To Freelance or not Freelance

That is the question I get asked a lot when I’m coaching or giving a talk. It’s a risky business being freelance and doesn’t suit everyone but I love it. Maybe it’s the old actor gypsy in me of having several projects on the go at one time or possibly that I have the attention span of a goldfish, call me Dory. Ah, but you know that’s not true at all, I thrive on the thrill of having lots of plates spinning at any one time.

Credit: Dave Willis

I love working in short bursts with one client yet achieving a huge amount and then focusing my attentions on another. For me, as a creative, I think it’s the way my brain is programmed to work. I have a routine per se as much as I can as I have a daughter and a school run and spending time with her is my priority. So if that means I’m dealing with work early in the morning or late in the evening or on weekends then so be it, but I need to allow for that ‘mum’ time as I’m only too aware of how minimal that is and how ‘uncool’ it will be in a few years to hang out with me (although of course I find that hard to believe…!).

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There are downsides of being freelance of course, such as not knowing how much work you have in the next month, when you will get paid from a job you’ve done and sometimes the endless chasing to be paid for that job. Also keeping yourself available for any job that comes up, the possible cloning so I can be available for everything that comes up. Then there’s the feeling stretched and overwhelmed at times and the sleepless nights that kick in when you’re hoping that you can stretch to paying the bills at the end of the month.

I do envy people occasionally who are in a permanent role and know exactly what they are doing from one week to the next, of course, I did try it but for me it just didn’t fit.

If the above makes you think why on earth would anyone go freelance then don’t. You literally have to jump into the pool feet first and swim for your life to keep above water most of the time. But then that’s all part of the thrill.


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