual assistant. When I started recruiting for this role, her name is Meg. She's amazing and when I recruited for this role, I called it that and then I explained why I called it that it's because I found myself unable to provide increasingly awesome client experiences. I was just in maintain mode with my business. I was doing everything and I was not able to take on more work or improve the work or the interactivity and engagement with my clients and so a really good friend and mentor said, I need to be in the business of creativity and trust. I wasn't able to do that well without having someone else come on and take some of the work off my plate and enable us to try new projects. I can now write handwritten thank you cards and little things up to big things became easier so she helps me provide an awesome client experience.
Steve Folland: You felt like you were doing everything and it was ticking over, but it was taking a lot out of you and you weren't doing it to the awesome standard that you want it to be doing it?
Jay Acunzo: No. You know what, I'll be honest, I burnt out hard and it was the classic like I'm going to muscle through all these things and I was working around the clock and I even had a moment over the summer. Now people are listening to me say things that sound strategic and smart and half of the reason is because I think I'm doing okay, but the other half is, I speak for a living so I know how to make things sound good but really, really, I need to tell you and this is for you, Steve, and everybody listening who's like wow, this guy has shit figured out. I don't, like I'm making this up as I go and over the summer, this past year, I started thinking about getting a job right down to the point of talking to a few companies. I look back and I'm like, what the hell was I doing? Well, what I was doing was I was thrashing.
Jay Acunzo: I was struggling, right and so I had to look myself in the mirror and be like, okay, I need some help. I need to focus on what I'm uniquely qualified to do for my clients and my business and myself and that means hiring Meg, that means hiring a story producer, that means maybe saying no to certain opportunities that aren't directly in my focus area so I had to get back to my kind of like first principles, the foundation of why I do this work. I had this terrible moment, which in retrospect was necessary because I feel a little bit more reset and focus now, but again do not have it all figured out by any stretch.
Steve Folland: You were doing too much and it just go to that point where you thought, why am I putting myself through this?
Jay Acunzo: Yeah, totally and I lost two clients in the same day. Actually, they alerted me. I knew one of them was coming because they didn't raise venture capital. Then another one I lost because their clients were delayed on payment to them so I was like okay, we can't continue to work together if you can't then pay me so I lost two clients in the same day or week and so that was like a gut punch, right. It was like oh my gosh, there goes most of my revenue when I'm not on the road. I knew we wanted to start a family with my wife so it's like I can't just be on the road to earn that revenue so that really was that existential moment, which I think if you had a photo of me from May of this year and then August of this year, I think I go from full head of brown hair to like the Doctor Strange grey sideburns later that summer. I think it happened that fast.
Steve Folland: Jesus, that happened fast, how quickly did you feel like you then got a grip of it?
Jay Acunzo: I guess fairly quickly. I mean it's almost like the days are long but the month or short or whatever because I look back and I'm like, okay, that was a quick hiccup. It wasn't a giant roadblock but in the moment, it obviously feels huge.
Steve Folland: Did that come from bringing on the extra help?
Jay Acunzo: I think that was part of it. Honestly, I think another was a tough pill for me to swallow, which was, so that the entity through which I make shows is called Unthinkable Media, which is me and other freelancers. It's my business and then I bring on help as needed for these programs I'm building, these original series. I think at out of the gate when I decided I'm going to make client shows, I was trying to operate it like a scaling startup. I was making decisions accordingly. Then I had to reset when I hit that bump to be like well, why do I want to do this work? I don't want to create workshops? I want to be the host. I want to be the talent. I want to be the creator, that's what I love and there's nothing wrong with that but my behaviour doesn't actually map to that desire, to that aspiration so I just got back in touch with why I actually want to do this work, which forces you to make some tough choices.
Jay Acunzo: It's like a decision-making filter and this is really what the book is about. It's like if you can understand yourself and your situation first, then all the best practices in the world serve you but you have to start with like self and situational awareness to make good decisions and I lacked that for a time and tried to get that back.
Steve Folland: Were you trying to grow big of a new, actually needed to, like you enjoyed actually making the shows, that's what you enjoyed? You like being on the shows, you like working with the people you were working with, putting together even if that was hiring other people to help create them. Was it getting to that point where you felt like you needed to get too many shows on the go at once because hey, that's how you grow?
Jay Acunzo: Exactly. I was doing what works in general or just sort of like what one does and I'm using air quotes to succeed or to grow a business, not what I aspire to do, which means that my heart wasn't in it, even though I didn't notice it and I was making decisions that were misaligned with my own values or goals. I'll give you an example. A buddy of mine runs a tech startup and he chose not to raise venture capital, which for him was that moment of like self-reflection and self-awareness. They're growing through profit, even though they're a software company in a very tech heavy city.
Jay Acunzo: He and I talked, and he's like well, so you're here, Jay, you have a couple clients shows. You like to do more creatively aggressive versions of those with existing or new clients and you'd like to pick up one more client, like that's what you told me. I was like, yeah, you're with me so far. He's like, okay, so you're here, just go there and he's like, that's one step forward. Like now, just try to bring on the next version of you who's a little younger and cheaper, like you don't have to set up a structure and a system to have seven employees or to have 20 shows. Just go from A to B, like I was trying to get from A to Z, and it made no sense and that outside perspective was really, really helpful.
Steve Folland: I'm actually wondering, you're obviously, surrounded by lot of or have been surrounded by a lot of venture capitalist startup type firms, you said these sort of things a lot, you work with them a lot and I'm wondering whether now over time, you've picked up the good things that you can learn from those companies and the things to avoid from those companies.
Jay Acunzo: It's been huge for me and I worked really hard when I was in Boston, going to a ton of networking events and then moving to New York and doing the same so I feel proud of the effort I put into build that network and it happened both during the day jobs I held and afterwards. Now I'm sort of like extracting that value. I was at one point, adding as much value as I could as a community builder and now I'm able to extract it in different ways. I think the good side of it is, I think about my own show. I mentioned it's a good lead gen source but it's not a guarantee everybody I have on the show that I'd like to work with, will become a client. It feels taxing sometimes to work on something that doesn't directly drive revenue A to B, but I look at that as I'm building product so that's pulling from my software startup background, like you have to invest in building a good product and for me, that's a public version, a public proof point that I can do these shows.
Jay Acunzo: It's also practice for my skills that I apply to client shows. Eventually, I have to invest in product even though I'm not like directly making money and I think a lot of freelancers, we can get caught in this idea of like we're constantly in marketing and sales mode and yeah, I have to do that too but I also have to make sure I have that product, my skills, my abilities and my show. That's a good version of the startup thing and I'll give you the bad really quick. The bad really quick is, is what my friend in Boston chose not to pursue but what most people pursue is this idea of hyper growth where it's like, the other day, I thought, I'd like to do two more shows next year and then I thought, well, why? Like what? Do I need that revenue? Is it something, am I not creatively fulfilled in the current shows? What's causing me to think about that? Where I landed was like well, it's actually because that's what one is supposed to do. You're supposed to grow giant percentage number here.
Jay Acunzo: It's like well, but why, because that's what everyone else does? That's a terrible reason to inform your decisions. In that way, I wasn't actually living out the lessons of my own writing so that's the downside is I'm surrounded by a lot of people who the main object is growth for growth's sake. For me, it's fulfilment and meeting.
Steve Folland: Your book was Break the Wheel. What is the crux of that? Is it kind of like everything that we've just been talking about?
Jay Acunzo: I think I live out the values of it, but the topic is a little bit different so I, here's the statement that everybody agrees to right away. Finding best practices is not the goal. Finding the best approach for you is, like unanimously everybody agrees with that but then we don't think about how to do that. We replace our own context with some generalized advice and I actually think we have it backwards. When we make decisions, we should start with our context. We should hone our ability to act like an investigator, ask really good questions of your own environment to find the answers you need. Just because someone else looks somewhat like you and says, you have to do it this way, that actually doesn't mean it's the best decision for you. This book is fundamentally about how to make the best possible decision in your scenario regardless of the trend, regardless of the best practice, regardless of what everyone else who might be an expert in your mind says you have to do.
Steve Folland: Of course, there'll be links through beingfreelance.com, so you can click through and find everything what Jay is up to, which is clearly a lot as well so to listen to his shows but also the ones that he does for his clients and Break The Wheel as well, that if you could tell your younger self one thing about being freelance, what would that be?
Jay Acunzo: You have to surround yourself with people who can help you not only business wise, I get that right away but I'm such an extrovert that working alone all day, every day really can have a mental health detriment in my life and so I have to make sure, whether it's now that I'm hiring people, it's just constant interactivity with them or it's like baking into my life more than work to go and socialize and take breaks and go for a walk without looking at a screen. I'm so in love with the work I do and I'm such a romantic in general about big ideas like work has a ton of meaning for me that I can get lost in it. What I don't recognize is I really do need to pick my head up and go in and interact with human beings because that's where I actually draw energy.
Steve Folland: Actually now think I about it, you mentioned about going into the coffee shop when you were writing your book, but where do you normally work from? Is it from home then?
Jay Acunzo: I do. Yeah, I have a home office and my assistant is a beagle who loves to bark without giving me any warning so podcasting with puppies is a new show coming soon, podcasting with puppies. I work mostly from home and especially now that I've moved out of New York City into the suburbs, there's not really that like local coffee shop with a ton of exposed brick to go and like sit and hang out with like cool young people so it's mostly just me heads down alone with my dog so I have to now even be more proactive about that.
Steve Folland: Jay, thank you so much and all the best being freelance.
Jay Acunzo: Thank you. You too.