If you do not have the grit and the discipline of freelance life, you will be left on the sidelines burnt-out and desolate. I mean, freelancing always seems like a shiny diamond to be coveted. You get to work from home, or anywhere your heart pleases, you are your boss, there are no pesky colleagues to ruin your day and no office politics.
I was ready to take control of my freelancing life. The energy levels were up, and the motivation was overflowing. However, something nobody ever tells you is what lays ahead for a freelancer.
When I took the plunge, some things surprised me about freelancing and some were pleasing to me. Let us look at some life lessons I picked up.
If you get into freelancing straight from a 9-5 daily work routine, you will swim in free time and an illusion that you will be able to manage your time well. I had to learn the hard way that if I do not get a handle on my time quickly, I was going to wander around aimlessly with no sense of purpose. I quickly formulated a daily routine that was neither too tight nor too loose. I had to detach a time for leisure and a time for work.
There is a certain satisfaction one gets from not waking up to go and shuffle around with other human beings for space in the subway or traffic just to get to work. I wake up with no rush. I go for a nice workout (love working out in the morning, more energy levels). And then have my breakfast and settle in for work. I am not stressed out from being bumped around or from a case of road rage.
Want to know what frustration is, then engage in a back and forth with clients who three months down the line have not yet paid you. Another one has lost your invoice while the other has a sudden case of amnesia and does not know whether you worked for him or not. Payment frustrations have become a never-ending norm in freelancing. You need to set yourself up well so that you do not sleep hungry or worse, end up homeless. Not being paid on time is a cross you will have to carry, so buckle up for a frustrating run.
Freelancing can be a lonely and cold world. It is a standard human trait to want to talk to someone. So, when you are all cooped up in your home office all day with no human contact, it might have a toll on you. The best thing to do is to always schedule in some time with friends, people in your field of work and with family. Take some time off and have some human interaction.