Since 2014

Once upon at time

7 years ago, I had an idea …


What would it be like to go to a conference dedicated to a one-person business like mine and be surrounded by people like me?

What started as a local, online Facebook group to connect freelance business owners to companies looking for expert help is now an event not to be missed.

One-person businesses are unique in more ways than one … or even two. Our Founder, Emily Leach, started her first freelance business in 1992 as a single parent in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It turns out that the propensity to take on a challenge regardless of the risk was more than just a rebellious streak for Emily.  Over the next 30 years, she would begin to work remotely moving around the country, living on a sailboat, and adventuring to other countries allowing her freelance work to support her lifestyle. She was experiencing the nomad life before we really even had a name for it … she called it being genetically unemployable. LOL.

In 2010 she co-founded TEDxABQ, 2012 she founded TEDxCorpusChristi before coming back to Austin to start the Austin Freelance Gigs group that inspired The Freelance Conference. In less than a year that online gathering of peers showed Emily the power of sharing lessons learned, the joy of being with like-minded people, and how much was missing for new freelance business owners to support their learning curve.

“We start businesses to embrace our skills and live the life we dream of. The running a business part of the deal doesn’t just happen. We have to learn those skills and how to integrate it into our lives to keep it fun” ~ Emily Leach

Since 2014, The Freelance Conference has worked side-by-side with independent professionals across the country, peering into the world of freelancing as an industry, career, and lifestyle.

With freelancing becoming a more accepted business model, we strive to find and solve the roadblocks that are holding one-person business owners back from success. We are reaching out to not only legitimize the industry of freelancing but bring us together as a community to learn from each other to benefit everyone that participates.

The Freelance Conference, aka #FREECON, is an event created by freelancers, for freelancers. It was born in the spirit of those who leave or are desiring to leave a J-O-B with the dream of time, freedom, better income, and the ability to control your own career and life.

The conference combines that shared vision with the reality of what it takes to make the dream of self-employment come true; a set of skills that few of us come equipped within full.

Emily Leach


I’ve been called a pioneer in the world of uniquely-talented people who feel empowered to go beyond conventional jobs and create businesses from unique vantage points and perspectives.

I have a guiding belief that those working for themselves deserve the same respect, access to benefits and opportunities for growth as those working for corporations. It’s what drives my tireless fight to ensure this growing population of Independent Professionals are lifted up and celebrated for their courage and willingness to live their lives according to a new set of rules … their own.

In 2014 I started a Facebook group to help connect freelancers to work, later that year The Freelance Conference was born. In 2015 I and a small group of like-minded adventurers launched the Texas Freelance Association as a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to support and connect freelance business owners. I didn’t stop there.

In 2017 I launched the first-ever Freelancers Choice Awards to highlight and celebrate freelancers that are inspiring others and leading local communities. In 2019 the momentum continues with the launch of the first network of week-long local events across America organized by freelancers for freelancers, Freelance Business Week.

When I’m not behind this computer screen I enjoy learning to garden, rowing, sailing a set of Caribbean islands, two-stepping across Texas, and riding the mountain bike trails throughout Austin.