One writer's advice for making the freelancer dream a reality
7 TIPS AND TRICKS
November 16, 2017
I have been a freelancer for the majority of my working life. My mum ran her own businesses and I grew up in an environment where it was normal to shape your own destiny and day-to-day activities. But it can be a scary place to be. These are my tips on how to make your freelance dream a (successful) reality:
1. Start Out Organically
Grow your business organically — don’t force it but also don’t procrastinate. If you have an idea, go for it in a small way and work out if it’s right for you. I usually advise people to keep a part-time salary while starting their own business, this way you aren’t risking everything. If you feel under pressure you will make bad decisions and make it harder to be creative.
2. Listen to some advice, but not ALL advice
By all means read, listen and get advice, but only you will know what’s right for you. You don’t need to try everything you are told. If it feels wrong it probably is.
3. Embrace your mistakes
You will make mistakes and that’s fine. What’s important is that you learn the lessons from them, don’t be hard on yourself and move on.
4. Keep your overheads low
I’ve learned this the hard way! Keep your business simple. Get a phone and a laptop and you’re good to go. When I was first in business I paid for an office but I was hardly ever there, it was a waste of money. I generally work at home but sometimes from a coworking space where it’s cheap to get a desk and is a nice, creative environment.
5. Love your own company
You will spend more time on your own as a freelancer and the challenge here is that you need to be able to set yourself targets and keep to them. If you think you might struggle with that, find an accountability partner either from a networking group, a mastermind group, or a business person you already know. This is why Hoxby is so great — we have a handpicked community of like-minded people so you are never on your own.
6. Work the hours that suit you
This is one of the main reasons we all want to be freelancers, so don’t get sucked into 9-5 if that’s not what you want. You do need to work with clients and be present when they need you to be, but you also get to choose when a lot of your work happens. I love the early mornings so I make full use of them.
7. Get your family on-side
Freelancing can be scary for family and friends. Explain to them what you’ll be doing, the plans you have and the hours you will be working — and that assuming you can do all the housework as you are “at home” is wrong!
I love being freelance. It can be hard at first but stick with it. I have the freedom to set my own hours and to do work I love. It’s a fantastic way to work and live.
Andrea is a talented marketing and PR professional. You can see more of her work at www.andrea-sexton.com.