This is a ranty blog. An “I’ve had it up to fucking here” blog. Sometimes, being your own boss sucks. It just does. Most of the time it doesn’t but there are days when you just want to say “bollocks to this” and go work on a checkout in Tesco. Then you remember all the really annoying people and their even more annoying screeching children in Tesco and backtrack wildly. But you could. It could push you that far.
The roller coaster of finding and managing your own work is a biggie in the stress stakes. One day, a VA will wake up and say “I have the perfect amount of work to complete this week in the allotted time and it is going to pay me handsomely”. You will then see Peppa Pig and her porcine buddies flitting across the sky in feather boas giving her the finger.
I am going to write an entire blog over the agony that is billing by the hour and the fact that I now factor in time to obsess, fret and worry about my billable hours (seriously, if I’m going to do it, it might as well be planned into my day as "non-billable planning"!). But you just think you are about there, it’s sort of balanced and you have a fair idea what is coming in when and, wallop, a client leaves. So you have a hole to fill. You think you’ve filled it, you’re good to go and, wallop, hot lead goes away.
And this is the reality of freelance life. You can never rest on your laurels and assume that work will be forthcoming. Sometimes it is. Sometimes the universe just casually spits clients at you and you barely have to lift a finger to make that happen. More often that not though, it’s harder work than that and new work is the result of hours and hours of networking, getting to know people and drinking shit coffee at 7AM.
So that’s the roller coaster of freelance life hours. It’s annoying. But it is what it is. Last week I was still working at 9PM 2 nights in a row because I had so much on. It goes up. It goes down. Up. Down. C’est la vie.
But as well as client work (or lack thereof) there are SO many things that can conspire to make you have a crap day.
- Prospective clients that fully expected you were going to charge them £10 an hour.
- Prospective clients that dick you about and waste your time. (Or lie to you! I had a man contact me about some VA support. When I turned up at the meeting (driving an hour each way!) he tried to recruit me as a Juice Plus sales person. What. The. Actual. Fuck. If that happened now I’m older, wiser and a LOT more jaded I swear I’d have his balls off with a hole punch - how very fucking dare you?).
- If you’re ill and you either have to work anyway in your half dead state or factor in not getting paid for a day.
- If your technology fails and you waste a load of time, money and effort just trying to get yourself back to a place where you CAN work. By which time you’re so knackered and cross you might as well just have a bottle of wine anyway.
- If you don’t get picked for a job.
- If you DO get picked for a job you’ve invested time in winning and it transpires to be an hour of bloody data entry (after a 3 hour sales process)
What do you think are the real downers of being a freelancer?