Freelancers beware, burn out is easy in your line of work. Being pulled in 100 different directions can be frustrating, affect the quality of your work and it’s all because you usually mismanage it all.
The solution may be a lot easier than you think. It’s called Cushion. And was built in 2014 by Jonnie Hallman, a Brooklyn-based freelancer, designer, and developer — who adopts the alias ‘Destroy Today’ wherever he goes and encompasses that mentality into a lifestyle.
“‘Destroy Today’ is my carpe diem, but looking at destruction as a form of creation,” Jonnie said. “With my early apps, like DestroyFlickr and DestroyTwitter, I considered the word ‘destroy’ as a way of rebuilding my own experience of Flickr and Twitter.”
Carpe diem (seize the day), is said by many and followed up by few. Perdere diem (destroy today) is said by a few and followed up by Jonnie Hallman.
Having the mentality is one thing, but where do good ideas, like Cushion, come from? Well, according to Jonnie, it’s all in the process.
“Most of my ideas come from experiencing a problem and realizing that its solution can help others with that issue,” Jonnie said.
When it comes to Cushion, the inspiration came from Jonnie’s daily freelance grind.
“I took on way too much freelancing work and burnt out. Because my schedule was in my head, I couldn’t foresee the overlap of these deadlines and it really took a toll on me. When I finished everything, I took a long vacation, but I knew I needed to build a tool that could help people avoid this.”
That’s how Cushion was born.
“My eyes are 100% focused on Cushion right now and that’s the plan for many years to come,” Jonnie admitted.
But incorporating some nifty integrations to what they already have will always keep Cushion relevant. Always the solo freelancer’s go to. And, Jonnie hopes, the go to for teams as well.
“We have an incredibly lengthy roadmap, but we’re currently wrapping up invoicing, then working on new ‘Moonlighter’ and ‘Studio’ plans. The first is a limited plan for people who work full-time, but freelance outside of work. And the ‘Studio’ plan is for teams. We’re really excited about these because they will open the doors for a lot of folks who aren’t full-time freelancers.”
Take A Trip
Jonnie and his team work out of a coworking space in Brooklyn called Small City.
“I’ve been with them as a freelancer since moving to New York, so they’re more of a family to me. I think it’s the perfect place to work because everyone is supportive and helpful if you’re stuck or need to take a break. They also know the importance of not working, so we often have events or go on adventures together, like a trip to Coney Island or Red Hook.”
The freelancing beat can be as hard as you make it, but can also become a bigger animal than you anticipated. Jonnie expressed the importance of setting aside personal time in such a busy schedule.
“The coolest thing I’ve been doing lately is traveling,” Jonnie said.
“I didn’t get to travel much growing up and I didn’t take advantage of the study abroad program in college, so I’ve been trying to make up for it. Each year, my wife, a few friends, and I will take a trip somewhere completely new. Sometimes the trip is based around a conference, like when we traveled to Belfast for the Build conference, but other times, we’ll just go somewhere out there, like Iceland.”
Travel experiences help us think outside the box and come up with some great ideas.
“For me, it helps me grow and get outside of my bubble,” Jonnie
Although Jonnie has spoken at conferences before, he is excited to travel somewhere new, hit Asbury Agile, and learn more about the role of New Jersey as an emerging tech hub.
Jonnie’s Sage Advice
“Don’t chase every idea. Follow what excites you. Drink water. Get enough sleep,” Jonnie said.
Easier said than done, but we’re going to try it!