what I learned in my first week as a full-time freelancer

Today is the first day of my second week as a full-time freelance writer and consultant. Devoting myself fully to Inspiration-Driven Communication has been a beautiful challenge so far. Here’s what I’ve learned in my first full week as a freelancer.

We can be our own toughest boss. Tough in a good way.

From retail managers to nonprofit directors, I’ve been blessed with more dream bosses than nightmare bosses. But there’s this intrigue in wanting to answer only to yourself. Like it’s going to make work instantly easier or something.

Wrong. Answering to myself has made work more challenging than ever before.

When we’re accountable to ourselves, we know our darkest corners and greatest weaknesses. When I don’t give something my all, I know it. I know it better than any external boss ever could, would or will. And that makes us our toughest critics.

Oh, but it’s good. It’s so good. We can see what works and what doesn’t, where our passions lie and where we’re simply phoning it in. Knowing both our weaknesses and our strengths, we can best catch ourselves in the act.

Flexibility is both an enemy and an ally.

When you’re your own boss, you can make your own schedule. Sometimes, that’s a dream. Mr. S. is still working on that pesky thesis, and he does that in the evenings. So I get a good chunk of work done then too. Few traditional jobs would let me do that.

Since I’ve been back in Kansas City, temptations meet me at every corner. Simply exploring this what’s-old-is-new-again city could take days. And with too much flexibility, I’d find myself with a waning business. When my goal is to build my writing and gain solid projects and make good contributions, I need to build a schedule so I accomplish work and take steps towards growth. Without structure, flexibility loses its charm.

Showing up is more than half the battle.

Especially on days when I have few meetings, the yoga pants call the loudest. Oh Sarah, they whisper. We’re so comfy and soft! Just put us on and log into Netflix, they call.

No, sweet yoga pants. Not today. 

With my traditional jobs, I got my brain and heart in gear for work with solid habits. Waking up, getting ready for the day, commuting to work by a certain time . . . these are great habits. I have to learn to make habits a part of my full-time freelancing too.

One thing that’s been helpful is physically walking with Mr. S. to the door when he leaves for work. That means my feet are on the floor and my butt is out of bed and my day must start too. It’s a signal that my workday has started.

Most of all? Celebrating matters.

Celebrating that I woke up today? That matters. Working hard and meeting a deadline? That matters. Celebrating signing a contract with a new client? That matters. Celebrating new networking contacts? That matters.

Celebrating the little things is a big deal. This freelancing thing, this building a business thing . . . it feels teeny-tiny some days. It feels like a newborn, tiny baby among giants.

But we rejoice and celebrate at the birth of a baby, don’t we?

And so goes this journey. I’m committed to embracing each stage of it. These days, I celebrate its first breaths, no matter how small.

Happy to once again link up with Soli Deo Gloria.


3 thoughts on “what I learned in my first week as a full-time freelancer

  1. I can identify with all of this 🙂 Just wrote a post on Friday about the good and bad of becoming my own boss. Freedom and flexibility are good things but with them comes responsibility and some uncertainty.

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