Journey to a Freelance Lifestyle

Freelance

In the last four months of 2013, I had the opportunity to start my freelance lifestyle. I was a nanny to my sweet nephew Wyatt, I became the go-to print designer for Creative Types and redesigned the alumni publication for Mount Notre Dame. I started to see a lot of growth in the client side of my business, however I soon realized I had lost sight of why I wanted to start a business in the first place. I had ignored my goals with the hurry do-it-now demands on my time from others. I realize this is part of the job, but I was approaching new work with the wrong mindset. I learned a lot about time management and self-discipline, yet something was missing. Then I visited my website and discovered that I hadn’t updated since October… meaning I updated my blog more when I was a full-time employee!

Personal and family priorities have also come into play that seem more important than being my own boss. These are things that make me willing to go back to an office where I am guaranteed a paycheck every week. It is tempting to me for many reasons. It seems I could reach financial goals faster with a combination of the two – plus I would have to focus and be picky about what projects to take on. As Jon Acuff puts it in Quitter, I would get my “NOs” back, so I could focus on what I truly want my business to be. Also, I’m in a new city where I know few people other than family. The number one way I met people in Cincinnati was through my jobs and my husband’s job. I miss my Ohio friends dearly, and I want to find my people in Jax. There are some great companies here, and I feel a pull to try working for one of them. I have to remind myself that by working as a freelancer, I can pursue contract positions with them and still have some flexibility.

I’m getting mixed opinions from the people around me. Some don’t understand what I’m doing and encourage me to look for a full-time job. Others are adamant that I keep working hard on my business and it will pay off big in the long run. My own opinion changes from day to day. Among the confusing feedback, I do know one thing: I need to be more mindful about what I take on, most importantly giving myself time to grow the parts of my business I’ve been neglecting. I love working from home, but I need to be more proactive with my time. I want to focus on client work in the mornings and use the afternoon to do internal business work, personal projects, read business books, or create handmade products for my shop. If I have a slow or busy day, I can switch it up. That’s the beauty of working on my business full-time, and it would be hard to give that up.

Thoughts? Are some goals worth temporarily sacrificing your dream, or do you believe in pursuing the freelance life for as long as possible?

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