Woo hoo! My second self-published book is written, checked and ready to read! And if you’re thinking about going freelance then this book will be right up your street…
‘Going Freelance: Building Work Around Your Life’ is my how-to guide for starting a self-employed career and becoming a successful freelancer. It’s a comprehensive guide to setting up your micro business, finding the right customers and making a good living from your freelance skills. If you’re fed up with the corporate life and considering whether freelancing is right for you, this is your ideal 101 guide.
Sharing my own freelance story
This book is the product of my own six-year journey as a freelancer. I spent a large chunk of my working career as an employee in a variety of different corporate roles. But in 2014, when redundancy came calling, I started out on a career change that would completely change my outlook on work – changing my idealogy on how to make a living, how to build a career and how to balance work against my home life.
I’d often wondered if being self-employed would be a good fit for me, but I’d always been way too scared to take the plunge and leave behind a stable salary and the benefits of a ‘safe’ corporate role with an established company. However, when I was made redundant, I suddenly had an imperative to give freelancing a try – I had no job, no income and was struggling to find a permanent role that suited my skill set.
That’s when I decided that NOW was the time to try out the freelance life. And, to be honest, I’ve not looked back since.
Building work around your life
The subtitle of the new book is ‘Building Work Around Your Life’, and I think that it’s incredibly important to stress the difference that freelancing makes to this goal.
In the modern world, we spend a huge amount of our time either working for someone else, catching up on work we haven’t had time to do, or commuting to and from our corporate jobs in order to meet the requirements of our roles. But this focus on work, work and more work makes it exceptionally hard to achieve a positive work/life balance.
When I worked in London, I would commute in from the suburbs on a daily basis, wasting 3 or 4 hours every day in travelling backwards and forwards to my employer’s office. Add to this the workload you’ve got to get through whilst at the office, and an ever-changing set of deadlines to meet and you can see how this wasn’t the most relaxing lifestyle. And, I’ll be 100% honest, I was beginning to burn out and suffer from fatigue, stress and anxiety.
As a freelancer, I’ve managed to completely review and upgrade my work/life balance:
- There’s no regular commute – I no longer need to cram myself onto a packed commuter train, or deal with all the challenges of crossing London during the rush hour. My commute now is a 10-minute walk to the local coffee shop, or I can also work from home too, reducing my daily travelling to zero.
- My working day starts later – when I was a commuter, I was leaving the house at around 7.30am each morning, and not getting home until around 7.00pm. So I saw very little of my family and felt continually tired. As a freelancer, I usually start work at 9.00am, following on from doing the school run and spending time with my daughter. And I’m usually back home by 5.00pm, so I can pitch in with preparing our dinner, or doing all the other domestic tasks that family life generates.
- My work environment can be anywhere – as a freelance content consultant and writer, all I need in order to work is my laptop and a WiFi signal or hotspot. So, I can literally work wherever I want to. It might be a coffee shop, or a nearby café or a client’s office. I’m no longer stuck inside the four walls of the same familiar office every day.
- I can manage my own work hours – when you’re an employee, you work the hours that you’re told. So, for most of us, that’s a 9-5 commitment, usually with overtime and additional hours expected as standard. Now that I’m self-employed, I manage my own working hours. So, if I want to stop work at 4.00pm, I can do. And if I want to pull a late night to finish a project, I can do that as well. You can flex your time SO much better as a freelancer, and (for me) that’s a huge part of the allure.
- I spend more time with my family – ultimately, the real killer value of freelancing for me is that I’m more present in family life. As a London commuter, I had very little free time to spend with my partner or our daughter. I now see FAR more of them, and don’t miss out on all the little milestones that my daughter achieves as she’s growing up. For me, that’s a pretty much priceless benefit of being a freelancer.
Is freelancing for you?
As I’ve explained in great detail in the book, starting a freelance career has a whole host of benefits. But I also outline some of the challenges that you’ll need to consider and overcome if you’re going to jack in the day job and opt for a freelance life.
When you’re self-employed, customers can disappear and income can fluctuate. There’s no guaranteed monthly salary to rely on, and you WILL have to work hard to generate a customer base, bring in regular work and give yourself a predictable income stream.
However, if what you’re after is freedom, flexibility and the ability to build work around your life then freelancing is the right route to take. It will certainly change your lifestyle for the better, as long as you put the right thought, future planning and personal ambition into your new micro business.
Buy the book and start your freelance story
So, does this freelance lifestyle sound inviting? If you’d like to start achieving the benefits of a more flexible career, where YOU are in control of your destiny, then now’s the time to start.
‘Going Freelance: Building Work Around Your Life’ is a comprehensive guide for anyone setting out on the freelance journey. Each chapter gives you the simple, easy-to-follow tips you need, with clear advice on setting up your own freelance business.
The book explains how to:
- Understand the Benefits (And Challenges) Of Going Freelance
- Ensure You Have The Right Experience And Skills
- Make The Jump And Get Started
- Know Why You’re In Business
- Find Your First Customer
- Market Your Brand And Services
- Choose Where To Work
- Join The Freelance Community
- Build On Your Client Relationships
- Manage Your Workload
- Manage Your Numbers
- Get Paid On Time
- Pursue A Good Work/life Balance
- Get Started As A Freelancer