Lately I've received a few questions from new acquaintances, simply asking for some advice on how they could take the plunge to freelance full time and what that means for them and their families.
Where there is one, there are many, so I thought I'd put together a list of things you should prepare for when you begin freelancing full time.
You will be stressed
There is no way around it; changes are, you're already stressed just thinking about it. In some ways, there is a euphoria from just taking action and starting down the long path of making your freelancing dream come true.
Just know that no matter how much you work, plan and organize, there will always be a nagging stress and worry when you freelance full time.
You are the boss
This is both good and bad of course. You can take assurance in the fact that you are fully in charge; there is no one to stand in your way and impede progress or change. If you're unhappy with how something is going, you have the power to enact change, perhaps even instantly.
The drawback of course is a lack of mentorship, learning as you go, mistakes, and finding the time to research and fix a problem.
You are now a salesperson
You need to learn this as quickly as you can; you are a salesperson and should always be selling. At your mechanic and thinking how you were just on their website and couldn't figure out how to call them easily? Suggest your services while you're there.
Every new connection, every opportunity is yours for the taking. You needn't stand on top of the table at your family reunion and rant about the merits of the latest development in your industry, but you need to keep alert to potential sales opportunity.
Life can be lonely
Take a moment to realize that life as a freelancer can be lonely. When patching together work from multiple clients on deadlines, it can be tempting to grind away producing as quickly as you can, without much interaction with colleagues.
Finding time to connect in meaningful ways with others in your community, be it online or in person, can go a long way to making your work day more enjoyable. You'll have the added benefit of sharing client horror stories, tips and may even find yourself able to give advice to a new freelancer sooner than you think!