I came across an article on the Forbes website from February last year titled “7 Things To Know About Freelancing Before Quitting Your Job”. The author became a freelance writer without intentionally trying to do so and writes about what she learned in the article. The following are several of the article's points with my perspective:
"There are some days when you will have nothing to do." This is certainly something I’ve found to be partly true. There may be days between freelance projects, but my personality doesn’t let me act as though I have nothing to do. I may not be working for an external client, but I have things to do for myself and my business. This is a great time to let yourself recharge and reconnect in whatever ways you define. It’s also a time when I think about other income streams I can create, creative projects I want to pursue and general business tasks like reconciling bank accounts, cleaning my desk or grabbing coffee with friends.
"The only person you are accountable to is you." One of the upsides to living a Self-Employed Life for me is knowing that I am accountable only to myself for where my career is going and where my income comes from. Some days, that knowledge is scary and brings on a panicky thought or two. That’s part of the motivation to stay accountable. I have to follow through, pursue, thank and innovate all the time. This variety keeps me going and engaged in ways I rarely felt as someone else’s full-time employee.
"There are times when business is slow. And you will probably freak out." I couldn’t agree more! However, as the article notes, the more you freelance, the more you’ll start to see trends. In the beginning of my freelance career, I regularly freaked out after gigs ended if I didn’t have another one. Being someone else’s employee meant that I worked every day from 9-5 and I was brainwashed into thinking that is how my days needed to flow as a self-employed person. Not true.
“You will be alone." Depending on the type of work you do in your Self-Employed Life, you may spend time alone. I have clients who require I work in their offices, providing me a scheduled 9-5 day throughout my contract. Other clients don’t have the same requirement, or reside in another state and all our work is virtual. Whenever I find myself without the adopted office environment of a client, I maintain a sense of connectedness through technology communication channels like email, instant messaging and text. And if I feel there’s work I can do that doesn’t get distracted by ambient activity, I’ll hit a local coffee shop to work and be around others. Sometimes it’s not about having people around to talk to, but to remind us we’re part of the larger populous even when living a Self-Employed Life.
What have you discovered by working on your own? Share your comments and questions below.