Early on, I realized this kind of “contingent” work was not going to come with an instruction manual, nor with any one-stop-shop mentor. I’ve had the support of a clown car’s worth of incredible people along the way—nonprofit directors, journalists, social media gurus, emotional intelligence experts, community organizers, grassroots activists, teachers, conflict mediators, and everyone in between. My friends, probably more than anyone else, have taught me wise lessons about surviving financially while doing work that matters to me in this strange economic time. Each of these people has given me insight into the kind of person—both personally and professionally—that I wanted to be, but none of them could advise me on all the various bells and whistles that animate my idiosyncratic career.