The 5 'F's' of freelancing

May 20, 2016

Working on your own is a lot of things to a lot of people. And yes, there are definitely days that make you want to just drop a 10 dollar bill in the swear jar and go to town. But let’s look at the bright side of your chosen lifestyle with five F-words you can use in front of your Mom. These are the Five F-Words of Independent Work.

5. Family and Friends

Yeah, yeah, it's two words, TECHNICALLY. But anyway...Remember those people in the pictures on your desk? The ones you sometimes see on the weekends – yes, THOSE people.

As a freelancer, you’re setting your own schedule now, which means more time for everything from a sit-down dinner or soccer practice to long weekends away or girls’ night out. Of all the benefits to independent work, seeing more of your loved ones is one of the best.

4. Freedom

Yep. You’re free. Free to treat Monday like a Friday. Free of the hours your boss decides you’ll work, and of course, free to work over at the coffee shop for the day if you feel like it.

You’re also free to explore your passion and take on the projects you want, because you’re in the driver’s seat. But if you’re new to the independent lifestyle, don’t be surprised if you sometimes feel like you just got your license.

3. Frustration

Like any endeavor, as an independent, you’ll learn some lessons the hard way, whether it’s how to write a contract so you get paid on time, not to trust a handshake, or how even if you do the best job possible, your client may not call you for a second project.

The real trick is to learn from these setbacks, not repeat them. In the end, your freedom is worth it.

2. Financial Independence

Well, this one depends on your point of view. Sure, you can now set your own rates, your own hours, and the sky’s the limit.

At the same time, you’ll see dry spells and rough patches. So make sure you’re consulting with a financial professional to ensure that you’ve got enough tucked away for those not-so-sunny days.

1. Future

No, really. According to even the most conservative estimates, we’re well on our way to seeing over 40 million independent workers in the U.S. in the not-so-distant future. 40. MILLION. (If you didn’t say that last part in a “Dr. Evil” voice, we can’t be friends anymore.)

So, you’re part of the future. The independent workforce. And that’s something to be proud of.

So, those are your 5 F-words. Remember them. Remind yourself of them. Then, get out there and F some stuff up.

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.

Kwame DeRoché

Kwame DeRoché is a Brooklyn boy living and working as a copywriter and creative director in Washington, DC. If you don’t like Sci-Fi, pizza, or the Yankees, expect a lot of side eye.