A Few Thoughts on Being a Freelancer
Over the last few months, I've moved into Freelancing full-time and it's been both a breath of fresh air and also an overwhelming experience.
I have always done freelance on the side for many years, and even worked freelancing while I was at university. The experience of working on many side projects and managing projects were great as I stepped into freelancing full-time, but there was nothing that really prepared me for the mental hurdles other than jumping in.
You know when you read article after article and think? That sounds easy, wow! Well, it's not always like that. Things sometimes start rocky, you have to do not just your main job, but you've got to run your company, manage clients, sales, follow up, after care, accounting, planning, and more. It's sometimes a major brain overload, and for me personally, I found that I was otherthinking every little step just too much.
When I first started, I was trying to find the “Perfect Soluton” for every task I had, was it accounting software - I tried 12. Project management solutons - I have 8 free trials right now. I like to try different things, see how people work, see what is different, which works best. But in the end, I always reverted to what I knew, or what I started with. I hope to share an article on the software I use later on.
I also batted around with how much I'd charge for a project and how I was going to bill it - was it hourly, daily, fixed, who knew. If your a freelancer yourself, you've probably been there, there is so many variables and that's rightly so, because the answer is “It depends”. Ad-hoc work, I usually bill daily/hourly, but for a new WordPress site, as long as I know the scope, I'd settle on a fair fixed fee. This has been working for me so far yet it may still change!
The main thing I've struggled with, that I still haven't worked out in my head, is having mini panics. That daunting feeling when you are wondering where the next project is coming from, or feelings of can I really spend this money? Do I need to buy this item? This is a major hurdle as it stops you from doing things or taking risks, it's tricky, there are so many variables one day everything could be fine and the next things could be in the air. I've not yet managed to start contributing to pensions, or readding to my savings pot. I was so used to an office job for the last few years where it's simpler to understand you get paid X on Y date per month.
All that being said, freelancing is amazing, there is more freedom to take the projects I want. Flexibility to spend more time with my family and go do things with my kid before bed, I used to get an hour an evening, now I get three. We've also recently got a new puppy who has been loving life having me at home all day. There are a few things I feel I need to refine, but I think I'm getting there.
Anyone feel the same?