Exactly six weeks and two days ago, I left the comfort of a steady income to make it on my own as a freelancer. The past six weeks have been liberating and terrifying in equal measure. I'm still very much in the finding my feet stage but thankfully I'm out of the setting up phase. I can already admit that it is tougher than first imagined to juggle a freelance career, manage a blog and run a bloggers group. In this post I'll be sharing my ups and downs and everything I have learned so far.
Lets start with the not so great bits:
THE PRESSURE IS REAL
This is the one thing I was weirdly unprepared for. Before I left my job, I had all these financial safeguards in place as I assumed that is what I would be worried about most. What I didn't count on is the pressure I would put on myself to be successful and the pressure that comes from having everyone be behind you. The level of support I have received online and from my friends and family has made me acutely aware that I can't let people down. People are rooting for me! The success of everything I do, lies squarely on my shoulders. It can be very overwhelming.
ANXIETY & SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
I know this is what I want to do but that doesn't mean I don't have doubts. I have lost sleep wondering why I thought I could do this. I worry it's a pipe dream and I'm just too much of an entitled millennial to see it. On days like these I put on some James Blake, read some affirmations and tell myself it has to be OK. The worst case scenario is it doesn't work out and I have to find something else to do. I'll still have my health, my family and a gorgeous head of hair.
WORKING ON YOUR OWN IS KINDA LONELY
This again I didn't expect to be a problem because at my last job I craved alone time constantly. Now I'm that creep who is having drawn out conversations with the postman. I once went 8 hours without hearing my own voice. I miss conversation and the distraction of other people. I miss solving problems as part of a team.
MY FITNESS LEVELS HAVE NOSEDIVED
I really shouldn't blame this on freelancing but I'm going to. My old job was retail and I was constantly on my feet, moving round and generally making my Fitbit proud. The laptop lifestyle has made me sedentary, it was a lot easier to keep active when it was part of my job.
There are upsides which far outweigh the downer parts:
FLEXIBLE WORKING HOURS
For the first couple of weeks, I tried to keep to the standard 9 - 5 but that wasn't working for me and I realised as my own boss I didn't have to stick to it. I work best in the early hours and between 4pm -8pm and my working hours now reflect that. I like working Sunday mornings so I do that and take off Friday afternoons. Best of all, I'm not ruled by my alarm clock. I'm up when I'm up and the day starts when I say so.
DISCOVERING YOUR BEST WORK SELF
It's only been six weeks and I've learnt so much about the way I work. I can say with confidence that I am self motivated because I prove that to myself every day. My organisational skills have been put to the test and I feel I have stepped up to the challenge. I have gotten better at negotiation and I've even channelled my customer service skills when handling tricky situations. Working for myself has given me so much confidence.
NO BRA/ MAKEUP FREE LIFE
I don't wear a bra to work and life is good. No digging straps or chafing, just sweet freedom. I only wear makeup when I'm leaving my postcode so my skin is also enjoying a little freedom. I've taken to doing masks in the middle of the day and slathering myself in fancy oils. I'm a pampered bra-less princess.
LOVING WHAT YOU DO
I've had some pretty awful jobs and jobs that were OK but I really enjoy what I'm doing now. It's so varied and interesting and new challenges crop up everyday. It's great to take ownership of something and know that your hard work is whats made it a success and even when it doesn't go so well, it's a lesson. I'm hoping this isn't just the haze of 'early days' but I feel like I've found my calling.
Would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below.