Being a freelancer is definitely a lifestyle. After all, we spend most of our waking hours freelancing. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll even have dreams about it. So, for fun, I’ve decided to list five signs you might be a freelancer. Can you relate?
You Don’t Say, “I Can’t Afford It.”
The beautiful thing about freelancing is that your income is directly correlated with your work ethic. So when you see something for sale, you usually don’t think, “I can’t afford it.” Instead you think, “I could buy it but I’d probably want to find one more well-paying client so I feel better about getting it.”
You Know Who Has the Best WiFi
If the internet goes down at your house, it’s a matter of life or death. You quickly pack up your things and rush out the door. You need fast internet – stat. Make sure not to forget your charger(s). Hope that you don’t need an external monitor. Wonder if it would be weird or funny to bring an external monitor into Starbucks.
Your Job Is Hard to Explain
If I had a dollar for every blank stare I got after telling someone what I do. Freelancing is hard to explain. This is especially hard to explain to former generations who spent 50 years working for the same company and never considered doing anything else.
Even if someone understands freelancing, you want to explain yourself in a way that will have you taken seriously. After all, the term “freelancer” to some is negative. That’s probably because some unemployed people say they are freelancers until they can get back into the full-time office game. It’s a shame. So try to explain it in a way that makes you look more like the bounty hunter Boba Fett from Star Wars and less like a college dropout who thinks she’s pulling one over on people by calling herself a freelancer.
You’re Not Sure if Working in Your Pajamas Is Really Awesome or Really Depressing
When you first start freelancing, you probably LOVED not having to go to an office building each day. You may have even worn pajamas at work. Or tried working outside on your laptop. Or decided to go grocery shopping on a Wednesday afternoon to beat the crowds. But over time, you realize office buildings work the way they do for a reason. It’s a pretty efficient way to get work done.
Slowly, your life morphs back into that of an employee. You put on ‘real’ clothing. You put on shoes. You begin working normal hours. The idea of taking an afternoon off for a doctors appointment aggravates you. You begin taking lunch at a set time. You consider getting a shared office space.
You Think You’re Rich and Poor – All in the Same Day
Freelancing is feast or famine.
A lot of days, I find myself screaming/yellow/shouting/something. Quietly if others are in the house. I’m either yelling out of joy or frustration. 7:30 AM: I still haven’t heard back from a new client. It has been two weeks since delivering the work. My follow-up emails are getting ignored. Cue yelling out of frustration. 4:30 PM: My highest paying client wants to up my writing from once per week to twice per week. Cue screaming out of joy.
When I get bad news, I instantly think I need to focus just a little harder on going above-and-beyond for clients. I must be slacking. I’m not getting ahead in life. What if I don’t match last month’s income?
When I get good news, I instantly begin calculating how much more money per year this means for me. It’s freakin’ exciting! I think the key to long-term freelance success is making sure there’s more happy screaming than unhappy screaming. What about you? Can you relate?