Freelancing can be a fun and exciting field to work in. You get to set your own work schedule–for the most part, pick your clients, can work from home or a local coffee shop and generally have control of your work day–to a point.
There is also the other side of freelancing that can fry anyone’s brain. Between dealing with clients you thought were good–but ended up not being that lovely, deadlines, ignored pitches, taxes, insurance and all the other stresses of freelancing, it is sometimes very draining. Here is a list of a few things to remember when freelancing that we tend to forget in the midst of it all:
1) It’s okay to say no
Yes, time is money, but are you really giving your best work out if you are stressed? Freelancers feel every opportunity is an opportunity, but some just aren’t. Walk away from those opportunities (without burning bridges, if possible), take a day to regroup and go back to work with a little less on your plate.
2) Make time for you
There was a recent article that discussed the art of meditation with tea or coffee. Maybe that 15 or 20 minutes you take to make coffee can be used to completely be mindful of the experience. Feel the steam, taste the warm drink, and lose yourself in the experience. This may sound out there, but you need to remember to take a small bit of time for yourself each day. Obviously, other suggestions are a walk, run, or reading–but I wanted to be a little zen today.
3) Talk to others in your field
You’re may work for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you need to suffer by yourself. If a client makes you feel weird, you are struggling to find new work, or you just need a place to find insurance as a freelancer–talk to people. Suffering in silence will manifest itself in the worst way and as a freelancer, you need to be at your best as much as you can be.
4) Help others
This kind of bounces off the last statement, but although freelancers all have their own idea of how to be successful, sometimes success means helping others. Now, I am not saying help others at the expense of your own success, but working together may be what you need to get to the next level on each of your freelancing ventures. It’s easy to feel like helping others may make them more of a success than you–and maybe it will happen, but it’s better to help than be selfish.
5) Get involved
Join Freelancers Union or another freelancing site with forums, meet-ups and other opportunities to get together with others. Sometimes, when we work alone, we get used to doing it alone, but it’s great to form the type of friendship that forms within an office place–even when we all have different offices around the country.
6) Question yourself daily (in a positive way)
Seriously, question yourself daily. Are you involved with the best work you can be right now? Is anything feeling off to you? What could you change to make yourself happier? These questions are not meant in a negative way, but instead, a way to make sure you are constantly sticking to your goals and mission as a freelancer. We may fall off track sometimes, but taking the time to double-check this can make a difference in your work and life.
7) Remember, you are doing great
You may feel exhausted, defeated, ignored and underappreciated–but you are still trying. This does not mean keep working towards a dead-end, but because you are still out there means you are still in it to win it. You cannot work towards success without trying and if you are still out there then give yourself a pat on the back because something is bound to happen if you keep positive.
How do you stay positive in the freelance workforce? Share with us!
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