Code Puffin at the Design Indaba Durban Simulcast 2020
We hosted a competition on our social media to get your bum in a seat at the Durban Simulcast of The Design Indaba 2020. Code Puffin was quick off the mark and took that sucker home so we decided to pick her brain, whilst we had her next to us at the conference, about what she does as a boss babe in the gig economy of South Africa.
How would you describe what you do?
I make websites.
What made you decide to work for yourself and join the gig economy?
Freedom and money, like not getting my money from being somebody else’s bitch. I wanted the freedom to be in charge of myself, I wanted to wear whatever I wanted to, to work whenever I wanted to, to decide for myself when my job is done and not to be given ‘busy work’ because they own you for R10k a month. None of that, no more of that!
The fact that I can do it from anywhere is really nice, I can move anywhere, go to the middle of nowhere because I used to want to move to the deep country (far away from people) because I thought that would be really nice but actually, I’d go insane. I’ve actually realised that I’m an extrovert and it’s important for me to have social interaction and if I didn’t have to see humans, I would never bathe and would go feral real quick!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt about working for yourself?
It’s ok to not do everything yourself all the time. You can trust other people to assist you with some stuff and let go of that control and so that even though you don’t have to, you can believe in yourself and fight that imposter syndrome, you can do it! You can charge those higher prices, and get those clients you want! You’re good enough!
It is hard, every day is a fun experiment in “can I do this?”
What advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago?
Get your shit together! Deal with your anxiety issues and realise that they are a problem and that they are holding you back from living your life nicely. The reason that you don’t do a lot of stuff is that you’re scared. Fear is there for a reason, fear is there to make sure we don’t die but when you have anxiety problems, fear is fake and you fear that you are going to die all the time from stuff that actually doesn’t matter and it keeps you from living your best life. It keeps you stuck working for someone else like “I don’t think I’ll get another job” or “I don’t know how I’ll be able to pay my rent”, “no one will want me” or “I’m not good enough to do that thing by myself” or “who will pay me to make websites”. Get your shit together and deal with that and you’ll be able to be so much better.
Do you think the Design Indaba is inspiring/motivating/informative/or bunch of bollocks?
I think it’s pretty cool actually! It’s very hard for me to not work for a whole day, I had a whole argument in my head like, “Do I take my laptop? Don’t I take my laptop? I can work in between the breaks” and then I was like “No you crazy bitch! This is a day for you to enjoy, you’re not sleeping or watching Netflix, you are furthering yourself and maybe meeting some creative people or listening to some interesting talks, just doing something different and being brave and conquering some fear. You don’t have to take your laptop, you’ll be ok.”
I think in that sense it’s really nice doing something that’s interesting and when last did I listen to an interesting talk? I was even thinking if it wasn’t so ludicrously expensive to actually go to the actual Design Indaba and just be around all these cool speakers, there’s definitely something to be said about communities of people that create stuff coming together.
What do you wish clients knew?
That you’re not paying me for a product, you’re paying me for my time so don’t fucking waste it. Get your shit together, understand that you have purchased a limited amount of my time, not a product that can go on endlessly. It’s my service, it’s my time and it’s valuable.
We’ve got to say that we think Amy from Code Puffin is the coolest and we love seeing fierce women going out there in the freelance world and owning their worth. If you would like to check out this lady’s online space, have a squiz at:
and https://www.facebook.com/codepuffin.webcreator/ on the socials.