Things I Learned In My First Month Of Freelancing
It's been a month.
My first month of freelancing and being self-employed.
A month of sleeping in, not having to be in an office and enjoying life to the fullest.
Yeah, that's what you all thought hey?
On the contrary, my dear Watson. On the contrary.
Here are a few things I've learned in this month:
The Monday Blues Does Not Exist Anymore
Now that alone makes this whole freelancing malarky worthwhile.
Whilst it's true that every hour of every day has turned into a working hour, and you find yourself sitting in your office most Saturdays and Sundays, the Monday blues just doesn't exist anymore.
I (like most people) hated feeling the Monday blues set in, sometimes as early as Sunday morning.
I definitely hated the idea of my alarm going off and having to leave my warm and cosy bed.
I hated coming into the office to be met by my fellow co-workers with a slightly unified grunt of Monday morning dismay.
This simply does not happen anymore, because there are no Mondays.
Monday has become 'just another day' for you to make some money and that's great!
I Only Wear 10% Of My Wardrobe
I have a lot of clothes. A lot.
I have two big wardrobes, a chest of drawers, five storage boxes under my bed and to top it all off, a cabinet full of shoes (my friends will tut and say 'there are shoes everywhere, not just in the cabinet' and yes, that's also true).
Don't get me wrong, I am not a hoarder. I have a clear out twice a year where plenty of things get given or thrown away but it still doesn't make much difference to the amount of clothes I have.
I just like clothes. I like having a variety of clothes, just like most women.
But it has occurred to me, that in this month of working from home, I've worn:
- My PJ's (yes, of course. This is a true fact of any freelancer. Why wouldn't you?!)
- 2 pairs of skinny jeans
- 3 hoodies
- 7 tops/T-shirts
- 2 cardigans
- And a lot of thick socks
And yes, even though one of my friends asked if I had become a proper hermit and had stopped having showers and changing my underwear, I can confirm I have not gone that far... At least not in this first month.
But I will keep you posted on that maybe ;)
I Eat Healthier But Struggle To Move
Before this month, lunches used to consist of (whatever I could get my work colleague Keri to get me while she went out for her lunch) mainly sandwiches. Not the healthiest of options but I live in England, where apparently the sandwich was invented, so it's easily done.
But even though my diet was filled with more crap food, at least I was walking back and forward to work and also moving around the office. During some periods even going to the gym or to a kettlebell class.
Now that I can use my own kitchen I eat much healthier. For instance, in my first week of working from home, I cooked up a batch of this ginger, honey and lemon shot that I found on a Swedish website: livsnjutarnasgormetkok.nu.
It might not taste great buuuuut it does wonders for you and a shot of it gives me a nice kick in the butt to start my day.
As I also don't come home drained or late anymore I actually take the time to eat a proper meal at dinner time, which before I sometimes skipped.
But the gym membership is cancelled, the kettlebell is gathering dust and I don't seem to move further than between my bedroom, my office and my kitchen. But I am working on that... I might venture into the living-room tomorrow... Or even out on the roof in the summer. We'll see.
People Think You Do Nothing
In this month I have had friends tell me (jokingly I might add) that I should 'get a job', I have been called a 'part-timer', and the question 'have you got out of bed yet?' is beginning to wear thin.
My office is too close. It is right next door to my bedroom. which means I pretty much get up, walk three meters and I'm at work. I can assure you, it's too close. So close that I sometime spend up to 12 hours in there, with the odd break of making food which I then eat at my desk (a habit I've had in every job).
Towards the middle of this month, I learned that it's good to leave the house.
In my first week, I didn't go anywhere from Monday to Thursday and the only communication I had with people was via the computer or my smartphone. When my best friend came over on Thursday night I didn't stop talking for the first half hour.
I sounded like a machine gun.
I decided to go into town on a Friday and ended up having an afternoon glass of wine with a friend which turned into more than one glass. We've all been there. And while I figured that 'oooh, this is nice. I can do this now' there is still some creature (can't decide if it's good or bad) sitting on your shoulder with a wagging finger telling you;
'You shouldn't! Cause you only worked 13 hours yesterday and 6 this morning before you left the house!'
Ask me again if I'm still in bed when I've got to that end goal which is the reason I decided to go freelance.
Ask me when I am working from a beach somewhere in the Canaries or Australia.
Ask me then. Cause right now you can bet your shiny bottom dollar I am doing everything I can to get there.
Everyone Has Morphed Into A Potential Customer
Yes. All of you.
It doesn't matter who you are.
You could be family, friends, friends of family or their friends.
You could be a bin man or Santa, I don't care. You are all potential clients.
Anything you say, my brain is somehow turning into a potential business venture.
Accept this. I have.
You Still Get Told What To Do
By everyone and everyone's mother. This is a good thing.
I'm currently a sponge when it comes to ideas. I soak them up like a dry dishcloth.
This right here is a perfect example. Since I started telling people I was going freelance, I don't know how many times I have been told I need to start a blog.
The problem is, I never thought of myself as a blogger.
I like writing, don't get me wrong. I've been writing all my life, I just couldn't see myself doing it in a blog.
I read blogs. I've probably read a gazillion in this month alone on how to freelance, how to market yourself like this and that (Some of my favourites are linked in here). So I've been thinking about it... Many nights. I just didn't want to do blogging like some others do it. I wanted to do it my way. And so at 5 am this morning this little thing popped into my head.
You'll probably find that this blog page won't be overfilled with blog posts, it will most likely be the odd funny story, probably sarcastic... Possibly filled with bad language.
I won't tell you what to do. But feel free to keep telling me what to do...
Remember I still see you ALL as potential clients... So for goodness sake don't forget to share and subscribe!
Sleep Is A Fickle Beast
I love sleep. Me and sleep go way back.
It's in my genes to sleep a lot or so I'm told. My dad does and I was always told I do the same.
Until not so long ago I would still sleep for 12 hours straight on the weekend.
Not. A. Problem.
Now, I seem to still function on 5 hours sleep.
Not. A. Problem. Zzzz...
But somewhere in the months leading up to my decision to go freelance we fell out, sleep and I. I guess I had too many thoughts going through my head that sleep just stayed away. So I'd think and think and sometimes I'd get up to write something important down and eventually, around 3 or 3.40 am, sleep would turn up.
And that's still going on, but now we've got to the stage where if I happen to fall asleep at a more normal time, sleep then disappears around 5 am and I am there again... Thinking.
Mainly I think about how much I want to be asleep.
But sometimes, like this morning, I realise there is no point to stay there so I get up and start doing things.
OK, did that just come out on paper?
'There is no point to stay in bed.'
Oh God, what is happening to me?!
It's only been a month.
Write a comment
Sylva (Saturday, 06 February 2016 22:23)
I am experiencing the same symptoms working free lance
I like this working style more although the income is much less than my corporate job.
I am also thinking to start a blog
Elsa (Monday, 08 February 2016 11:19)
It all sounds familiar - thanks for sharing.
But why did you skip the gym? I so much enjoy getting up in the morning and doing the early morning spinning class without rushing around like a crazy woman to get to work on time - or getting out of my office after hours of early morning work to have a well deserved and sweaty break at the gym...
But yes, there are many challenges to work on - sure we will get there.
Oh, and by the way, I actually do work from the Canary Islands - not on the beach though, but I can now have an hour of siesta by the sea whenever I fancy = the good life!
Good luck and greetings,
isabel (Friday, 12 February 2016 20:38)
I agree with you. It is good not having any special "blue" day because they are all the same. And yes, I only were my pyjamas and no problem to decide what to put on.
Have fun with your new status and good luck!
Valentina (Sunday, 21 February 2016 23:57)
Hi there! I've just found your blog and I realized we are in the same situation. It makes me feel I'm not alone. In my case, all people think I do anything at all.
Nelly (Thursday, 17 March 2016 01:57)
Thank you for this post, so true! But also well-written, funny and witty... It's good to think some people out there feel just the same as I do. And keep up the good work: soon enough you should be able to function with only 4-hours sleep, almost no food and not that much money. ;)
Sometimes I wish I was a lumberjack -to sleep all night and work all day, etc. , but only all day. ;))