Diane Hall - The Frazzled Freelancer

Freelancer, Entrepreneur and mother of two...

The Frazzled Freelancer – real life freelancer experiences

Please give a big welcome to Diane Hall, our resident Frazzled Freelancer, who will be writing up the highs and lows of the freelance life on Enterprise Freelance Fair over the coming months.

 

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Hi I’m Diane and under my blogger’s ‘handle’ I will be “The Frazzled Freelancer”

Over the coming weeks I will be sharing my freelance experiences with you as they happen.

I hope to inspire anyone out there who may be thinking of starting a freelance career, to relate to anyone who has already made that decision or maybe to even learn from those of you out there that are seasoned professionals at this freelancing lark.

Just to tell you a little about my circumstances – I’m a mother of two that until very recently made what seems like a mad decision to give up a well-paid job in forensics to run my own business.

I have been a freelancer around my employed career for the past four years, running an online business offering writing coaching and proofreading/editing services.  However, the juggling of both these roles reached a crescendo and it forced a decision from me.

To be a freelancer or not to be a freelancer?  That was the question.

I certainly could not continue doing both if I ever wanted my kids to see me away from my laptop.  Something had to give.

This is the point where I tell of the brave decision I made to go it alone, and how I enthusiastically bounded into my boss’ office with my notice, accompanied by a fanfare.  Well, erm, it didn’t happen quite like that.  It wasn’t melodramatic at all.  The truth was, something happened in my job that I didn’t agree with and I thought, “Stuff this for a lark”.  So I resigned.

Some people may dream of working for themselves – as I often did.  In-house photographers may long to go freelance, writers may want to call their own shots, marketers may have enough fantastic ideas to shine on their own.

One thing I think you should definitely do is plan WHAT your business is going to be, to WHOM you will sell your product or service and HOW you will do that.  Not just jump ship like me if you don’t like sleepless nights.  I am in the (sort-of) fortunate position that my other half could pay the majority of bills with his wage, leaving me to only bring in a few hundred pounds a month, in order for us, as a family, to avoid eating cold baked beans whilst living amongst woodland.

The first two dry months

What actually followed this resignation decision was a very dry month or two of freelance work whilst I finalised my business model.  Now that was scary.  No freelance jobs on the horizon at all and no money flowing into our household from my efforts.  What I had overlooked in my moment of madness was that a dry spell of work as a freelancer when you are also employed hardly registers when your wage still flows into the bank.  When that doesn’t happen and you’re actually relying on the proceeds of your freelancing job, you start to wobble a little (alright, a lot) when work doesn’t arrive at your door.

So I did what anyone would do and promoted my business to the hilt – which was successful – only a little too successful.  I had been spending so much time promoting myself, here, there and everywhere, that I had not factored in the time to actually do any work.  I ended up commissioning another freelance writer to help me.  Now can you see why the title, ‘The Frazzled Freelancer’ is going to suit me so?  I don’t sit and plan, as much as cock it all up and learn how it’s not to be done.

I have now got to the point where I am actually putting things in place with my second company (my first is continuing exactly as it always has done, around my daytime role).  I will explain the pitfalls I have experienced, pass on any tips I come across along the way and also offer any advice if you want to ask me anything – though I stress I can only advise from experience and not from any doctorate.

Sometimes, the best advice is from someone who has ‘been there, done that’.

I really hope you enjoy what you read in the coming weeks.  I have a very sarcastic tongue which I kid myself is innate wit – even if you are not a freelancer and never even plan to be, I hope you pop back to hear me making a fool of myself on a regular basis.

Until next time,
The Frazzled Freelancer.

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Written by Editor on September 10, 2010 and filed in Featured, Frazzled Freelancer, Opinion


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