Our January 2021 Bootcamp cohort was our most global yet. We had participants from all over the world – from Los Angeles, to Nashville, to Austria, to Tel Aviv – representing a range of industries and backgrounds. One participant gives Lyft drivers a bigger voice to investors. Another increases enrollment in higher education using smart content marketing strategies. Another is an expert in launch for companies like Lime. And yet another creates efficiencies for landlords, saving them tons of time and money each month. I could go on.
This was the makeup of Mylance’s first Bootcamp cohort of 2021.
What bound this group was a shared commitment to taking an honest and holistic look at their work experience, deciding what they are working toward (free time, money, impact), then taking tangible steps toward articulating their value and matching that with companies in the market who need what they have to offer.
The greatest shifts came when participants challenged themselves and were willing to get a bit uncomfortable. Each month, we put Bootcampers through a gauntlet of live simulations, both individually and within their cohort’s sub-groups (‘pods’). This gives everyone the chance to ‘fail forward’ in a safe space, testing out different approaches to common challenges like scoping a project and handling difficult negotiations. These skills aren’t just for freelancers, either. They’re also important skills for full-time employees and, really, any human being who has to negotiate and find reasonable compromises in life. That is to say, all of us.
At the end of our two weeks, Bootcampers walked away with a clearer understanding of their niche, how to communicate their accomplishments, how to price their services in a way that was fair to them and the client, how to market themselves online, and how to set up the financial aspects of their business.
On graduation day, we always ask participants to share their biggest takeaways from Bootcamp. The biggest themes, as usual, were around community and camaraderie. Freelancing can be lonely, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by imposter syndrome. Despite the group’s impressive list of accomplishments, everyone started the two weeks with some uncertainty, and left with a refreshed sense of confidence, excitement, and forward momentum.
Not only that, they were able to develop trusting relationships with the rest of their cohort. Now they can hold one another accountable, make valuable introductions, and serve as potential collaborators in the future.
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