[This article was written by Zack Halliwell.]
Taking the plunge into self-employment can be extremely satisfying, scary and a little bit risky. But, there are also plenty of things that people don’t actually tell you when it comes to freelancing. Like how many cups of tea you will go through or how your cat will be very interested in your desk. Okay, so there’s a lot more to it than just that, but still important to know.
So, what are the biggest things that people forget to tell you about the self-employed lifestyle?
1) The Cost of Living is Low
Cut out the cost of a daily commute, lunch and all of the other costs that pop up going into your workplace on a daily basis. When you do, you may find that you need a lot less than you ever thought in order to cover your rent/mortgage/general bills. In fact, making as little as £200 a week can be sufficient if you are the frugal type. Making it a good starting aim.
2) Workload Management
Need to work a half day in order to take your kid to a doctor’s appointment? Or worse, do you need to accommodate a visiting mother in law? No problem.
When you are in charge of your workload and day to day activities, moving things around to fit your life is easy. Especially if you have been managing your calendar to make sure that you don’t have a wash of deadlines coming at you at any one time. Controlling your own schedule is great, but only so long as you make sure that it still works and is not a shrine to procrastination.
Build a comprehensive content calendar, both for your own blog needs and your clients, then make sure you keep on top of it. Treat it like your freelancing bible if needs be, just make sure you don’t get behind!
3) You Get Sick Less
The best thing about having a home office is the lack of other people, more specifically their lack of germs. Without Steve from accounting sneezing all over you every winter season – yuck, Steve – you may find yourself getting a lot less sick. Which means more productiveness and much better use of your time.
4) Getting Fat Happens
Not leaving the house is one of the biggest appeals of freelancing for some people, but can be a problem when it comes to ye olde exercise, i.e. you get a lot less of it.
Once you realize this is becoming a problem, it’s important to take the steps to make ensure you actually do get enough exercise. Start your workday with a walk, exercise at lunch or simply take your work on a little trip with you (working away from home can also be mentally beneficial).
And if you find you have no motivation, why not adopt a dog? This way you are forced to leave your house on a daily basis and you have a coworker – one who knows basic commands to boot!
5) You Can Explore Your Passions
The fact is that freelancing gives you a lot more time. Which means you will have more time to explore your passions, do your hobby and even work on those things you have been consistently putting off! Want to actually write a book? Well, now you have the time.
Learn archery, spend time to build yourself a quality garden space, even spend more time with the people that you love if that’s what you are really passionate about! Whatever floats your boat, it’s yours to explore as a certified freelancer. So take advantage of that fact!
There are some parts to being a freelancer that you simply won’t know about until you do it yourself. Half days, working until you’ve made enough money for the month and being your own boss are just the tip of the iceberg in most cases.
Zack Halliwell is a freelance writer in the business and marketing niche, giving advice on anything from indemnity insurance to marketing your latest product. When not writing he can be found on long mountain walks with his dog, Batman.