What’s on the iPod: Crazy Love by Poco
Yesterday was one of those days where I sat down with a list of things I wanted to accomplish only to have everyone else’s crap get in the way. I’m not talking client work — no, client work I will always, always make room for. I’m talking about the requests from this one and that one to do this, check that, move this, handle that, talk to this one, meet with that one…. all unpaid, all a giant, wheel-spinning mess of a day.
I did get some client work done, and since it’s an obligation I want to meet, that makes me happy. The rest made me tense, and it interfered with my exercise routine, so I was even more tense until I took to the meditation mat. Thank goodness for some way of balancing myself. Today will be different. I guarantee it, for today I won’t be answering the phone or email unless it’s client-related. Well, the occasional friend email, but no special requests from people who haven’t hired me. It’s how I protect my sanity and my business schedule.
Even with all the interruptions, I wasn’t anywhere near wanting to chuck it all and head to an office or, dare I say, a cubicle. No, as long as that word still makes me shudder, I’ll stick with freelancing. There are just too many perks to give up this gig. There are negatives, and if you’re new to freelance writing, you’ll figure those out faster than the perks, but if you stick with it, you’ll see it all.
Here are some of the truths that I found out along the way:
The Good: You get to work when you want, where you want.
The Bad: You still have to put in a lot of hours, like even regular-job hours until you’re earning enough to get to those glorious four-day weeks.
The Good: You are your own boss.
The Bad: You are your own boss. See, if you’re not motivated or disciplined enough, freelancing can go from lots of plans to lots of daytime television faster than you can say Doctor Phil. Maybe you need someone breathing down your neck in order to remain motivated?
The Good: You set your own rates and earn what you want.
The Bad: You’ll pretty much accept anything at first, which means your road to earning what you want is going to grow longer with each lousy job you stick with. Better to set the bar high and stick with it.
The Good: You choose your clients.
The Bad: Sometimes even with the best intentions, you choose poorly. Knowing how to break up with a client tactfully is an art you should learn at the outset.
The Good: You get to write!
The Bad: You also get to market, do bookkeeping, handle delinquent invoices, and generally run a small business. Oh, and you’re not going to realize it’s a business for a few years as you’re probably still busy being thrilled to be calling yourself a freelance writer.
The Good: You’re alone, so no office politics to deal with.
The Bad: Yeah, you’re alone. You have no one to talk to. Pretty soon you’re having conversations with yourself, your plants, or your neighbor’s cat (don’t judge me).
The Good: You have the potential to earn a lot of money.
The Bad: You have to find work for yourself every day or you’re going to be sitting idle, not earning a thing. And those checks? They don’t come in when you need them, like right before a vacation, birthday, or holiday. Nooo, you’re going to see them right after you’ve used your credit card to cover someone’s gift or your tickets out of town.
The Good: You get to create, for a client or for yourself, from your own vision, not that of a team.
The Bad: When the client’s team is called on the carpet for not delivering the boss’s vision, you’re a handy little scapegoat.
What truths did you discover about freelancing?
Which ones were easiest to overcome? Harder?