independence

Let Freedom Ring! Celebrating Solo PR Pros

This week as we pause to celebrate Independence Day in the United States, solo PR Pros shared what independence means to them. Read their thoughtful, fun and inspiring answers below.

“Being able to make the decisions and be responsible for the outcome — whether good or bad!”

Shirley Johnson
stage1pr.com

Having the dream – I'm a wife, mother to six-year-old twins and a small business owner. Independence offers incredible personal and professional satisfaction.

Kristine McGrath Gobbo
spectrum Public Relations

Being able to show up at my office before the sun is out and not having any colleagues to think I'm crazy.

Doug Levy

Focusing exclusively on accomplishing what moves professional and personal agendas forward, without needlessly worrying what time, where, or what I'm wearing when the work gets done.

Stu Opperman
@ stuopperman

Taking my career and my life into my own hands. This is what being self-employed and a solo represents to me, and why I took the plunge 15 years ago.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal
Falcon valley group

Being in a position to choose who I work with, the initiatives that matter to me, and the terms under which I provide the value I bring is an exhilarating and ultimately rewarding experience for both me and my clients.

Michael Ares
MDA Corporate Marketing

Being able to focus on the types of clients that drive me, having complete control of my schedule and being able to work anywhere there is an internet connection.

Maren Minchew
Maren Minchew Public Relations

It’s about self empowerment. The ability to control what I do and when, as well as who I work with. Being a solo practitioner has been infinitely rewarding.

Paula Johns
Paula Johns Communications

Being self employed gives me the opportunity to write this while sitting by the pool. Having the chance to work as much or as little as I choose on my own terms, while not having to engage in office politics. It means more of a lot of things. More money with more flexibility to focus on the projects that are meaningful to me and to spend more time with family.

Amy Kovar
Gray Public Relations

The freedom to stretch my mind and creative spirit, unbridled.

G.Carnahan
PR prn, inc.

Volunteering at my kids' school, watching their Kindergarten graduation at 9:30 in the morning. That is what independence is to me. It means sacrificing in areas because I want to, not because I need to or am required to. It means choosing to work with amazing people that align with my values or areas of interest. It means saying “yes” and “no” on my terms.

Meredith LeJeune
Thought bubble communications

Being able to pursue work that makes my soul happy. Being able to collaborate with cool kindred-spirit partners and clients. And supporting people in consciously creating how they show up in the world.

Deb Beroset, Founder + Influence Stylist
Moxie Creative + Consulting, Inc

Independence in my work life means being able to focus on work and people I’m passionate about, and that will make a positive change in our world. We are so lucky to be able to have this choice. That choice is also what independence is about.

Mary Deming Barber
Food PR

Working in my pjs. 🙂

Kim Alexander Livengood
The eclipse agency

Independence means that I am responsible for bringing in the work I want and work with the clients and projects that are fulfilling to me. It also allows me to fund my passion project of helping children in foster care find permanent homes.

Susan Stoga
Carson stoga

Aside from the flexibility, ability to work with clients I like and all the obvious benefits of practicing as a solo, I love the chance to really invest deeply in my clients. Get to know them and be a real partner who helps contribute to their success, not a high-priced vendor who has to constantly validate reason for being. Watching a client’s face light up when we have a major success or something I suggested and presented turns into a new strategic direction for the entire company. I also love when I need extra help I can reach out into a vast network of other solos and find the exact right person for the project – not someone who needs more billable hours.


As GM of an agency I was too busy doing business development, managing up and managing petty office politics to do what I love most.

Most importantly it gives me the flexibility to be super creative – art classes, jewelry making and spoiling all the special people in my life – especially my Mom and Dad and several “spare Moms.”


PS – Financially I make as much, if not more – with a whole lot more vacation and flexibility 🙂

Cherie Gary
Gary and partners

18 years ago I was laid off and first began thinking about the solo life. I interviewed with a smaller robotics integrator and never imagined they would offer me a full time role. I told them I was open to consulting, part time or full time work. Frankly I was shocked when they offered me a marketing manager position. I accepted since I wasn’t ready yet. A year later the President called me into his office and actually apologized to me for not letting me start consulting when I first met him since the industry still hadn’t recovered. He encouraged me to go for it and I haven’t looked back since that day. Knowing I have full control of how I spend my days, who I spend them with and can take time for me or my family when needed is priceless. Solo life has allowed me to recover from cancer while still working enough to pay my bills, see my father daily when he was sick and then passed away, and gives me the easy out to take off to see the Tigers play a day game on a beautiful summer day. The freedom to choose clients also helps keep me sane since life is too short to deal with difficult people and work that isn’t meaningful. So grateful to have blessed for so many years.

Janine Krasicky Sadaj
J9 Media

The joy of being able to direct your business and career is reason to celebrate. Happy Independence Day to America and Solos across the nation!

We'd love to hear from you, what does independence mean to you? Remember, if you're solo you don't have to do this alone, join our tribe of savvy solos in our membership community!

For more on the joy of independence, read Karen Swim's article in this month's PRSA Strategies and Tactics: “Solo Story: How Independent Pros are Revolutionizing the PR Business.

Photo by Jim Strasma on Unsplash