I’ve never said this out loud before and technically I still haven’t because I’m typing it so, I’ve never typed this before… my freelance career is made possible by my husband.
There. Every feminist bone in my body is fracturing right now but that is the truth.
And no, smarty pantses, it’s not because he’s actually doing all the work. I think he could do some of it and that’s annoying to me but he doesn’t do any of it. He is, however, technically savvy and good with money. As important, or maybe most important, he’s a great sounding board.
Now, am I saying that the best way to build a successful freelance/consulting business is to marry my husband? Of course not. Get out there. Hang out in a bowling alley and go on test dates in the White Mountains with Dartmouth alums who make you sing songs you don’t know. I can’t do all the work for you.
Am I saying you have to be married or living with someone or even dating in some serious way before you even think about freelancing? No! You’re taking this way too literally.
Here’s what no one ever tells you about freelancing: every day you’re going to have to do some hopefully small number of things that you have no idea how to do. You are going to have to make decisions that don’t have a definitive answer. Everything you do and decide is on you. When things go well, you are a genius. When things don’t go well, it’s your fault. Access to friendly skills sets is essential.
What should your company name be? Should you set up a financial system with Quicken or just use Excel spreadsheets? Do you need contracts or will work orders do the trick? What is a work order? How come my monitor screen is flickering? Why do my margins get screwed up when I import the Excel chart? A client is three months late paying me. I’m thinking of storming into their lobby yelling “I’VE COME FOR WHAT’S MINE!” Is that a good idea?
Inside an organization there are IT, finance, marketing and other departments that are filled with subject area experts who are there to help. Colleagues you trust for advice are sprinkled throughout the building. During the day, the only subject area expert in my office is YoYo, my cat, and I don’t need help napping.
Most self-employers hire help from time to time but it’s the small things that can bog you down and no one wants to be hired to help you fix document margins. Find people who can help you through important annoyances for the price of a beer. Who knows how to make PowerPoint sing? Who has ideas for taking your Facebook page up a notch? Who has a good work order template you can steal?
Oh…also. My husband has a good job and health insurance. That’s a whole other topic.
Thank you for reading I am the Boss of Me. To receive email notification of new posts click here.