It takes a lot of guts to walk away from the dream job most girls would kill for.

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They don’t come fresher than Gold Coast local Jaimi-lee Fitzgerald. Only one-week into her brand new freelance life Jaimi-lee already has a handful of clients she is consulting for. Over a long lunch talking about our clients, our dreams and everything in between I decided I had to profile this young budding entrepreneur. Here she share’s her story in the first instalment of my new interview series, The Freelance Files.

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What did you study and where?

Bachelor of Sports Management (Majoring in Events & Marketing) at University of South Australia.

What was your dream job as a kid?

It was always either sport or fashion for me growing up whether it was the front end (athlete/designer) or behind the scenes (journalism/marketing) of the industries. Ironic because I was too short to play my favourite sports at high levels, and I can’t draw. I’ve always been very optimistic.

Where did you end up?

I spent two and a half years with Byron Bay based fashion label Spell. I was across all aspects of the business from sales and marketing, to the design process, range planning and online retail. Most recently I just finished up with The Lane where I was Marketing Co-ordinator.

Where are you at now?

It’s Friday afternoon, we’re sitting at a cafe and I’ve just finished my first week as a freelancer, and the creative juices have never been SO alive.

How was the leap from full-time to freelance?

I kind of felt it in my bones. I’m a huge believer in listening to your gut and following the path the universe has set out for you. For me it just evolved naturally. It was a lovely agreement between myself and my old workplace combined with a (large) fire in my belly that spurred on the decision.

I’ve always wanted to work like this. I’m the type of person with the creative brain span of a few hours, so I need the freedom to be able to choose when I work, so I can produce the best work and come up with the most innovative concepts.

What scared you the most?

My biggest fear, in terms of freelancing, certainly stems from the lack of financial security. I’ve come from a regular weekly salary to not knowing when I’ll see my next pay check so the insecurity is something that had been stopping me for a long time. With some peace of mind from friend/colleagues and a very helpful father (cue budget spreadsheets and accounting services), I’ve been able to overcome it and take the plunge.

Best moment as a freelancer?

The first day I hit a brain-fog at midday. Instead of sitting at my desk for a few hours trying to push through it, I got up and went for a midday run and a swim in the ocean knowing that I could go back to my work when I was feeling productive again. That day I realised that I was in control on my own success and the quality of my life.

Favourite freelancing tool?

LivePlan.com is an amazing business planning toll that allows you to accurately pull together a killer business plan ready to present to  investors.

Favourite music to work to?

Kendrick Lamar radio on Spotify if I have a deadline and I need to work fast. For everyday I have my favourites (Jamie XX, ODESZA, Portugal the Man, Disclosure and old school Janet Jackson) in a Spotify playlist.

Most productive work environment?

I’m most productive working from my favourite cafes (Barefoot Barista in Palm Beach or Paddock Bakery in Burleigh), because they don’t have Wi-Fi & the vibes are relaxed so I actually get shit done… no distractions and coffee on call.

Best piece of advice you’ve received?

“When your life is exactly how you imagined it, where to next?”. This drives me to keep growing and searching for that next incredible experience, project, or moment in time.

Best piece of advice you’ve learned?

Discover what times of the day your produce your best work (for me it’s mornings) and craft your day around these parameters.

Business books you recommend?

‘Growth Hacker Marketing’ by Ryan Holiday is amazing for any marketing professional. Also the ‘Do’ series of books, namely ‘Do Purpose: why brands with a purpose do better and matter more’ .

What / who inspires you?

I’m inspired by creative catch ups over almond lattes, the ocean when there isn’t a soul around, powerful magazines that promote powerful women, like, Porter & RUSSH and my friends – every.single.day.

Clare Waight Kelle the creative director of Chloe is such a huge inspiration in terms of a successful business woman, her vision is powerful.

Top 3 IG accounts to follow? 

@Barkbox (for its hilarious outtakes of dogs)
@TheInteriorArtist (Interior porn at its best)
@humansofny (mind blowing as they cover the Syrian humanitarian crisis)

i. @jaimileef 
e. hello(at)jaimileef.com.au

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