A few months ago I wrote a post on what I learnt from freelancing. It’s time to fast forward to nine months on since I began my self-employed journey and there’s some realities to be had! It’s nearing a year since I took the jump to go self employed and every month has taught me something new. Be it finance management, busy weeks or figuring out my ‘thing’ here’s the low down on what I’ve learnt from freelancing.
Bookkeeping is hard work
The idea of filling in your excel sheets, seeing the numbers tot up and filing you receipts sounds like the absolute ‘blogger goal’ doesn’t it. Hard reality is that it gets really boring after the first month. I’ve been so behind on invoices and excel sheets. I do try to make a conscious every month to sit down and do it but I am the worst at keeping my receipts in a safe place. It’s something I want to get better at for sure, but trust me, it’s not easy.
Don’t be scared to take a company to court for late payment.
In some ways, I can’t talk too much about this but I am SICK of bloggers stating they have been waiting MONTHS if not YEARS for invoices to be paid. Simply, you can do something about it by taking it to the small claims court. Although there can be costs involved, it takes the company to account, shows your evidence and gets you your money. I just can’t deal with companies that think it’s ok not to pay you. Don’t be afraid to hold them to account, a tweet won’t work but the law sure will. In a few months time I’m sure I’ll be able to talk about this ALL day long.
Look after yourself when you get busy.
I’ve had a couple of weeks that mentally drain me. It’s important to take time out, switch off your phone, watch a Netflix series and ignore work when you get home. I’m the worst for picking up my phone when I’m at home and meant to not be working. As a freelancer you find you pick up jobs all the time and just see them as five minute jobs. The problem is, work is work. No matter how much you enjoy it or find it easy and my blog can be the one thing I forget is part of my working week.
Imitation is the biggest form of flattery.
Yes, the hard game of seeing your work, thoughts or ideas being copied sucks. We all experience it in some format throughout our career. Be it a colleague takes your idea to the boss first, a tweet about an idea or LinkedIn post that trumps yours. I used to get so annoyed by it but in the last few months I’ve realised that it is flattering that people chose to follow you. Even if at the time I go off on a massive rant it’s still important to remind myself that it’s just flattering. Some people don’t like competition and that’s ok, but as I’ve mentioned before, being YOU is what works. We’re all different humans on a different path and we will never be the same no matter what we work on.
Your mindset is the most important part to freelancing.
This time last year I was a miserable ol’ gal. I couldn’t see colour and this really affected how I performed. My blog suffered and it was only when I started educating myself in the form of podcasts, books and learning by asking that it made the difference. I have a business coach I see every month which puts me on track and keeps me in the right mindset. I read books regularly about working, being a women in an online industry and blogging ideas. Most recently, I’ve been putting on podcasts all about blogging, mindset and positive attitudes which all contribute. If your head isn’t in the right mindset to push the negativity away, you’ll never be in the right place with the working world.
So that’s my top points in recent months. It’s been stressful, busy and tiring but my gosh I love it. I wouldn’t say freelancing was for everyone but it’s something to be considered in your future career aspirations for sure. Your career wellbeing is so important too which is why I’m going to be tackling new subjects this year!
So, what are your thoughts on freelancing? Is it something you’ve considered in your long term career goal?