Quite a mouthful isn’t it? Just like a tongue-twisting title, working as a freelancer can often send the head spinning too. Many people looking for freelancer freedom for the first time are often blinded by the fascination and desire to become their own boss. Flexible hours to suit, no travelling, no uniform and as many coffee breaks as you like; perfect, right? Some may think so, but unfortunately it is just not that simple.
Becoming a successful freelancer requires a vast amount of dedication, discipline, self-promotion and enthusiasm. Being your own boss means you must manage yourself efficiently, in order to gain the maximum potential of work and profitability from your situation, abilities and schedule. Freelancing can be difficult, especially in your first year, but there are certain guidelines that can ensure your venture is a successful one.
Have a Craving for Saving!
When your first pay cheque arrives, or your first large invoice is cleared, the temptation to spend money will be almost inevitable. You’ve worked hard and will understandably feel like you deserve a reward. However, you must be both careful and patient with your spending, especially during your first year of freelancing. Even if you aim to re-invest the money back into your work, be mindful not to re-invest too heavily and make sure to leave a healthy reserve of cash for emergencies.
Make Two Things Certain in Life – Success and Taxes
In order for any freelancer to be successful, they must be able to manage their finances efficiently and professionally. Self-employed work, regardless of the industry, is very much a feast and famine experience. Intakes throughout the year tend to represent peaks and troughs, as work is rarely guaranteed and your finances can fluctuate.
Therefore it is vitally important that you keep accurate financial records, have a precise financial plan and also keep on top of your taxes. Adopting bookkeeping software such as QuickBooks can help keep track of your sales, expenses, invoices and financial records. Software such as this can also help provide information required for tax quickly and easily.
Avoid Boredom and Distractions
Working in your lounge or bedroom, sitting in your pants and robe with the television on in the background can seem like an appealing incentive to some freelance work. However, do not fall into bad habits early on, as it can become incredibly hard to snap out of them. Maintain a professional mindset and attitude towards your work and be wary of becoming slack. Life under your own rules can provide many distractions so preserve your self-discipline!
It is also equally important that you don’t let boredom set in, especially through times when levels of work are low. Remain positive, enthusiastic and motivated during these periods, otherwise a negative attitude may damage your prospects of acquiring work in the future. When you are experiencing a busy schedule, try to change your agenda from time to time; or possibly devote different days to alternative tasks to keep things fresh. Distractions are a demon, but breaks are sometimes welcome, so make sure to take frequent short rests away from your work too. As long as you manage your time efficiently, you will be a success and achieve freelance freedom!