Monday, June 30, 2014

The joys for working for yourself...the real story

This posting is based on an article written by Samantha Perry ,

I've been a freelance writer for the past 14 years. 
It’s a fun, flexible and fabulous way to work. 
But it’s not for everyone

 
The key to happiness in life may not be money, 
but money certainly is the key to happiness for a freelancer. 

Being a starving journalist/photographer when you’re young is one thing,
 but bond repayments and the like are for grown-ups!
And one can get used to eating...


 
To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy...
"You might make a good freelancer IF":

If you’re a GOOD business manager

If you’re NOT precious about your work and DON'T take every criticism personally

If you DON'T fight with clients and you ARE able to take direction on a job

If you HAVE the discipline to get in eight hours of work a day, 
even though your bed and your telly are tantalizingly near 
and calling your name...


If you can tick all these boxes, then go ahead and take the plunge...

HOWEVER, have knee-pads handy for when you go to visit your bank manager.

Can YOU make it work?
Sure you can...
But keep the following in mind.

1. Like your job – If you don't what is the point of having no "proper" income.

2. Work for people you like – 
They don't have to be friends
but you must be willing to work long hours for them without resorting to violence

3. Just say no – Probably the hardest word in the freelance vocabulary, 
but can come in useful if used correctly

4. Learn to value yourself- Never monkey around with your rates.
Cheap is easy, but not appreciated in the long run

5. Build up a buffer – Stash your cash and make sure you have 
enough of it stashed to keep you going for a few months 
in case work is irregular, erratic or non-existent.
All of which are possibilities


6. Make time for yourself- see Number 3

7. Network – This the new "location. location, location".
Being in the right place at the right time is important
Use social media, connections(real and virtual), family, friends 
and anyone else who could be a decision maker when it comes to using your services.

8. Make time to smell the coffee – This can be very important when working in isolation.
Find a coffee shop or communal space to work in...at least part of the time.
This will give you a reason for getting dressed rather than working in your PJ's

9. Stay focused- Facebook is for when you have finished your assignment. 
DO NOT be seduced by "I will only look for a moment" syndrome.
Before you know it, your deadline has become as tight as a hangman's noose
and with the same end result...

10. Spoil yourself-you deserve it

11.Set goals for yourself- perhaps outside your comfort zone...

12. Don't get bogged down by details.
To paraphrase Sir Richard Branson
" Accept every job that comes your way.
If you cannot do it you can always learn"

13. And finally – Have fun! 
Being Freelance is all about balance.
After all it is a lifestyle YOU have chosen...
so make it work.

Batzofin's Codicil...
Your partner...
Might not necessarily understand the vagaries(and stresses) of an erratic income
but can at least be supportive of your choices.
If they have a "real" job to help in the lean months...
BONUS!


"Travel & Things" was an entrant in this competition.


         

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