1. What is REALLY FREE, as a typical freelancer?
My understandings would be as following:
- Live a life you love. Not live to exist.
- Solely Focus on creativity, also quality and productivity.
- Don’t push yourself too hard.
- Failures are normal.
- Never focus on quantity.
There’s a huge population choose to work as freelancers. It’s not easy. In the earlier period you may have to work even harder and feel a bit boring than your full-time job. Some may get through the way and stand out, earning enough income and be truly happy as a freelancer. Some may get tired of it or “afraid” of it, then give up. And a lot others still kicking along the journey and looking for a best style or solution. Needless to say which is good and which is not so good.
“Really Free” is the key to the freelance success. From my understanding, it should be in your mind right from the moment you chose to be a freelancer, all through the way till you feel fulfilled, and keep going. It’s definitely not a state after you would’ve earned enough money and start thinking to enjoy a free lifestyle. If this “really free” mode is not tuned up at the start, you’ll probably be so frustrated along the way and the dreamed freelancer career may never gonna happen.
2. To be in this REALLY FREE mode, Are You: Mentally Ready?
Free is not LAZY, and definitely not working day to night.
Do you have good time management skills? You don’t have to be in a schedule like 9 to 5 but a proper plan for each day is needed. There are google calendar, bunch of iPhone apps to help managing tasks and time. I sometimes prefer a big calendar to just write things down.
Success doesn’t rely on luck or secret, it relies on persistence. Though it’s not a guarantee of success, it is the very best principle. Work by fits and starts does not exist in freelancer’s dictionary. The most successful bloggers or freelancers are the most organised and persistent ones, like Leo Babauta, Darren Rowse and many others.
Deal with failures smartly
Dealing with failures are closely related to developing persistence. The downtimes we mostly encountered are not actually failures at all. Actually there’s no such thing of a total failure if not given up. Your confidence and skills will grow steadily, success is getting closer.
Have professional skills already or confident to grab new skills
This is very important and the solid base of freelance career. With the trending techniques on the web, freelancer s are required to grab essential online marketing skills as well.
3. To be in this REALLY FREE mode, Are You: Physically Ready?
Set up a productive home office
- Separate work place and sleep place.
- Setup a fresh minimal desk.
- Get a super comfort chair.
- Pajamas or not pajamas, up to you.
- Use productivity softwares and hardwares: How to increase productivity on Mac
Schedule to work elsewhere outside as well
Don’t expect to work at home all the time. There are plenty of places waving at you. Coffee shops, public libraries, parks, wherever you feel comfortable and productive with. Maybe Mon, Wed and Fri can be planned working at the favourite quite libraries and Tue, Thu will be the home-day. Or, simply call it a day occasionally, shut down the computer and go out, meet friends. That’s the why we’re freelancers, isn’t it?
Have enough rest and keep fit
It is not healthy and much less productive by just sitting there, squeezing the already tired brain when stuck. Get up at least every 1-2 hours and get the blood running smoothly. Freelancer really should focus on essential fitness to avoid all kinds of office health problems. Sometimes we’re pushing so hard because we have so many motivation: goals. money. But enough rest and fitness is extremely important.
4. To avoid an epic fail
Focus, avoid distraction
There are so many distractions these days. As a freelancer, more and more distractions will come around you. Not just those normal distractions, not just work-yourself-can’t-control distraction, your new ideas will also be a big source of distraction. Maybe your are just working on the current task and suddenly a new fresh idea comes up. New ideas are always good but you have to focus on current task first.
Learn techniques, avoid copying ideas
We need to learn so many skills as a freelancer, which enormous web enables us easy to search relevant information. It’s the techniques we should learn, not copying ideas. Be yourself, don’t change very often to be like this or like that. The only thing works is the one on yourself.
And To Be Continued…