Diane Hall - The Frazzled Freelancer

Freelancer, Entrepreneur and mother of two...

My Next Step; Freelance Work to Freelancer Business

It’s very exciting being a freelance worker, but it’s also fraught with worry.

The uncertainty of whether work will continue to come in, the balancing of many clients’ deadlines, the stress of dealing with everything yourself – but so many people thrive on worry of this kind that our nation’s number of freelancers and entrepreneurs grows in times of recession.

If your comfort blanket, i.e. your job, has been snatched from under you by nasty economic pressures, trying to make it on your own is as good as any other opportunity on the table.

As regular readers of this column will know that I’ve seen ups and downs in my first year of freelance business. And I’m still here. I’ve no more wish to work for an employer now than when I first took the leap to go solo (far, far less, actually), so the worry and strain can’t be too taxing.

I launched into a peak, then, a few months later, suffered a trough. This trough was very upsetting at the time but now I’m peaking again it seems a distant memory.

Running at capacity

Now, I’m running at capacity; my weeks are continually filled with work now and I’m chugging along happily. My choice is, do I stay here or do I push for more?

Many freelancers are happy with a great work/life balance and an income stream, with being their own boss and the freedom and control that brings. Me, I want to be hugely successful – I want to own a company, not just a business.

To do that, at some point, I need to take risks. It’s all well and good keeping myself in work, now I need to find work for others and reap the benefits from that. No doubt the worry and stress will increase too, but if I don’t try I’ll never know.

Therefore, I’ve been interviewing for freelance business development-cum-admin support staff this week. I’ve laid myself bare when I’ve told them, their success benefits them directly – more work in, more hours and pay for them.

Spoilt for choice

Surprisingly, for only a few hours work a week, I’ve been inundated with applicants. I never expected to be faced with so much choice, even accounting for the job market’s shaky position. It’s left me with a shortlist of at least four people to choose from, each bringing different skills and experience, and who all would be able to do the job in hand.

Now my choice is: do I choose just one and wait for them to build up business, or do I gamble and take a couple of them, stretching myself financially, but in the hope of quicker and larger growth? This is the dilemma facing me, completely unexpectedly, and one which will most probably shape my business in the months to come.

Speculating to accumulate, taking risks yet minimising unsound business decisions; they’re all part and parcel of a freelance business, or at least, so I’ve found. Each step I face is new and scary, and with only a limited amount of sounding board help from those qualified to help me, the choice is mine alone.

I’ve felt like a kid in a sweet shop this week, looking at all that’s on display, knowing I can’t have it all but unable to make a firm choice. Perhaps it would be simpler if I stuck to just worrying about my workload and containing my growth.  But would it be as exciting?!

So, I’ve decided to push on and make the move from freelance work to building a company. Wish me luck and I’ll let you know how it goes over the coming weeks.

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Written by Editor on July 18, 2011 and filed in Featured, Frazzled Freelancer, Freelance Jobs, Freelancers, Opinion


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