Chit Chat #3 – Self-employed

When I decided to try out a freelance career, I considered quite a lot of factors. Will I earn enough money? Where will I find customers? What do I want to offer them? How will I offer my services to them? How much should I charge? And many, many more.

Taking a step like this can be daunting, but I still knew,  that I had no other chance than to at least giving it a try. I was quite unhappy in the different jobs I worked before, I easily got bored or overwhelmed, because I tried too hard to be the best I could at what I did.

So I thought I’d use that drive and motivation I always had for my own business. Now I am not an expert on freelancing and I definitely am not in a place yet, where I feel comfortable throwing advice around, but there are a few things I have learned so far, that might be helpful for anyone just starting out.

Take one day at a time. Before I started, there just seemed to be an endless number of things I had to take care of, the only way I got through it, was to make a list, sort those tasks by importance and urgency and do one thing at a time. Once you have made that plan, don’t look to far ahead, it will just freak you out.

If it is possible in your chosen field, try to find one main customer to start out with. Of course once you are settled, it is always better to have several customers, so that you don’t depend on just one source of income, but in the beginning, this one big client will give you a whole lot of freedom and peace of mind.

Okay, you are working for yourself, made your dream come true, motivation shouldn’t be an issue right? Wrong. There will still be days (weeks?) where you have trouble concentrating (for example when it is like 35 degrees outside and you don’t have air con) or where you just feel like you are not getting anywhere. Those are the days where you have to decide, whether you should push yourself, or just let it go and try again another day. Enjoy the benefits of working for yourself! Especially if you happen to do a creative job, working for yourself means, working when you CAN. You don’t HAVE TO force it Monday to Friday 9 to 5. You CAN work in the middle of the night or on weekends if it just happens to be easier for you at those times. Just make sure, that you still get enough time to relax, being self-employed does mean to work more, but it should not have you burnt out within a month.

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Try everything that comes your way, be open, say yes and don’t be afraid to fail. I work as a freelancer, which means I can literally try different jobs and find out what I want to focus on. At first I thought I would specialize at just one thing, as that’s what all the advice websites seemed to preach. But it turned out, that branching out and dipping my fingers into many different honey pots was better for me and way more fun.

You will either be stressed, because there is so much to do, or you will be stressed, because you don’t have anything to do. Try to trust in yourself, again, take every day at a time and do the work. Use the time, resources and energy you have, give it your all and things will happen. Well at least that is what I keep telling myself and it usually relaxes me which frees up my mind to focus on my job.

 

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