Balancing career and hobby; How Dr. George transitioned from medicine to freelancing
Dr. George Ifeanyichukwu Uchendu, aka #TheTalkDoctorTM is a medical doctor who has transformed his love for entertainment into a career as a social media influencer and a Radio/TV presenter. When he is not busy saving lives in the hospital, he dedicates his time to entertaining with his microphone and educating people on social media. In this discussion, he sheds light on how he effectively manages his work-life balance.
What inspired you to move from medicine to entertainment?
I have loved the media and entertainment industry since I was a child. While pursuing a medical career, I was still fond of it. I started creating content on Twitter and hosting events. I joined the media and entertainment industry because I love it; it comes naturally.
How do you juggle medicine and media life?
Managing my workload is undeniably challenging and primarily depends on the tasks I need to accomplish each day. Believe me; it’s a lot. However, providing telemedicine services offers me some flexibility and additional time. To manage my time, I use digital tools to schedule my activities. For instance, Google Calendar is my go-to tool for organizing my schedule, meetings, content creation, etc. It used to be quite challenging to pay for some of these tools initially, but I pay them quickly with the Klasha Dollar Card now.
As a freelancer, how do you get clients?
First, I’m very active on social media to promote my work and brand. People see my content, they like it, and when they need something they feel I’m the best person to execute, they reach out. My work speaks for me. I also get referrals from senior colleagues. For instance, I’m part of digital hubs that clients contact.
How has your experience been as a freelancer?
It has been a positive experience overall. One of the main benefits is the freedom and independence that come with being your boss. You don’t have to answer to an employer constantly and have greater control over your schedule.
As an influencer, time management is critical, as 24 hours can pass quickly. Freelancing has taught me the importance of discipline.
Let’s talk about the challenges; what are the most common ones?
Financial stability can be a potential drawback, as income may not be consistent, and it’s not always easy to secure new clients. The pay could sometimes be discouraging, as clients might not want to pay you your worth.
Another challenge has been growing the number of followers I have on social media. A substantial following makes it easy for clients to trust you to promote their product. I’ve had to work hard and be consistent with my content to increase my following. I had to build a specific brand perception to attract my desired clients.
Consistency is also a hassle. Even when I didn’t feel like showing up, I had to. Planning and creating timelines worked for me.
What determines your rates, or what factors do you consider when negotiating?
First of all, it’s my value. Clients contact me because they believe I can help them achieve their goals. Factors like location, campaign duration, and objectives also play a role. So, it’s all about what my client wants. I have a walkaway rate I cannot go below when negotiating with clients.
How do you receive payments from clients?
I generate invoices and send them to clients, and they do a transfer to my bank account, after which I send them receipts.
Any tips on maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
Planning and having a schedule is essential, especially if you’re working remotely. Have a work time and stick to it; otherwise, you’ll work the whole day. You also need to take short breaks while working to ensure you’re healthy.
Be intentional about having a life outside of work. Create relationships and have friends you can talk to when you feel drained. The media space is where I lay off my medical stress. Take hobbies and take them seriously.
What tips do you have for aspiring freelancers?
It’s an exciting experience, but to get to the point where you can choose clients and bargain, you must first focus on building something credible. You must also be very consistent. The more you promote yourself, the more people want to associate with you. If the goal is to make quick cash, you might be frustrated, but if you’re building for impact, even when the money is not there, you’ll still enjoy what you do, and it gets to the point where people reach out to you. Your primary aim as a freelancer should be to impact lives, not make money.
So are you still a doctor?
Yes, I am. LOL!