Diane Hall - The Frazzled Freelancer

Freelancer, Entrepreneur and mother of two...

Are you the same person since you chose to go freelance?

I think I must be either getting older, or wiser

I’m usually very impulsive by nature (just ask my long-suffering other half); when I get an idea in my head, I don’t tend to stop and think of the consequences.  Which describes how I came to be full-time freelancing from part-time freelancing!

Sometimes, my rash actions work out (I still love being self-employed and steering my own destiny!); sometimes they don’t (remember the downsizing of offices I had to initiate earlier this year?). 

The opportunity

The freelance job opportunity I spoke of last week has been laid on the table, and at first glance, I normally would have jumped on the proposal.  However, nine months of peaks, troughs and everything in-between has made me a lot more wary of whether any deal is as good as it sounds.

Previously I would have dived in feet first, fuelled by sheer confidence (or even arrogance) that the idea would work out for me.  Having seen how hard it is to come back from a negative shift in my business, I’m not taking things on face value.

Lessons learned

It’s a good thing I did, in all honesty.  When costings are calculated and practicalities are considered, the potential for me to earn any profits from said opportunity rests on a lot of ‘ifs’.

I love ideas – I consider myself an ideas person.  I even came up with an idea of a mobile app game following an episode of The Apprentice.  I watched it on the Wednesday, it was in production by the Friday – soon to be released.  If the app is rubbish or doesn’t sell, I’ve lost a couple of hundred quid.  If the proposal offered to me fails, I’ll probably lose my business, my sanity and any financial standing I currently hold.  The risk is just too much.

The moral of my post is this: freelancers have to make decisions on a daily, even hourly, basis.  They may have sounding boards, networking contacts or business coaches to help them determine what’s best for their business, but the buck comes down to the individual – not a boss sat behind a desk that will carry the can if things go pear-shaped.

Read the fine, and even finer print…

Make sure any decision that affects your business or freelancing career is dissected. 

Don’t take possible collaborators’ claims that their figures are correct, or that their perception of a market is favourable.  Do your own research and form your own conclusion as to whether the deal is worth your involvement.  Your possible partners will only be thinking of themselves in any proposal, and you have to do the same.  There’s little loyalty in business.

That’s not to say the proposal is ready for binning – more that changes have to be made to the idea and logistics to balance the scales in both our favours.  I’ve also learnt that starting off small and building up to the bigger picture is a lot less risky than throwing everything at ‘the next big thing’, hoping against hope that it will work. 

Nowadays, I think there’s nothing wrong with being conservative.

What do you think?  Has freelancing changed your personality?  Do you continue to throw caution to the wind when it comes to making business decisions?  Or have you become obsessed with the details of any opportunity? 

I’d love to know if freelancing has changed you; not just where you work and what you do – but changed YOU.  This former ‘go for it now, think later’ girl has become far more reserved (and, dare I say it, pessimistic) through working for herself.

Does freelancing change us?

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Written by Editor on May 20, 2011 and filed in Featured, Frazzled Freelancer, Freelancers, Opinion ,

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