As one of my new year’s blogging resolutions was to get more personal and ‘keep it real’, here’s a slightly sarcastic take on some of the unsexy sides of freelancing you don’t often hear about.
- It’s taken 3 years for me not to start every day feeling like I should pack it all in and get a salaried job.
- The freelance lifestyle is not for everyone – you have to be disciplined and motivated enough to get shit done off your own back but laid back enough to not freak out each time a project doesn’t come off/goes tits up or a client pays you late/not at all.
- People will pay you late. A lot. A larger than I would like percentage of my time is spent chasing payments.
- You need to work at the whole work/life balance thing. It’s not something that just happens when you become your own boss. In fact, for the first few years of freelancing there’s a lot more work than life.
- You need to work out. Freelancing made me fat as I spent too long at my desk trying to make a living and not enough time on activities that are good for my physical and mental health. This is something I’m trying to rectify in 2016.
- People will ask you to work for free all the time. Just say no.
- People will agree to pay you X to do the job of Y. And then want Z for free. Just say no.
- Clients may confuse the fact that you work flexible hours with the expectancy that you work all hours/hours that suit them. You’ll need to set your own boundaries, and then stick to them.
- Some clients may act like your time is not as important as theirs. You may need to sack them.*
- You may need to hire contractors or outsource responsibilities. And then you may need to sack them.*
*These aren’t based on personal experience but rather stories I have heard from fellow freelancers. Please don’t freak out/be offended if you are a client/contractor of mine 🙂
Some tongue-in-cheek mantras I’m adopting for 2016:
- I don’t consult for coffee
- Walking to the fridge/coffee shop/supermarket does not count as exercise
- Of course I can work those additional hours/do those extra tasks – that will be £x thank you, please
- Say “I’m out of office and won’t be responding to emails” and mean it
Are you a freelancer (blogger or otherwise)? What would you add to the ‘truths’ list?
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