One of the reasons I love being an entrepreneur, and really don’t like having a job, is what I’m left with after a project is done. I’ll explain:
I love the idea of legacy. Of having evergreen content, products and creative projects. I love the process of building a body of work.
When I freelance at a studio, the project I finish does not belong to me. Not only does it not belong to me, I will probably not even be acknowledged as a contributor. How many commercials have you seen with credits at the end? The best thing I can get from working on someone else’s project is new content for my demo reel/portfolio, and a new line in my resume. And what would I use that for? Getting the next job. Where does this cycle lead to?
On the other hand, when I write a book, for example, I will always have that book as part of my line of work. Same goes for my animated shorts. These creations stack and expand on my personal brand, rather than help someone else build his brand. Honestly, that’s the difference between being an entrepreneur and being an employee. Are you building your own business, or someone else’s?
The problem is that people started thinking like having another line in their resume is a tangible thing of value. I guess it is, if your ultimate goal is getting another job. The ceiling is just too low for that route. Say I get a job at Pixar, then what would that line in my resume help me for? I’m already working at the top of my industry.
I’d much rather end up with a tangible ‘thing’ I created, than a better demo reel.