Back today with part two of the lessons I’ve learnt being freelance. Being freelance means juggling whatever may come your way and this week has certainly been no exception. I had 4 shoots booked in this past week and all of them have been rescheduled due to various reasons. Something like this would have fazed me a few years ago, but being freelance I’ve learnt to take last minute changes in my stride and go with the flow. Change is inevitable and something I now tend to try and embrace rather than be scared of. I hope that the following tips can help you if you’re freelance or intending to break into the freelance world, or even if you’re studying or working in full time employment I think these tips can be adaptable to each individual.
- Taking time out for yourself
If you are running a business by yourself you need to look after your number one priority, YOU! It might seem obvious but if you’re incredibly busy and have accepted lots of new work from exciting clients you can end up putting a lot of pressure on yourself and then if you continue in this way, end up feeling like you’re going to burn out, and no one wants that to happen. Having had experience burning the candle at both ends, when you know what to look out for you will try to avoid it again at all costs. You need to put your physical and mental health as a top priority in all that you do. Give yourself time to get over the flu/cold/illness if you are under the weather. Take time for yourself if your mental health is mistreating you, it’s not over the top to have a day for yourself, go for a long walk, read a book or have a duvet day. I have personally struggled with some mental health issues for around 5/6 years now and this is something I am wanting to address and talk about more, this seems like a starting point. Basically if you know yourself and you’re having a off day/week/month it is more than ok to talk about it and to do something about it. You need to look after you and the best way to start doing this is to prioritise yourself. When you start getting on top of this you’ll seriously wonder how you didn’t do it sooner.
- Being freelance can be very isolating
I’m very much a people person, I love working with people and as part of a team so one of the things I struggle with being freelance is working alone the majority of the time. This is one of the reasons I love shoot days so much, being able to interact with people/clients and having a proper conversation. It’s also why I try and work remotely for instance in a coffee shop so I’m surrounded by people and hustle and bustle. I’m going to look into being able to work with fellow freelance friends to have a base to work from and then having people to talk to. I really miss having someone to be able to bounce ideas off of and discuss with. Things can sometimes feel like they’re getting on top of you, but saying your worries/thoughts aloud to someone can really help and also make you more productive. Putting yourself out there more is always a good thing, meeting up with new friends and clients for coffee and getting out of your usual work environment is always good. I’m trying to do this more and more on a regular basis. So this is something I’m definitely going to work on more moving forward.
- Finding inspiration isn’t always easy
Being inspired all the time just isn’t going to happen and being in a creative rut is totally ok, I have been through many of them and have always come out the other side ready to tackle a new idea or task. The best ways I find inspiration are, taking a break from the work I’m doing, going for a walk, reading books, watching movies and travelling (whilst this may not always be at your disposal always make sure to make notes when your travelling when inspiration strikes). Using websites like pinterest and browsing through my favourite blogs also helps to inspire me. I also usually have ideas when I’m driving on my own which is both great and frustrating trying to remember to write them down when I get out the car if I haven’t forgotten them. Also listening to a cracking music playlist full of songs you love to sing along to helps to put me in a good frame of mind too.
- There will be ebbs and flows
Having being freelance for almost 3 years, some work patterns are becoming more and more apparent. Some times of year are quieter and some busier than others and you need to remember to factor this in when it comes to budgeting. It is always going to be a learning curve and nothing stays certain when you’re freelance, but you definitely become incredibly adaptable because of this. 3 years ago I would have freaked out if the shoot I had the following day was cancelled or rescheduled, now I just take changes like that in my stride, not always but most of the time I know things will work out and I always stay organised. If you’re aware of your quieter months then perhaps that’s when you could plan a holiday for and rather than dreading the quiet month ahead you’d have a holiday to look forward to.
The bottom line is that being freelance isn’t a smooth path by any means but I have personally found it to be the most rewarding and incredible experience for my career. Heres to the next 3 years! Are you itching to make the jump to freelance life? I’d love to hear from you and help in any way I can. If you’d like to see more of these career led posts on the blog then please let me know, your feedback means so much to me and it is always wonderful to hear from you.