3 Things I've Learned in My First Months as a Freelancer
For most people, myself included, the thought of going freelance is quite terrifying. Personally, even though I knew deep down that it was something I really wanted to do, I kept putting it off. Why? I was scared! Scared of a lot of things, like failure and embarrassment and realising that my dreams were maybe never set to become reality. It's totally natural to be nervous about big changes like this, and although I was originally hesitant, the reality of being a freelancer hasn't been anywhere near as terrifying as I had anticipated. Here we are, a few months after handing in my notice and starting out on my own, and things are good. In celebration, I thought I'd look back at some of the main lessons I've learned in my first few months of being a freelancer.
Organisation is key
I like to consider myself an organised person. Or at least, I try to be an organised person. I'm constantly surrounded by an abundance of lists and plans and calendars, and never has this been more important than when working freelance. I love having lots of projects on the go, but it's not easy without the help of a serious organisation system. Keeping everything in order makes life a lot easier, and I can't even imagine how stressed out I'd be if it wasn't for my diary and my bullet journal! I've been taking the time to get to know some of the slightly more sophisticated organisational systems out there, like Trello, and I feel like I've really got into my organisational groove. I rave about lists to anyone and everyone, because being organised is just so important.
There's a wealth of support out there
The best discovery about going it alone? I'm not actually alone. I've been overwhelmed with how supportive the people around me have been, and I've also discovered a wealth of newsletters, books, Facebook groups and courses to keep me up to date with all things freelance. I've made some brilliant connections both new and old, and I'm incredibly grateful for just how much support has been on offer. It can be a bit lonely, working for yourself, so it's good to have a strong network of people to bounce ideas off of or just chat to when cabin fever is setting in. If you're also a freelancer or a remote worker, I'd wholeheartedly recommend getting involved in some Facebook groups like The Freelance Lifestylers or Freelancers in Scotland to start you off. The next step for me is tackling those ever-so-terrifying networking events, which makes my introverted self want to curl up and hide, but is something I want to get more comfortable with for the future.
Actually, I can.
Realising that I am capable of doing this has possibly been the biggest surprise of all. I'm the queen of self-doubt, which is something I've discussed at length over on my personal blog, and Imposter Syndrome feels all too real to me at times. I may only be a few months in, but I'm really proud of the work I'm doing and can't wait to grow even more in the future. Getting to do something I love, and working in my pyjamas if I want to, has done wonders for my happiness levels. I feel more focused and driven, plus being able to indulge my passion for digital marketing and call it work is an absolute treat. As a result, my self-confidence has seen a bit of a boost, and I feel ready to take on whatever the world throws at me. Who knew all of those cliche motivational quotes that I pinned on Pinterest would turn out to be true, huh?