He Said/She Said: How To Launch a Freelance Career

me and mike.

As I’ve hopefully established by this point, I’m a full-time freelancer, earning the bulk of my income with blogging and proofreading. My husband, on the other hand, juggles both a full-time copywriting job and freelance web design.

Unsurprisingly, he’s the practical one in this set-up, while I’m the one who just loves taking risks with her career.

As two people who are both pursuing the freelance life — each in their own, special way — our day-to-day requires quite the balancing act.

I’d like to compare and contrast our approaches from time to time on this blog, for the benefit of you, the reader. This week: How to Launch a Freelance Career


You often have to take a step back in order to move forward. It drives me crazy when the people in my life say, “It’s too late,” or “It’s not a good time.” The fact of the matter is, there’s never a good time to make a career leap. There will always be bills to pay and responsibilities to be dealt with, and your personal fulfillment will invariably end up on the bottom of your list of priorities. Listen. Even if you need to go back to school, take on a post-college internship, or slide all the way back down to entry level, the demotion will be temporary and, soon enough, you’ll be on top of the world. (Disclosure: I’ve done two internships since getting my undergraduate degree, and both put me exactly where I wanted to be.)

michael is scary.

Prepare for the job you want before leaving the job you have. This is a rule Michael continues to follow, even as the clients steadily pour in. In addition to his full-time work and off-hours freelance work, he also regularly takes online courses in Photoshop, PHP, CSS, XHTML, etc. Being uber-prepared gives him the self-confidence he needs to — gradually — make that career change. If you see yourself as a professional, he says, others will, too. Besides, being prepared for the job at hand separates the professionals from the amateurs, and that will come out in the work you do.

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