10 hot success tips from a freelancing dad

Over the last few years, we’ve published numerous articles sharing advice on how to go freelance, and build a successful self-employed career.

But what is it REALLY like as a freelancer? We stumbled across this humorous blog by Toronto-based freelancer writer and dad Jim Diorio and thought you might enjoy his honest perspective.

10 hot success tips from a freelancing dad

More and more people are contemplating ditching the routine corporate life for the exciting freelance one, thinking, “Hey, corporate life — I don’t need your priceless health benefits, your actual human contact, your team-building off-sites (Building Tomorrow Together Today!) where we all wear the same T-shirt and make a human pyramid with people I’d rather bury in one.”

Millions of people have actually gone solo, including myself – and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done! (Uh, can I get one of those T-shirts, if you have have any left over? My clients are a little late in paying these days. Yes, XXXL is fine…)

But to make the leap you really need to do your homework, and get real-world advice from successful freelancers like me. (Are you actually throwing out those “Northeast Wound Care Network 2016 Annual Meeting” frisbees? Because my nephews have a couple of birthdays coming up…).

So here’s some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from the great new life I’m living today, “Out on my own!” (I’ll take those orange slices no one’s eating as well. Yes, the whole tray. So, are you hiring?)

  1. If you work at home, get out and work in your local public library some of the time, and switch locations every few weeks or so. You’ll get to experience a whole new range of body odours and people bathing in the sink, instead of the same old ones over and over.
  1. If money’s a little tight and you find yourself in an office or other semi-public building, don’t waste your time with theft-resistant toilet paper dispensers like the Bobrick B265. Look for older models like the Bradex 5106, without the anti-theft spindle, of course.
  1. When the phone hasn’t rung for a while and no work is coming in, it’s easy to start having crazy negative ideas like the entire business universe is conspiring to never hire you again! It’s probably just several smaller networks of former colleagues who have come together to engineer your complete financial and personal ruin.
  1. If you’re on the phone and you pretend to consult your imaginary schedule for six seconds, then go, “Yes, I’m actually free then,” well, most people can tell.
  1. Nothing spells “successful” or “world-class professional” quite like the sight of you removing a large Tupperware container of potato salad or white bread sandwiches from your knapsack in your client’s lunchroom.
  1. Being an entrepreneur means taking risks! However, licking your lips while saying to your client, “Anything we can do to reduce that 60-day payment schedule?” might not be the best one to take.
  1. When someone on the phone asks you how many people are on your “team,” counting the number of people in the coffee shop you’re working at — yes, technically, you are sort of working with them — doesn’t really count.
  1. Working from home, while convenient and money-saving, can get lonely and become isolating. A simple hand-puppet made from an old sock and a couple of buttons can provide you with both companionship and a professional sounding board, especially when you need someone to confirm that yes, those are indeed the haunting voices of ghost children coming from the fireplace and we’d better get the hell out of here right now.
  1. Be patient. Give yourself time to get your new “work–life” balance right. As well as your “no work–desperation” balance, and your “Jesus Christ what have I done–shaking in a fetal position under the coffee table” balance. No one gets it right in a day!
  1. Technology = extra time! And extra time = extra money. Learn how to master efficiency apps like Wunderlist, sharing apps like Basecamp, and productivity apps like Angry Birds and DialABottle.

We love sharing your real life experiences (as a freelancer, employee, business owner, volunteer or parent!). If you have a story or perspective to share, please get in touch