What do you do?
I’m a tech and creative virtual assistant.
How long have you been freelancing?
My business is the same age as Freelancer Magazine, two years old.
How did you get into freelancing?
I used to freelance in a completely different area (lighting design) years ago, and knew I always wanted to move back to working for myself but couldn’t figure out how. Then I discovered virtual assistants existed and within about two weeks I’d set up my business and I left my job to freelance full time two months later.
What’s the best thing about freelancing?
Being fully in control of my own business decisions and the amazing network of freelance colleagues I have now.
What have you found most challenging about freelancing?
Learning when to trust my gut instinct, every time I’ve ignored it things have not worked out well.
When are you most productive?
In the morning, I’m usually up at 5:30am (thanks to our two cats) and love having that time to work on things without any interruptions.
How did you find out about Freelancer Mag?
I can’t remember, but I signed up for the very first issue and have been a subscriber ever since.
What have you enjoyed most about working with Freelancer Magazine?
I already loved the magazine so it’s fantastic to now get to work with the team.
Which Freelancer Magazine article are you most proud of writing (or doodle or piece of work)?
They’ve not let me write anything (yet…).
If you could be another freelancer for a day, who would you be and why?
There are so many people I look up to and am inspired by, but I don’t really believe in being anyone but myself.
What is success for you?
Doing work I enjoy, and working with people I like on projects I care about.
What piece of advice would you give to someone starting as a freelancer?
Get to know other freelancers, not just in your field, and take advice from those more experienced than you, but remember to create your own path.
Cats or dogs?
Freddie & Fudge would be very upset if I didn’t say cats!
Who is your inspiration and why?
People who follow their passion and create something from nothing.
What’s your favourite biscuit?
Ritz biscuits are a guilty pleasure.
Work from home, cafe or cowork?
Work from home, I like the idea of cafe/coworking but never seem to get enough done and miss my two screens.
What scares you?
Horror films, I refuse to watch them!
What’s your hobby?
I’m trying to get outside and away from my desk more at the moment, so currently; sea swimming, geocaching, and I’ve just joined the local running group who are reassuringly called the Plodders, so hopefully, I will be able to keep up!
Print or digital version of Freelancer Mag?
Definitely print, I love print magazines and currently have a whole pile of random titles to read.
What’s your favourite podcast?
I’m more into audio books at the moment, I like to read fiction but prefer to listen to non-fiction books.
What book are you reading at the moment?
Listening to: Identically Different by Tim Spector
Reading: Big Sky by Kate Atkinson
Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise, it’s my favourite time of day.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
What’s your favourite film?
Ah loads, it probably changes depending which day you ask me! But The Princess Bride has consistently remained in my top ten since I was a child.
How do you start your day?
Coffee and emails, if possible outside in the garden.
What other area of freelancing would you love to try?
I’d love to learn more about graphic design.
What’s the one thing you’d like to achieve by the end of 2023?
Two years in I’m changing my business a bit, rebranding, and adding some new services. So I would like to have that finally all sorted before the end of the year.
Find Mary on LinkedIn /MaryCummingsVA.