For many, working from home is a dream come true.
The ability to work in the comfort of your own home without the added stress of commuting to and from work is in itself, a reason why many freelancers choose to work at home. Freedom. Saving petrol and time spent while sitting in traffic. Flexibility. These are the pros of not working in an office.
But with any pro, there has to be a con. And with freelancing, there are definitely those as well. Isolation. Doubt. Lack of income.
ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT FREELANCING?
If you’re thinking about it, good for you! It’s a fantastic opportunity Something which I’ve been lucky enough to have been doing for the past nine months. It hasn’t always been sunshine and roses.
There have been dark days and unexpected surprises, but it has definitely been worth it. I’ve learnt a lot over these past few months. There are a couple of things people won’t tell you before you start working from home or freelancing, and these are things you normally pick up along the way. So I’m going to share a few of these freelance truths with you.
But brace yourself, these are cold hard facts. And though they’re from my own experiences, ask any freelancer if they’ve gone through some of these, and I can almost guarantee you, they will say yes.
7 Truths About Working From Home
- Say goodbye to your money. This is an obvious one. Especially if you’ve decided to become a freelance writer. The days of buying a top that you just have to have are over. Do yourself a favour and avoid the malls at all costs during those first few months.
- Forget about your pride. Enjoy being able to have coffee with your friends and spend your money the way you want to? Yeah, that doesn’t really happen when you freelance. Be prepared to ask your partner, family or friends for money for things when you need them the most. This was one of the hardest things for me. Especially after working 10 years before and earning my own set monthly salary.
- Expect to be thrown out of your comfort zone. If you thought working from the safety of your home meant never having to get out there and do things you don’t enjoy; think again. You’re your own business as a freelancer, which means marketing, networking, meeting new people, and getting your name out there.
- Resist daily temptation. No, not chocolates. When you work from home, you relax a little more. Getting a head start on house chores, fitting in errands, taking a longer lunch break than usual, clocking off early. That’s temptation. You need to think of your freelancing job as an office job. Would your boss be happy with you doing personal errands when you’re supposed to be working? No, I don’t think so. Fit the other stuff in after or before working hours.
- Discover your true friends. Money isn’t flowing and you’re going to have some really crappy days. Are your friends going to be there to support you? You might be surprised. Maybe most of them will. Maybe a few won’t. But the great thing about freelancing from home, is that you come into contact with so many other like-minded people who you wouldn’t normally. I’ve met some amazing people who I speak to every day, and who are in the same boat as me. It makes a huge difference.
- Never stop growing your skin. I don’t mean become an unemotional robot. But be prepared to hear things that you’re not necessarily going to want to hear. Things like rejections from potential clients or editors, objections, or even a few snide remarks here and there from people who know you, but who don’t understand what a freelancer does.
- You are your own worst enemy. When you’re freelancing, you are your own boss. You answer to yourself. You might be lazier than you’d like at first, or you might be too hard on yourself and expect things which a normal boss wouldn’t expect. Because you feel guilty when you’re not working every second of the day. Find your balance and be kind to yourself. You can only do what you are capable of doing in that very moment.
There are many, many emotions you’ll feel and things you’ll go through while working from home for yourself. Most of them are amazing. But some of them aren’t so great. There will be days when you feel isolated, invisible, and even question your decision to leave a full paying job.
I’ve been told by many authors, writers, and other freelancers that this is normal. Freelancing is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do. It’s not easy and it’s not going to be happiness all the time. If it was, everyone would be working from home.
I can tell you from personal experience that it’s made me grow my skin thicker – and it’s still growing. It’s made me discover things about myself that I didn’t even know existed, and it’s made me do things that I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing. Forget about money, all these things…that in itself is absolutely priceless. That’s what working from home for yourself is all about. Of course, if you earn more money, then that’s an added bonus and that’s awesome.
Feature image credit: nuttakit, freedigitalphotos.net