The switch to full-time freelance brings a lot of changes to an otherwise employees fairly predictable schedule.
Working a traditional ‘job’
You work to pay bills, buy food, and entertain yourself. You put in 8 hours (or in our industry many more), you go home, you eat, work, sleep, roll-over, hit snooze, eat, work, sleep, roll ov…, ad nauseam. Enter freelance…
Working as a freelancer, self-employed
You are in charge of all advertising, bills, taxes, receipts, invoices, payments, work, and deadlines. Sounds like a lot? It is, but luckily tools have been made available to us to make these tasks easier.
Companies like 37signals create tools for project management, and companies like FreshBooks create software for receipts, invoicing, tracking payments. (there are others but these are the ones I endorse on my own faith, without incentives)
As far as I know, most freelancers work within the arts sector. I am a web designer, but work alongside (and with) many freelancers who specialize in copywriting, web design, flash development, business development and marketing.
I rely on these people, colleagues, dare I say… friends, to get me where I and my clients need to go. I spend enough time editing my blog posts and don’t need to spend more time editing client copy — I have friends who can do it better so I utilize them and focus on what I’m good at: Flash, and Web Design/Development.
Outsourcing is the age old, extremely effective way of lightening work load, and in the realm of Freelance work where most of your work is generated through word-of-mouth, it’s only smart business to pass work that can be passed.
What do you do daily that isn’t your favourite thing to do? Are there any options to have someone else do that for you? It may cost you a bit of money, but what is your time worth? Could you be using that time to do something more productive, profitable, or enjoyable? What are those worth?
This change of thinking proves monumental in the switch from employee to freelancer — think differently, you’re now a business.