I have always wanted to be ‘my own boss’, and it goes back to my childhood when I tried to write articles for the newspaper when I was in standard eight. After completing my masters in English Literature, and getting a diploma in Interior Designing, I was ready to take up a job, a ‘real job’ as they call it. But I too got trapped into the education vs experience tactic that most employers use to either not hire you or to offer you a meagre salary for your services. As such, I decided to’ freelance’, and like many of us, I too was unprepared. So, here I have the ten mistakes every freelancer makes. After reading the post, you will have clarity about how to manage your freelance business without getting drained, which in turn will help you perform better. You will learn how to work smart with clarity by focussing on the most important things for the first year of your business. Here are the ten mistakes every freelancer makes:
1.Not Setting Up a Routine
This is the biggest mistake most freelancers make. Even after being a part of our company (By Designory), I still have a tough time setting up a routine. But do not ignore it and instead build a habit of setting up daily routines. Freelancing can lead to a lot of anxiety, and setting up a routine makes things fall back into order. This is crucial for your mental health and productivity.
2. Not setting Up Boundaries
Boundaries are essential mostly because you may not have fixed hours of work. When you are freelancing, the client may call or text you at random hours. This will lead to thinking about work all the time and end up being taken advantage of in the long run. Remember to set timings and also decide the scope of a project before actual work begins.
3. Not Protecting Your Self
When most of us start working for ourselves, we often miss this crucial step of protecting ourselves and our work. Remember, not every client will be a dream to work with. It is quite likely that some of them may waste your time, disappear halfway or sometimes even not pay you on time. What is the solution? Always have a contract. There is no point regretting or crying later, get a good Client contract and remember to discuss ownership of the intellectual property.
4. Not Valuing your time and work
Learn to value yourself and see yourself as the talent that is the source of creativity. You have to have the belief that no matter what you capable of great things. Knowing your worth will stop you from getting exploited at the hands of others.
5. Not Paying Attention to Learning
Always, make time for learning, especially in the case of creative business. Things are continually updating, and it will always help you if you stay at the top of the things. Remember to keep learning and investing back into yourself.
6. Not Prioritising Health
Freelancing is not a ‘9 to 5’ and so you will always have to work harder and for longer. Not keeping track of time will often lead to sleeping less or late, eating junk, drinking too much caffeine, not working out etc. Remember, self-care is essential for your business to thrive. Take care of yourself and enjoy your journey towards success.
7. Not Dressing Up
Freelancing or working from home means spending most of your day at your desk at home. Taking the previous point into consideration, dressing up, having a morning routine and dedicating a small work area will keep you inspired throughout the day.
8. Giving Up
Most freelancers reach a point of burnout and decide to quit. Remember, the burn out is not because you are not good enough but because you made were overworked. Often times, you will feel like leaving but always remember why you started and remain balanced.
9. Not Managing Finances
Managing Finances is, unfortunately, something that is not taught to us at school or while growing up. However, when you work for yourself, it becomes a necessity to learn how to manage your finances. Get your taxes in order and remember to create a separate account for business expenses.
10. Not Tackling Criticism Well
No matter how good you are at your job, there will be pesky clients who will be impolite or criticise your work. Tip: If the same complaints keep cropping up repeatedly, try finding the root of the problem and work on it but always remember to introspect and never give anybody the right to boss you around.
I have repeatedly made some of these mistakes, and I hope I have been able to help you by sharing them. Since taking care of your health becomes crucial, and planning becomes an integral part of the day, here is a free calorie tracker for you. This will help you to keep your calories in check.
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