The Life of a Part-Time Freelancer

Well I’m not sure what happened in the last month – it seems like everything has gone a complete 180.  In December, probably because of the approaching holiday season, everyone seemed to be calm; and comparatively, it’s approaching the end of January and things in my freelancing space seem to be ramping up.  Add that to the preparation for the launch of a new blog… and you’ve got yourself one busy part-time freelancer… aka me!

I don’t know if it helps that I’ve been super busy at work this week, so it’s just added stress during the day, and then more work at night and on weekends.  I had to force myself to stay up late last night… and I was still in bed by 8:30pm!  I’m hoping that next week things will calm down at work, and then that way I’ll at least get some breathing room and calm down time.

So how do I handle my freelancing schedule when I have lots of clients?  Well, I try and dedicate one day a week to each person, making sure there’s a day in there to work on my own projects or just relax.  And it does switch based on what projects I have to do, or what my timelines are.  I don’t normally have that many clients at one time, so I don’t think I’ve ever taken up my whole week with a different day for each person.

And what about when I don’t have that much work to do?  Well, that’s when I try ramping up my own personal projects or focusing on clients that may need work in the future.  For example, my husband’s company just happens to be one of my clients, and I know that his business website will need an update soon.  It’s not something that needs to happen right away, but it’s definitely something I will need to tackle within the next few months.

Because I have the time commitments and financial stability of my full-time job, I’m currently not actively soliciting new leads or paid projects.  I think that if I did need more work, I would use my slow time to try and build relationships with new people and/or re-connect with past clients.  Actually, you should always be keeping in touch with past people you’ve worked with, that way you are on their mind the next time a project comes up, or if they need to refer you to someone they may know.  Word of mouth is always the way to go – so it’s best if you are always engaging with people (ie: potential leads) in a positive manner.  Don’t burn bridges!

I recently visited an accountant to go over my freelancing financials, where I added up my self-employment business income over the past year.  While it was nice to see this number for the first time, it was definitely not an amount to “quit your day job” over.  Which brings me to my last point, and yet another goal!  Well, actually a quantifiable objective to one of my previously announced goals (see right sidebar for the list… third one down): by the end of 2015 – that is, my second year as a registered business, I would like to have doubled my earnings.  I’m not sure if I would be able to double it again in the third year… because I’m pretty sure income doesn’t work exponentially, but at least in 2015 I do think that doubled is a number that I can somewhat easily achieve.

And now I can start to pay more attention to my numbers; if say, by the third or fourth month, I’m not at half of what my income was for 2014, I can look at different ways to better achieve the earnings I want.  I mean, after all, the ultimate plan is to be able to “quit my day job” and completely sustain myself through self-employment.

So again, stay tuned!

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