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Struggling business and creative freelancers share success
Countless entrepreneurs earn a living in the arts, yet businesses overlook creative professionals and choose cronyism if a hanger-on offers to work gratis. As post-COVID-19 bartering (to exchange goods or services for other goods or services instead of money) plays a greater 21st century economic role, businesses must consider quality and consequence when choosing detached dilettantes — who will absolve themselves of blame — over professional industry stakeholders. Amateurs who work in exchange for food, drink or ingratiation, replacing a paid worker, lack skin-in-the-game and devalue freelance and self-employed livelihoods, cheapening the whole industry.
Misplaced words, ill-conceived ideas and opinions voiced where they do not belong quickly tarnish a reputation. Enter ‘brewery’ with ‘backlash’ or ‘social media scandal’ into a search engine: numerous examples exist, inappropriate views inconsistent with hospitality or brewing. A majority of perpetrators are owners or employees, people whose responsibility lies with the organisation, their employer. Amateurs bring limited liability, shifting accountability for unsuitable (and unsanctioned) images or text to the ‘employer’.
Freelance writing contributes to my income, for instance, alongside other commercial interests and business activities. Due to professional liability and mistake culpability, I am careful with words and ideas for clients. I am not flawless, however, and will accept beer in exchange for help with words on occasion; helping where needed is a balance because beer does not pay registered business bills. In all cases I maintain the same integrity.
Since coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected every industry in challenging ways, all business owners and entrepreneurs must work together to limit the cumulative damage, innovate and strengthen. Indifference has no place in 2020, nor does the situation excuse supercilious behaviour; struggling businesses needing help now must return the favour later — take support when needed and give support where needed. I hope sincerity recognises the freelancer’s struggles after the crisis has passed.