Some of you may have read my previous post on how I left the corporate world to join the freelance life, and I wanted to share with you all some tips & tricks on how you can do the same thing, I promise it’s not as hard as you think!
HAVE A PLAN – granted, I didn’t when I left my job, but I had reached a point where I literally couldn’t work in my job a day longer without negatively impacting my mental health. I would recommend NOT waiting until you have reached this stage as my mental health wasn’t too great by this point. Instead, the moment you realise you are increasingly unhappy in your job start to brainstorm what you could do as an alternative and when you think you can realistically achieve this goal. Try to set the target for when you leave to be a little closer than you’d like to give you a kick up the butt to get things done quickly.
UTILISE YOUR SKILLSET – Many people underestimate how skilled they actually are. We always think that successful people are successful because they are more talented, more knowledgable, more savvy, more experienced than us. Reality check: THIS ISN’T THE CASE. The difference between you and someone doing the job you currently wish you were doing is that they had the balls to just go out there and do it. They are no more intelligent, experienced or skilled than you. They just decided to take action. Could you do the job you do now but freelance? Do you have any skills that can be turned into a service? Tutoring? Music lessons? Creating crafts? Copywriting? The list of possibilities is literally endless.
STAY POSITIVE – Admittedly this is something that I struggle with day to day, but being positive is SO important if you want to be successful. Your thoughts become your actions and your actions become your lifestyle. If you don’t think you have what it takes to make it big then you won’t – because you will quit at the first hurdle and not pick yourself back up when you fall over. Instead, tell yourself daily, hourly, before you go to bed that you CAN do this and you WILL do this. Even if you don’t know how right now, you know that it is what you want to do and you have the capacity to do it. Whatever thoughts or requests you put out to the Universe you will get back – so make sure they are positive ones.
HAVE SELF BELIEF – This is linked to staying positive and is such a crucial mindset to maintain at all times. There are countless stories of wildly successful people – JK Rowling, Bill Gates, Walt Disney, the founder of Starbucks – that were rejected countless times in their quest to publish a book, start a company, create a theme park or start the world’s biggest coffee shop chain. But despite their numerous setbacks they all maintained a strong sense of self belief that they could still achieve their dreams, they just needed to alter their tactics.
Jumper is from the knitwear section of Femme Luxe
USE YOUR CONTACTS– It’s amazing how many people are too shy to ask the people around them for help. The short answer to this is: don’t. Make a list of 10-20 people you know well and in the next column write down how they could help you. I did this and found I had a contact in PR, web developers, designers, tech support, investors and business development contacts that have all helped me on my new journey. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those nearest to you, they could be the difference between you succeeding and not.
HAVE A BACKUP PLAN – I toyed with the idea of including this, but I think it’s important to be realistic whilst also aiming big. Despite having several clients now I have also lost many along the way – for a multitude of reasons – and every time I’ve lost one, I’ve had to quickly think on my feet for how I supplement the income I’ve lost from them.
HAVE SOME INITIAL FUNDS – Or at least somewhere to live where you don’t need to pay rent. Even if you get a new client or job straight away it can often take two months to receive any form of pay (usually 30 days of work with a 30 day wait period for an invoice to be processed) so you can quickly be at the very brink of your overdraft limit if you’re not careful. Do you have savings you can dip into? Is it possible for you to move back in with your parents or a family member for a short period of time? Could you take a part time job to supplement your income for the first couple of months whilst you develop your dream on the side?
CREATE MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME FOR YOURSELF – When I lost a big paying client recently I panicked a little at how I would readjust to not having their pay check coming in every month. The next day, a colleague contacted me in tears because she had been made redundant effective immediately and had no other job or income stream at her disposal. It put my situation into context and made me grateful for the fact I was freelance – I still had several other income streams and wouldn’t in the way she would. I do find it crazy when people refer to their one full time job as reliable – if you’re made redundant like my friend was, how long can you actually last before you exhaust your savings? By creating multiple income streams you are always protecting yourself against that ever happening.
IGNORE THE NAY SAYERS – A friend of mine recently came to me for advice on joining the freelance world. She had been surrounded by people that told her not to do it, there were too many risks involved and the chances of her succeeding were slim. Please IGNORE THESE PEOPLE. They will always exist and they will always poo poo any big ideas you have because it’s making them feel jealous of their boring unfulfilling life that you are going out there and making something of your own. Instead, find networking groups, social media accounts or just reach out to people who are already doing what you want to do and spend time with them instead. You are the sum of the 5 people closest to you – make sure they are not 5 naysayers.
Jumper is from the knitwear section of Femme Luxe
JUST DO IT – in the words of Nike & Shia LaBeouf, JUST DO IT. A crazy number of us spend our lifetimes daydreaming of what we would love to do with our life, meanwhile our actual life passes us by. Stop thinking and planning and just DO IT. Take that first step NOW. Start your website, hand in your notice, apply to other roles, buy materials to start your business. Whatever you need to do to kickstart your new life, just DO IT. Well, ideally after you’ve finished reading this blog spot.
WHAT YOU WANT IS ALREADY OUT THERE – this is perhaps one of my favourite quotes of all time. What do you want to be? An actor? A singer? An entrepreneur? A magician? You might immediately shut down the idea behind any of your wildest dreams and think to yourself, SURELY this isn’t possible. But I bet you can name at least 5 people that are already doing your dream job. So surely then, it is possible? If you’re unsure of how to get started or achieve the dream job or life you have, make a list of 3 people that are already doing it and spend time researching exactly how they did it. Then do it yourself.
To my delightful readers – did any of you make the leap from corporate to freelance? Or left your 9-5 to do your dream job? If so, I want to hear all about it below!