The Ugly Side of Freelancing

Hey friends. It feels like it’s been ages I wrote a post straight from heart, and it feels great writing this. Believe it or not, I drafted this post on my iPhone whilst feeding my kids dinner and listening to my African playlist on Spotify. Yes I like to multitask like that!
Life has been busy. From dealing with endless cold symptoms, stress, annoying clients, and everything else in between. These last 3 months has been one hell of a rollercoaster in the dark. I have hardly had the time to write as much I would love to. If you have noticed, I have only been managing to post once a day which is unlike my usual schedule, but what can I say, life happened.
I have now decided to get rid of anything and anyone that would put me under unnecessary stress, I don’t have to deal with. Life is too short to spend the time stressing. The first quarter of 2017 is almost over, and I feel like it has just passed me by, which is kind of frustrating. I have spent more time sorting other people’s business, and I let mine to fall behind.
One thing I have discovered is that there is definitely a very thin line between love and hate, and I am crazy in love with my life and working conditions, I won’t let anyone make me hate it. Which is clearly what I see happening if I continue dealing with some of the clients I am working with. Some of them are just impossible to please.
Without giving too much away, the main issue I have with these people is that I manage their expectations a bit too much. So I won’t let them build castles in the air, or let their expectations exceed their reality, or allow them to expect to get more than they should, if that makes sense, and that is where our worlds collide. Some people are happy leaving in a fantasy world, and expecting everything for nothing, but I am unable to function that way.
However when it comes down to it, the ball is in my court. I have to decide who I am happy to work with and what conditions I am willing to accept, and stick to it. I also need to avoid using certain websites to source for jobs. The crazies all seem to be on certain platforms, so they are best avoided.
I guess that is the ugly side of freelancing no one tells you about. The great expectations from clients looking to pay the bare minimum for the job that needs doing. The chasing of invoice is another annoying part of being a freelancer but I think it all comes down to the client. Some clients are just very difficult to work with, and are best avoided, while some are truly amazing!
My advice to any newbie freelancer would be to try as much as possible to cut out the middleman websites. The cuts they take are a lot and the clients you find on there are usually not worth the hassle. You could get lucky but I am yet to see any good in them. Instead, make the most of social media, word of mouth and offline recommendations if possible.
Do you freelance? How are you finding it?

50 responses

  1. Hey, sometimes the months go like that but sounds like you have a better understanding of ensuring the next few months take a different turn….I used to freelance and for me it was a total nightmare. A lot of that was coz I chose the wrong clients. For my industry, it would have been better to do a full-time job, get to a particular level and use that to leverage clients who can fit the bill but you live, you learn ( :

  2. I have done a bit of freelancing and the major part of if was people thinking that I hardly do any work since I was not actually going to an office from 9 to 5 and also that they do not have to pay much. But, people who freelance. know very well that it takes much more of our time and stress is multiplied. By the way I draft a lot on my iphone😂

  3. I have previously done freelance work and it was a lot of work for very little payment. I got frustrated with the last client especially and I just stopped picking up their calls and decided to just write off the money they owed me. You have to go in hard and strong with freelance work of you don’t want to be taken advantage of.

    • True that. You hit the nail on the head. I could hug you right now! I was in the exact same situation with a client some days ago. I got so frustrated, the client was impossible to please, I had to call it a day.

  4. E mails that ask for the earth and offer nothing in return make me cross. It’s as if they think we are sitting her with nothing to do. I often write posts on my iPhone whilst running around after my children. It’s the only way I get everything done. x

  5. I am not a freelances and I thank you for sharing with us the other side of the moon my darling.
    Keep being positive and I am sure it will get better.
    Happy Friday!

  6. It is great that you have found time to stop, look back and realise what is important. I do not freelance but working for yourself, meeting expectations, chasing payments and looking after a family must be very stressful.I agree that some times it’s best to step back and just say no.

  7. I don’t freelance but I am on the other side, using freelancers for different jobs. I don’t like the middle websites either, they do take a lot of commission but I did find some good freelancers to work with.

  8. This one speaks to me — I understand completely what you mean about managing expectations and having unruly customers who expect you to move mountains. I have been working as a freelancer for several years now (though have gone mostly full time with a company I am now with but still get occasional writing/editing things on the side). It is unbelievably frustrating sometimes and YES to finding the crazies on certain platforms–thank you for this!

    Also I have found that cutting out bad apples in life and in your career really can make ALL the difference in the world, so I wish you nothing but the best of luck 🙂

    Stopping in from the Blog Loft!

  9. I have also got rid of people that cause me stress and it has changed my life completely. Being able to say No is such a powerful thing. It is so good to be in control of your own life.

  10. Super agree on this line: “Life is too short to spend the time stressing.” Indeed we should stay away from negative people and focus on what is keeping us growing. Lets stay positive and enjoy life to the fullest.

  11. This speak to me. I was super stressed last month with a client. It really wore me down. I decided to work for him – for a month and then for it to be over. Now it the first of April and i’m so glad it over and done with. As you said, ”life is too short to spend your time stressing”. xx

  12. I freelance and have times I find it very stressful. I think the only thing I don’t like about freelancing is the instability of it all, some months there’s an income and others there’s not.

  13. I could relate to so many things you have mentioned, Stella. I did and still do (a little bit) of freelancing job apart from my main employment. Boy, it’s hard sometimes! The unrealistic expectations as well as chasing those invoices are the worst! I am glad you’re talking control of it all & your life, hon.
    xox Nadia

  14. Well done for writing this. i found it very refreshing. It is ok to sometimes stop. I had a client once who was incredibly hard to please and caused me so much stress. I wish i’d have realised it sooner x

  15. Hi Stella, love truthful post. I have got so many tips from you over the last few months and I really appreciate all the help you have given me. I am now starting my blog into a business and I am going to try and focus on the good parts and block out all the things that I don’t like. Truth is I do love blogging so if I can get paid for doing something I love, I have to try it before working a job I am not so fond off :):) I just hope I get some work now after turning down paid opps for 6 years, eek..

  16. Middle man type sites are everywhere when it comes to finding blogger collabs, but they often make brands look bad with late payments and bloggers having to chase up payments.

  17. As a journalist, I have a completely different set of issues, but what doesn’t change is that freelancing is hard. Balancing different jobs, chasing invoices, it can get exhausting!

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