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When the idea of becoming a freelance first bloomed inside my head two years ago, there was one main thing driving me to make it happen: freedom.
I’ve always been a stubborn person, even as a kid I demanded autonomy over what I wore and what I ate (sorry, mum!).
So after going straight into an office job after University and spending two years being told what my duties were and that I had to spend 8 hours a day at a desk, no matter how quickly (or how well) I got my work done, just didn’t sit right with me.
I wanted to choose my working hours based on when I’m most productive.
I wanted more variety – not to sit in one box labelled ’employee’ with a set role and a set income that could only increase by a small percentage once a year.
I wanted to choose who I worked with, what I worked on, and where I worked from.
Freedom, over my own life.
And sure, freelancing does give you a lot of freedom.
However, there are also a lot of other truths that come with this lifestyle.
Truths that, perhaps, get talked about less.
(Note: if you’ve come here looking for a serious, in-depth reveal into the life of a freelance, this might not be the post for you. Get ready for a whole lotta GIFs.).
I thought it would be fun to fess up and reveal some of the big things no one really told me would happen when I became a freelancer.
If you’re aspiring to become self-employed yourself, just know – with freedom comes some less glamourous lifestyle features too…
What No One Told Me About Becoming A Freelancer…
1) You’ll spend most of your time looking like this…
…because despite what Wall Street Journal may want you to think, nobody has time for real clothes when you’re sitting at home working on your laptop all day.
2) Sometimes you’ll go entire days without talking to another human…
…and when you finally do talk to someone you feel like this:
PRO TIP: On days like this, make sure you leave the house, even if it’s just to go for a walk around the block. Fresh air can be all it takes to bring you back into the real world.
3) A lot of the time, you’ll feel like you’re barely holding it all together
Some days, I feel like I’ve got my shit together and am owning it.
Other days, I feel like I’m juggling too many plates too count and feel certain it’s all going to come crashing down any minute.
When you feel like this, remember:
Everyone is just pretending to know what they’re doing.
Fake it, until you make it.
4) Your income is going to be a total rollercoaster
Some months you’ll double your income and some months you’ll lose a client and take a real hit.
A good savings strategy and a healthy savings buffer are absolutely essential if you don’t want to lose your shit and start scrambling for a stable office job every time this happens.
5) You’ll get asked how you got started all the time
People are interested in this lifestyle, and let’s face it: being a freelancer is pretty cool, even if it feels like you’ve kind of fallen into it at some point.
I try my best to answer everyone’s questions over at Untraditional Office, so be sure to check that out if you’re the one asking questions.
6) Despite all the ups and downs, you’re living your dream
Well, maybe people do mention this one!
For all its ups and downs, being a freelancer gives you a new level of freedom that is the main reason many people pursue this lifestyle.