My life as a freelancer: 1 month after

January 19th, 2012 | Filed under: freelancer | Tags:

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Today I celebrate 1 month as a freelancer with this amazing “office” view. And the reason I say “celebrate” it’s because that’s what it really is: a celebration of life.

I’m having the fortune (or whatever you want to call it) of being working with awesome clients this past month wich is the base of what I consider a happy freelancer must be. And I’m happy, so thanks to them also 🙂

Through out this month I learned some valuable lessons. Some surprised me, others were a real revelation. None of them desapointed me. The everyday battle is to keep things like those. If you manage to do it, you’ll be fine.

Search your own happiness

That was my first lesson. I knew I’ll be happier, but not that much 🙂 Although I was really happy in my last job (Active Media), it surprised me the ammount of income happiness you can achieve as a freelancer.
Everyday (or whenever I want) I lunch with my family, I spend a lot more time with my daughter and I see friends more often. And I’ve been working. A lot. So yeah, you can manage it.

Everyone should have an experience like this one

I now understand a lot more my former bosses. Running a businness it’s not easy. And that’s what you are: a businness.

No one will do the work for you, so you force yourself to say bye bye procastination. And that feels so good… The reason I say that everyone should have an experience like this one is simple. You face some things in your profession with another perspective. You have to. If you’re beeing lazy, you don’t get the job done. If you don’t get the job done, you disapoint clients. If you disapont clients, they’ll never work with you. If they’ll never work with you, you start to loose clients. And if you don’t have clients, you businness is over. That’s the hard truth.

So if you’re working in an agency, don’t forget: your laziness is your worst enemy, not your bosses. If the company looses clients, they will loose you.

If you don’t love your clients, you’ll not succeed

I never though I would like so much of the client management part of the job. I learn a lot with my my former boss to manage expectations and some client management tips. And I’m applying them.
Fact is, if you’re not good managing clients you will not be a good freelancer. So if that is not your thing, learn. There are a lot of resources on the web to help you with that, but my basic “secrets” are:

  • Be nice. No one wants to work with an arrogant bastard.
  • Don’t promisse what you can’t do. You’ll end up loosing your client.
  • Don’t charge too little. Your price is your value. Remember that.
  • Be a partner, not a monkey. You should see yourself as a partner of your client. Show new ideas, talk with him. If you’re just a monkey who codes or design, you’ll become disposable. And you don’t want that to happen.
  • Break barriers. Try to loose the formal relationship with your client. When you start to be known by your name instead of your profession designation, your relation will last longer

I try to do it all. Not as a scam, but because I really believe in it. I will not work with a client that I don’t like. That’s not arrogance, it’s just a search for a happier life.

Life is good

Yeah, you can make your life good. As I read once, it’s really easy to be a sad person. You just have to do nothing. On the other side, it gives a lot of work to be happy. So it’s your choice and only yours. No one should be running your life, except you.


2 Comments on “My life as a freelancer: 1 month after”

  1. 1 Fernando Colaco said at 22:46 on January 19th, 2012:

    Always great to see more Happy Freelancer cases. And spot on, you hit the right points: you ARE a business, and if you fail to figure that out or find it out too late, you are DONE. It’s 10X harder to keep the balance of either not working enough or (in my case in the past) working too much, but it pays well, and not talking about (only) money but all the other values like TIME and FREEDOM, which can be used a lot more on your own projects or dedicating to the clients that deserve it best (and firing the ones that steal you more time than anything else). And yes, completely different relationship with clients (vs agency), also the other way around, as they are not just an account number/id anymore and they are people and have a name 🙂

    Well done, keep up and the best from now on: This was only the 1st month of a brand new career perspective.

  2. 2 imhugo said at 23:48 on January 19th, 2012:

    I hope it’s the 1st of many to come 🙂