Why It Took Me Four Years To Become A Freelance Hard-Ass

My new dress code. ... Okay. Not really. I'm wearing a sundress sans bra right now.

It can be tough to be tough with clients when you’re first starting out as a freelancer.

After all, you’re new to all of this: the self-promotion… the self-discipline… the hustle… the rates-setting. You’re unsure of yourself: unsure of what you’re worth… whether or not you’ll fail or succeed… whether or not you have what it takes.

Because of all this, you end up saying yes to every damn project, out of both desperation and fear. You end up lowballing yourself when setting rates. You end up working nights and weekends, with nothing to show for it.

After three years, I still had nothing to show for it.

Don’t get me wrong. After three years, the work was coming to me. My professional network was vast. My portfolio and resume looked a thousand times better than they once did.

But I was still struggling to pay the bills, and my work/life balance was seriously out of whack.

It took me four years to finally become a freelance hard-ass. What finally clicked?

[Read more…]

Link Love: May 20, 2010

It has been over a month since my last Link Love. In lieu of the Hail Marys and the Our Fathers, I’m finally going to own up to the fact that something’s gotta give.

I mean, my grandfather died. And then I started a new copy editing gig. And then I launched a mom blog over at YourTango. And Michael and I started making plans to go hang gliding, maybe go on a French wine cruise, clean out our condo and sell it, buy a house.

Things fell by the wayside. My plans to do market research for my career coaching practice. My e-book. This blog.

Something has to give, but I don’t want to give up any of it. Which is why, at the very least, I can at least stop feeling guilty over the infrequency of my blog posts. At least for now.

Last night, I attended a callanetics class with my mom. I’ve been going every week for the past 11 years (give or take the few years I was away at college). It typically serves to simultaneously relax and invigorate me, both stretching me out and strengthening my core. Last night, however, I had a panic attack during class, and started crying on the drive home. I just felt so overwhelmed.

So yes. I’m going to try to feel less guilty. I’m going to try to acknowledge that I am merely human. I am not going to give up this blog. But I will be here less often. If you’d like to stock up on some reading material in the meantime…

[Read more…]