You did it! You’ve successfully transitioned from full-time to freelance work, and you’re rocking that #girlboss badge proudly. It feels so good to be in charge, especially if you were constantly getting super mad at your old boss. But even if you’re 100 percent confident in your hot freelancing skills (as you should be!), there’s still room for doubt and stress to creep in. It’s only natural you’ll experience freelancing woes from time to time, so we chatted with two successful freelancers, personal stylist Sydney Lester and photographer & social media manager Bree Davis, to get some tips on how to combat the most common freelancing hardships.
1. Treat yo’ self. Lester observes, “Without a boss, you may no longer get office accolades, so raise a glass of Champagne or take the afternoon off when you reach your goals.” You can also attach specific rewards to certain milestones to stay motivated and on target. Take yourself for a manicure if you wrap up all your work by 5pm every Friday, and plan a vacation for once you’ve secured a certain number of stable clients.
2. Find your tribe. Freelancing can be a lonely and isolating venture, if you let it. To stay engaged, check group-oriented websites like Meetup to network and connect with new people in your industry. “Surround yourself with a supportive community,” Lester suggests, “one where you can vent, vet or test ideas and know you aren’t the only one with freelance woes.” You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after chatting over coffee with a fellow freelancer once a week.
3. Don’t forget to work on your fitness. When you’re self-employed, it’s easy to let early mornings slip into late afternoons without so much as standing up from your desk to stretch, so it’s imperative to schedule active time. Go for a walk around the neighborhood, hit up the gym or take a class with your BFF. Like Davis says, “Activating your body can help jog your brain out of a mental rut or find a new perspective for the job at hand,” so get sweaty!
4. Trust in the universe. If you feel like giving up — and you will feel like giving up at some point — Lester shares that “something always happens when I’m at my lowest that turns the tide: a new client books, an old client comes back, a paycheck comes in or a new idea is sparked.” So don’t allow a temporary lull to be a permanent decision-maker.
5. Keep work at work — especially when you work from home. Hustle is a major key to slaying the freelancer life, but that doesn’t mean you should work around the clock. Set hours for yourself. If you work best at night, use your mornings as personal time! “Respect your weekends,” Lester advises. “Otherwise you’ll never make room for rest or new ideas.”
6. Invest in new gadgets. Depending on your industry, it may be worthwhile to invest in upgraded camera equipment, a faster computer, a larger hard drive or a professionally designed website. You’ll make that money back with all the new clients you’ll be able to serve, and these purchases are tax deductible too.
7. Don’t neglect your #OOTD. Taking a shower and getting out of your pajamas & into “real” clothes is an important morning ritual for many freelancers, even if they’re only commuting to the dining room table. It sets a productive tone and makes you feel polished (even as you’re polishing off a bag of chips).
8. Pimp your ride. Once Davis became a freelancer, she became meticulous about keeping her car clean. She explains, “I spend a LOT of time in my car [going from client meetings to photoshoots], so having that space be tidy and spacious for whatever I might be loading in is important.” Plus, if you’re meeting clients or picking someone up, you’ll want your car to reflect your professional self.
Are you a freelancer with a hot tip on how to slay? Share your secrets @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)