You are ready to go out on your own and start your freelance business. Congratulations! It’s an exciting journey to be your own boss, work with a variety of clients, and be free from your cubicle! But it isn’t always easy, and there are a few key things you need to ask yourself to know if you are ready to venture out on your own. It’s time to check yourself…
CAN YOU SELF MOTIVATE?
Guess what? You’re the boss now (congrats, by the way) and no one is hounding you to get your TPS reports in. The only person holding you accountable is YOU. Of course you have to answer to your clients and work within their deadlines, but for the most part they aren’t going to be checking in on you to make sure you’re on track to deliver. This means that you have to budget your time and stay on top of yourself to get things done. Can you choose writing that blog post over another episode of OITNB?
CAN YOU BE ALONE?
Like, really alone? For hours at a time. Freelancing can get seriously lonely you guys. Us freelancers have to fly solo most of the time since we don’t have any co-workers and clients can be 3,000 kilometres (or miles for my non-Canadians) away. Sure you’ll have Skype meetings, but for the most part it’s all you, all the time. Somedays you will need to put in extra long hours to get your projects finished and you won’t see anyone all day long. It can make anyone go a little bit stir crazy. You need to be able to handle that isolation to work for yourself.
But the good news is you are the boss and you make the rules. If you want to go for lunch with a friend, you can. If you want to end your day early to go to yoga, you can. If you want to reserve Thursday nights for your beer enthusiasts 5k training group, you can. When you work for yourself you can decide on your work/life schedule and fit in as much or as little social time as you like. If you want to work around other people you can also work from a coffee shop a few times a week or join a co-working space.
CAN YOU MAKE A BUDGET?
Gone are the days of your steady paycheque keeping you afloat. You no longer have someone in payroll making sure your account balance gets topped up every two weeks to cover your rent. It’s all on you. You need to be able to live within your means and make adjustments on the weeks you may not have as much work. You are also your own accounting department and solely responsible for creating and sending invoices, tracking payments, and paying your taxes. I know this sounds intense, but it’s not that bad! I suggest using a billing app like Paymo to make your life much easier.
So what do you think? Do you have the freelance hustle?