I’m back in the home office. Been out running errands this morning. I’m sitting at my desk, close to my balcony, listening to parrots squawk outside, eating my grain-free/keto french toast that I just made.
I have already written a post today. Got started early this morning so I would have time for errands. I can do that because I’m the boss of me ;).
Running your own business is busy and can be overwhelming sometimes. It often means you work more hours than others because if you are running a one-person show you are the marketing department, the accounting department, the sales and PR department, and the whole workforce.
It can be scary but it is also invigorating and wonderful.
Did you know?
According to a study by Intuit,
“An estimated 7.6 million Americans will be regularly working as providers in the on-demand economy by 2020.”
The on-demand economy aka freelance marketplaces.
May I be completely vulnerable and honest a moment?
After 4 years of freelancing, I’m still not anywhere near where I want to be.
From battling fears and confidence issues, undercharging, and some real physical health challenges, my growth has been slow and even completely stalled at times. But, I have learned a ton and things are way better than when I started. This year is going to be amazing because I have figured some things out and put God back in charge of my business. There’s a no-brainer I should have done a long time ago.
Aside from that, below are three big ideas that I wish I had “got” in the beginning I want to pass on to you.
If you are just starting your freelance journey, brace yourself, it’s an awesome ride. This is sure to be the year of the freelancer, don’t you think?
Gather Wisdom From Your Predecessors
The desire to freelance often comes with an independent personality. This can mean that we want to do things our way and don’t want to ask for help. While I am all for blazing trails, ask for help and ask often. Those who have been freelancing for a while have so much wisdom to share.
Find a mentor and be willing to give back to them and their community in exchange for some help, even if it just means sharing their content on social media.
You can find mentors in groups, like the ones I mention below, but you may already have someone in your life you can go to. When you don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to running a freelance business and creating systems, you can put that energy into making your brand unique.
You don’t need to be like other freelancers, but make sure you have a solid foundation upon which to build out your brand.
Treat It Like A Business Because It Is
This can mean different things to different freelancers, but here are some things it now means to me:
- Get dressed like you are a professional (PJs every day is a no no for me)
- Put a financial system in place (I use Quickbooks self-employed Get 50% for 6 months Here)
- Keep some kind of regular schedule (freelancing can bring greater freedom and your schedule can be adjustable, but develop a routine)
Become Part Of A Community
Similar to the first one, but this goes broader. You need a mentor to give advice, but you also need support and people you can bounce ideas off of that get what you do.
Sometimes it feels wonderful to work at home in your little bubble and not talk to anyone, but other times it can be too isolating. If you can get out and connect with other freelancers in the physical world, that is super great. Coworking spaces and internet cafes can be good for this.
But there are a lot of online communities too.
For Freelancers in general, I recommend the Freelance To Freedom Project Community Check out the FTF blog too for great tips and advice from Leah and her team! I have personally worked with Leah, so I know she cares about freelancers.
For Freelance Writers, Freelance Writers Den. Carol tice, the “Den Mother,” is still very active in the forum, even though she has a team now, and gives great advice. This community is not the least bit shy about letting you know if you are undercharging and have definitely helped me this year. That’s why I’m an affiliate partner.
Should everyone go freelance?
As much as I love freelancing, it’s not for everyone. No employee benefits, such as a 401K, and you are in charge of your own insurance. Living abroad I just don’t have any, but that will not work for all.
A lot of the freedom benefits also come with a flip side of huge responsibility and living in the unknown.
If you are thinking about becoming a freelancer, find a mentor and consider the various sides to know if it is right for you.
If you are already freelancing, welcome to the deep water my friend. We are all in this together. And remember to perservere,
“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”
John D. Rockefeller
Either way, I am committed to bringing you more posts this New Year to help you on your freelance journey from social media and marketing to life success and happiness.
Stay tuned and visit often. I look forward to connecting with you! The point of getting “Immensely Soical” is that we can all help each other in social media land and beyond!
To my fellow freelancers, what do you think about this post? Agree or disagree? What’s your biggest freelance victory and your biggest freelance struggle?
I would love to hear about it all in the comments…