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Many people dream of a career in freelancing. After all, there’s something exciting about the idea of being able to choose your own hours, and even pick your preferred clients. However, as great as working from home can seem at. First, it’s important to remember that the freelancing lifestyle comes with its own selection of challenges that you’ll need to face.
To avoid working for an annoying boss, you’re also giving up a steady pay check, and the opportunity to spend water cooler moments with your friends in the office. Before you give up your day job, here are a few of the things you need to consider about freelancing.
It Can Make You Feel Isolated
If you don’t mind your own company, then you probably won’t mind a freelance gig where you sit alone in a home office for several hours every day. However, if you’re used to interacting with people on a regular basis, don’t be surprised when your freelancing strategy starts to make you feel a little stir crazy. Everyone likes the idea of working from home until they realise that there’s no-one to talk to.
If working by yourself makes you feel isolated, or you’re struggling to make new friends or seek out relationships when you’re working as a freelancer, consider taking an alternative approach to your work. Co-working spaces allow you to share offices with other freelancers in your local area that are just like you.
You’ll Need to Create a Schedule and Structure
Freelancing requires a lot of commitment because there’s no boss or manager standing behind you to make sure that you’re getting your work done on time. If you’re concerned that you might end up getting distracted, or procrastinating instead of doing your job, then the best thing you can do is start building structure into your routine as quickly as possible.
Rather than simply letting yourself work whenever you “feel like it” each day, make sure that you get up at the same time each day, log onto your computer at the same time and finish work according to a schedule too. This will not only keep you focused, but it will also help to stop your work life from overtaking your personal life.
Start Preparing for Rainy Days as Early as Possible
As we mentioned above, one of the biggest issues that people have with freelancing is that it’s inherently unpredictable. Ultimately, just because you’re earning enough money to pay the bills one day, doesn’t mean that you’re going to be earning the same amount the next. Unless you have a series of long-term clients that you can rely on, then you need to be prepared for the dry patches when you might not have as much work as you’d like.
Remember, being your own boss as a freelancer also means that you need to know how to create a safety net for when you’re not earning the right amount of cash. The quicker you start on that emergency fund, the better.
You’re Going to Need to Invest in Yourself
While there are some freelancing careers that you can start without any initial investment, most will require at least a small amount of up-front capital to pay for things like a computer, a better internet connection, or even decking out your new office space. Spend some time figuring out how much cash you need to get all the initial components of your new freelancer job, and work from there.
Once you know how much money you need, you can start comparing potential credit options online. Search for the option with the best interest rates possible. The less money you have to pay on interest, the more you can funnel back into your business.
Know How to Handle Your Accounts
Finally, remember that as a freelancer, there’s no boss to help you manage your tax payments and other expenses. With that in mind, you’re going to need to look into strategies for how you can manage your money and accounts. If you don’t know much about things like taxes and accounting, then you might find that it’s easier to simply pay for someone to handle this part of your work for you.
Although hiring an accountant does mean additional expense in the short-term, it can save you from a lot of problems with things like tax audits and angry letters from the government in the long-term.
This is a collaborative post.