working for yourself

What I Wish I'd Known


Well, that title could apply to so many facets of life, am I right? But in this case it's what I wish I'd known before I became a full-time(ish) freelancer. You all know that I work for the studio part-time as an employee. But I make the rest of my living freelancing, which means I essentially have my own business and I work from home. A friend and I were talking recently about the joys and struggles of freelancing recently, and it got me to thinking about some of the things I wish I'd known before I took the leap. And since we're expanding the blog this year to include topics related to the non-fitness areas of our lives, I thought I'd share. So, here we go...

Know Your Value. I was very lucky that the second freelance job I took was in partnership with a former colleague who had much more experience freelancing than I did. When the client asked for our rate, my colleague immediately responded with a number that was nearly three times the amount I had charged in my one previous foray into contract work. I thought the client would laugh us out of the room, but he didn't. He paid it. And it made me research how freelancers set their rates; all of the factors they take into account. I had been setting it based on my hourly rate at my full-time job, but that was a big mistake. Now, my rate is based on what I know to be the market rate and one that is fair, when my additional costs are factored into the equation.

Don't Make Rate Exceptions. This may be controversial--I don't know whether every freelancer will agree with this or not--but, for the most part, I don't discount my rate. Ever.

Invest in a Good Home Office. This is one I put off for a long time because of the cost, I guess. But my dining room table and the couch ended up not being great places to work.

It's Easier to Overeat. This may be totally random, but when I first started working from home I ate way more than when I worked in an office. And I thought it would be the opposite. My last office job was at a college and they made it really achievable to eat like a college student--and I did :-) Unfortunately, even though I could eat like an 18-year old, I couldn't metabolize like one. I thought when I started working from home I'd have way more control food wise. But for the first few months I found myself eating way more because it was there and it was just steps away from my desk. Those of you who work from home--have you found that to be true?

I Miss the Social Part. Sometimes. I am a total introvert and I love quiet time, but sometimes I miss being around people. That surprised me so much, I can't even tell you. When that starts to happen, I text Nikki and tell her we need an in-person meeting :-) I always leave those meetings with renewed energy.

There are Trade-Offs. I think it's very human to romanticize what we don't have, especially when we're unhappy in our current situation, as I was in my old job. The truth is that I love my work now, but it's not stress-free. However, I guess I just prefer the stress I have now to the stress I had before.

You'll Become (Best) Friends with Organization and Time-Management. I would have described myself as those things before I started freelancing. But holy moly, do you have to get really good at managing your time and sticking to a schedule. Because there are no immediate consequences if you don't. There are so many distractions at home!

Enjoy the Perks. No one cares whether I wear the same thing today as I wore yesterday. (No one cares whether that thing was leggings and an over-sized sweatshirt either.) If I decide I want to move to a new city, I can keep my job and work from wherever I want. I can sometimes trade time-off for my workout in the morning, for an hour more of work after dinner. There's a ton of flexibility. But I was so anxious when I made the switch, that for a long time I didn't allow myself to enjoy the best things about being my own boss. Now I do.

Any of you work remotely? What do you wish you'd known before you jumped in?  Share below!