The Freelance Life
I want to first tell you that I am not complaining!
I love being a freelancer. After all, it begins with the word FREE. And I am absolutely passionate and overjoyed about the work that I do. I get to help businesses and individuals write, create, manage and promote themselves and the work that they do. From social media and email marketing, to websites and resumes and blogs. It's all fun, juicy work that I enjoy immensely.
I'm particularly excited about the coaching work that I do. This week I conducted my 'Blueprint Your Business' workshop here in Rapid City. This is a writing workshop, designed to help business owners create an effective Brand or Professional Story that will most resonate for the very clients/customers that will support their success.
I know that my professional coaching will be the launching pad for much of my own future success. I believe that, through coaching and workshops, I'll be able to accomplish the travel that I crave. Can't you just picture me and the dogs cruising down the highway in a Class-C camper, heading toward the next city and the next group of entrepreneurs? In fact, at some point in the next 2 years, I'd like that to be my business model. Hit a new town (ideally one where I have family and friends) set up a couple of affordable workshops and then spend the next 2 months scheduling one-on-one sessions with new clients before packing up and hitting the road again.
That's what I want to do. I hope to see you on my future adventures!
But getting from HERE to THERE is a bit of a mystery. Particularly when I find myself so in demand here, with clients and potential new clients. Every week I have several meetings and most, frankly, are productive.
What isn't productive is stress. What isn't promising is the feeling of being trapped.
Part and parcel with being a business owner is the constant re-evaluation of what is and isn't working. What isn't working for this business owner is the financial terms that I've generously set forth for my clients. I'm making some necessary changes, after realizing that my value isn't in babysitting a client to get the responses and payment that I require. It's moving on to the next assignment, without fear.
That's the biggest challenge I face, though: How do I explain to my clients that I am a freelancer who depends on their income to survive? How do I drill down on my payment terms in a respectful and reasonable way? Some freelancers require deposits - I do, as well, but only for website design (and yes, I should be asking for more up front than I am. That, too, will change first of the year).
I know that some clients read my blog, although I really write it to share a little bit of the life that I'm living with friends and family. I am happy to be a freelancer and find so much pleasure in the work that I'm doing and the ways that I'm serving the small business community where I live. I have no plans to give it up or even to scale it back. Oh no, I'm feeling very enthused about the future. I'm 100% committed.
That's what the freelance life really is like: being so passionate about the work that you do, loving the interactions and connections you get to make, seeing the fruits of your efforts pay off in success for your clients, but stressing about paying the bills. The fact is - I'm earning almost what I was two years ago before I became self-employed. I guess this is the price of freedom. That, and standing firm with clients who don't respect your passion and your payment terms. I'm really not complaining. I know that good things are on the horizon. And if there's a little stress that goes along with doing work that you truly love, well - I guess that's a worthwhile price to pay.