Freelancing SOS: How To Take Yourself Seriously

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Everybody has the odd expectation that every freelancer works from their bed in their best pajamas. Media have made the unfair PJs cliché popular, creating a world in which freelancers have a relaxed and somewhat lazy approach to life. It’s fair to say that for anybody who’s considering starting an independent career, it will take a lot of time and effort to convince your audience that you’re a professional and respectable expert. 

However, you are your biggest enemy. In a world where freelancing equals PJs work and invisible flexibility, the first person you need to convince that you mean business is yourself. Indeed, the image of freelancing, as advertised by the media, might be compelling at first, but it lacks guidance in terms of how to make the most of your time. When you don’t know anything about how to organize your day and plan your work routine as a solo expert, it’s easy to fall in the trap of the media and believe that working from home makes you lazy. But you need to learn to take yourself seriously first if you want others to follow.

You need a network which believes in you 

If you’re not the most self-confident individual, you are likely to struggle at first to establish yourself as an expert. When you are on your own, it can be daunting to approach the market and introduce yourself as the new professional in town. But you can smooth out self-esteem obstacles by surrounding yourself with people who believe in your skills. Every home-based business needs a reliable network that serves any of the following purposes: advising, cheering, and exchanging. If you happen to find a mentor, you can benefit from their wisdom for guidance. Your close friends and relatives can keep you motivated. Finally, your local business network is the perfect place to share and exchange skills and strategies.

You need a real workplace

Let’s get real; just because the media claim that freelancers work from their bedroom doesn’t mean you have to use your bed as a primary workplace. You need to create for yourself a workstation that encourages you to stay productive. Create a quiet clutter-free nook at home where you can keep your laptop and a desk. Remember to add a few plants for good measure; they boost your concentration by 15%! If home isn’t the place to work, what’s stopping you from using desk share services?  There are plenty of cozy office spaces that rent out desks with all the facilities you need. 

Your brand becomes your identity 

Companies use their unique brand and business culture to define who they are. Solo experts, on the other hand, find it a little more complicated to hide behind a logo. However, determining what your brand is will greatly affect how others perceive your expertise. In a world where there is no shortage of talented creative, your personal brand is a powerful differentiator that conveys your business personality. Creating a brand stops you from being that freelancer in a PJs and lets you become a respectable professional. 

If you’ve worked all of your life in an office environment, taking your first step as an independent professional can be daunting. But you need to build the necessary structure to be taken seriously, firstly by yourself and then by the market.

Freelancing, Yes, But Without The Worries

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There is no denying that working has become an increasingly dangerous activity, regardless of your career choice. Indeed, while some industry sectors are famous for high risks of accidents and injuries on site, such as the building sector, no professional is genuinely safe.

Indeed, the first killer in the workplace is not poor H&S regulations or careless managers; but it is stress. Stress can silently eat its way into your heart, your mind and your lifestyle. As a result, it claims numerous victims every day, from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, depression and even PTSD disorders. Stress is everywhere and can affect anyone. While employees can choose to quit their job and look for a friendlier employment option, for freelancers stress is a day-to-day challenge.

Indeed, when you’re on your own, you worry a lot about a lot of things. First of all, your financial stability is always at stake. Your ability to remain relevant in an evolving market is crucial, and there is no guarantee that the skills of today will make the success of tomorrow. And finally, freelancers are often lonely; and loneliness is your worst enemy. How can you, as a freelance professional, maintain your sanity and enjoy your career?

It’s simple. You need a growth plan that focuses on your core weaknesses: Finances, self-development and networking.

Understand how to maximize your revenues

When you spend all your waking hours working to keep your business afloat, it can be difficult to build effective money-generating strategies. With barely enough time to think, most freelancers are stuck in a loop of deadlines and administrative tasks. But give yourself some relief by looking into helpful materials, such as this podcast which is worth listening to if you want to find out how to multiply your service business revenues by 10 (or more). Ultimately, you need to understand that you get to set the rules of your business; instead of letting your clients decide. When you begin by establishing the standards for your ideal customer, you can drive huge benefits from your core product or service.

No more boss to give you petty jobs

Of course, there’s no better feeling than not having to deal with your grumpy boss in the morning. You decide what you do, and you don’t have to worry about management issue. In a sense, removing the boss obstacle can be a source of stress, as it leaves you uncertain of what to do and whom to please. But you can keep the uncertainty at bay by dedicating your free time to learning new skills and practices. You can explore trends while leaving menial tasks to an outsourcing facility.

Alone but never lonely

Freelancers often struggle with isolation. Working from home might be exciting, but you sometimes need human input to test your idea or just feel connected to others. But where can you find a friend in your home office? Co-working spaces offer the perfect combination of a collaborative environment with plenty of positive interactions and boundaries to protect your work and your peace. For freelancers, this is the occasion of exchanging ideas, developing a professional mindset and being surrounded by same-minded people.

In conclusion, freelancers have to deal with new forms of stress that relates to their financial, professional and emotional stability. To make the most of your creative freedom, you have to start your independent journey with a solid self-growth strategy.