Since graduating in December, I’ve been doing odd jobs including web design, content management, and copywriting, all while running The Honest Consumer. My collection of odd jobs helps me makeup the difference in bills and continue running The Honest Consumer. The transition from being a college student to being self-employed has been more challenging than I expected. I wanted to share a few of the challenges I’m experiencing in hopes that it might prepare others who are transitioning into the freelance world.
Holding Yourself Accountable
In a strange way school held me accountable. I knew that I had class at certain times, therefore, I had to get my odd job work done on certain days and certain times. However, now I don’t have anywhere I HAVE to be. I have the luxury of working from home or a coffee shop. This sounds great, right? It is, but it’s also really hard to motivate myself some days. Especially with this cold weather. I’ve been trying to create lists everyday of what I need to get done and physically marking off the tasks I do as a way for myself to hold myself accountable. This way I can physically see what I have accomplished at the end of the day.
Ironic isn’t it, “free” is in the word freelancing, but sometimes it can be very hard to feel free because your work follows you around everywhere. I work from home most days and turning work "off" can be a struggle since I don't physically leave an office. Most of my work is done on social media, so I have to make it a point to step away from electronics and social media in the evening or else my work seeps into my relaxation time. I'm still working on this. It is especially tricky on the weekends, but my goal is to be away from computers & social media by 6pm during the week. I don't have the luxury of physically leaving work at the end of the day and mentally stepping away. These boundaries of separating work and play are incredibly important in maintaining productivity.
Zero Dollar Days
You will have days, maybe even weeks, where you spend all your time chasing leads and make no money. Last week I made a whopping total of $200. Laugh all you want, I know many people make that in a day, but that's why freelancers have to love what they do. It can be easy to feel discouraged when zero dollar days hit. It's hard to predict income and plan, but for me I'd rather be broke and able to follow my passion. I have a freedom that I wouldn't typically have in a traditional job setting. I LOVE what I do even if it is financially stressful somedays.