Ready to forget the nine-to-five and start living that freelance lifestyle? Here’s what you need to know.
Freelancing may be the dream for some of us, but with unspeakable admin, trying to figure out how taxes work and securing clients – it can all seem pretty daunting. We asked a few professional freelancers for their top tips.
It comes down to you
‘You are going to have to accept that, with the perks of being your own boss, the potential for your business to thrive and provide you with an income relies completely on you. It comes with
highs and lows, big wins and small gains. Get the business cards made, create that website, sit down and draw up that business plan. You need to take yourself seriously first, and this begins with simply investing in your brand.’
– Zoya Pon, content producer and editor
‘Be ready for life without the safety net of a salary’
‘Be financially prepared. Have at least three months’ worth of basic expenses in savings, in case of emergencies or for those slow months. Get income protection: No full-time job means no UIF and no sick leave, so if you get seriously ill, you need to make sure you have the finances to cover your expenses when you can’t work. You are starting something new and there will be times when it doesn’t all go as planned. Talk to a financial advisor and make sure you are ready for life without the safety net of a salary. The rest you can figure out as you go, but money doesn’t appear out of nowhere when things go badly – and they sometimes do.’
– Tessa Kleingeld, print graphic designer, Frolik.co.za
Watch out for burnout
As a freelancer, it’s easy to forget about corporate concepts like annual leave – or even weekends – but you deserve to rest just as much as the next worker bee. ‘The biggest challenge I’ve faced as a freelancer was overbooking myself to the point where I was about to burn out. I had to get over the “skep pap terwyl dit reën” mentality and allow myself to spend some time with my family and with myself. Also, it may be tempting to work through the night to chase a super-tight deadline for a new client in the hopes that it will
result in recurring work, but that client will then always expect you to adhere to crazy deadlines. Leave yourself
some breathing room.’
– Anna-Bet Stemmet, copywriter and translator, Skryfyster.co.za
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