Always be polite to clients and customers as you never know when you may need their help or work in the future.


Creative Director Adrian Rubin has become one of the most sought-after freelancers in New York City after deciding to follow his dream of becoming a creative force in many different areas of industry. After moving from his home region of Beacon to Brooklyn, New York where Rubin has easy access to the major companies in Manhattan the work began to flow in for the successful creative director who has worked in advertising, marketing, and the entertainment industries.

Where did the idea for your freelance role as a Creative Director come from?

I’ve always been a creative person and spent much of my childhood drawing and putting on performances for family and friends. I’d been working in customer service after college and felt my talents were being wasted so I picked up my belongings and took the risk of moving from the semi-rural Beacon County to Brooklyn.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I’m a freelancer so there is no such thing as a typical day for me. Most mornings I find myself checking my email and answering calls about my availability for specific projects. After that, I settle down to get some work done on existing projects which can consist of me looking over the designs for a new app or examining the graphics to be used for a marketing campaign. Some days end after just a few hours while others can continue long into the night depending on how many projects I have.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I think the power of the pencil and paper are often underappreciated in the digital world we live in. Most of my projects begin life as drawings and sketches I put down on paper before I use my laptop to make these ideas look more professional when I present them to my clients.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m a fan of the Blockchain which I think will make the administrative side of life for freelancers far easier to navigate and leave me more time for paying work.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Always getting up and ready for work early in the morning. I have friends who freelance who work through the night and relax during the day but I cannot work like that. A structure is important to my business and means I am productive for as long as possible throughout each day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

To take the risk and start my business earlier. I have been in Brooklyn for more than a decade but now know I could have made the move earlier and escaped the customer service roles I took on purely to pay the bills instead of starting my career in a role I love.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I believe this is true as I was told it as a fact many years ago. The vegetable, broccoli was invented by a family member of the James Bond movie producer, Cubby Broccoli who failed to complete a patent on his creation. Most people don’t believe me but it’s a fact.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Always be polite to clients and customers as you never know when you may need their help or work in the future. As a freelancer, I often have to refuse work because of a lack of time but I always make sure to apologize and give valid reasons why I do not have time to complete a specific project.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

A daily schedule. This may sound simple but I always feel I need a plan for the day ahead which can change and evolve as clients respond to my ideas over the course of a day. I use my phone to record events and time limits which allow me to stay on schedule to meet the deadlines of clients.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I’ve been lucky in not having major failings in my career to date. In the early days of my career, I didn’t plan my time particularly well and lost work because of time management. Now I plan my day every morning to make sure I stay productive and on schedule at all times.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I wish somebody would create a simple way of tracking the healthy food I try to eat each day. I struggle to make sure I reach my goal of different portions of fruits and vegetables without the aid of an app or printed guide.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I invested in some new yoga clothing to help inspire me to find some time each day to exercise which is something I often fail to do on a regular basis. It is easy to become obsessed with work when you are a freelancer and you are sent a large project to complete with a short deadline.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

My go-to for invoicing and accepting payments is Freshbooks which is made specifically for small businesses and freelancers who want to give their clients a professional feel. Lots of my clients pay me with credit cards using this secure service.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“My So Called Freelance Life” by Michelle Goodman is an excellent read. This book is for anyone who not only wants to be a creative freelancer but wants to jump in making good wages from day one.

What is your favorite quote?

I may not agree with her politics but the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher once said, “Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.”

Key Learnings:

  • Daily scheduling and keeping track of time are the keys to his success as a freelance creative director.
  • Adrian Rubin believes staying healthy and active are as important to his daily life and happiness as his career.
  • The entrepreneur believes a Blockchain technology is a way forward for freelancers and small business owners.

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