The Freelance Rollercoaster

So, I was recently at a networking event with a new friend who’s just setting up her business. She said ‘I feel like I’m losing momentum at the moment, but everyday in this journey is such a rollercoaster of emotions’.

This really got me thinking. Being a writer, and therefore quite creative, I fit the stereotype of ‘I’ve just got a lot of emotions OKAY’. Then I thought, maybe I’m being way too harsh on myself. This is a rollercoaster ride – in fact, running any business is! Some days I sink into a bath at 10pm and let out an exhausted sigh, thinking about the one piece of criticism I received that day. Other times I lie awake at night trying to figure out if that client really liked my piece of work or stressing about how I’m going to awkwardly chase a load of invoices. One simple criticism or spelling mistake can have me doubting my credibility and generally tearing myself down.

Other days, I’m euphoric! Invoices are getting paid, I’m getting client referrals and nice emails from current clients. Networking events fill me with excitement and buzz, being surrounded by such infectiously enthusiastic people. A company I’d been writing content for asked me to write the content for their own website. I all but burst into happy tears!

Maybe I’m the odd one out, but I really don’t think I am. It’s ok if some days you walk in the front door, fall into the sofa and a let out a few frustrated tears. It’s ok if you just want to repeatedly knock your forehead onto the keyboard or pour a glass of wine at 4pm on a Wednesday. Sh*t happens.

But don’t lose sight of the fact that in-between all the ups and downs, you’re building your empire. You’re not filling someone else’s pockets – the buck stops with you, and there’s power in that. Every criticism and every compliment belong solely to you, not many people get that kind of accountability in their day-to-day jobs.

Finally… I get it. You’re not alone. In fact, if you want reassurance that freelancing is full of bugbears, simply post about it on LinkedIn and watch the whole freelance community stand by your side!

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