This YouTube video, posted by the folks behind LockerGnome.com, is not for anyone currently working as a freelancer. But I refer you to it anyway because we ALL get questions from people who want to–or THINK they want to–become one of us. How many times have you wanted to refer someone to a specific resource or link that could answer some of the basic questions that we’ve all answered 100 times or more?
This video is a great reference primer for people on the outside looking into the freelance world. Bookmark this, send it on to your friends who keep asking you about the freelance life, and save yourself some breath. Admittedly, there is a bit too much self-promotion about LockerGnome for some tastes, but the value of this clip for freelance outsiders can’t be underestimated:
After much discussion today about all things freelance, Catherine and I realized that there’s an important part of the freelance puzzle we’d like to spend a lot more time on in these posts.
While most freelancers know it’s far better to work for yourself then somebody else, there’s always a nagging doubt in the minds of even the best freelancers out there. “Can I really make it?” or “Will I really find enough work to justify going freelance full time?”
Cath and I say yes to both of these questions, but it’s obvious that there are plenty of unknowns out there for those still part-timing it in the freelance world. And that’s why we are asking you, dear reader, to send us your questions about the freelance life. We want to know what we can do to help.What is it you want to know? What’s your burning question about freelancing? What do you want to see given more coverage on here?
Send your questions about any and all aspects of the freelance life to:
We’re soliciting questions for two reasons–we want to know what’s on your mind, and we want to use your questions to guide future content here on FZ. It does us no good to endlessly pontificate on subjects that don’t mean anything to you personally–consider this your open invitation to influence future posts here–we won’t hold back on the answers, either. Sharing is a good thing.
If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know Cath and I have many years of experience in this business, and we’ve come as far as we have via trial and error, calculated risks, wild speculation and every tactic in between. How can we help you? Drop us a line and we’ll do our level best.
We don’t promise to have all the answers, and in the end what worked for us might not work for you–but we can at least share what we have. We look forward to the first round.
Ever wonder why you did it? Or want to do it fulltime? There are plenty of reasons people cite, including the desire to have more control over life in general or the need to start a new career and a new life.
But the freelance lifestyle has its own set of pitfalls that most writing sites don’t mention. Are you ready for these?
–Your boss will still be a jerk. Except now, the boss is YOU.
–You’ll work more hours for yourself than you did for the old boss.
In the freelance world, what goes around definitely comes around. I remember a recent situation where a fellow freelancer had to bail on a project and left some work that needed completing; long story short, I stepped up to help. When it came time to get the materials for the project, my colleague got a strange attitude–as if he couldn’t be bothered to actually deliver the materials I needed to help finish the gig on time.
It all worked out in the end, but lo and behold a few days later this same person wanted me to do him the same courtesy I’d asked for (but not gotten) with the project materials. Funny how that works, eh?
In these situations I try to take the high road, but now and then every freelancer succumbs to the guilty pleasure of really sticking it to somebody when they seem to deserve what the Brits call being “kicked back into touch.”
I don’t advise this since freelancer karma works both ways even when you’re in the right. I usually just take satisfaction in knowing that I was vindicated and move on.
I do make sure the person knows they owe me one, though–and that’s a LOT more productive than giving in to the temptation to be a bit petty. The real danger in these situations is that the person on the receiving end of freelancer karma often winds up becoming grist for the writing mill.
In the words of a t-shirt I spotted for sale online recently, “I’m Blogging This”.
Fooey on you, karma scofflaws!
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