Exploring Athens’ Growing Community of Thinkers, Makers, and Doers
(Post also available in ελληνικά)
The last couple of years in Athens has brought about a new wave of creation that has both caused a shift in the local ecosystems as well as attracted creative minds from abroad. With this trend, we see the emergence of groups, resources, and spaces that help this growing community of digital nomads and startuppers in their path towards creation, adaptation, and integration into the beautiful Greek lifestyle.
One of these groups, Freelance Athens, is doing just that by building an online Slack community for “creating, collaborating, thinking, and doing.” With over 100 members in Athens and growing, Freelance Athens is bringing together the freelancers and creative minds that are living in or passing through the beautiful city of Athens, Greece.
This week, Freelance Athens held its inaugural meetup, centered around the key theme of Staying Social as Freelancer to help address one of the biggest challenges that remote freelancers face: creating a community of peers who can understand what you are going through and finding support during the difficult times. Because “while those working in a traditional workplace have no problem with finding their ‘tribe’, for freelancers the challenge of staying connected to others is real.”
To delve deeper into this topic and find ways to overcome this challenge, two real-life seasoned freelancers Nathan Sudds (Consultant and Coach) and Kim Gillick (Digital Specialist) shared their experiences. Here are some of the top tips and guidance shared by Kim and Nathan.
How to Find Your Community as a Freelancer
“Routine is important, and setting one up can be difficult when you’re a freelancer. Connecting with other freelancers, working together, and exchanging routine tips can help.” – Kim
“Taking the journey online (to find other freelancers) is helpful. When you start off, you have all these ‘What should I do if...’ questions. Google & other forums can only get you so far. It’s important to find your people to ask those q’s & get that support.” – Kim
“It’s all about you. Being social is just about connecting — however that works best for you. And there’s nothing stopping you from forming your own community!” – Nathan
The Best Tools for Freelancers & Remote Workers
“What works best for me: Slack groups, co-working, and 1-on-1 working sessions. I like Slack a lot because it best emulates the office structure & environment. ” – Kim
“Slack communities are a free & easy alternative to #coworking. It emulates the office — everyone has a similar routine, goes through the same struggles, working on projects…” – Kim
“Freelancer hack for getting motivated: Focus Mate is a great tool for staying focused, motivated, and accountable for getting something done. Another opportunity to stay social & connected while working: ultraworking.com for virtual group working sessions.” – Nathan
Overcoming Freelancer Fears & Loneliness
“It’s a process. It does get lonely. It is a constant struggle bc when you’re a freelancer, it’s hard to find your people when you’re trying your best to make money. But hopefully with communities & resources like #FreelanceAthens, it will become easier.” – Kim
“... it’s all about perspective. When we’re alone, we’re not really alone. ... Think about how you can create those connections — whether it is online or offline.” – Nathan
“It’s not about the technicalities... As a freelancer, there are emotional hurdles more than they are technical hurdles. Think of it as a journey — sometimes you’re gonna make a wrong turn, but it’s not the end & you will find your path forward.” – Nathan
“When we’re freelancers, we focus on billable hours... but sometimes we sacrifice that for other more important things. Remember to stay balanced and give yourself what you need.” – Nathan
Inspiring Insights from the Audience
“When you have a point of reference — even if everything else around you is chaotic, you have that one thing you can always go back to & ground in.” – Freelance Developer
“Allow yourself to fail. Because that is where the innovation happens.” – Freelance Corporate Strategist
“Every member here has an equal chance to make a difference.” – Freelance Marketer
To catch up on the rest of the event, catch up on the full live feed on the @FreelanceAthens Twitter. This is one of a series of events, so be sure to follow @FreelanceAthens on Twitter for updates on when the next event is!
Join the Freelance Athens Community
Are you a thinker, maker, and doer living in or passing through Athens? Join the Freelance Athens community to connect, collaborate, post/find gigs, swap stories with fellow freelancers.