4 Things I Kept in Mind When I Took My Freelancing Business Full Time

Photo: Carolina Pokidaylo

Photo: Carolina Pokidaylo

Let me just say, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. So if you’re hustling, pushing through the fear and self doubt and building your empire, I applaud you.

Newbie freelancers might find the next few paragraphs beneficial, but I truly hope this post helps whoever comes across it.

1. Take everything with a grain of salt.

The other week, I was talking to my brother over the phone. I told him that I knew, going into this venture, I would have to take everything with a grain of salt. He said, “yeah, but you’re bad at that. Like you’re actually terrible at that.” I laughed pretty hard. Because it’s true, but not when it comes to my business.

What I meant by it was that I don’t get too hyped, nor too disappointed, when it comes to potential clients and the exciting things they truly believe are to come. It’s actually thanks to my experience in the marketing field, and my observer personality, that I learnt to be mindful about this. I watched this happen with a mentor and boss of mine. I would honestly be taken aback by the lack of impact it had on him when potential clients never came to be. It impacted me.

So what I’m hoping to relay to you is, feel good about the abundance heading your way, but don’t get too stuck on every possible situation. Enjoy the journey, learn from what you can, and keep moving forward.

2. Be prepared to set necessary boundaries.

I started to learn how to set boundaries with friends and family a few years ago. And let me tell ya, it didn’t go over well. But you know what? I became okay with people not liking me. I became okay with accepting my feelings as valid, without feeling the need to validate it with others. It was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done.

Setting boundaries can be done in a polite, confident way without stirring up conflict. As long as you go into the client relationship with those expectations set. A lot of times, clients might not even realize they’ve ventured too far. It’s your job to let them know where that line is.

Take a moment or two to really sink deep into thought. Consider what you’re willing to do, what you’re not okay with, and what’s fair for you both. Just because a freelancer beside you works from morning to night and is tethered to their phone 24/7, doesn’t mean you have to be!

Write down everything that comes to mind and refine it until you’ve written a professional and easy to understand proposal or contract. This way, you both always have something to refer back to if necessary. Honestly, I’m so grateful that I spent a few years practicing this habit. It’s truly helped my mental health, and reminds me to put myself first.

Photo: Carolina Pokidaylo

Photo: Carolina Pokidaylo

3. It’s okay to be selective.

I’ll be honest. I don’t take on everyone as a client. In fact, I’m pretty picky about who I work with. Yes, I’m absolutely grateful the clients I choose want to work with me. I’m humbled and flattered and over the moon by it. But that doesn’t mean I take on everyone that comes my way.

Just as they are deciding if they want to hire you, you should consider if accepting a project is ideal for you. If my intuition tells me something is off, if it doesn’t feel right, I listen. As entrepreneurs, I know many are tempted to take on everything they can to make that paycheck. But I know I didn’t go into freelancing (and now owning a small agency) to be unhappy.

In fact, it’s because I was unhappy with my lack of freedom in choosing who I want to work with, that I took this journey. I hope you’ll feel empowered to make this decision for yourself as well.

4. You’re a professional - respect yourself and expect it from your clients.

Real talk. (If you follow me on Instagram, you know I don’t do anything but.) I got so tired of the way I was treated at basically every place I’ve worked by some higher-up. But the bigger issue was that, there was no way for me to stand up for myself without potentially getting fired. This is yet another reason why I decided to venture out on my own.

I am an MBA Digital Marketing professional with years of experience. I say that with unwavering confidence. This confidence pushes me to let my clients know that I expect to be treated as a professional, and with respect. Because that is what I give to them.

What is your internal dialogue telling you?