3 things I've learned as a freelancer
I first started to dabble in the world of freelancing in 2014. It happened kind of on accident when I started my first blog. A company came across my blog and asked if I did any freelance writing. Since then, I've written articles on many different topics from home security to big data to tips on skin care.
Here are three things I've learned as a freelancer that may be of value to you if you're interested in becoming a freelancer or already have started your journey as one:
1. Be patient and keep the long game in mind: It's normal for you to want to hit the ground running. I have yet to meet someone who chose to become a freelancer for fun. Whether you're freelancing full-time or freelance as a side hustle, freelancing isn't without its problems and struggles. There will be times when you question your sanity. There will be times when people close to you ask if you're being serious about trying to get your business off the ground. It can be lonely trying to create something from nothing.
It can be lonely trying to create something from nothing.
When the loneliness and frustration kicks in, take a moment to step back and think about the long game. Think about your "why" and what your true motivation is. Reminding yourself of your true motivation can pull you through the dark times when things aren't quite working out the way you thought they would.
2. Trust your gut: Your instincts can save you from a great deal of trouble and pain. When you meet a potential client for the first time, pay attention to first impressions. There's a good chance that you can know whether or not working with the individual will work out and be a great experience within the first 5-10 minutes of meeting him or her.
...it's ok to wait at least until the next morning when you've taken a shower before agreeing to a contract.
Granted, there are times where you won't know unless you start working with the individual. Remember that, while money is always great to have, there are times when you might need to turn someone down because a better opportunity is on the way. Not every business relationship is perfect but there are some that aren't worth pursuing. Don't let desperation determine who you work with. I try to live by the shower rule. The rule is "Always take a shower before making an important decision." This means that it's ok to wait at least until the next morning when you've taken a shower before agreeing to a contract. Some of your best ideas come when you're in the shower so put the shower rule to work for you.
3. Always deliver no matter what happens: Just because your last client may have shafted you doesn't mean you should hold back when working on a project for your next client. Do your best with each opportunity you have. You don't know where your current project will take you.
Keep your head up and stay focused. It always pays off.
A few years ago, a company talked to me about rewriting the copy for their website. We had a few phone calls to discuss details and the direction they wanted to take their business. They asked for me to go through their website and make edits.
I spent about five hours that day making edits. After feeling pretty good about what I did, I sent over a Google doc with what I had put together only to never hear from them again. No responses to any of emails. Nothing.
It was frustrating but I couldn't shut down because I had other clients counting on me to perform. I had to keep my head up and stay focused.
The same goes for you. Keep your head up and stay focused. It always pays off.
How do you recover when things get tough? Let me know in the comments below!