A Check-In On How I’ve Been Doing As Full-Time Freelance
I’ve been full-time freelance for about four months now, which is kind of insane. I’ve been so consumed with building up my brand, gaining clients, and trying to keep the business alive that I haven’t really taken the time to celebrate that marker. Four entire months of working for myself. Four months of figuring out how one even becomes a full-time freelancer.
So, after a mere four months of full-time freelancing, how can I describe the job in a few keywords? Um … how about 1) nonstop, 2) frustrating, and 3) freedom?
Working full-time freelance is like operating a machine that can never stop running. Since I have clients in a dozen different time zones, there’s always an email or Slack message that needs responding to, my sometimes questionable time-management leads to stacked deadlines that take me deep into the night to complete, and even when my Asana calendar is cleared of client tasks, there’s still work for HBDigital that needs completing – writing new blog posts, managing Google Analytics, and learning new skills.
But you know what? I kind of love it. That go-go-go, always busy attitude is the kind of lifestyle I thrive on. Of course, I’ve got to schedule in some much-needed self-love time, but overall, I’m into the grind.
You know what I’m not into? Instability. Clients coming and going. Shifting schedules, emails that go unanswered, laptops that shut down on you randomly and need to be reset, projects that take longer than expected, unexpected sick days with zero health insurance, and so on. The freelance life lacks the structure of having a traditional 9-5 and oftentimes, I really crave that stability. The success or failure of my business is 90% left up to me and 10% left up to fate.
TBH, I’m not missing that stability that much. I get to wake up when I want (and for this night owl, not having to be anywhere at 9 AM is truly a blessing). I get to create my own schedule – doing visual work somedays and writing other days and nothing Friday if I don’t want to do anything Friday. I get to work where I want to work, taking advantage of my beautiful city and exploring the many quirky coffee shops Los Angeles has to offer (my latest favorite is Greendoor by Intelligentsia). Sure, the freelance life is full of lots of instability, but the freedom it grants is so much sweeter.
Four months of figuring out freelancing and I have 8 clients, an income nearly double the amount I made at my last job, and an endless stream of ideas every day. I’m excited to see what I accomplish in the next four months. 😉