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How to Manage Time Off as a Freelancer

The holiday season is fast approaching. Unlike those with a 9-to-5 jobs, freelancers work around the clock. That’s the nature of your job as a freelancer.  But just like everybody else, we deserve a break to enjoy the festivities.

As a freelancer, you’re your own boss and you have no one to ask for a day off. So you have to find a way to create such time for yourself.

That can seem like a very daunting task as creating that block of time to enjoy the holidays seems almost impossible. But the good news is that there is a way you can have the free time you need to enjoy the festivities with everyone else. Here exactly how you can manage time off as a freelancer this holiday season.

 

 

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Plan ahead

If you want to have the holidays to yourself, then planning ahead is key. To get more time off for yourself means you need to put in extra hours. But don’t worry, it will be worth it. I promise.

Get all your projects and tasks you have of the month in perspective.  This will help you prioritize the tasks and projects that you need to give urgent attention to first.

That’s just one aspect to planning ahead.

The next thing you need to do is to draw up a budget of how much you need to make for you to comfortably enjoy your time off without feeling the pinch in your finances. This will help you know how many projects you need to take up to make up for that period.  Since you’re the boss, no one is going to give you a bonus unless you work it out yourself.

 

Be disciplined

It will take a lot of discipline to make sure that you follow through with the deadlines you set for yourself. Since you’ll be working harder and for longer hours you need to remain focused and resolute to carry out your projects as at when due. Use incentives to keep you motivated to keep going. What better incentive than to know that you’ll get to spend time with your loved ones during the holidays and relax to your fill!

 

 

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Learn to say “NO”

Sometimes you may be tempted to take up a project or two even though you’re full to the brim with projects. At that point you need to allow yourself to be practical and say “No” to the offers that come in.

You may want to get yourself some time off but that doesn’t mean that you should work yourself into burnout.

 

Outsource what you can

If you tried but couldn’t get yourself to say “No” to the project that comes in, the next practical step to take is to outsource those projects to freelancers who will be available during the time when you’re going on holiday.

The best part of being a freelancer is that you have access to a friendly family of freelancers. The freelancer community is full of talented freelancers who do awesome work.

Once you’ve outsourced the job, you can have the freelancer send the project back to you to for vetting before you send it back to your client. That way you will still earn from the project and help create jobs for other upcoming freelancers.

 

How do you manage time off as a freelancer?

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The Truth about Freelancing as a Parent

Although making the transition from a 9 to 5 to being a freelancer is worth it, the journey can be a tough one. Freelancing requires a lot of hard work, discipline and perseverance. And juggling freelancing with parenthood can be a handful to deal with.

There are, of course, a lot of upsides to being a freelancer. You get to spend more time with your family and never miss out on special events or moments with the people you love and care about.

Be this as it may, this doesn’t mean that you should close your eyes to the realities that freelancing presents especially as a parent.  Here are some truths about freelancing as a parent that you need to know.

 

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  1. You may experience dry spells

Unlike a 9-to-5 where you know what your take home every month is, income from freelancing projects are hardly stable. There will be months when your freelancing income is great while some months may be frighteningly low.

As a parent with a lot of responsibilities, fluctuation in your income may prevent you from making sure that you meet your family’s needs. Your income may go up and down but your responsibilities remain the same.

Depending only on freelancing projects won’t be enough. It will be a wise decision to create multiple sources of income, especially passive income. This will give you something to fall back on when you’re experiencing a shortage of projects for the month.

 

  1. Flexibility of freelancing gives you the opportunity to be there for your children when they need you

Unforeseen situations like accidents or sudden illness can mess with your normal work schedule and it may be difficult to get permission from the office if you work in a 9-to-5. But as a freelancer, you have the flexibility to take care of your children when they’re ill and injured.

The only downside to such sudden unforeseen circumstances is that when the payments from clients don’t come in on time you may be stuck in a tight corner.

 

  1. Clients can pay late and it will disorganize your plans

In order to ensure steady income, freelancers have to make sure that clients keep to their financial commitments. However, sometimes clients may not keep their word and the payment comes in late. Some clients even fail to pay and you may get nothing at all.

This is a frequent occurrence in the freelance industry and this can negatively affect the financial responsibility to your children.

 

  1. You’ll have to contend with shortage of time

It takes a lot of discipline to be a full-time freelancer and you need to be especially phenomenal at managing your time. When you’re a parent your time is divided between your children and your freelance work. This may mean that after taking care of your energetic kids you need to make do with the little time left to dedicate to your work.

However, with a little adjustment and proper arrangement of priorities it is possible to effectively manage your time with your work and with your children.

 

How do you freelance and parent at the same time? Do you deal with any of these issues?

How to Survive the Quiet Months as a Self Employed

The earning potential of a freelancer or self employed is limitless, unlike being an employee. As a self employed person you determine how much you want to earn so long as you back it up with the work that will make that figure possible. In a 9 to 5 you’re only entitled to a fixed salary from month to month.

There are pros and cons for each career path, so it all depends on what matters to you. Working from home works for me and my family at the moment, and I don’t see that ever-changing. I enjoy my work and the flexibility it brings. Plus, I make more money every month than I did at my previous traditional 9 – 5 job.

 

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Although being self employed is great, there are times when you face those dreaded quiet months where the inflow of projects or gigs is slow. This can pose a challenge in your life. However, if you’re prepared for those quiet months you’ll be unperturbed when those months knock at your door. Here are some quiet months survival methods for when you are struggling with new ideas to bring in money.

 

Survival Tip #1: Plan ahead

As much as planning for success is important, you should also factor in moments when things may not work according to plan. That’s where most self-employed miss it. They don’t expect that anything can go wrong, but that’s nearly impossible in real life.

Have a list of all the things you want to achieve next month and how you will make them happen. Now on another list write all the mishaps that could probably happen and how you would get over the problem.

This little exercise will give you a realistic perspective of your monthly goals as well as a road map out of possible things that may go wrong. The idea is not to focus on the negatives but rather help you make necessary improvements to smash your goals.

 

Survival Tip #2: Contact previous clients

Clients are the livewire of your business. So, if you’re having quiet months then you have a problem. The good news is that you don’t have to go very far before you can get clients.

One of the ways to get clients to patronize you is to reach out to your previous clients. Ask them if they have any projects you can help them with. Give them offers that will make them come back.

If they aren’t ready to hire you for the month, don’t stop there. Ask them if they know anyone who would need your service or product. You’d never know how many gigs can come out from just asking. Reach out to various corporations and see what happens.

 

Survival Tip #3: 10X your outreach

During those dry spells, you have to put yourself out there constantly and consistently so that more people can know about you and the products and services you offer. The more people know about what you do, the higher the chances that someone will buy from or hire you.

There are so many ways you can put yourself and your business out there. You can join meet-ups or other networking events and connect with people. Guest posting to showcase your expertise and attract your target audience is another great idea. You can help your target audience with problems or questions they have as a way to let people know what you can do. Pitch to companies or small businesses you can offer your services to.

 

Survival Tip #4: Promote on Social Media

Never estimate the power of social media. With the help of social media, you can be based in the UK, but still reach people as far as Detroit or from China. Ensure you always promote your business on social media. Make use of the social media platforms that work best for your kind of business and get the word out there.

 

 

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These survival tips are tried and tested by me, and have worked beautifully for many years now.

How do you handle the quiet months in your business? Do you have any tried and tested tip to share with other self-employed persons? Please drop a comment in the comments box below.

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*Collaborative post.

 

 

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