It's been about four months (wait how has it already been FOUR months) since I went full-time freelancer and it's been AMAZING! It had also been an adjustment of life schedules and finding the balance of fun and work.
Right when I turned 16, my mom suggested I get a job. So right after that birthday we went down to the local Old Navy and I applied to work there. I got the job, and that was the start of my customer service career for the next 14 years. Since my Old Navy days, I have worked at a grocery store, Starbucks, and the local coffee shop here in Oakland, with smaller internships and job scatterings between those years. I thank my mom for instilling a great work ethic in me, and I couldn't image not working. You can image how going full time freelancing could be a big life change for me. I am used to having a set schedule, clocking in and out each day, and requesting time off for vacations and letting my work schedule dictate if I could do something or not.
Going from that to basically total freedom is like WOAH. These past months I have had a "summer" and have done more fun things in a short period than I can ever remember. Sean and I were in Tahoe for the 4th of July weekend and I remember thinking while we were floating the river, "this is really nice that I could join our friends and actually be able to do this!" I am kind of in the honeymoon stage of freelancing, haha!
Some things I have learned so far...
- It's real easy to not eat a real meal until dinner. I will start working and then realize it's 3pm and I haven't eaten breakfast or lunch. Oops! I like to start my day with breakfast, so missing breakfast is not good for me. Eating meals and taking breaks needs to be prioritized.
- Freelancing isn't a 9-5, 5 days of week career. We're constantly thinking about work or doing work when it's accessible. Taking a whole 24hours off is really hard.
- But on the upside, we can take a week day off if needed and can have a more flexible schedule
- Working out, taking walks and breaks become even more important because I sit in front of the computer more than ever
- Coffee shops and co-working spaces become your new bff. I am finding that working at home makes me less production because I get too distracted. (For those in the Bay Area, I find that Philz has the most outlets, which if you're a photographer... you know availability of power outlets are like gold)
- Finding a small group of like-minded entrepreneurs will do wonders for your mental health, business, and motivation. I have found my group and each month we create monthly goals and keep each other accountable/ offer support/ Slack silly things to each other. Having this group makes owning my own business less lonley.
- I am responsible for my time and making an income because I don't have a second job to rely on, which is freakin' scary. But it also motivates me to work hard each day and create goals that will have a positive effect on my business.
- It's easy to not get dressed in real clothes, but you really should shower and get ready. It'll help your productivity and make you feel a part of the "real world", even if you are working from your home.
- I get to dedicate the time I have wanted to my couple and clients because Chelsea Dier Photography is now my full-time job and my priority. WOO HOO!
Here's to all the adventures of being a freelance entrepreneur and #GIRLBOSS! I post #talesfromfreelancing on my Instagram and stories, so if you're a fellow freelancer or pursuing this adventure, be on the look out for those!
Question for you: what have you discovered in your freelance journey? I would love to hear about it!!