Find your people
Freelancing can be lonely and stressful. The mere idea of running a “company of one” sends most people running for the hills. We have said YES to the freelancer life and it’s critical for your emotional well-being to find like-minded people to keep you accountable and stay motivated.
Get an accountability partner
Accomplishing your goals is definitely important but it’s not always urgent. Especially if you’re in charge now. It’s generally a good practice to write down what you would like to accomplish in the short and long term but it’s easy to deviate from your plans and defer your goals without someone to keep you accountable. Find yourself an accountability partner, someone that you can openly share your goals with and check in with to make sure you’re staying on track. This could be a friend, family member or a fellow freelancer you connect with specifically for this purpose. Commit to meeting with this person regularly to go over what you accomplished, what fell by the wayside and what’s on the docket for the upcoming week. Having a thought partner will keep you in check and help manage the powerful emotions that come along with being completely overwhelmed.
Seek out a mentor
If you’ve ever held a corporate job, professional development and mentorship was probably part of the package. The company you work for is highly invested in the success of their employees because the success of their business depends on it. When you’re out on your own, your success depends solely on you and that can be extremely daunting. Finding a mentor who is personally invested in your success and willing to give you honest feedback or tough love when you need it is a game changer. If you have the resources, consider hiring a business coach to help you work through the twists and turns of building your business. Even as freelancers, we need to feel like someone is “on our team”.
Become part of a community
When you first start talking about your plans to freelance or build your business to the people closest to you, you may not get the enthusiastic response you expect. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Don’t let other people’s fear get to you. It takes a certain kind of person to have the guts to freelance and it’s not for everyone. It’s important for your mental health to seek out others and have a sense of community. Working for yourself can be incredibly freeing but it can also be lonely. Find spaces where like-minded people can bounce around ideas, offer constructive feedback and engage in meaningful conversations with their peers. This could be social media groups, co-working spaces or mastermind groups run by coaches. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your life starts to change when you surround yourself with people who understand and support what you’re doing.
If you’re serious about rocking it as a freelancer and creating time and location independence from your job, prioritizing your physical, mental and emotional health is one of the most important things you can do to be successful.
Recharging your batteries and filling your tank means that you can pour the best of yourself into your work. You can’t pour from an empty cup! Staying mentally and physically healthy and happy is a surefire way to fast track yourself to the freelancing life you’ve been dreaming of. Always remember that you CAN and you WILL do this.