Welcome to Recipes of Freelance Success, sharing the stories of graduates from the Kitchen

“I’ve finally been able to quit my job and freelance full-time. Without Jaz, I’d still be stuck in that soul-sucking office.


industry bake time

15 years

freelance flavour

Graphic design & hand-lettering


Real Estate Agents + retailers

Chef’s ROI

4 x investment (and counting)

Chefs Notes

Four years ago, Paula enrolled in the first course I ever served, Easy as Pie Pricing. Like many frustrated creatives, she felt miserably trapped in studio employment. Her career outlook felt bleak, and she was sick of rolling out dough for someone else.

With a dream of freelancing and none of the ingredients (yet), she entered my kitchen for help. After binging my content for four years, Paula was one of the first to join The Master Freelancer. Now, Paula is a full-time freelancer boldly making it work her way. I recently sat down with her to find out how she turned things around…

Ingredients Paula started with…

  • 1 x whole creative who wanted to quit her job and freelance full-time
  • ¾ cup frustration at earning big $$ for someone else
  • 2 cups realisation that she needed someone to guide her
  • A generous handful of goals to achieve (measure with your heart)
  • 15 cups of experience and skills that she could turn into something to pay the bills

Method to Paula’s success

Jaz: Before investing in The Master Freelancer, what problems did your business have?

Paula: The first time I did the course, I didn’t actually have a business. I was in a pretty dark place career-wise and hated going to work every day. Freelancing was on my mind, but it felt like a distant dream and an incredibly risky leap to make. Despite being miserable, at least I was getting a reliable paycheque each week and I wasn’t sure if freelancing could offer me the same.

The first time I did The Master Freelancer, it was to get an idea of how freelancing could potentially work for me. At the time, I had no idea just how valuable the course would be. By the time I enrolled for a second time, I’d literally just quit my full-time employment and was building my freelancing business. It’s like it found me exactly at the perfect time I needed it.

J: Why did you come back for more? What were you hoping to get out of it?

P: By then, I’d quit my job and had a lot at stake if this freelancing thing didn’t work out. I’d built the fundamentals from what I learned the first time, and now I needed help to actually do the thing. I knew The Master Freelancer was always bespoke and that you’d create the content that I specifically needed.

By the time I graduated, I knew how to package up my services, calculate my rates, find new clients and projects, and actually sell my services. Going into it, I had a rough idea of what I needed to do, but The Master Freelancer gave clarity, helped me stay focussed, and taught me how to put all my knowledge into practice.

J: What made you choose me over other coaches? Was it just all my cool drawings of food?

P: Haha no, not quite. I’d been in other coaching programs before but always found them to be so….coach-y (J: I think we all know what you mean by that!). It was always a one-size-fits-all approach, even if I only needed a small part of what they were teaching. I found them to be so pushy and always with some sneaky sales tactic on the agenda.

I loved that The Master Freelancer was bespoke and I could tell, just from your website, that you weren’t like other coaches.

I got a real sense of care and passion and felt that this was something different. I also appreciated that you actually are still a really successful freelance designer, so I figured that you knew what you were talking about.

Enrolling the second time was a no-brainer. Nobody could ever go wrong with a Jaz product. You’ve never tried to sell me anything, in fact you’ve talked me out of it because you knew there were other things that I needed to do first. I’ve told so many friends and colleagues about you because they keep getting burned by other coaches. I mean, a coach who tells you NOT to pay her more money? Basically unheard of.

J: Oh I’d forgotten about that but yes, I did tell you that didn’t I! I really do care about each of my students and I’m here to give them what THEY need. It’s not about me! What were the main goals you were hoping The Master Freelancer would help you achieve, and did it?

P: Um, yes! It most definitely did! When I enrolled the first time, I was hoping to come out of it knowing how to make freelancing work for me (and if it was even a viable option). I really wanted to quit my job and needed some direction on the best way to do it.

By the time I came back a second time, I’d achieved that goal and quit my job. The second round was about learning how to make the business viable, and I can’t believe that it’s actually happening.

J: The Paula I’m looking at now is an entirely different person to the Paula I met four years ago. I can’t believe the difference in you and how much happier you seem to be. Before you did The Master Freelancer, were you making any money from your creative genius? If so, how does it compare to now?

P: Well, I guess I was technically, but it was a salary paid by my employer. When I decided to go freelance and start implementing the stuff I’d learned from you already, I made $7k before I even had a website. The only marketing I’d done was send some emails and create some word-of-mouth chatter. It would’ve taken a lot longer (and been a lot more soul-sucking) for me to earn $7k from my salary.

J: Wow. That’s actually amazing, especially when you think about how many hours of employment you’d have to work to earn that. After being in The Master Freelancer, what has been your biggest win?

P; Being able to achieve that ultimate goal of freelancing full time, and it’s not just about the money (although that’s definitely nice!). I don’t have to answer to a boss, I work my own hours, take sick days whenever I need to, work only on projects that I actually enjoy, and everything else that happens when you freelance.

I didn’t know if it was actually achievable but here I am, doing the thing I used to dream about.

J: Even though I’ve been freelancing for so long, there are still times where I pinch myself that it’s really happening. It’s so much better than I could have ever imagined and it’s why I’m so passionate about helping other creatives do the same. What do you think has been the best part of The Master Freelancer?

P: Ooohhhh, it’s hard to pick just one favourite part! I think definitely being able to meet with the other creatives each week, celebrate wins, learn from each other, network, all of that. The only real perk to studio employment is that you make friends with at least some of the people you work with, so having that opportunity to connect was really nice. I really learned that my creative business can be as creative as the work that I do, and that I don’t have to go about it alone.

J: You know, that’s something that I hear a lot from my students. I’ve personally really made a point of creating my own workmates even though I’m a freelancer because sometimes you just need another like-minded person to bounce off. After completing The Master Freelancer, how long did it take you to notice positive changes in your business?

P: Oh, like right away. I basically wasn’t doing anything that I wanted to be doing and then I finished The Master Freelancer with the right tools and a new mindset. The first time around gave me the mindset shift that I really needed, as well as whole new level of confidence. The second time around was when I really felt like I could actually make this work because I’ve now got all these options TO make it work.

Negotiating, for example, is something I now do confidently because of what I learned about pricing during The Master Freelancer (and how to not give discounts and all of that). I don’t ever just lower my prices anymore and I’m still landing all these jobs. I’ve always been such a people pleaser and was never able to set boundaries, but now I do.

Jaz: I think that’s probably the biggest change I’ve seen in you. You’re so unapologetically bold in all the right ways. As a reformed people-pleaser (mostly), I can tell you that it only stunts your progress, especially in business. After you implemented the things you learned in The Master Freelancer, what is the biggest change you’ve noticed?

P: Oh it’s at least 4x so far, but I also know that there’s so much that hasn’t even happened yet. I’m still fine-tuning things and ironing out kinks, so I’m certain that it’ll end up being much higher than that. I’m someone who likes to take things slowly to try and do it right the first time, so I’m really excited to see where I end up. I have absolutely no doubt that my investment in you is going to pay off ten-fold. Not for a single second have I ever felt regret around paying for your help.

Jaz: That means alot! It’s so reassuring to hear that you’ve never questioned your investment. What would you tell other creative freelancers who are considering enrolling in The Master Freelancer?

P: OMG just do it. That’s it. Do it.

It’s so collaborative and you’ll learn exactly what YOU actually need to learn. I’m struggling to find the words to actually communicate how valuable it is (Jaz: How does it compare to other coaching programs you’ve done or friends have done?). I have one friend in particular who has been beyond disappointed in a coaching program she paid a LOT for… like way more than what I’ve paid you.

It was literally like one 25min module per month (and half the time the modules weren’t even relevant to what she needed), and whenever she asked a question via messenger or whatever, she’d wait three days for a reply. You’re so generous with your time and you actually coach people, and then there are all the templates and worksheets and other resources on top of that. I almost always come away with not just solutions but something actually tangible.

None of the other coaching programs I’ve done or heard about do anything like this. I don’t go anywhere else when I need help, it’s just a no-brainer for me to come straight to you.

J: Paula, as always, it’s been a pleasure catching up. Thank you for all of your kind words! Where can people find you to follow your freelancing journey?

P: Oh it’s been my pleasure! I’m always happy to talk to Jaz!

People can find me at @slightlysquaredesign on Instagram or visit my website at www.slightlysquare.com

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