Ahh yes. The life of a freelancer. It’s truly glorious: unlimited pajama days, no one expecting you to sit through endless meetings, the ability to shut your laptop at any point in the day. Yes, it’s a great career we freelancers have, but don’t think that as a self-employed master of your own universe you are immune to all the necessary evils of working. Whether you’re freelancing right now or you hope to in future, here are a few of those moments when you need to just take a deep breath, do your hair for the first time in a week, and plaster a smile on your face in true fake-it-’til-you-make-it style.
When your client has a deadline but you’re not feeling it
The idea of being able to throw your notebooks in the air and walk out into the sunshine at any given moment of the day is a nice thought, but if you really want to keep your clients (and you definitely do) then sometimes you just have to be available even when you don’t want to be. If your client has an important deadline and you know you need to work around it, on the weekend for example, schedule in some relaxation time at other points during the week to balance it out.
When you’ve promised revisions but it’s killing your soul
Unlimited revisions?! Who on earth ever fell for that one? Well, all of us probably, at some point in our freelancing career. Whether you have agreed to supply unlimited revisions to a piece of work, or you have a large number of revisions scheduled and the client is changing everything that you’ve been working so hard on, sometimes it’s necessary to just count to ten, step away from your screen for five minutes, or do whatever you need to do to refresh, and then grind on through until you finish the job. Don’t forget that you don’t need to do these revisions outside of working hours. Set relevant boundaries with your clients that will help to reign them in and make the process more efficient.
When you don’t want to go to a pitch but they’re waiting
So you’ve been asked to pitch or present to a client, and you’ve planned it oh so well, but the inevitable butterflies have started to form in your stomach and you really, really don’t want to go. Of course you don’t, welcome to the club. Showing your ideas to a client or trying to sell your services in the first place is usually riddled with thoughts of “Am I good enough to do this?” and “Will they like what I have to offer?” Remember that you are being invited to take up some of their valuable time, which means they’ve already checked out what you do and like you. Put on something confidence-boosting, and prepare to go in there and own it.
When your inbox is overflowing but you can’t select ‘delete all’
Everyone dreams of inbox zero, but has anyone ever really made it there? Between the Groupons and your grandma’s family updates and the offerings you reluctantly signed up for just to get the freebie and then forgot to unsubscribe from, and of course, THAT email – it’s everyone’s nightmare to have to tidy up the dreaded inbox. Hop to it, there’s only one thing to do in a situation like this, and that’s put aside a couple of hours to delete, archive and block. Nobody enjoys it, but once you’re done you’ll feel so much more organised and will finally be able to answer that editor you’ve been unable to reply to for a week.
When the client asks you to come into the office for a brief meeting
You mean…put on…clothes? When you’ve been working from your dressing gown for weeks enjoying freelance life, and your client requests that you go into the city and attend a meeting to get more information on a project, it may feel like the walls are crumbling around you, but fear not. Use the opportunity to catch up with some other people while you’re out, and run any errands that you’ve been putting off. See it as an excuse to dress your best, and get some exercise and fresh air. You’ll feel more productive than you’ve been all week.
Know the feeling? Let us know how you motivate yourself when you just don’t feel like it!