Taking the plunge and going self-employed can be exciting and daunting in equal measure. When you decide to work for yourself and go freelance, there’s instantly more to think about than when you were a full-time or part-time employee of a business. On day one, you’ll probably be worrying about where your next project or task is going to come from and whether you have enough cash in the bank to pay the bills.
However, being your own boss does have plenty of benefits too. Most notably, the creative freedom to pick and choose the work that interests you most, improving your self-fulfillment in the process. There are plenty of strategies you can employ to manage your workload stress and daily worries as a self-employed professional.
Consider the following five mindsets that can help you make the most of working for yourself rather than viewing self-employment as a weight around your neck:
1. Know your professional worth
First and foremost, knowing how much you should be charging your clients is essential. If you don’t charge your clients enough, you’ll be undervaluing your talents and not earning enough to cover your bills. Consider doing some basic sums and factor in how many days you wish to work in a calendar year, with perhaps less annual leave and weekends off. You can then divide your target salary by the number of days you plan to work. This will calculate your target hourly or day rate that you can use to ensure you don’t sell yourself short and cause undue stress.
2. Clearly define your working hours and workspace
Giving yourself enough downtime to continue to lead a wholesome personal life, as well as professional life, is very important in achieving a healthy work/life balance. With no boss looking over your shoulder, you can set your own working hours. Furthermore, if you plan to work from home, it’s equally important to define your workspace and create a working environment that’s conducive to productivity, with ample natural light and de-cluttered storage.
3. Seek all-encompassing business insurance
One of the most daunting aspects of being self-employed is that the buck stops with you. If you make a professional mistake, you will be liable for it. Without sufficient legal protection, this can cause many a sleepless night and a very lengthy legal bill. Consider choosing a policy for business insurance that can incorporate all kinds of cover; from general liability to professional liability. It’s also possible to arrange commercial auto insurance at next-insurance.com as part of a bespoke business insurance policy.
4. Stay connected with co-working or networking opportunities
Without sufficient connections and social activities, self-employment can be a somewhat lonely existence. If you work at home alone, it’s important to try and immerse yourself in the local business community. Consider signing up for business networking events that might even earn your future projects and enhance your exposure. If you become tired of working from home, co-working spaces could be a suitable alternative, allowing you access to your own desk in an office full of like-minded freelancers and a chance to bounce ideas around with people whose skills complement your own.
5. Look to the future
While it’s important to consider where your next pay-cheque is coming from, it’s also important to focus on the long-term with your self-employment too. Freelancers often forget to think about their own retirement plans. Once things stabilize and you feel settled in your new working life, be sure to enroll yourself in a private pension plan that allows you to invest in a nest egg for later life.
Running your own business and being in control of your own destiny should be liberating, not destabilizing. Hopefully, these five strategies can help you to think more clearly about your self-employment and ensure you get the most out of your career choice.