Today marks my 1 year as a full time freelancer. It’s really crazy to think that it’s been a full year that I’ve been working on my own (and I’m still here!). A lot has happened and a lot more that I wish I accomplished, but I can say I did everything the best I knew how and took on things I never imagined I could’ve handled on my own. I’ve had a great deal of guidance from friends and family that have gotten me through the emotional and the business end of things and I couldn’t be more grateful for their endless support and help.
I think what a lot of people don’t realize is how much work being a freelancer (or running your own business) entails. Because I sure didn’t. Before fully committing to freelancing I thought little ol’ me could never find clients and run things on my own and make my own money to pay off my loans and bills, but sure enough I somehow managed and exceeded my expectations by following my gut and drive to keep moving forward (even if that meant paying more taxes!). Sure, freelancing has its perks (not having a boss to answer to, setting your own work schedule, working in your pjs, going out in the middle of day), but at the end of the day all of those things added together can’t even begin to amount to all of the hard work and worrying you go through trying to manage your projects and yourself. For one, I still keep to a strict schedule of my “working hours” and try not to respond or read emails after “working hours” (I think it’s been harder for me to do this than when I was working an office job). I’m also still trying to figure out the down time that comes with freelancing, you know when the work starts to run dry and you’re not entirely sure what to do with yourself besides worry. I definitely need to learn to embrace the calm whenever and however long I can get it.
It’s always good to stop and see how far you’ve gone and how much you’ve accomplished and give yourself a pat on the back every once in a while. The cherry on top for me is I’ve never felt more happy and fulfilled with my “job” and my life. I would’ve loved if a few things worked out a bit better, but I’m learning not to dwell on the failures and just keep pushing and creating.
Here’s a good quote to sum up what I’ve learned in my journey so far:
Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart.