A recent post in Freelance Folder, entitled “Manifesto for a Freelancer with a Family,” inspired me to create this video.
Today, I’d like to talk about inspiration.
What inspires you to keep freelancing?
I ask because freelancing isn’t always easy.
Why Freelancers Need Inspiration
Today my cousin posted on her Facebook profile: “Thanking the Lord for my second year in freelance editing.”
I congratulated her, and then realized that my own two-year anniversary had recently come and gone without notice.
I had been too focused on tracking my income, that I had lost sight of this milestone in my freelancing career. This is not good.
Sure, money is a big reason behind why I freelance, and I’m sure it is for you too. However, I’m also in it for other reasons, such as:
- personal and professional development
- modeling an “alternative” lifestyle for my children and those who dream of leaving their cubicles
- work-life balance
Certainly there are more “metrics” I should be looking at other than the bottom line.
Such as the fact that I’ve been freelancing for 28 months and am thriving!
The getting of clients remains the number one challenge for freelancers today.
At least, that’s what I found when I surveyed the participants in my recent webinar with “the real” James Chartrand.
As you may already know, James knew all about the pain of struggling to get clients. In fact, that’s what drove her to take on a male persona.
Sadly, I found other cases of freelancers changing themselves for the sake of their freelancing biz.
For example, somebody told me she dyed her light blonde hair dark just to be taken more seriously.
How sad! I happen to be envious of blonde hair, and would probably bleach my hair blonde if it didn’t clash with my coloring.
Can you believe we’re into the second quarter of the year already?
How has 2010 been for you? Did you set goals? If so, what kind of progress have you been making? Are you on track?
If you aren’t, you’ve got plenty of time to get on track to make 2010 your best year yet!
This month’s challenge will help you do just that.
The Savvy Freelancer’s April 2010 challenge is: Acquire a success mindset.
If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you know that I’ve recently increased my rates. In fact, this is The Savvy Freelancer’s January 2010 challenge.
I’ve been increasing my rates every few months for the last year or so. And the results have always been positive, bringing a stream of new, higher-quality clients.
Despite knowing on a logical level that this move is good, the decision to increase my fees created a lot of anxiety in me. You see, I didn’t raise my fees by 10%, 20% or even 30%. I raised them by 84%!
Last week, I listed the reasons why I love freelancing. To keep things balanced, today I’m going to share what I hate about freelancing.
Hopefully, this list will help those who are still thinking about freelancing to decide whether it’s really right for them. Sometimes, freelancers are accused of romanticizing our work, as if our lifestyles were all about coffee shops and yoga pants.
It isn’t. Freelancing is darn hard. So don’t think for a minute that a freelancer’s life is perfect or devoid of problems.
Just take a look at all the stuff that makes me dislike freelancing:
I engage with a lot of freelancers on Twitter and it strikes me how extreme people’s feelings are about freelancing.
Some love it. They tweet something like, “Freelancing – this is the life!” Or how much they enjoy being able to go to the gym anytime they feel like it, or work at the coffee shop instead of a boring cubicle.
On the other extreme are those who can’t wait to find a regular job so they could stop freelancing. Some never seem to find good clients. Others are getting stiffed by clients, or having a really tough time just making ends meet as a freelancer.
As a savvy freelancer, you know that both views are correct. Freelancing can be heaven or it can be hell. If you’re considering freelancing, you need to go into it with open eyes, seeing both the positive and the negative sides of freelancing.
In this post, let’s focus on the plusses of freelancing first.
Most days, I believe freelancing is just about the best thing a parent could do. You stay home yet earn an income and continue growing professionally.
But early this week, something happened that rocked my little home-based world: a client who had earlier agreed to hire me to write a sales page, emailed me to say she decided to work with somebody else who had given her a lower quote.
Some background: she was a returning client, and I moved my schedule around to accommodate her deadline.
I felt a range of emotions:
- inability to find happiness in employment
- constant dissatisfaction with your job, no matter how much money you’re earning
- susceptibility to various distractions, such as a hobby, passion – or kids and spouse
- weakness for dreams of adventure, like traveling, bungee jumping or living a bohemian lifestyle
- short attention span for structure, or at least those structures that others set up for you
If you suffer any or all of the symptoms described above, I’m afraid the prognosis is not good: