3 Lessons from 30 Days of Freelancing Full-Time
It’s been an interesting month. In mid-August, I wrapped up a contract writing gig at Insureon, during which I crafted email copy, blog posts, landing page copy and other marketing materials as the company rebranded one of its subsidiaries. After working there from 9-to-5, I wrote articles for different outlets, including Vogue.com and Chicago Inno.
When I worked on articles at night, I realized something. I felt so tired when I came home. But as I started working on freelance articles around 5:30, I suddenly had another burst of energy. In my gut, I knew that I had to give freelancing a shot, but the thought of being financially insecure induced so much anxiety.
Luckily, I started building my emergency fund last year. I’m continuing my job search (if not for me, then certainly for my newsletter), but I’m also committed to growing my business. I’ve been working on it part-time for more than 2 years, and now I want to build my business into something that will sustain me.
Here’s what I’ve learned during the first 30 days of full-time freelancing:
You need to make your own routine.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I love exercising as a way to calm my body. Without a commute, I’ve replaced a commute with exercising. After I exercise, I feel mentally prepared to face the day. Without a boss to hold me accountable, I have to establish my own routine. If nothing else, look at your rent invoice and get to work.
You need a sound mindset in order to be efficient.
Freaking out about money will be the fastest way to be broke. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true. I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to money, and I made sure to have some savings before entering into this full-time. (Not as much money as I wanted, but it was better than nothing). If you allow fear and anxiety to take hold, you’ll never get anything done. You have to focus on producing. You have to get things done. You have to break down those mental barriers, focus on the positive, and keep charging ahead. Being paralyzed by fear will quickly make you broke.
Though it’s a lot of responsibility, freedom is blissful.
Yes, the ebb and flow of freelancing causes a lot of anxiety. And believe me, I’m feeling it somewhat. But I have to say that I feel more secure working for myself than I do working for someone else. I’ve seen several media companies in the news for laying off their employees in droves. Freelancing forces you to keep your skills sharp and make connections across the industry. It also puts you at the top of the list for jobs when they’re hiring.
I look forward to building my business and portfolio. Let’s see what the rest of 2017 brings.
Do you freelance full-time? If so, what did you learn when you first started out? Tell me in the comments or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. (Yes, I’ll actually see your email).