So you are done taking orders from other people and working like crazy to help to build someone else’s empire?
The time has come to chase your own dreams, working for yourself. Pursuing your passion and working freelance may seem all rewarding and highly self-fulfilling.
However, that doesn’t mean you are going to be a free bird reaching out for the clouds. Your life as a freelancer will also come with a lot of challenges that you simply cannot ignore.
You can face these challenges in several ways to excel as a successful freelancer.
Make Sure That Your Workplace and Household Affairs Are Kept Separate
Lots of freelancers start their career at home and it is quite natural that your personal affairs and work will overlap.
Household interruptions are quite common and if you are not dealing with them tactfully, they’ll hamper your work and personal life.
My suggestion would be – have your own workstation in your house that should be separated from everything else. It can be a room at the end of the corridor or simply a separate space at the corner of your living room.
Decorate it and give it a “workstation look”. You can Google and get lots of ideas from online about how to decorate your home office.
Maintain Your Work Hours
As a freelancer, you have to face another challenge every single day- maintaining your own working hours. It is easy to get carried out with the idea that since you are now working for yourself, you no longer have to worry about “punching in” and “punching out”.
Wrong! Now you are accountable to yourself. Have your own work hours and maintain that consistently.
If you think you are going to work from 11am till 3pm on Fridays and the rest of the week it is going to be from 12:00 pm to 07:00 pm, excellent. But make sure that you are strictly maintaining your hours.
Avoid Being Burnt Out
This is quite common with lots of freelancers. Now that you have the opportunity to build your future the way you always dreamt, the sky’s the limit.
Hard work is a must for success in any phase of your life no doubt. But avoid overdoing it.
Always remember, slow and steady wins the race- the turtle did make a point right there! Organize your days’ schedule and to-do list. Have your plans plotted out for the entire month.
Have your long term and short term goals in place and get your strategy all sorted. But make sure that you are not taking excess load on yourself.
If you are working fourteen hours a day, six days a week, after a couple of months it is highly likely that you’ll begin to feel your body is giving up.
So take it easy. Give enough time for your work but don’t let your enthusiasm run freely to burn all your fuel.
Keep an Eye on Your Finances
The moment you quit your job and begin your venture as a freelancer, say goodbye to those cheques that used to come with a fixed number written.
Now you’re going to see some ups and downs every now and then. You’ll have to make some investments to expand your business and sometimes there will be setbacks.
So plan your finances very carefully. Put aside enough cash to pay those monthly mandatory bills. Set up a fund for emergency needs. And finally, have your capital ready and make sure that you are spending wisely.
You may also look for other sources like bank loans or investments from venture capitalists to source your business finances. Always maintain a backup plan in case things go south.
Stop Isolating Yourself Inside a Cave
A common mistake that I have seen a lot of freelancers make. They get so overwhelmed with their work that they forget to maintain social ties.
Never turn yourself into that weird nerd who is living in an abandoned island like Robinson Crusoe. Make sure that you are hitting the pub after a good day’s work or going for a long drive with your buddies on the weekends.
Successful freelancers don’t believe in cutting themselves off society. They maintain their social affairs just like any other individual.
At the same time, socializing can also help you to explore new opportunities. Who knows, maybe the person you have just had a small talk with can turn out to be a potential client.
This is something you should always keep in mind. If you get sick, you are not going to get any paid sick leave. You may lose valuable clients for failing to meet deadlines. So focus on your well being. Follow a detailed diet plan. Include all the essential elements in your list of foods.
Also, try to find an hour every day for exercise. I always recommend yoga as a part of the daily routine. It helps to calm your mind and boost your confidence.
Try out the yoga inversions, you’ll see the difference. You can set up an inversion table at a corner of your room for that. Being healthy and fit will surely boost your energy level and help you to enhance productivity.
Plan for Your Get Away
Running your own business will definitely demand a lot of time and money. But time to time switch off your computer and put your phone on silent. Head for the beach for a well-deserved vacation.
It’ll also refresh your soul motivate you to re-start working with more energy once you are back to the workstation.
Follow these seven steps and you will do great as a freelancer. Have your separate workstation and working hours. Don’t overload yourself with work and don’t cut yourself from the world.
Have a healthy diet plan and do a bit of exercise every single day. And last but not least, take your time off and enjoy the fruits of your hard work as you let the cool air touch your face on a golden beach.