Well, that title could apply to so many facets of life, am I right? But in this case it’s what I wish I’d known before I became a full-time(ish) freelancer. You all know that I work for the studio part-time as an employee. But I make the rest of my living freelancing, which means I essentially have my own business and I work from home.
A friend and I were talking recently about the joys and struggles of freelancing recently, and it got me to thinking about some of the things I wish I’d known before I took the leap. And since we’re expanding the blog this year to include topics related to the non-fitness areas of our lives, I thought I’d share. So, here we go…
Know Your Value. I was very lucky that the second freelance job I took was in partnership with a former colleague who had much more experience freelancing than I did. When the client asked for our rate, my colleague immediately responded with a number that was nearly three times the amount I had charged in my one previous foray into contract work. I thought the client would laugh us out of the room, but he didn’t. He paid it. And it made me research how freelancers set their rates; all of the factors they take into account. I had been setting it based on my hourly rate at my full-time job, but that was a big mistake. Now, my rate is based on what I know to be the market rate and one that is fair, when my additional costs are factored into the equation.
Don’t Make Rate Exceptions. This may be controversial–I don’t know whether every freelancer will agree with this or not–but, for the most part, I don’t discount my rate. Ever.
Invest in a Good Home Office. This is one I put off for a long time because of the cost, I guess. But my dining room table and the couch ended up not being great places to work.
It’s Easier to Overeat. This may be totally random, but when I first started working from home I ate way more than when I worked in an office. And I thought it would be the opposite. My last office job was at a college and they made it really achievable to eat like a college student–and I did 🙂 Unfortunately, even though I could eat like an 18-year old, I couldn’t metabolize like one. I thought when I started working from home I’d have way more control food wise. But for the first few months I found myself eating way more because it was there and it was just steps away from my desk. Those of you who work from home–have you found that to be true?
I Miss the Social Part. Sometimes. I am a total introvert and I love quiet time, but sometimes I miss being around people. That surprised me so much, I can’t even tell you. When that starts to happen, I text Nikki and tell her we need an in-person meeting 🙂 I always leave those meetings with renewed energy.
There are Trade-Offs. I think it’s very human to romanticize what we don’t have, especially when we’re unhappy in our current situation, as I was in my old job. The truth is that I love my work now, but it’s not stress-free. However, I guess I just prefer the stress I have now to the stress I had before.
You’ll Become (Best) Friends with Organization and Time-Management. I would have described myself as those things before I started freelancing. But holy moly, do you have to get really good at managing your time and sticking to a schedule. Because there are no immediate consequences if you don’t. There are so many distractions at home!
Enjoy the Perks. No one cares whether I wear the same thing today as I wore yesterday. (No one cares whether that thing was leggings and an over-sized sweatshirt either.) If I decide I want to move to a new city, I can keep my job and work from wherever I want. I can sometimes trade time-off for my workout in the morning, for an hour more of work after dinner. There’s a ton of flexibility. But I was so anxious when I made the switch, that for a long time I didn’t allow myself to enjoy the best things about being my own boss. Now I do.
Any of you work remotely? What do you wish you’d known before you jumped in? Share below!