When I first started out on this freelancing journey, I went to Barnes & Noble, and I logged on to Amazon, and I went to the library (two actually). I found as many books as I could on the what and how and I spent hours upon hours reading. I studied pricing. I studied forms. I studied contracts. I studied layouts and designs. I studied the “Do’s” and the “Don’t’s”. I studied rules and guides. I read every success story I could find trying to gain perspective and understanding. I read every failure story I could find trying to learn from their mistakes so I wouldn’t make the same ones. I studied everything I could think of, and then some!
By the time I actually started my business I was practically burnt out on the inner workings of freelancing. I didn’t even have a client yet and I was tired of dealing with them. I knew the basic rules, and had a really good understanding of what I needed to know and how to do it.
So BAM. I opened shop…
My first customer came around and I did everything by the book…
…and I hated it!
It felt so constricting. I was so frustrated and almost quit after that. It was like working for somebody else, but worse because they weren’t actually there to answer my questions or to clarify anything.
That’s when I realized that freelancing is just like anything else. It’s yours. It’s up to you to figure out all the best ways. Yes, there are simple things that you need to remember and always do, but then there are other things that just aren’t going to work for you. I’s really ok to color outside the lines as a freelancer. Make it your own. That’s the only way you’re going to stick out from the throng of other freelancers and do-it-yourself-ers.
It’s good to do your research; to know all the basic rules and to understand why they are out there. It’s always important to know the same things as your competition; however it’s how you forget about or bend those rules that will put you outside the box. That’s when you’ll start to grow your business for real! And THAT’s when you’ll be a happy freelancer and start to really have fun and love your new found freelance life!