Blogger Life

10 Truths Of Freelancing

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. People will pay you late. A lot. A larger than I would like percentage of my time is spent chasing payments.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. People will ask you to work for free all the time. Just say no.
  7. People will agree to pay you X to do the job of Y. And then want Z for free. Just say no.
  8. 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.
  9. Some clients may act like your time is not as important as theirs. You may need to sack them.*
  10. 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?

Click here for my favourite tools for freelancing.

19 Comments

  • Reply
    Elle Croft
    January 6, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    WHAT?! Walking to the fridge doesn’t count as exercise?! Mind. Blown.
    One of my goals for this year is to take up some of my old hobbies so I have some real down time again. Otherwise I just feel like I’m all work and no play 🙁
    I love this list – it’s all so true – but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 6, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Ha I was thinking how I should add a cheesy line at the end to say I’ve chosen this route and wouldn’t change it for the world!

      I love this idea of rekindling old hobbies too. Like you I currently have just travel and blogging and this is limited compared to my life pre-freelancing. Time to add some variety to our lives.

      ps does Netflix count as a hobby?!

  • Reply
    Monica
    January 6, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    What about if your coffee shop it at least a 5 minute walk away. That’s exercise, right!??

    I’d like to add:
    “I’m a blogger, not a charity.”

    I like your ‘just say no’ on number 6 and 7. I’d like to add, ‘Don’t go onto every single Facebook bloggers group there is and bitch about someone who asked for something for free. It happens to us all Honey, just say no”

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 7, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      Haha I noticed some people posting about this and thought it’s best if we all just delete and move on

  • Reply
    Stef
    January 6, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Everything is so true. I definitely have to work on my work life balance and do some exercise, Mexican food is just too tasty and I don’t move enough 😉 (I live there). And I agree with the comments before, even though everything is true, I wouldn’t want to change anymore.

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 7, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      That’s true, freelancing in Mexico must be so much fun – even if the food is rather tempting!

  • Reply
    Christine
    January 6, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    All very true! Mine to add is: People will tell you how much they love your very professional portfolio of work, and then want to pay you less than your rate because that’s what they paid unskilled newbies.

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 7, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Sad but true

  • Reply
    Jen
    January 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    I like number 1 … that makes me feel better as I often feel like that too but determined to stick with it this time. I find the exercise thing easier though (she says looking smug because today (and only today) she went for a beachside power walk) as I can go any time of the day… almost. ok who am I kidding, today was a one off… let’s hope I continue from here on out?!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 7, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Haha well you’ve started the year off right 🙂

  • Reply
    Andrea Anastasiou
    January 7, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    This is all sooooo true! One thing I struggled with at the beginning was loneliness, although I’m learning to deal with it better now by being active on Twitter and trying to meet with other freelancers whenever possible.

    I wish clients were more considerate of their freelancers. They don’t seem to realise that if they don’t get back to us promptly, we don’t get paid. Case in reference: sent an article to an editor SIX WEEKS ago. She didn’t reply(and nor did she reply to my four follow-up emails). She only just got back to me today because I threatened to give it to a different editor if she didn’t. Appalling. How would they like it if their paycheque was delayed, eh?

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 7, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      I too like to arrange freelancer dates throughout the week to stop me talking to myself!

  • Reply
    Janice Stringer
    January 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for your honesty Jayne,
    I like to keep things real!
    🙂

  • Reply
    Travel Writing Round Up [January 2016] - Caroline in the City Travel Blog
    January 15, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    […] 10 Truths of Freelancing, Girl Tweets World– My friend Jayne shares some truth bombs about what it’s really like to be a freelancer. As a fellow freelancer, I totally agree and there are a few things I wish I’d known earlier! […]

  • Reply
    rebecca
    January 18, 2016 at 6:27 am

    These are great! I love the not consulting for coffee thing! Go you!

  • Reply
    Svetla
    January 22, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Still struggling with clients wanting you to be online and available for them 24/7.. refusing them politely is not easy..

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 23, 2016 at 2:17 am

      I agree this is something I struggle with most too

  • Reply
    Anne
    February 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Love your mantras and I’m totally adopting all of them! Here’s a fruitful freelancing year 🙂

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      February 4, 2016 at 11:32 pm

      And same to you!

Leave a Reply

shares