Monday, February 9, 2015

9 Things I've Learnt From Freelancing


I've been freelancing now for almost two years and it has definitely been one of the best moves I've ever fallen into made! I'm happier, more creative, more passionate, more innovative and so incredibly proud of myself!! I've learnt so much about myself, both as a person and as a copywriter, that I thought I would document the few lessons freelancing has taught me. 

1) What Is Meant To Be, Will Always Find A Way - This was the biggest lesson for me as before I jumped into freelancing, I had a few people in my life that had told me I should be freelancing but I kind of put it at the back of mind thinking that it wasn't practical or financially viable. I've come to realise that what's in God's plan for my life will always find a way of happening and that I need to trust His plan for my life.

2) I Am More Than Capable Of Running My Own Business - Before I met D, the concept of running my own business one day wasn't even a thought in my mind. Other people always had their own business. Not me. Then I met D and his VERY entrepreneurial mind and then my grandfather got retrenched in a rather unprofessional way and started his own business. Now it turns out that I'm surrounded by business owners and I'm more than capable of running my own one. I've been doing it now for almost two years and I'm still doing quite well. In fact, most months, I make more than what I did at an agency.

3) Life Is Better When You're Happy - Working in an agency wasn't for me. I was miserable and felt claustrophobic being holed up in an office all day. It got to the point where I was almost physically ill going to an office all day. I needed to make a change. Now that I am happy, it's made the world of difference, both for my life and relationship with D. Doing what you love isn't always practical for RIGHT NOW, but at some point you need to do what you love. It will make you happier and the saying that life is too short to be unhappy is incredibly true.

4) Hard Work Is Easy When You Love What You Do - I'm a big believer in doing something properly, or not at all. And that is infinitely easier to do when you're passionate about something. Owning your own business requires hard work but when you enjoy doing it, that hard work becomes so much easier.

5) A Happy Husband Makes For A Happy Home - For us, me working from home makes for a calmer husband and therefore a calmer home. D likes coming home to a clean kitchen and tidy house and I love making a home for him to come home to. I've had a few clients that needed me in the offices on a full time schedule for a few weeks or months and those times meant life at home was chaotic. Ironing wasn't up to date, washing was backlogged (yes, the husband even discovered he didn't have any clean underwear once) and everything in our house was general chaos. Now I know that not every wife/mom has the luxury of being able to work from home and have a clean house (HATS OFF TO YOU FOR BEING ABLE TO WORK FULL TIME AND HAVE A CALM HOUSEHOLD!!), but for us, it just didn't work. Me working from home means a clean house and a calm husband. The way I like it.



6) Be Aggressive, Be Be Aggressive - Owning your own business can often mean running after clients. It requires a firm voice and assertiveness. I'm already quite a confident person but I've learnt that if I don't ask for what I want/need/deserve, ain't nobody gonna ask for me!

7) All The Self Control! - Being at home almost every day, means SO MUCH FOOD! It takes a certain type of discipline to not eat every 5 minutes. This also falls into the distraction category as it's UNBELIEVABLY easy for you to use food as a distraction. A good idea is to put a lock on the fridge. Or find a local coffee shop with expensive food and free wifi so you won't be tempted to eat. Because R150 for a sambo ain't funny.

8) There's No Pride Like The "I Did It Myself" Kinda Pride - Knowing that you earned your money this month through your own blood, sweat and tears is an amazing feeling! Knowing that you're working hard to bring in clients and keep your business afloat is a special kind of pride. You did it yourself. No one else. And that is worth every drop of blood, sweat and tear.

9) Discipline, Discipline, Discipline - I know that in point number 7 I said that you need discipline to not eat everything in sight, but you definitely need discipline to sit down and work every day. Working for yourself means not having a boss to make you work. There's no one to shout at you if you're not working or mucking around. I mean, okay you have the bank if you don't work because then you don't make money which means a bounced debit order. But the point is that you need to own yourself. Discipline to say to yourself that you need to sit down now and work.

Freelancing has definitely been the most rewarding job I've ever done. I love what I do, and although I've previously done copywriting for agencies and small companies, it's not nearly as rewarding as working for yourself. That's my opinion at least.

If you've been wanting to freelance, or start your own business, and found that these lessons helped you, even just a little bit, please do let me know :)

Happy Monday, everyone!

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