This year, it will be 5 years of freelancing. It has been (and continues to be) quite the journey! After 15 years of creating a corporate career from virtually no real-world experience and barely any training, it was a transition to this digital world.
Some of the struggles I’ve experienced and observed over the years, especially with COVID-19, are:
- how to grow a business while taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally
- maintaining a realistic schedule
- spending time on your business as well as in your business (and what the difference is between them)
Some tips I’ve learned to make life easier as a freelancer and an entrepreneur include:
- the importance of taking breaks for eating, resting, and relaxing
- ensuring your clients know and respect your schedule
- including administrative, marketing, and business-growing activities like networking and cultivating relationships with like-minded entrepreneurs as part of your schedule
What does this look like in the real world? Especially in the beginning, some people need to include in their schedule their break times and reminders to eat. It is very easy to get wrapped up in what you’re doing because you’re so excited but, you have to think long-term. Will you be able to sustain this heavy workload and schedule, or will you burn out?
Let your clients know you are available between certain hours and which days you take off. I’ve seen many entrepreneurs (and corporate people) have no meeting Fridays. Some take these days to have relaxation time, and others like to do their administrative and content creation on those days.
This idea ties into the working “on” your business as well as “in” your business. Working “on” your business are those tasks that help you maintain and grow your business.
Maintaining tasks include:
- following up/checking in by email with existing clients
- managing your bookkeeping (whether you manage it yourself or have a bookkeeper or accountant)
- reviewing your analytics – ads, social media, etc.
Growing your business tasks include:
- attending networking events
- creating engaging content such as social media posts, video content, and more
- establishing various joint venture or collaborative relationships
- speaking engagements
- guest posts on large traffic sites like Medium.com
- publicity like connecting with reporters, podcasts, guest teaching for other businesses
Working “in” your business includes:
- client meetings
- teaching sessions with your existing clients (1:1 or group)
- creating client-specific content such as a presentation for your group coaching program
Some people struggle with the idea of a schedule after a corporate job transitioning to freelancing and entrepreneurship.
To overcome this struggle, it is a mindset thing. When you think of it as a business and treat it like a business, right from the start, it makes that schedule word easier to swallow.
The advantage is that you get to decide the schedule. If you want to work with clients in the afternoons and take Fridays off, that’s your schedule. Now, this may not be as easy to pull off, especially at the start, because you’re focused on creating a steady income stream. This schedule could become something you grow into after you’ve been in business for a while.
Deciding to move into freelancing and entrepreneurship is a giant step. With strategic planning and keeping your work and life balanced, you can accomplish your goals.
How do you keep yourself balanced as an entrepreneur?
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