Author Interview with David R. Rodriguez

The 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Freelancing

What nobody else has told you

David R. Rodriguez was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. He grew up in Medellin and now lives in the Colombian capital of Bogota with his wife Johanna. He holds a BA in Industrial Design from the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano (Bogota) and lived in the United States for 2 years while he completed his studies, gaining a degree in Digital Animation and Visual Effects from the Digital Animation and Visual Effects School at Universal Studios, Florida.

Since he was a child David had the idea of building his own future. He started on this path when he was still in high school and after deciding that working for others wasn’t his thing he decided to go it alone. He has been working freelance for over 7 years and has worked for some of the world’s biggest companies like Coca Cola, Zurich Insurance, United Nations (PNUD) and Laureate International Universities among others.

Now, he has put all that experience into writing his first book which is all about freelancing and the lifestyle it can provide to those who are willing to take up the challenge and make a go of it. His passion for teaching saw him start to produce online course, making animation tutorials, but he became more interested in the business side of it as he saw many people trying to become freelancers and failing.

In his free time David loves following Formula 1 racing, a throwback to his days when he was a professional go kart driver. He competed in the Colombian National Easykart Championship in 2008 and in 2004 he won a contest to design Juan Pablo Montoya’s Formula 1 helmet. At a more sedate pace he enjoys evenings at the movies.

In the future, David hopes that his book and courses will open the door for him to teach freelancing to a far greater audience.

About your book/s
Thus far, my first and only book is “The 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Freelancing”

How did you do research for your book?
The book is based on my 7 years of experience as a video production freelancer.

In your book you make a reference to ways to identify bad clients, how did you come up with this idea?
Unfortunately, I’ve had to suffer with some very awful clients in the past and through thorough thinking I realized that most of them have some clearly identifiable traits or “red flags”. If you come across somebody who displays any of those, you better stay away from them.

What made you write a book about freelancing?
Over the years I’ve seen an increasing amount of people turning into freelance either as a way to earn some extra dollars or as a full time activity. Unfortunately, most of the people who eventually try it, struggle and end up quitting.

The main reason for this is that they are unaware of the challenges and troubles inherent to the freelance career path. My intention with the book is to give everyone a clear insight into those challenges and how to face them based on my own experience.

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
Well, when I started I made tons of mistakes and upon those I based the book.

There are many books out there about freelancing. What makes yours different?
I’ve read lots of freelancing and business development books and although some of them are truly game changers, I think that the vast majority are not grounded enough. In one hand you will find books that assume that readers are successful already (when in reality most freelancers and entrepreneurs struggle to make ends meet). And in the other hand you will find lots of “get rich quick” schemes.

My book is an honest insight into the freelancing world written by an actual freelancer who struggled, me.

Do you have another profession besides writing?
Yes, I’m a full time video production freelancer. My specialty is in animated corporate videos.

How long have you been writing?
Back when I was a kid I used to write lots of stories. I even had a notebook where I wrote everything. But for some reason that I cannot recall I stopped until recently when I decided to write my recently launched book “The 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Freelancing”.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?
I do. To overcome it I tend to tape myself talking about the topic I want to explain. This sets the base of the things I want to write about.

What is your next project?
I’m currently working on a new book called “The 7 Keys to Boost your Freelancing Business”. I hope to have it ready by May 2019.

What is the last great book you’ve read?
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, an all-time classic.

Do you snack while writing? Favorite snack?
I do. Peanuts and chips are my favorites.

Where do you write?
From my home office.

Do you write every day?
I do try to add a little bit every single day. Even if it’s just one line.

What is writing schedule?
I’m most productive during the mornings, so I try to do my writing somewhere between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Is there a specific ritualistic thing you do during your writing time?
Coffee is required before any writing takes place.

In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?
When it comes to writing I prefer the good old paper and pen. Though I have to admit that I usually tape myself talking and then organize the ideas on paper.

Fun stuff:
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Anywhere in time? Probably around 1500’s Italy to meet Leonardo da Vinci.

Favorite travel spot?
Orlando, Florida. Makes me feel like a little kid every time.

Favorite dessert?
Ice Cream

If you were stuck on a deserted island, which 3 books would you want with you?

Flat Out Flat Broke by Perry McCarthy; Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.

What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
Moving to the U.S to pursue my dream of becoming a Visual Effects Artist for Film.

Any hobbies? or Name a quirky thing you like to do.
I used to be a professional Go Kart driver. Even took part in the Colombian National Easykart Championship.

If there is one thing you want readers to remember about you, what would it be?
For being honest and straight forward.

The 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Freelancing

Are you thinking on taking the freelance route? This book is perfect for you!. You know, becoming a freelancer is a decision that will completely change your life and having proper information is key, specially at the beginning. Still remember when I started I had no clue on what was I supposed to do, little less was I aware of the challenges I would be facing and as a consequence I made all sort of mistakes that pushed me to limit of thinking is this was actually the path I should follow. Luckily for me, I was able to overcome all those issues and became a successful freelancer.

I don’t want you to suffer as much as I did and that’s the reason why I have created this book, so that you are aware of the problems you’ll most likely be facing and put action plans in place to prevent them or correct them. Also, this will give you a glimpse on what it takes to be a freelancer so that you can make an informed decision on whether this is the correct path for you or not.

These are The 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Freelancing.