Free radical is better than freelancer

Love this article by Scott Belsky CEO of Behance and author of the national bestselling book Making Ideas Happen.

Especially because it addresses the debate we had here on the blog not too long ago about whether the term “freelancer” is negative. Here’s what Scott thinks….(follow him @scottbelsky)

I’ve been thinking about the emergence of a new type of 21st-century professional. I call them “free radicals” because they take their careers into their own hands and put the world to work for them. The commoditization of once-pricey resources like business management services (now in the cloud) and everything open-source is the wind at their backs.

Free Radicals are resilient, self-reliant, and extremely potent. You’ll find them working solo, in small teams, or within large companies. They’re everywhere, and they’re crafting the future.


In the past, those with Free Radical tendencies were described as either “freelancers,” if they worked alone, or “mavericks,” if they worked in an organization. The stereotype was that of a lone ranger that shuns responsibility. Today, Free Radicals are emerging as extremely capable leaders across industries. Sure, they’re authoring their own professional lives with great authority, but they are doing so with a deep appreciation for collaboration and shared resources.

Here’s my favorite excerpt from his “Manifesto for Free Radicals”:

We make a great living doing what we love. We consider ourselves as both artisans and businesses. In many cases, we are our own accounting department, Madison Avenue marketing agency, business development manager, negotiator, and salesperson. We spend the necessary energy to invest in ourselves as businesses – leveraging the best tools and knowledge (most of which are free and online) to run ourselves as a modern-day enterprise.

Lots more great stuff…read the rest here.

For more from Scott Belsky, check out his DesignCast, Bring Your Best Ideas to Life.

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