7 months isn’t a very long time when it comes to running a business, but it’s more than enough to learn some major lessons. These are things that I didn’t see coming when I set out on this freelance journey just 7 months ago, but have clearly made an impact on me so far.
- Days fly by
When I was working full time, days would drag. Sometimes it would seem like Friday would never come. These days, I wish the weekdays would slow down. I’m still waking up between 6:30 and 7am, walking the dogs, getting to work, and the next think I know it’s 4pm. WHAT!
- It’s easy to get overwhelmed
Juggling life and work is taken to another level when you work for yourself. Not only do you have to complete projects for clients but you also have to network, market yourself, and do admin activities. It feels like every time I get caught up, the to do list piles up again. Freelancing is more complicated and overwhelming than I thought going into this. Sometimes it’s necessary to step away even when you are feeling overwhelmed.
- People judge you
It’s true. When people ask that same ol’ question you hear every other day “What do you do?” I sort of dread answering it. The two most common reactions to telling someone you freelance or have your own business is “you’re so lucky, I wish I could do that” and “oh, so you don’t work.” Maybe not in those exact words, but you know what I mean. People are not used to this lifestyle, but who cares right! Just smile and carry on.
- Freedom is priceless
I’ve booked multiple trips for January and February of 2018 and I never had to ask “off” WOOOOO. Steve and I are traveling to South East Asia for two weeks. Then I’ll be off to Southern California and the mountains in Colorado for some much-needed snowboarding. I’ll be working on the road and there’s nothing sweeter. Whether it’s travel or just going to the grocery store at 11 am on a Tuesday, the freedom that you have when working remotely is truly priceless.
- It’s tough to budget with an inconsistent income
Money seems to come in waves. My monthly clients are mostly all billed at the first of the month, while one-off projects are billed 50% before kick-off and 50% upon completion. The first half of the month, the money is flowing while the last half is more of a drought. I have to be careful to put money aside and plan for the future with every cent that comes in. When I was working full-time I automated everything and it was so easy. While I still automate some things now, others are hard because I don’t know for sure that the funds will be in my account.
- Keeping a schedule is key
My day planner has never gotten so much use. Freelancing forces me to stay on task and creating a schedule keeps me accountable. If I didn’t keep a schedule every day, it would be chaos. Nothing would get done and that feeling over being overwhelmed would multiply.
- Anything is possible
To me, this is the most important lesson I’ve learned over the last 7 months. We can truly accomplish anything. I took this business from a side hustle that was making $10K per year to supporting me full time. Focus, consistency, and time. That’s the only magic required.
7 months is only the beginning. I’m ready to see where this freelance journey takes me and how much I’ll learn as time goes by. Maybe I’ll figure out how to manage some of these problems and streamline my business even more.
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible” – Francis of Assisi
Thanks for Reading,