Small Thoughts on Freelancing

Since June 2014 I’ve been writing a weekly piece about something that I learned and wanted to share with the world. Rather than write a post about a single topic this week I wanted to briefly touch on a couple of the thoughts and ideas that I’ve collected over the past year. Maybe someday I can flesh these ideas out, but as they stand now I don’t have all that much to say on them even though they’re important.

Haters Gonna Hate

No matter how good you are at what you do there will be people out there who will have nothing but negative things to say about you or your work. It’s easy to get upset and discouraged, but you have to turn this into a positive. Use the hate as a source of motivation, the haters wouldn’t be hating if you weren’t doing work worthy of attention. Just shake it off. 

Value Others

While there are going to be haters out there, you’ll find even more supporters. Maybe it’s somebody who will throw you a ‘like’ on Dribbble. But maybe it ends up being somebody who takes the time to compliment your work. Resiprocate the time they took, and thank them for their kind words. I make it a point to respond to every comment and email I get, because people like to know that their message was heard and appreciated.

Value Yourself

It’s easy to undervalue your work to win a client, but you’re only hurting yourself in the long term. If you don’t have the confidence to charge what you’re worth, clients aren’t going to take you as seriously. It’s not about taking advantage of the client, it’s understanding the worth of your time and skills so it’s important to be realistic. Charging more than you’re worth isn’t going to leave anybody happy.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

I tried to do maybe a little too much this year leading to many ideas not even getting off the ground. As an example, about a year ago I launched a podcast not totally prepared for the workload it was going to add and I got burned out pretty quickly. Since then I’ve learned to take things more slowly, waiting until I’m comfortable enough with my current projects that I can afford to add more. 

You don’t need to do everything at once right out of the gate. You’re just going to overwhelm yourself and the quality of your work will suffer as a result.