To meet Emily Leach, Website designer and SEO expert, freelance for over 25 years. She is a fearless founder and a driving force behind the Mighty Freelance Network, the annual Freelance Conference and Freelance Business Week. When Emily went alone for the first time, she raised many eyebrows. People in her circle often asked her, “When are you going to get a real job?”
She insisted fearlessly. Today she is busy bringing together freelancers from across the country and around the world. In 2014, Emily felt burned out. A shared experience among freelancers given the lonely nature of work and the relentless hustle and bustle of finding clients, getting the job done, and getting paid for the job done. She was looking for a community or conference where she could interact with others like her to share best practices and other insights into running a freelance business as a main or side concert. But she came up empty-handed.
That made your next step all the more clear: Take the initiative and start a conference for freelancers. So she did. With the years of experience she had gained from organizing TED talks, she put together a team of support staff, asked for sponsorship, and started her first event. Either way, the event was a huge success, so attendees left and asked for the date of the event next year. And so it became an annual experience.
I get it. I’ve lived almost all the spectrums from a single mom to a fantastic six figure earnings to the inability to pay my bills. I’ve changed my freelance career four times!
Emily Leach, Founder of the Freelance Conference
Five years later, the demand was so great that it pushed ahead with the creation of a coordinated series of events in multiple cities that take place synchronously on the third week of April each year. Five cities have participated so far, and more are expected for Freelance Business Week 2021 and future Freelance Business Week events. Here’s a fun fact: Emily applied for a formal national holiday designation for Freelance Week. Stay tuned when this recognition is granted.
Unsurprisingly, COVID has disrupted this annual practice of bringing freelancers together. Here too, # FREECON2021 will take place in person in Denver, CO, without fear of it. If you’re unable to attend the conference, join the Mighty Freelance Network for all sorts of great insights and advice. Hear more from this fearless founder on our Grit Daily Podcast – Like a Boss, available on Apple, Spotify, and anywhere content is streamed.