Breaking into freelancing can pose many challenges, but my guest Kelsey Notstad, Operation Freelance graduate, shares how she overcame imposter syndrome and created a remote career that fits into her military lifestyle.

Kelsey shares how Operation Freelance changed her life and gives advice to military spouses that are stuck in traditional career challenges.

Kelsey Notstad is on a constant quest to make the internet better for her dad. She built her first website when she was nine. At that time, she didn’t even know how to copy and paste, so she wrote all of the HTML codes on post-it notes and typed them into a content management system. She spent more than five years leading the digital marketing charge at a couple of different corporations. And she now works as a freelance user experience consultant and user experience writer.

Through her work, Kelsey aims to build exceptional digital experiences by combining her empathy for others with her love of exceptional writing and clean design.

Kelsey received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Winona State University, and she’s currently pursuing her master’s degree in Human Computer Interaction from Iowa State University.

She’s also a military spouse. Kelsey and her husband are currently stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base in southwestern Germany. When she’s not working or learning, Kelsey enjoys traveling throughout Europe, sampling new foods and wines, and exploring the many hiking and biking trails that surround her home.


Here are some things we covered in this episode:

  • How creative careers can be pivoted to freelancing
  • Solutions to challenges you face when getting started
  •  The problem with being a generalist
  • How to dial in your services
  • How to conquer imposter syndrome
  • What skills you need
  • The hardest part of getting those first couple of clients – and how to get them
  • Why freelancing is not for everybody
  • What to do when don’t have any experience because no one’s giving you a chance yet
  • What do you need to know about pitching and communicating to clients (that that might come as a surprise if you’re new to freelancing)
  • How you can pivot
  • Tips to save money when you are getting started


After listening to this episode, share your action steps and take-aways with our group:

Mastering Your Freelance Life With Laura

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Meet Laura:

Laura Briggs is empowering the freelance generation. Through her public speaking, coaching, and writing, she helps freelancers build the business of their dreams without sacrificing all their time, family, or sanity. Laura burned out as an inner-city middle school teacher before becoming an accidental freelancer with a Google search for “how to become a freelance writer.” Since then, she’s become a contributor to Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and Writer’s Weekly. She worked for more than 300 clients around the world including Microsoft, Truecar, and the Mobile Marketing Association. She’s delivered two TEDx talks on the power of the freelance economy for enabling freedom and flexibility and how it’s being used to address the technical skills gap in the U.S. Laura is the host of the Advanced Freelancing podcast, a sought-after public speaker on the gig and digital freelance economy, and a freelance coach focused on aspiring six-figure freelancers. Laura’s books, courses, and coaching have reached over 10,000 people.

As a military spouse, Laura is passionate about serving her community and founded Operation Freelance, a nonprofit organization that teaches veterans and military spouses how to become freelancers and start their own business.